Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs

Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs, overhead view

Low heat is the secret to tender, succulent barbecued ribs

The best barbecue gets its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness from long, slow cooking over very low heat — and its smoky flavor from burning wood, such as hickory or apple.  It’s a challenge for backyard grillers like me (and probably you).

“Traditional” Q requires specialized equipment (ideally a smoker) and some fragrant hardwood.  Not to mention a live fire, and lots of time.  Oh, and with that “live fire” thing, don’t even think about leaving the premises.  Accidents happen, and it would be a bummer if one happened to you.

Luckily, however, we can produce excellent barbecue without all that muss and fuss.  Cooking meat (we’re doing ribs today) in a slow oven for several hours achieves a luscious tenderness that rivals the best live-fire barbecue.  And using a smoky-flavored barbecue rub (a mix of spices and sugar that you literally rub on the meat to help flavor it) produces ribs with that hint of hardwood.  Of course, nothing replaces the flavor of real smoke, but you’ll be pretty happy with what you can achieve by using an aromatic rub.

With Memorial Day coming up soon in the US, many of us are thinking of summer grilling and barbecue.  These oven-cooked spareribs will fit right into the festivities.  They’re easy to make, and they pack flavor that will have your guests begging for seconds.  Who knew your kitchen was the next great barbecue joint?


Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs on plate with potato salad
About Barbecue

We often use the term “barbeque” for anything we cook outdoors on a Weber.  But what we’re actually doing most of the time is grilling — i.e., cooking meat or fish over relatively high heat.  This process is ideal for cooking cuts that are naturally tender.  But most barbecue meats (like pork shoulder, spare ribs, and beef brisket) have lots of connective tissues that make them tough.  So even if you cook them over high heat until they’re “done” (160 degrees F in the case of pork), the meat will still be decidedly chewy. 

Barbecuing is very different from grilling.  When you barbeque meat, you cook it at low heat (typically 200 to 225 degrees F) for several hours.  This slow-cooking process allows the connective tissues and fat to melt away (which typically happens around 190 degrees F), achieving flavor and texture nirvana.  In the process, the meat will pick up an enchanting aura from being cooked in a cloud of smoke.  But this process takes time – you can’t rush it. 

Fortunately, you can achieve the same degree of tenderness in your oven.  And because you don’t have to keep a live fire going at a constant temperature, you can let the barbecue cook largely unattended. The meat will come out tender and flavorful. You’ll miss the smoke but, as mentioned up top, a good rub goes a long ways towards remedying that. You can also use liquid smoke — an all-natural hardwood smoke product that’s pretty good stuff (for more info about it, see the post on Smoky Salmon and Cream Cheese Dip, where it’s discussed in detail). I don’t use liquid smoke when I’m cooking ribs, but I sometimes add a teaspoon or two to barbecue sauce.

BTW, charcoal briquettes (the fuel used by most home grillers, and many contestants in barbecue competitions) don’t produce any aromatic smoke of their own. They’re popular because they provide good heat and burn at a fairly constant rate, making it easy to control the fire. For smoke, most people add chunks of aromatic hardwood (such as hickory) to the briquettes.

Recipe: Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs

Pork spare ribs have loads of flavor.  And because we eat them with our hands, they bring out the inner caveman in all of us.  What could be better?

Most supermarkets sell ribs by the slab, typically weighing 3 pounds or so.  Many slabs contain parts of the sternum bone and rib tips, which may make the ribs somewhat harder to cut apart when cooked.  If you can find “St. Louis” style ribs (sometimes called St. Louis cut ribs), they’re worth buying IMO, even though they’re usually more expensive.  When preparing St. Louis ribs, the butcher cuts away the sternum and rib tips, so you’re left with more of the good stuff (and less waste).

The rub for these ribs contains both pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika) and dried chipotle chile powder (made from smoked and dried jalapeño peppers).  The naturally smoky flavor of these ingredients helps flavor the ribs.  I always rub the ribs the night before, so they’ll have more time to pick up flavor. 

Over the years, I’ve sometimes wrapped ribs in aluminum foil for cooking; other times, I’ve left them unwrapped.  Both methods achieve good-flavored, tender ribs.  When working on this post, I tried both methods again, and I’ve finally decided that I prefer wrapping the ribs in aluminum foil, so that’s the method I outline in the Procedure.  But in the Notes, I discuss the unwrapped method, too. 

There are many recipes available for slow cooking foil-wrapped ribs in the oven, but the best explanation of the process I’ve seen is by Harold McGee in a June 29, 2010 New York Times article. My procedure is adapted from his.

