View Full Version : Help with Pork Ribs

08-02-2009, 12:17 PM
I bought a big rack of ribs and don't know what to do with them. I have a rub to put on them. Do I put it on before I cook like a marinade or as I am putting them in the oven? Should I slow roast them to make them tender? Any good recipes to share?
Thanks :)

08-02-2009, 12:23 PM
Put the rub on as early as you can and let the rubs stay on the ribs for a few hours or even overnight if you have the time.
I put rub on the ribs and wrap them, somewhat loosely, in foil. Make sure they are well sealed though so the juices don't run out of the packet while they cook.
I put the pork baby backs in the oven, still in the foil, at 200F for around 2 hours. I then "finish" them on a charcoal grill over hot coals and soaked wood chips to get a nice smoky flavor on the ribs.

I serve bbq sauce on the side. Some will baste their ribs with sauce during the last few minutes of cooking so the sugars in the sauce don't burn.

08-02-2009, 12:39 PM
I put the pork baby backs in the oven, still in the foil, at 200F for around 2 hours. I then "finish" them on a charcoal grill over hot coals and soaked wood chips to get a nice smoky flavor on the ribs.

Mike, she didn't say they were baby backs, just said "big rack" or of pork ribs, so I'm thinking maybe spare ribs? :confused: Maybe more specific info would help.

Also, I didn't see any mention of a grill and am thinking she's only talking oven? :confused:

Like I said...I think a bit more detail might help. :)


08-02-2009, 01:04 PM
I have a super simple recipe that I use & turns out great every time.

Minced garlic - we use garlic liberally in this house
Brown sugar
Red pepper flakes

I cut the rack to fit in my Pyrex pan, rub everything together, cover it n foil & let it sit in the fridge until whenever I'm ready. Throw it in the oven at 375 for about 1.5 hours still covered with the foil, uncover for another 30 or so, then stick under broiler for about 10-15 on low, to get that brown burnt look & taste.

I've tried making my own BBQ sauce but never with success, so I use store bought & add a little honey & hot sauce & more garlic, brush it on while in broiler the last minute or 2. I spoon the burnt garlic on top before serving.

08-02-2009, 01:19 PM
It's from Pam Anderson who was on Cook's Illustrated staff at one time:

Ribs the easy way

Use this no-mess approach to make slabs and slabs of succulent meat in your oven -- then pack 'em up for a picnic with the crowd.

I've often thought ribs might be the one dish I could eat every day. It started when I was 5 and cried when my mom wouldn't let me eat leftover ribs for breakfast. Ribs are still a ritual meal whenever I go back to my childhood home. And I order them nearly every time I see them on a restaurant menu. In short, I'm hooked.

Until recently, however, I cooked ribs only for very special occasions. Their bulky shape made it difficult to roast or grill more than a few slabs simultaneously, and I rarely had enough time for the long process (especially for just two slabs).

While working on my new book of everyday dishes, I decided it was time to simplify a rib recipe so I could enjoy my favorite dish as often as I craved it. So I set to work, studying more than 50 recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet. With such a wide range of cooking methods, times, temperatures, techniques and tips, the research process was daunting.

But after three days of morning-to-midnight testing, I got what I wanted: a quick, simple way to cook a large quantity of ribs. With my new technique, I could make enough ribs in my gas oven to serve 12 to 16; people who have electric ovens can feed six to eight. And I had another revelation: Three days of testing and eating ribs made me realize that as much as I loved them, not even I could eat them every day!

Tips from my barbecue-sauce-stained lips

Skip marinades. They tend to overpower the wonderfully distinct character and flavor of the pork. Instead, brush the ribs with mustard (Dijon or even ballpark), then sprinkle with a dry rub. Spice rubs enhance pork flavor, and their sandy texture helps develop a flavorful crust. Mustard, the secret ingredient of many award-winning rib recipes, not only quietly flavors the ribs but also helps the dry rub cling, resulting in an impressive crust.

Roast ribs slow and low. No method -- grilling, smoking, boiling, broiling, roasting at higher oven temperatures, or any combination of those techniques -- produces ribs as juicy, tender, richly flavored and simple as those roasted in a 250-degree oven.

Roast ribs right on the oven rack. If roasted in a pan, the ribs' bottom sides steam. Cooking directly on the oven rack (and catching the drippings in a foil-lined pan) solves the steaming problem and also makes it possible to cook several slabs at a time. And cleanup is a breeze: Simply toss the foil, then remove the oven racks and wash them in hot, soapy water.

In gas ovens, the heating element is under the oven floor, so ribs can be cooked on both oven racks, making it possible to cook up to six slabs of spareribs at once. In electric ovens, the foil-lined pan must be placed on the bottom rack, because the heating coils are on the oven floor. Still, roasting three slabs of spareribs (or four slabs of baby-back ribs) at once is impressive.

