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Thread: Question about Baby Back Ribs and cooking times..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Rockville, Maryland

    Question about Baby Back Ribs and cooking times..

    Hope someone can help me out.

    I've tried a few different baby back rib recipes and always had pretty good luck. Most of them have required a dry rub, then bbq wet sauce, then wrapping them tightly in foil, and put in the oven for a good 3 hours.

    I tried Pam Andersons recipe - noted below - which called for the ribs NOT to be wrapped in foil but placed directly on the rack with only a dry rub- and not to bake for 3 hours - but for 1.5 - 2 hours. Finishing at the very end with the bbq wet sauce. The ribs came out tasting great - but not the fall-off-the-bone tender that *I* love.

    So my question is - what makes ribs tender? Was it the lack of wrapping them tightly in foil ... or was it not baking it as long... or what?

    I would like to take this recipe but tweak it so that the ribs come out more tender. Any help would be appreciated! I just need some advice on what to try differenlty next time (wrapping in foil, baking longer, etc.).

    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).
    Last edited by crispywafers; 05-26-2008 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Forgot to attach recipe!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Renton, WA
    I am by NO means a rib expert...but Baby Back Ribs are my all-time favorite food, and it's become a mission for me to find a way to cook them 'right' at home, ever since The Outback raised their price for the baby back rib dinner to $20.99.

    A few months ago Costco had their baby backs on a good deal. I made three Foodsaver bags of 1-1/2 racks each, which are perfect for the two of us. I decided I was going to try three different cooking methods on the three different packages of ribs. First was the pressure cooker. Great flavor due to the infusion cooking, but the meat was tough in my opinion. I did the 'main' cooking in the cooker then basted with sauce and finished in the oven.

    Second was the slow cooker. That one was a total bust. Rubbery, no flavor, and a total disappointment.

    Third was a dry rub, tightly wrapped in foil, pour about two tsp of liquid smoke into the foil package before sealing, then into the oven for three hours at 300* I think the temp was. I will have to recheck the times/temp. Finished these in the oven basted with BBQ sauce.

    The result was Heaven on a plate. The rub and liquid smoke had infused the meat, and I think the steam from the foil wrap had permeated the meat to make it tender. I have no idea what the physics are, I forgot to check my Alton Brown book but I know that dry rub/foil has turned out better ribs than any other way for us. We'll never cook Baby Backs any other way now!
    ~ "The right shoe can change your life...."- Cinderella ~

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    S.E. Michigan
    I think it must be the steam that makes them so tender. On Saturday we had our first ribs of the season. Years ago a lady I knew told me her recipe which at the time sounded interesting and I thought I should try them. These are fall-off-the-bone ribs and they have been such a hit that I'll never do them another way again.

    Preheat oven to 275

    Rub down ribs with dry rub (I use Billy Bones B.B.Q. Rub)
    Wrap ribs in plastic wrap, like Saran, twice
    Bake for two hours
    Remove from oven and wrap and place on grill for 20 minutes with B.B.Q. sauce to caramelize.

    These are the best ribs there is so much steam coming from them when you take them from the wrap. This week I had used Sweet Baby Ray's before I saw the thread and I'll never use anything else again, they were spectacular!
    Personally, I didn't really care for ribs until I started making them this way.

  4. #4
    For tender/fall off the bone ribs, I do the following:

    Rub dry rub into the ribs , wrap in foil and refigerate overnight.
    Place ribs in foil pans and bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
    Cover pans with foil and bake for an additional 1 and 1/2 hours.
    Uncover pans and bake for 30 minutes more.
    Brush ribs with bbq sauce and let sit at room temp for 15-30 minutes.
    Grill over indirect heat or broil approximately 5 minutes per side being careful not to burn sauce.

  5. #5
    I prefer to remove a bit of the membrane on the bottom side of the ribs. Then apply the dry rub to both sides, wrap in foil and let marinate for some period of time.
    Then into the oven, still wrapped in the foil, at 200 F or so for a couple hours. (This step can also be done on a low grill if you don't want to heat up the kitchen).
    Then out of the foil and onto a hot grill to get some good grill flavor. Not long on the grill as the ribs are basically already done. Just long enough to get some good color on them and flavor in them from the grill. (I like to use hickory chips to make a nice smoke to give the ribs a bit of smoky flavor. I don't care for liquid smoke) Anyway, then an application of bbq sauce at the end of the grill cooking, or no sauce application but just served with the ribs at the table.

    I think it's the steam generated during the low cook in foil that really tenderizes the ribs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I follow Sara Foster's method - take the membrane off like Hammster says - place them on top of sliced onions. Pour a bottle of beer over them and season with salt and pepper. Bake, covered with foil, at 325 for 2 hours. Finish them off on the grill, brush with your favorite bbq sauce. EVERY TIME tender, fall off the bone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Rockville, Maryland

    Thank you Thank you!

    Thank you, thank you!

    Sounds like it's the foil wrapping that does it.

    The recipe I used made some delicious ribs - the taste was right on - so I'm going to try the recipe again but wrap them in foil for 2 - 2.5 hours.

    Thanks again for the suggestions/help! I didnt' want to waste a rack of ribs on too much trial and error!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Northern New Jersey
    I usually do my baby back ribs on the grill each summer... cooking low and slow for about 2-3 hours. I am going to try smoking them in a couple of weeks, my DH's uncle suggested smoking at about 275 degrees for 2 hours (using your preferred dry rubs, etc), then wrapping tightly in foil for the remaining 2 hours. I plan to try this method over Father's Day weekend and will let you know how they turn out.

    Family, Friends and Food ~ a blog filled with recipes that I share with my family and friends.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Near my friends.
    crispywafers, thank you for this thread. I gave up after wasting ribs twice....I feel like /i can do a better job abd a going to give them a try again.

    I'm really appreciating ALL who responded to crispywafers with your delicious methods/recipes.

    You may have had a lot of unfair things happen, but when you look back over your life, remember something good that has happened for you. Replay the good memories. Joel Osteen

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    A super easy way is to put your favorite BQ sauce and the ribs in a Reynolds oven bag and bake at about 325* for a couple of hours. You won't get the sticky, crispy edges some people like, but the ribs will be fall off the bone tender.

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