I usually consider a pound of ribs to be one serving (people often eat more of these than you think they will — so buy ribs accordingly).  The recipe for the rub yields enough to coat 3 (maybe 4) three-pound slabs.  You can store leftover rub in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a month or two.

Preparation time for this recipe is about 20 minutes.  Cooking time (mostly unattended) is 5 or 6 hours.

Ingredients

For the rub:
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark brown but light brown works fine too)
  • 3 tablespoons pimentón (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons dried ground chipotle or ancho chile powder (ancho doesn’t have a smoky flavor, but it’s milder than chipotle)
  • 1½ tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1½ tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
For the ribs:
  • 1 rack of spare ribs, preferably St. Louis Cut (or as many as you need)
  • barbecue sauce of choice for garnish (technically optional, but mighty tasty)
Procedure
Steps 1 through 3 should be accomplished several hours before you plan to start cooking the ribs.  Ideally, the rub-coated, uncooked ribs should rest in the fridge overnight.
  1. The night before you want to barbecue the ribs, prepare the rub:  Combine all ingredients, and mix thoroughly until well blended.
  2. Then coat the ribs:  Remove the spare ribs from their packaging.  Rinse the ribs and pat them dry.  Cut off any excess fat.  To make the ribs easier to handle, you may want to cut them in half (just slice between two ribs).  With your hands, pat the rub onto both sides of the ribs, going heavier on the meaty side.  You’ll want to use at least ¼ cup of rub, but you can use more if you wish (see Notes).
  3. Place the ribs in a heavy food-storage bag (I use freezer bags), squeeze out as much air as possible, and fasten the top.  Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Half an hour before you want to begin cooking the ribs, preheat the oven to 225 degrees F and remove the ribs from the refrigerator to warm up.
  5. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil (see Notes for an alternative, unwrapped cooking method).  Place the ribs on a sheet pan, bone side down (meaty side up), and put them in the preheated oven.  Set the timer for 3 hours.
  6. When the timer goes off, remove the sheet pan with the ribs from the oven.  Gently peel back part of the foil, and insert the probe of an instant-read thermometer in the fleshy part of the ribs between a pair of bones (don’t touch the bone with the probe; it will read hotter than the meat).  If the thermometer reads 170 degrees F, proceed with the next step.  Otherwise, cover the ribs and return them to the oven.  Check them again in half an hour or so.  (You need to use your judgment as to how much extra time to give them.  Obviously if the ribs are 165 degrees they’ll need much less extra time than if they’re 150.)
  7. Once the ribs reach 170 degrees F, reduce the oven temperature to 180 degrees and set the timer for 2 or 3 hours.  (The ribs are “done” at this point, but longer cooking melts away more cartilage, making them more tender.)
  8. When the timer goes off, remove the ribs from the oven.  Turn the oven to the broil setting.  Remove the aluminum foil from the ribs (be careful — there will be some juices), apply a thin coating of barbecue sauce, and place the ribs under the broiler until the barbecue sauce just begins to char — perhaps 10 minutes or so.  If you really like charred ribs (I sometimes do), you may want to keep the ribs in a bit longer.
  9. OR skip the broiler part if you wish:  When the timer goes off, just proceed to the next step.
  10. Remove the ribs from the oven, place them on a cutting board, and chop them into individual servings (the meat should almost be falling off the bone at this point, so this will be easy).  Serve with barbecue sauce.  And loads of napkins — eating ribs is a messy, but thoroughly pleasurable, experience.
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs on plate with potato salad

