Karen’s BBQ Pork Baby Back Ribs with Spice Rub

It’s late September and I just had to make this rib recipe again for Sunday dinner with friends. I still had sauce in the fridge from the last venture so didn’t need to make it up. That’s a time saver.

While the ribs are cooking, I’m doing a little house sprucing and now updating the recipe. Our friends will be here in a few hours and are bringing a side of macaroni and cheese. What’s great, too, about cooking ribs this way is that you can bake them the full 3 hours, turn the oven off and then finish them on the grill after your guest arrive. No stress about planning the cooking right to the second!!

The recipe appears to take a long time, but most of the time is in the oven baking time or stirring the sauce occassionally.  It’s worth the time.


2 large pork baby back or back ribs; full racks
=== RUB ===
2 tablespoons Carrol Shelby’s Chili blend; 2 T Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic; cloves, minced
2 tablespoons black pepper; freshly cracked
Salt to Taste
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh onion; minced
1/2 cup Water
1 can Tomato sauce
1/2 cup White vinegar
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Light corn syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 3/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon liquid Barbecue Smoke
1 teaspoon Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
1/4 teaspoon Cracked black pepper
1/4 cup Catsup


To make the ribs, cut each large rack of ribs in half so that you have 4 half-racks.  Trim away any excess fat from ribs and remove membrane from under-side of the ribs.  Mix the dry spices together in a small bowl, except for the pepper and salt.  Then sprinkle a light even coating spice rub over ribs and press into meat.  If your spices are all in shaker bottles, the just sprinkle the desired amount of each spice.  Scatter the minced garlic over the top of the ribs.  Then press spice and garlic against the meat.  Add the amount of spice according to your desired level of hot and flavorful spice desired.  Top with fresh ground pepper and salt.   Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 275 degree oven for 3 hours.  I line the baking dish with a large sheet of foil that can then be folded over with the meat sealed inside. This makes for easy clean up.


As the ribs cook, make the sauce by heating the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Saute the onions for 5 minutes or until they start to brown.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients, bring mixture to a boil; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens.  Check sauce every 15-30 minutes to stir and make sure not boiling.  Remove from heat and set aside until the ribs are ready.  Preheat your barbecue grill.


When ribs are finished in the oven, the meat should have pulled back about 1/2-inch from the cut-ends of the bones.  Remove the ribs from the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes or so, then remove the racks from the foil and put them on the grill.  Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side.  They should be slightly charred in a few spots when they’re finished.  Brush barbecue sauce on the ribs while they’re grilling, just before you serve them.  Don’t add the sauce too early or it will burn.


This recipe yields 2 (full-rack) to 4 (half-rack) servings.


BigOven Reviews:

Without question the best ribs that I’ve ever had. Worth making the sauce. Wow..my wife and I were sucking the bones cause it was so good lol. Thx for sharing this recipe. My now staple rib recipe for sure. Patg73

These were a hit at the annual 4th of July BBQ. I had four different families tell me they were the best they’ve ever had. I’m definitely making these again!! Ncrisp24

Watch out Famous Daves. This recipe is awesome. Maderacopy

This is a GREAT recipe, everyone in the house loves it!  Very tender and a fabulous sauce.  I’ve made it again and again by request. NR


We loved these ribs!  We might reduce the chili powder a bit next time.  They certainly have a robust flavor.  I didn’t have the tomato sauce so pureed a tomato instead. You’ll notice our sauce looks a little chunky in the picture..but ohh soooo good!  cbigovenp

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  1. These look so good! We just got a new bar-b-q so I would love to try this. I have wanted to learn how to cook ribs so thank you for the recipe.

    1. Thanks Shari for the comment on the Baby Backs. I do hope you give them a try. It’s really easy to clean up too if you bake them in a foil lined pan in the oven and then finish on the grill. Baking slowly in the oven is what makes them tender and cooks off the fat. Then you avoid burning them on the grill. Make sure not to add the sauce to heavily on the grill or they can flare up and burn that way too. Add most of the sauce at the very end if you like lots of sauce. Let me know how the ribs turn out. Enjoy the upcoming holiday and your new bar-b-q. There are more photos on the BigOven website if you want to see more help pictures. http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/165632/karens-bbq-pork-baby-back-ribs-with-spice-rub

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