When you suddenly crave for a saucy rib rack, there’s usually little you can do to stop it. That is, aside from eating ribs. They are just so rewarding! Sweet, savory, salty, tender…they are like meat candy. But sometimes, the grill just is not an option. No matter the living situation or weather, you can make amazingly juicy, tender, delicious rib rack with this foolproof recipe. Here’s how to satisfy that hunger for ribs.
Prep your rib rack
First things first, rinse your rib rack. Usually, ribs come vacuum-packed and can be swimming in a liquid that you would want to wash away. Put under cold running water, pat dry with a napkin, then peel off the “silverskin,” or the shiny, white piece of membrane that’s on top of the bones and makes things chewy and tough once cooked. It should come off pretty easily, but if not, use your handy paring knife to help remove it.
The key to succulent ribs is robust flavor. Be sure to coat with a good amount of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. We can also add a dry rub to our ribs to add more sweetness and flavor.
Everyone’s favorite part of eating their rib rack has got to be the sauce. That, and having a valid excuse to eat with your hands.
Low and slow
The key to cooking a great baked rib rack is low temp and a lot of time. We cook ours at 300° for 2 hours. The great part is, unlike with grilling, this recipe is totally hands-off. Pop these babies in the oven, cover with foil, and let them cook, tenderize, and pervade your house with the most delicious smell ever. Then, baste with the flavorful sauce and broil for a few more minutes to caramelize and crisp the crust.
Traditional Oven-baked Rib Rack
for 4 servings
1 rib rack
2 tsps salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsps paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsps dried oregano
¼ cup brown sugar (55 g)
1 cup BBQ sauce (290 g)
- Preheat oven to 275˚F (140˚C).
- Season the ribs with salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, and brown sugar. Rub in the seasonings evenly on both sides.
- Place the ribs on a baking sheet lined with foil. Cover the ribs with foil.
- Bake for 2 hours.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500˚F (260˚C).
- Carefully uncover the rib rack. Spread BBQ sauce evenly on top of the ribs.
- Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Transfer the ribs to a cutting board.
- Make cuts between the bones to separate into individual ribs. Serve with green beans.
2 tbsps ground coffee
1 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsps coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
2 meaty rib racks each 2 to 2½ pounds
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1½ cup minced yellow onion
¾ cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup ketchup
2 tbsps packed dark brown sugar
2 tbsps cider vinegar
2 tbsps molasses
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
heavy-duty aluminum foil (18 inches wide)
- Mix the rub ingredients. Using a dull knife, remove the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Season the racks evenly all over with the rub mixture and allow them to stand at room temperature for about 45 minutes before grilling.
- Prep up the grill for indirect cooking over low heat (250° to 350°F).
- Make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat on the stove, melt the butter.
- Throw in the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until slightly reduced to 1½ cups.
- Remove from the heat.
- Place the racks sitting upright in a rib rack, both facing the same way. Put the rib rack over indirect low heat, as far from the heat as possible, close the lid, and cook for a couple of hours.
- After an hour, baste the racks with water, particularly any areas that look a little dry. Continue to baste with water every 30 minutes or so. After 3 hours, check if one or both racks are ready to come off the grill. They are ready when the meat has shrunk back from the ends of most of the bones by half an inch or more.
- Remove the rib racks from the grill and gently brush them on both sides with some of the sauce. Wrap each rib rack individually in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Put the racks back on the grill and cook them over indirect low heat, until very tender. Remove the racks from the grill and cut them into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining rib sauce.