How to make Baby Back Ribs

Making ribs at home can seem daunting but it’s actually one of the easiest things to make at home. There are two major steps in my process: baking and grilling. This is a basic method that works easily and is great starting point to experiment with perfecting your bbq rib routine.

ribs cooked on bbq on platter with dark background

The baking part allows to the ribs to cook low and slow without burning them on the grill. They cook quicker than you think because they have smaller amounts of meat than a thick roast without bone. The grilling part allows that ribs to obtain that char that we all love. This method also allows the ribs to maintain their tenderness without drying out from overcooking on the grill. I also don’t like to overdo the sauce on my ribs. I like to add the majority of the sauce as I go when I’m eating them.

How to prep ribs for cooking

There is no question, that ribs need a good dry rub before cooking. It helps to tenderize and flavor the ribs. I use store bought rub as I’ve not nailed my own recipe yet. I’m generous with the amount of rub I use too.

Start by removing the ribs from the wrapper. Discard wrapper and place ribs in a sheet pan. Using a paper towel, pat dry excess liquid from the bottom and top of the rack of ribs. Next, is trimming the ribs which does includes removing the white membrane on the bone side. This just becomes tough when ribs are cooked and just gets in the way. You can grab an end with a paper towel and remove it. It may come off in one try or maybe in a few, but removal is highly recommended. Once the membrane is removed, dry and generously add dry rub to top, bottom and sides of rack. Cover ribs on the sheet pan with foil, and allow to rest refrigerated, for about 2 hours or longer if you are prepping in the morning for a bbq later in the day.

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

After the ribs have rested, remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 45 minutes. Check ribs at 45 minutes to ensure they are not falling apart. You may notice some juice at the bottom of the pan.

Preheat gas grill to low/medium temperature or if using charcoal, allow enough time for coals to start and burn off a bit to create a medium heat. Here is a super useful guide from Kingsford charcoal on how to gauge heat.

Now you are ready to grill. Carefully place ribs on the grill. I prefer to keep turning every few minutes to create an even, dark brown char on the meat. Continue until the ribs have a nice dark char. A few minutes before they come off the grill, I like to brush them with the bbq choice of the day.

ribs on grill cooking

If you want to wow your guests, and blueberries are in season, try my Blueberry Bourbon Chipotle BBQ Sauce 😋…you won’t be disappointed.

Once the ribs are nice and dark golden brown, they are ready to remove from the grill. Allow them to rest for about 10-15 minutes, slice each rib and serve with extra bbq sauce. Enjoy!

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