Notes
  • You can use a similar method of oven BBQ to prepare Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork.
  • I tend to use a lot of rub — as much as half a cup per slab of ribs.  It adds a nice, spicy crust.  In fact, the flavor is so good that I often don’t bother to coat the ribs with barbeque sauce when cooking (Step 8).  Instead, I just pour some barbecue sauce on my plate, and use it as a dipping sauce.  And I speak as someone who’ll put barbecue sauce on just about anything!
  • Cooking ribs in aluminum foil makes them exceptionally tender.  The one downside is that the surface of the ribs sometimes becomes a bit soft — which is why I like to run them under the broiler for a few minutes (it tightens up the surface texture, and adds a bit of char, which I often find pleasant).
  • If you don’t want to encase your ribs in aluminum foil, just cook them unwrapped.  Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F, and place the ribs on a rack in a sheet pan (or another pan with a raised lip).  I normally put the ribs meat side down for an hour or two, then flip them so the meat side is up (bone side down).  Cooked this way, the ribs are usually ready to eat in about 5 hours.  “Ready” means tender, with a temperature of 190 degrees F or so.
  • BTW, even though most of us don't want to heat up the kitchen with the oven during the hot summer months, modern ovens are well enough insulated that very little heat escapes when cooking at a low temperature like 225 F.  Even when you have the oven on for 6 hours.
  • You need a decent thermometer when cooking ribs (or any barbecue) because you really need to know what your meat is doing temperature-wise.  I like the (pricey) Thermapen.  The temperature sensor is at the tip of its probe, so you can position it accurately, and it records a reading within 3 seconds.  It’s also exceptionally accurate — within about one degree.  I received one of these as a gift several years ago, and find it indispensable.  BTW, I have no connection with the Thermapen people, nor do I gain financially (or in any other way) from mentioning them — I’m just an extremely happy user of their product.
  • When barbecuing ribs over fire, many people use a mopping sauce to keep the ribs moist (and to add extra flavor).  You don’t really need to do this when you prepare them in the oven.  However, if you’re cooking ribs without aluminum foil and you notice that they’re starting to get too dry, then maybe a mopping sauce would be appropriate.  Alternatively, halfway through the cooking process, you can loosely drape aluminum foil over the ribs to help prevent them from drying out.
  • Barbecue sauce generally does not make a good mopping sauce.  Many barbecue sauces contain sugar and/or tomato, which tends to caramelize and char.  When I baste ribs with barbecue sauce, I do it right at the end of cooking, and then only for a few minutes.  If you leave the sauce on too long, the meat turns black with char (something I sometimes want, I admit — I love the flavor).
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Spare Ribs on plate with potato salad

Serve with Barbecue Sauce – and Napkins

“Mmmm, super ribs,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs, after several minutes of talk-free chomping.  Eating ribs is like that — it requires two hands and lots of gnawing, so not too much conversation takes place early in the meal.

“They’re great,” I said, wiping barbecue sauce from my chin with a napkin.  “Which do you like better — the ribs I cooked in aluminum foil — the ones we had a couple of days ago?  Or these, which I cooked without foil?”  Yes, I made two batches of ribs over the course of a weekend, just to test!

“I think I like the ones in aluminum foil better,” said Mrs K R.  “They both have great flavor, but the foil-wrapped ones were a bit more tender.  The meat was practically falling off the bone!”

“They both taste wonderful,” I agreed.  “And it’s been way too long since we’ve had them.”

“We need to do some pulled pork too,” she said.  “Maybe cook it the traditional way — low and slow with real wood smoke?  That’d be wonderful.”

“I’m planning to,” I said, “sometime this summer.  I also need to perfect my barbecue sauce.  What I made today is good, but it could be better.”

“You should get on it,” Mrs K R agreed.  “This is terrific stuff.  Maybe for your next post?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I said.  I noticed Mrs K R pointing at her chin. 

“Oh, thanks,” I said.  And wiped away more barbecue sauce. 

Good thing we stocked up on napkins.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Oven Slow-Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork 
Tangy KC-Style Barbecue Sauce
Barbecued Pork Steaks
Grilled Hamburgers
Jalapeño Coleslaw with Pimentón
Garlic Coleslaw
Creamy Cole Slaw
Southern Green Beans with Bacon
German Potato Salad with Bacon
Mustard Potato Salad
French Potato Salad
American (Mayonnaise) Potato Salad
Potato Salad Basics
Baked Beans

121 comments:

  1. John, You had me licking the screen. These are the kinds of finger licking good ribs that you need extra napkins, wet ones and a full and complete bib and lap napkin, just to be safe. I can just imagine how good these tasted from your description. You are right on when you say that we are grilling not BBQing most generally. I think sometimes these words are used interchangeably.

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    1. Hi Bam, always happy to make you lick the screen! ;-) You really do need extra napkins - these are messy! But so good. Thanks for the comment.

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  2. I admit I am not a bone person. However, that may have to change!

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    1. Hi Abbe, that definitely needs to change! These are incredibly good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. I shied away from ribs for years; thought that nirvana would be way to hard to achieve but finally caved and am so glad I did! I use much the same process as you do John but I cook them on the grill...heat on 2 elements on low and the pan on top of elements that are off. It's a bit trickier to judge time maybe but in the middle of summer I still like to keep my oven off as much as possible. Or maybe I just liked things cooked on the grill? Yeah, that must be it!

