It’s too cold outside in New York to grill a rack of ribs, and I cannot wait until warmer climes to sink my teeth into some tasty ribs. During the cold months, I bake my ribs in the oven, slow and easy. Check out this recipe for baked baby back barbecue ribs.
Whether I’m baking or grilling my ribs I prepare them in the same way. I remove the membrane on the back of the ribs then apply a rub. There is a slight nuance though, and that is, when baking my ribs, I use smoked paprika in my rub, and when grilling, I use sweet paprika. Aside from that, the rubs are the same. The reason for switching paprika like this I think is clear. When grilling, the charcoal adds it’s own essence to the ribs, something you don’t get when baking. Using smoked paprika in the rub for baked ribs, just add a little extra punch of flavor.
Also, after the ribs are cooked, for baked ribs, I always brush with barbecue sauce. When grilling, I prefer to let the rub speak for itself, so I serve the barbecue sauce on the side.
These baked baby back barbecue ribs have been brushed with a nicely balanced sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, not too sweet and not too spicy. But what really makes the barbecue sauce is the juices from the baked ribs. It adds a subtle complexity you can’t get from store bought barbecue sauce.
I really enjoy making baked baby back barbecue ribs, it’s such a satisfying project. I usually make a slab or two when I have friends coming by on a Saturday afternoon. They always go down well once my friends have had a few drinks down them and in need of something solid to fend of the effects of their choice of tipple. I serve them with a side of steak fries, laid out on a board or wooden platter.
Imagine serving these up to your guests on game day. No matter which team wins, you will reign supreme.