Smoke first, if you like. For a smoky flavor, remove the racks from your gas grill and line the area over the burners with heavy-duty foil. Carefully pierce the foil several times with a fork, then scatter wood-soaked hickory (or other wood) chips on top. Put the grill racks back in place, close the lid and turn all the burners on high. In just seven or eight minutes, the grill should be fully preheated, and the chips will start to smoke. Place prepared ribs on the rack, turn the heat to medium, and smoke until the chips are spent, about 15 minutes. Transfer the ribs to the oven to slow-roast until tender.

At the last minute, brush fully cooked ribs with barbecue sauce and broil. Let them turn spotty brown: It will help the spice-rubbed exterior stay crisp and flavorful and will help the piquant glaze caramelize.

Go to top

The Best Oven-Roasted Ribs

6 Tbs. brown sugar
6 Tbs. paprika
3 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbs. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
9 Tbs. (1/2 cup + 1 Tb.) Dijon or yellow mustard
2 tsps. liquid smoke (optional)
3 slabs of pork spareribs (9 pounds), or 4 slabs of baby-back ribs (8 pounds)
Your favorite barbecue sauce (optional)

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, and preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix sugar, paprika, pepper, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix mustard and optional liquid smoke in a small bowl. Brush both sides of each slab with mustard, then sprinkle both sides with the dry rub.

Line a large jellyroll pan or other shallow roasting pan with a sheet of heavy-duty foil. Place the pan on the oven floor (if oven is gas) or bottom oven rack (if oven is electric), making sure the foil covers the entire oven level. Roast ribs until fork-tender -- 2 to 3 hours for spare ribs and 1 1/2 to 2 hours for baby-back ribs.

If using barbecue sauce, remove foil-lined pan from oven and pour off fat. Transfer ribs to foil-lined pan, meat side down. Turn on broiler. Brush ribs with half the sauce. Put pan under broiler until glaze bubbles vigorously. Remove pan, turn ribs, brush with remaining sauce, and return to broiler until glaze bubbles vigorously.

Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into individual ribs and serve.

Serves: 8 (gas oven users may double this recipe).

08-02-2009, 02:00 PM
Mike, she didn't say they were baby backs, just said "big rack" or of pork ribs, so I'm thinking maybe spare ribs? :confused: Maybe more specific info would help.

Also, I didn't see any mention of a grill and am thinking she's only talking oven? :confused:

Like I said...I think a bit more detail might help. :)


I agree that a bit more detail would help.
Although if they are not pork baby back ribs, but just regular pork spare ribs, the same things I do for the baby backs still apply. She just might have to bake them a bit longer. And if she doesn't have a grill that's ok too. Just skip that step and finish them in the oven out of the foil. There just won't be any wood smoke.

08-03-2009, 09:43 AM
For rack of ribs I put a rub on them a few hours before grilling to meld the flavors. Then I grill on a low head. During the last 10 mins or so I brush on some BBQ sauce.

For Country Style ribs I do the same or just the rub.

This is the rub I tried a few nights ago from Fine Cooking Magazine - awesome.

Rib Rub
(my changes are in parentheses, it is what I had on hand)

For the Ribs:
2 racks spareribs (3-3.5 lbs each) (Country Style ribs, 5.45 lbs.)

For the Rub:
4 Tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp ancho chili powder (Chpolte chili powder)
2 tsp. sweet paprika, preferably, Hungarian (Spanish)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp celery seed (Anise crushed in a mortar and pestal)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl mix the spice rub ingredients. Sprinkle the rub all over and “rub in” to blend. I let sit for about 45 minutes covered on the counter to let the spices meld and to do their “thing”. Awesome!!!

Grilled on low heat 25-30 mins. Flipped every 5 mins – juicy and delicious!!!!

The Best of Fine Cooking, Grilling. No. 28, Page 19


08-03-2009, 02:29 PM
Absolutely my favorite food, and now I have a nearly foolproof way to make them at home, so I keep the freezer stocked with baby backs..although I'm sure this same method would work with spare ribs! :)

I coat the ribs in dry rub, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours. Transfer to foil right before cooking, pour a bit of liquid smoke into the foil packets, seal them up tight, then put packets onto a broiler pan in the oven. 300* for close to 3 hours. When you open the foil there is liquid inside, I just funnel that liquid into a bowl and add BBQ sauce, mix it up, then after cutting the slabs into individual ribs, spread it onto the ribs with a silicone basting brush. Back onto the broiler pan for 10 minutes on broil.

Yum. :D