No Smoker Needed BBQ Part 1: Ribs

Living in Texas for the past two years has taught me that people take BBQ food very seriously here. Smoked, dry rubbed, sauces on the side is how you’ll find most of the BBQ food here.

I’ve always loved BBQ food, pulled pork, smoked ribs and brisket are some of my all-time favorite foods. But you don’t need a fancy smoker (or even a smoker at all) if you want to craft these delicious dishes at home. In most cases a slow cooker and your oven are all you need.

To illustrate this point todays recipe is all about making delicious, smokey, saucey BBQ Ribs in your kitchen oven.

The Trick

The secret to perfect BBQ at home is the same as if you were making it in a smoker: the bark. Bark is what the outer shell of the cooked protein is called. Its the part where the sauce caramelizes and hardens, creating a wonderfully sweet, salty, crunchy bit of goodness on the outside of the meat.

It’s easily the most desired part of any BBQ dish.

So how will we ensure we get a proper bark? Well, we’ll be mixing our BBQ sauce with honey to ensure it has enough sugar to properly caramelize and we’ll be broiling out protein (cooking at 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit). This will ensure that the sauce caramelizes and creates that proper bark we’re looking for.

 

Perfect Oven-Baked Ribs

Ingredients

  • 1 rack Baby Back Ribs (membrane removed if you intend to de-bone the ribs later)
  • For the Dry Rub
    • 2 tablespoons paprika
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • For the Glaze
    • 1 cup BBQ sauce (Pick something that is smokey and not sweet)
    • 1/4 cup Honey
  • For the Sandwich
    • Bread & Butter Pickles
    • White Onion (sliced)
    • Mustard
    • Mayonnaise
    • Burger Buns (brioche, or sourdough work best)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Take a baking sheet and lay out some aluminum foil. Combine the dry rub ingredients, make sure to work out any lumps (you can microwave the brown sugar to loosen it up).

Place the ribs in the foil and cover both sides of the rack with the dry rub mixture. Wrap the ribs with the foil to ensure that the juices stay inside the foil, keeping the ribs moist while they cook.

Place the ribs in the oven for 3-3 1/2 hours. When they are done, take them out and crank your oven up to broil.

Unwrap the ribs carefully, it’s at this point you’ll want to de-bone the ribs (pull the rib bones out one at a time. Mix up the glaze ingredients and cover the ribs liberally with the glaze.

Broil the glazed ribs for 5-7 minutes until the glaze starts to bubble and brown a bit. Take the ribs out and set them aside. Now you can serve them as they are or as part of a BBQ Rib Sandwich.

For the Sandwich

Toast the buns in the oven on broil for a few minutes, just until they brown up a bit. Cover the bottom of the bun with a little mayo (not a lot, we don’t want the sandwich to be too fatty). Then place the white onion and cover it with a piece of the de-boned Ribs.

Cover the ribs with mustard and then the pickles. Now you’ve got a perfect BBQ Rib Sandwich, serve with some salty chips and some sweet tea.