Perfect ribs have eluded me for many years. So I’m pretty excited to have finally mastered consistent, tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs.
I made these multiple times last year, but when I wanted to make them for our anniversary last week I had to rack my brain (no pun intended) for how I had done it. Apparently I had failed to memorialize them on the blog!
Let’s get this written down so that kind of research doesn’t have to happen again :)
First, lay a double layer of foil on a large cookie sheet, shiny side facing out.
Lay your rack(s) of ribs on the foil and remove any tough membrane on the back of your ribs. Rub them all over with the brown sugar and spice mixture.
Make sure the ribs are meaty side down (like the one on the right above), and cover them with two more layers of foil (shiny side out again). Pinch and seal the foil to create a tight package. They’ll cook low and slow and steamy in there and get super tender, all while making for super easy clean up later!
But in the end we don’t just want steamed, fall-off-the-bone ribs. We want sauciness and a bit of crispy-edged texture, so we need to finish with a broiler or a barbecue! After about 2.5 hours, depending how thick and meaty your ribs are, carefully open your foil package. The meat will be starting to pull away from the bone, showing how easily it’s going to come off the bone when you get to eating.
Turn your oven to broil or heat your barbecue for the final step. (I always use the oven because it’s already hot and I don’t want to make a saucy mess on my barbecue.) While that heats, cut the upside-down ribs into individual portions (3-4 ribs per section). The meat should be very tender, making this nice and easy. Brush half the barbecue sauce on the bony side of the ribs and return them to the oven to broil for 2 minutes.
Using tongs, flip the ribs over, meaty side up, and brush on the remaining sauce. Broil for another 2-3 minutes, until they are nice and sticky and the sauce is darkened.
Set them in front of someone you love! (Pretty sure he gazed at the ribs more than my eyes over our anniversary dinner :))
Who needs restaurants when you can make ribs this good at home, and feed the whole family for the price of a single ribs dinner out? I knew better than to bother with distracting sides when it was just the two of us eating, so we had a small spinach salad for show, but mostly it was all about the ribs. (Don’t worry, we did have some leftovers ;)) But for the family, I highly recommend sides of corn on the cob and fries so your fingers and faces just get completely and totally dirty.
Summer eating season is basically upon us, and these ribs should be in your plans!
- Approx 4 lbs pork back ribs, membrane removed
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¾ cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp paprika (or smoked paprika!)
- 1 Tbsp garlic seasoning
- ½ tsp chili flakes/cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1½ cups of your favourite barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with two layers of foil, shiny side out.
- In a medium bowl, stir together salt and pepper, brown sugar, paprika, garlic and chili flakes. Lay ribs on prepared baking sheet meaty side up and rub half the sugar and spice mixture all over them with your hands or the back of a spoon. Flip the ribs over and repeat with remaining spice mixture. Cover ribs with another double layer of foil, shiny side out again. Pinch and seal the edges of the foil to completely enclose the ribs.
- Bake for 2.5 hours (up to 3 hours for very thick ribs). Remove from oven and carefully pull off top layers of foil (watch out for the steam, it'll be very hot.)
- Turn oven to Broil on HIGH. (This last step can also be done on the barbecue if you prefer.)
- Cut ribs into portion sizes of 3-4 ribs each. Brush ¾ cup of barbecue sauce all over the backs of the ribs, and broil for 2 minutes. Use tongs, flip the ribs meaty side up and brush on the remaining barbecue sauce. Broil another 2 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and caramelized. Enjoy!
*Mainly adapted from Beth’s barbecue ribs at Food.com