When it comes to baby back ribs, the secret is to season them with a dry rib rub, bake them slowly in the oven, and then grill them. I promise—it works!
We barbecue anything from chicken and steaks to vegetables and shrimp every week during the summer. The greatest baby back ribs are one of the simplest dishes we make. Some chefs believe that baby back ribs should be cooked on an open grill and covered with BBQ sauce right away. Avoid being duped by this hoopla! This approach only produces crisp-burned carcass and dried-out ribs.
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Rather, we brush the ribs dry to impart flavor to the meat and bake them slowly at a low temperature to bring out all the flavors and succulence. What about the grill, though? Once the ribs are covered with BBQ sauce and roasted for a little while to create a smoky taste, it serves as the last ingredient.
What’s In the Best Baby Back Ribs?
Baby back pork ribs are the primary component, of course, along with:
- Pork spareribs, baby back (9–12 pounds)
- Dry spice rub for BBQ — see below
- Apple cider: As the ribs bake, the sugars in this enhance their taste and tenderness.
- Any type of BBQ sauce will do as long as you adore the taste.
Start With A Dry Rib Rub
The bulk of the components for this recipe for baby back ribs are the same spices used to create an amazing dry spice rub for pig ribs. My brother-in-law, a Texan with a love and enthusiasm for smoking and grilling, gave me the rub recipe. My husband is smitten with my brother-in-law’s ultimate smoker, and I believe he dreams of this rub.
Here’s what’s in it:
- Sweet paprika
- Dark brown sugar—I love the rich, molasses flavor it imparts, and it doesn’t burn as quickly as processed white sugar.
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Dry mustard
- Celery salt
- Kosher salt
- Cayenne pepper
How to Make These Baby Back Ribs
Don’t be afraid if you have never cooked ribs before! It’s an easy method that anyone can learn.
Rub it down, rub that down. Mix the homemade pork rub well and generously apply it to the ribs’ outside.
After resting, chill. Let the ribs cool for a minimum of four hours or overnight. This makes it possible for the spice rub to really flavor the ribs.
Bake the Ribs Before Grilling
The greatest baby back ribs begin their life in the oven rather than on the grill. This dish is very amazing since the ribs are baked for three hours on low heat before being grilled.
- Bake the ribs with the dry rub on them slowly. Set the ribs on a high-edged sheet pan coated with a wire rack (the rack keeps the ribs from dripping into the apple juice); preheat your oven to 250°F. After filling the baking sheet with one cup of apple cider, roast the ribs for ninety minutes. Before grilling them, pour extra apple cider into the sheet pan and bake for an additional ninety minutes.
- Get your grill ready. Sear the ribs for about ten minutes on each side over medium-high heat. Recall that they don’t need to cook much longer; your goal is only to add some color to them.
- Applying BBQ sauce to the ribs is the last step. Cook until the sauce reheats and forms a thick, smokey layer.
Tips for Making Ribs
- For this recipe for grilled ribs, make sure you use apple cider rather than apple cider vinegar. Cider without alcohol that hasn’t been spiced with cinnamon or other herbs is what you desire.
- You also want to make sure that the baking sheet has a wire rack in it so that some of the fat may fall off the ribs. Furthermore, you don’t want them to cook in the apple cider directly.
- Lastly, preheat the ribs on the grill before basting them with sauce. Barbecue sauce has the ability to burn the sugar, so if you add it too early, you’ll definitely end up with blackened, crusty outtards instead of the flavorful, savory kind that we all love.
Should Ribs Be Wrapped in Foil When Grilling
To keep their ribs from drying out, some people like to wrap them in foil, although this is really not necessary in this case. Because they were slow-baked prior, the ribs stay juicy and tender even though they are only cooked for a brief while on the grill.
More Recipes You Might Like
- Meatloaf Recipe
- BBQ Ribeye Steak
- Pork Tenderloin with Dijon Cream Sauce
- Southern Smothered Pork Chops
- Chicken In White Wine
BEST Baby Back Ribs
- 4 racks baby back pork ribs 9 to 12 pounds
- 2 cups apple cider*
- ¼ cup sweet paprika
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons celery salt
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Your favorite barbeque sauce
- Mix up all of the dry ingredients and liberally massage into the ribs. For four hours or overnight, refrigerate.
- Turn the oven on to 250°F. Place the ribs at room temperature on a high-edged sheet pan that has a wire rack coated with it. Place the ribs on the rack, pour in one cup of apple cider, and simmer for one and a half hours. Cook for a another 1½ hours or until the flesh separates from the bones, after adding another cup of cider.
- Set the grill’s temperature to medium-high. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce and grill for 7 to 10 minutes on each side. Take out and present.
- For this recipe for grilled ribs, make sure you use apple cider rather than apple cider vinegar. Cider without alcohol that hasn’t been spiced up with cinnamon or other seasonings is what you desire.
- Please read blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.