This past weekend Rebecca, her friends (Patty and the Riz) and I ventured out to the house in South Orange, New Jersey for the weekend. The weather was gorgeous and we had a fantastic weekend using the pool (and hot tub). It was so relaxing and exactly what I needed! After my trip to the beach last weekend and now the pool this weekend, these last few weeks of summer are shaping up very nicely.
Of course, there was lots of drinking, laughter and even more great food!
Given that I normally don’t have this many willing guinea pigs to sample my food or the grand kitchen of the South Orange house, I wanted to take full advantage of it. In typical fashion, I started brainstorming (and day dreaming about) various dishes I might want to make given the weekend’s opportunity. While we made quite a few dishes for quite a few meals (which I plan to share with you in the coming days), the one I was most excited about was oven baked baby back ribs!
I love barbecue and have been craving it for a while now (add finding great BBQ in Brooklyn to my to do list please!). I’ve never made ribs at home nor do I even eat them regularly… but boy, after this meal that’s got to change! What’s a better almost end of summer meal than some finger licking good ribs with corn on the cob and a baked potato?!
Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs
The secret to these ribs is all in the rub. A lot of recipes I read included a dry rub for the recipes but you’d simply mix the rub, apply it to the ribs and then bake them… For maximize flavor, I decided to coat my ribs in this rub mixture and let them sit in the fridge covered in plastic wrap for around 6 to 8 hours for phenomenal results.
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside until ready to use.
Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Rub spice mix over the ribs until thoroughly coated.
*The above measurements covered a rack of pork baby back ribs so double or triple depending on the number of racks you’ll be cooking up.
Arrange a baking rack on a baking sheet and transfer ribs on top. (For easy clean up, line the baking sheet with tin foil). Broil ribs for 5 minutes until the dry rub starts to bubble and caramelize. Set the oven to 300 degrees F and bake ribs for1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the oven and (carefully) cover with aluminum foil. This will ensure the ribs stay moist. Transfer covered ribs back into the oven and continue baking for 1 hour and 30 minutes. (Around this point, your house will be smelling amazing!).
(Pause for funny story — I would come in and check on the ribs periodically after hanging out in the pool. Every time I’d enter the kitchen I would get the hiccups. Twenty minutes later back out in the pool, they’d be gone… go back into the kitchen… hiccups… pool no hiccups… this kept happening! It was super weird!).
I’m drooling just looking at this photo. You have no idea how good these smelled and tasted! No idea!
After removing the ribs from the oven, let rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Cut between the bones to separate individual ribs. Serve with your favorite barbeque sauce if desired. I chose Archer Farm’s Mid-West Style Barbecue Sauce that a foodie penpal had sent me a while back… they were fantastic with the sauce but so moist and tender with such great flavor from the spice rub that they didn’t even need the sauce!
I wish I could eat these ever day! They were so good I ate them cold the next day standing over the kitchen sink, licking my fingers… that’s when you know it’s good! No shame!
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon cayenne (or to taste)
- 3 racks baby back pork ribs
- Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
- Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Arrange in one layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Rub the spices all over the ribs on both sides, coating well.
- Heat the broiler and place an oven rack a few inches below the heating element. Make sure the meaty side of the ribs is facing up. Broil the ribs for about 5 minutes, until the sugar in the dry rub is bubbling and the ribs are evenly browned.
- Set the oven to 300°F. Move the ribs to an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Roast for 2½ to 3 hours for spare ribs or 1½ to 2 hours for baby back ribs. Halfway through cooking, cover the ribs with aluminum foil to protect them from drying out.