BBQ Pork Baby Back Ribs
When I was growing up, we kids always chose what mom would make for our birthday dinner. I always picked BBQ pork baby back ribs. Still do. Back in the day, the common wisdom was that ribs needed to be boiled first, so that the meat would be tender and fall off the bones. Wrong. Slow cooking works better and keeps all the deliciousness in the meat.
- 2 racks pork ribs, preferably baby back ribs
- salt and pepper
- BBQ sauce (ketchup, honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, horseradish, sriracha or hot sauce, minced hot peppers, minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, cumin, ginger, thyme, coriander, curry paste, leftover cold coffee, instant coffee, Coca Cola, pineapple juice, orange juice, vinegar (red wine, balsamic, cider or rice wine), chili or sesame oil, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, hoisin) (note 1)
- preheat oven to 300F
- generously season ribs on both sides (note 2)
- place ribs, bone side down, in a roasting pan (note 3)
- roast, without turning, for 2 hours or until the bones wiggle without falling out
- slather the meaty side of the ribs with BBQ sauce and return to oven (note 4)
- increase temperature to 350F and continue to roast an additional ½ hour or until the bones are loose, and the meat is tender and firm but not dried out
- turn around and find your children sitting and drooling at the dinner table without having to be called
Note 2: You need to use a lot more salt than you think. I used about one tbsp for 2 racks, and about 1 tsp freshly ground pepper. The salt helps the ribs form a nice crust or "bark" which not only tastes delicious but helps to keep the ribs moist.
Note 3: Don't add any oil or butter to the ribs or the pan. In order to render some of the fat and get that nice crust, you need a slow, dry roasting.
Note 4: Instead of returning the sauce-covered ribs to the oven, you can put them on the BBQ over a low flame and low heat. Just make sure to watch them as the sauce can cause flareups and you don't want these babies to burn.