Want great and tender ribs but don’t have a smoker? No problem. This oven method for cooking ribs, while long, is wonderfully easy and turns out perfectly tender baby back ribs every time.
Baby back ribs (I usually do 1 rack cut in half to feed my family of 4 + 1 guest. Plan for 2-3 ribs per person.)
Barbeque sauce (optional)
You will also need:
Broiler pan (or sheet pan + cooling rack)
Cut the racks in half so that they more easily fit on the pan.
Use a spoon to dip into the rub and place it on the ribs. With your fingers, rub the spice mixture into all sides of the ribs.
You can cook immediately, but for maximum flavor, wrap in foil or cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat oven to 300º F.
Place the ribs on the broiler pan with the “cup side” up. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. (If you had the ribs wrapped in foil overnight in the fridge, save the foil as you’ll use it later.)
Remove the ribs from the oven and lower the temperature to 200º F. Wrap each 1/2 rack of ribs individually in aluminum foil. Return the ribs to the oven and bake (still at 200º F) for 3 hours.
Remove from oven and unwrap each foil packet of ribs.
You may serve as is, or, if desired, lightly brush with your favorite barbeque sauce and grill over high heat to caramelize on the sauce. The ribs should be completely tender, but still grip the bone enough to make grilling on the barbeque sauce easy.
If you like your ribs literally falling off the bone, bump up the low heat baking time to 4 hours or so.
We prefer to not have a lot of sauce as the rub we use gives so much flavor and has such a nice finish with the brown sugar that is in it.