Easy Baked Ribs are, you guessed it…easy! Ribs are simple enough for anyone to prepare at home, even if you don’t have a grill or smoker.
I’m just going to say it, the weather here lately has been cray-cray.
Sunny one minute, raining sideways the next, flash flooding in the blink of an eye, and soft ball-sized hail pounding the surrounding areas causing me to drag my mammoth-sized Sweet-100 cherry tomato plant from it’s perch in the sunlight to parked under the pergola, lest it strike it and, well, ruin everything.
Lincoln and I have been faithfully plucking suckers from between the new shoots every morning. Gosh is there anything more summery than the smell of a tomato plant? I swear between that smell, the sound of chirping crickets, and the feel of thick dew still in the air, I sometimes wish time would stand still in the mornings. It’s my favorite part of the day.
Until we reach dinnertime, that is. Especially when Easy Baked Ribs are on the menu! Oh yes, it’s time for another Way Back Wednesday post and this time I’m featuring a meal you can make if it’s raining where you live for the 4th, or seriously any day of the year. These lip-smacking, finger-lickin’ ribs are ridiculously easy, and are made in the oven. No grill? No smoker? No problem!
I first made these ribs on a hot summer day way back in 2011. 2011! Feels like ancient history. It’s weird at times going back and reading old posts BL (before Lincoln.) When I sit and try to remember what life was like before he arrived, it’s hard to picture. Reading about it is even stranger!
Anyway, since that time Ben’s gotten into smoking meat, so we’ve been enjoying ribs that have been cooked low and slow all day in the smoker or even grilled vs the oven. Can we talk about how awkward it is telling someone that your husband’s hobbies include, and are largely dedicated to, smoking meat? What are you guys up to this weekend? they’ll ask. Smoking. I’ll generally answer. MEAT.
ANYWAY, as I mentioned, there’s a high chance it’s going to rain this 4th of July, and I know most people don’t own smokers, so I wanted to bust out this oven-based recipe for you because it is deeeeelicious!
Baby back ribs are rubbed with a homemade concoction of spices you should already have in your cupboard then marinated in the fridge for a few hours or up to overnight (prep work you can do ahead of time, for the win!) After a few hours of baking in the oven at a really low temp (not heating up the kitchen, also for the win!) they’re rendered succulent, and fall apart-tender. Honestly I cannot stress to you how tender the rib meat gets. Pull on the bone and it slides right out completely clean.
I think cooking ribs at home is something a lot of people find intimidating but honestly it couldn’t be simpler. Promise.
Start with a 2 – 2-1/2lb slab baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are different than spare ribs, but you could use too. They’re a little bit bigger in size but you can just tack on extra baking time.
Look for ribs that have a small amount of fat on top as it will add a ton of flavor and juiciness to the meat.
Next get your homemade rub together. I’m totally into homemade rubs these days – they taste SO much better than the bottled stuff and take 30 seconds to make. Add 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, cumin, and smoked paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper to a small bowl then mix to combine.
Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with the mixture then rub it in and wrap with plastic wrap. Stash in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours or up to overnight.
When it’s time to bake, place the ribs on a foil-lined, nonstick-sprayed baking sheet then cover with more foil and bake for 3-1/2 hours. If you’re using spare ribs and/or a larger rack of baby-back ribs, I’d tack on an extra 1/2 hour per pound over 2-1/2lbs.
After time is up, unwrap the ribs then slather ‘em with your favorite BBQ sauce. Oh, they smell so good!
Pop the rack back in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top has caramelized.
Sweet, sweet baby back ribs!
Slice ‘em up, and serve ‘em hot (or cold – I won’t tell you how many Ben and I scarfed straight out of the fridge!)
Easy Baked Ribs
2 – 2-1/2lbs baby back ribs (could use spare ribs)
1/4 – 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
For the spice rub:
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix spices together in a small bowl then rub into both sides of the ribs, wrap in saran wrap, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees then line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place ribs on top then cover tightly with more foil and bake for 3-1/2 hours. Remove foil, drain any excess liquid from the pan, and then brush BBQ sauce on top and bake for 30 more minutes, or until top is slightly caramelized.
- Tip: If using a larger rack of ribs, add 30 minutes baking time per pound past 2-1/2lbs.
I served my ribs with my Mom’s Classic Potato Salad. Seriously, a match made in Heaven. You must give both of these recipes a try!