Recipe: Easy Oven Ribs

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There’s just something about good BBQ that makes me downright giddy. Probably because I’ve developed an appreciation for how difficult it is to properly nail that beautifully subtle balance of tenderness, juiciness, smokiness, sweetness and mouthwatering tang.

Although this recipe won’t necessarily give the professionals a run for their money — full disclosure: it still needs some work in the smoke department — it does cover all the other categories quite nicely and will satisfy your mid-week rib craving just fine!

Easy Oven Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs baby back ribs
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 oz apple juice/cider per package
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon powdered garlic
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 225 F
  2. Divide ribs into smaller pieces so they can be arranged on a baking sheet, and place each section in a large piece of foil
  3. Mix together dry ingredients to make a rub, rub ribs with mixture and fold foil around ribs (leaving one end open to create a pouch)
  4. Pour 1 oz of apple juice/cider into each pouch, carefully folding the open end of the foil to create a closed pouch
  5. Repeat for each set of ribs, and wrap all in a second piece of foil so liquid won’t leak out while cooking
  6. Arrange rib packets on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour per lb of ribs
  7. When they’re fork tender, open packets, swab with BBQ sauce and place under a broiler until BBQ sauce bubbles
  8. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly before serving

If you’re stumped on how to fold the foil packets, here’s a step-by-step tutorial from Bon Appetit that does a good job of breaking down the process.

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The shot above is post-broiler — ideally, you want to keep it under the heat until the BBQ sauce loses its “wet” look and appears more bubbly and caramelized. This is key to deepening the flavor and texture — i.e. getting you one step closer to finger lickin’ goodness.

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Pair with some steamed greens, baked beans and cornbread, and you’ve got one of my all-time favorite meals!

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