BBQ Ribs – with or without a grill


The best letters in the alphabet.

But alas, I have friends who live in apartments who are denied the ability to cook this delicacy.

I also have friends in the frozen north who think they can only have BBQ in the summer.

(Although in Minnesota and Michigan I used to shovel a path to my grill and cook out all winter. As long as it’s above zero, you can still cook on a grill. Miserable? Yes. Worth it? Totally!)

So here’s the secret….these ribs can be cooked in the oven. In fact, they’re actually better that way.

Before you BBQ purists out there object, let me explain…

Many cuts of meat benefit from the “Low and Slow” mantra of BBQ. Unless you have a smoker or charcoal grill (mine died), low and slow is pretty hard to do on a gas grill. However the oven was made for low and slow. Pop these babies in and go about your day. If you have a grill, you can finish the ribs off outside for extra flavor. If not, the broiler will do the trick.

I’ll walk you through it. Maybe even make you a believer.

Here’s what you need:

Pork Ribs, Salt & Pepper.

Couldn’t get much easier. Oh, and sauce. Pick your favorite or be weird like me and make your own combo.

I like half Bone Suckin’ Sauce and half KC Masterpiece Original. I might even add a little Maker’s Mark Bourbon but don’t tell anyone.

A little bourbon for the sauce….a little bourbon for the cook….

Back to the ribs. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Cover a big sheet pan with foil and cut slab of ribs into 3 or 4 smaller slabs for easier handling. I’m using Pork Spare Ribs. I like them because they’re bigger and have more meat per rib. If you’re a fan of Babyback ribs, go ahead and use them instead.

Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. If you want to get fancy and use Paprika or even a spicy rub, go right ahead.

Bake the ribs “Low and Slow” in the 250 degree oven for AT LEAST 2 hours.

The ribs will become golden brown and deliciously tender. Give them a gentle tug or poke with a fork and if the meat seems to almost want to fall off the bone, they’re done. If not, a little more time in the oven won’t hurt a bit. These cooked about 2 1/2 hours in the oven.

Now, if you have  a grill, fire it up. If you have a little chunk of hickory or other flavored wood, fire it up too.

Put the ribs on the grill over a medium flame to crisp up the outside.

Stop taking pictures and close the lid to keep in the hickory smoke.

When the ribs have charred just a bit, turn them meaty side up and start to slather on the sauce.

Cook and layer on the sauce for about 15-20 minutes until they are hot and saucy.

If you don’t have a grill OR if it’s doing THIS at your house…

keep the ribs indoors and turn on the broiler in the oven.

Cook the ribs under the broiler for a few minutes – watch them carefully so they don’t burn – and then add a little sauce. Continue to broil and add sauce until the ribs have the color and crispy texture you desire. This only took 5-10 minutes with my broiler.

Let the ribs rest for a few minutes and then serve each person their own small slab or run a sharp knife between the ribs to separate them.

Seriously, if these aren’t the most tender pork ribs you’ve ever eaten, I’ll be surprised.

One of these days I’ll buy a smoker or replace the Weber Kettle, but until then, ribs from the oven work just fine for this Kansas City girl.

P.S. I think you should make these for your dad this weekend.

Here’s the recipe:

Oven Baked BBQ Ribs

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One Response

  1. Claudia — this is your BEST EVER!!! Hilarious comments, especially about the Bourbon. The ribs look finger lickin’ good good good………..
    Last year 4th of July I did them in the oven because it poured heavy rain for days like in the photo you attached. Great Photo of the rain falling off the roof!

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