Oven-Baked Smoky Ribs

Since we don't have any outdoor space in our tiny Boston apartment, when we saw ribs on sale at the grocery store, the only thing we could do was bake them. But we didn't let that stop us. I cobbled together some recipes, and we made a rack of ribs in our oven that I think even a grillmaster would be happy to eat. While this is a time-consuming process and requires some advance planning (don't start baking the ribs at 5PM like I did!), it's largely hands-off, and the results are worth it.

Oven-Baked Smoky Ribs
(Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Serious Eats)

  • 1 slab of baby back or St. Louis style ribs (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds)
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • Barbecue sauce (we like Trader Joe's Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce)

  1. Remove the membrane from the back of your rack of ribs.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, onion powder, cumin, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Rub onto both sides of the ribs, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. 
  3. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and set rack in center position. Set a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet covered in aluminum foil. 
  4. Unwrap your ribs and sprinkle liquid smoke over the dry rub, rubbing it into the meat to evenly distribute. If ribs don't smell smoky enough, rub in a little more liquid smoke, but use sparingly because a little goes a long way!
  5. Wrap ribs in aluminum foil, sealing tightly, and set on wire rack on prepared baking sheet. 
  6. Bake ribs for 2 hours. Remove ribs from the oven and discard the foil. 
  7. Set the ribs back on the wire rack, meaty side up, and return to the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours longer, or until a toothpick or skewer can be pushed into the meat with minimal resistance. 
  8. Remove ribs from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce, return to oven, and cook 5-10 minutes until well-browned. 
  9. Serve!

No comments