I never really grew up eating ribs. It’s probably partly because they can be pricey but also because for the longest time I didn’t like barbeque sauce. All the barbeque sauces I had tasted were horrendously sweet (probably loaded up with high fructose corn syrup) and I’m also not a huge fan of ketchup. It took years before I tasted a really wonderful barbeque sauce that was complex with smoky, spicy, and sweet flavors. I am currently loving this barbeque sauce from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. When I saw ribs on sale recently at Fry’s for buy 1 get 2, I just had to take advantage. We cooked ribs in culinary school and I was surprised to learn that most of the cooking time takes place in an oven and it’s not until the very end of cooking that you toss the ribs on a grill to finish off. This technique is what gives you tender, succulent, lacquered ribs that you’ll be thinking about for days without having to use a smoker or anything. Jared actually said these were the best ribs he’s ever had. I don’t think we’ll be going out for ribs any time soon with this recipe!
Taste: Just the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tangy, smokey, and savory. It’s blissful.
Texture: Meaty, juicy, tender, moist, and messy in the best possible way.
Ease: Surprisingly easy.
Appearance: I happen to think these look pretty damn delicious!
Pros: The best ribs I’ve ever had.
Would I make this again? Absolutely! I’ll definitely be using this technique for the other ribs I got on sale that are sitting in my freezer.
The Best Barbeque Ribs
Yield: 8 servings
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 pounds baby back pork ribs
1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce, plus more
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with double layers of foil. Combine the salt, dry mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a small bowl. Divide the ribs between baking sheets and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture. Wrap each rib individually with foil.
Bake the ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours. Let the ribs cool completely. Rewrap the ribs in foil and place in the refrigerator until chilled or up to 3 days (chilling the ribs makes them easier to grill without falling apart and the flavor actually develops the longer they're in the fridge).
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high.
Grill the ribs, basting with the barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.
Adapted from Bon Appetit July 2012
Edited 8/8/13 to include video.