    These sound delish...I'll have to try your rub; to coin a phrase? Good stuff. :)

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    1. Hi Barb, I've done ribs on a gas grill that way too, and it works fine. But the oven method is virtually foolproof, and ours really doesn't heat up the kitchen at all when it's that low. And the rub is worth trying! Good stuff, as you say. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Haha instead of reading the title the first thing I saw was the photo and I immediately thought 'caramel?' Haha :P
    But these ribs look so amazing and are flavoured perfectly!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    1. Hi Uru, of course you'd think "caramel" first thing! But I admit I was a bit worried about the top photo - I can see why someone doesn't immediately see they're ribs (particularly if they're vegetarian!). Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Ribs aren't eaten here all that often and so you certainly can't buy them in a supermarket. Ribs are known as 'an American thing' but they are starting to become more popular. You can definitely buy them by asking your butcher. I'd like to try this. I'm glad they can be cooked in an oven because it's getting a little cold to be outside around the BBQ xx

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    1. Hi Charlie, you really do need to try ribs - they're wonderful! They do take time, but it's worth it. Thanks for the comment.

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  6. I saw these earlier today come across my email but didn't have the chance to post. The moment I saw that first photo I instantly started to salivate. They look so juicy and tender. In fact, I was planning to make ribs this weekend and instead of my usual ribs I'm going to try yours. Hopefully they won't be too spicy but if it seems like they might be I may tone it down a bit but WOW they look good. Paired with your cole slaw it's a winner!

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    1. Hi Vicki, the rub is a bit spicy, so you might want to tone it down (you can use less, but that's no fun!). Hope you enjoy - it's a nice way to prepare them. Thanks for the comment.

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  7. Man! Looks like those dark on the outside, pink on the inside ribs are straight from heaven ! Do they serve ribs in heaven? They should let you in without asking any questions. Your ribs will rock there, I bet:)

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    1. Hi Suborna, these really are heavenly! Not to mention good stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. John, these ribs look so perfect...color and texture. I wish I could have my hand on it...and I am sure I would lick all the sauce from my fingers :)
    Thanks for the detailed recipe and hope you are having a lovely week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, it's impossible not to lick your fingers when you eat ribs! You don't want to miss any of the goodness. Thanks for the comment.

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  9. I love the tips about wrapping in aluminum foil! I am sending this post to my husband - he will love it. Thanks :)

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    1. Hi Alyssa, I hope your husband likes it! This is one of those recipes that's fun to experiment with, if for no other reason so you can have ribs several times! They really are delish. Thanks for the comment.

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  10. After traveling to Memphis a couple of years ago, I came home on a mission to find a great dry rub. Your rub has the same "bones" as the one I came up with. I can just taste them right now. Your photos are gorgeous. I might as well just go out and buy a rack or two because my craving won't stop until I try out this recipe. Beautiful looking "bark". So glad to know that this can be achieved in the oven.

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    1. Hi Karen, the bark is somewhat better when you do these without the aluminum foil than with (the pictures are from the batch without the foil), and not what you can achieve when you do them outdoors. But not bad! And the rub is fun. Thanks for the comment.

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  11. I love the whole "bring out the inner caveman" thing with ribs. There is definitely something about them. As always, I'm loving your extremely well researched and informative post!

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    1. Hi Amanda, for some of us the caveman is pretty close to the surface. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Dear John, I have a favourite recipe of my own creation for pork ribs and my partner, Peter, always says they taste better than anything you can buy. I REALLY like the look and sound of the flavour combination with yours and am definitely going to try this.

    Tell me, have you had similar success with beef ribs? Mine are always chewy.

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    1. Hi Lizzy, I've never tried to BBQ beef ribs - I think braising them works better. One of the run things about any sort of rib, though, is coming up with your own rubs, sauces, etc. Have fun with these! Thanks for your comment.

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  13. Wow, John! These ribs look absolutely mouthwatering, and that's coming from a Texas girl! I'd love to try your recipe for myself. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Georgia, that's quite a compliment coming from a Texan! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. I am ready to get my inner caveman on this weekend John and these look really fabulous! You know, to get my ribs tender, I've always pre-cooked them in a crock pot for several hours. But the slow cook in the oven seems more authentic! I've also got my eye on that scrumptious potato salad, so I'm going to scour your blog to see if I missed it! : )

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    1. Hi Anne, that potato salad is a horseradish one, which I'll be publishing in a few weeks - sorry about that! I know a lot of people like to simmer ribs or cook them in the crock pot first, and that does save time at the end. But I think the flavor suffers (it definitely does if you simmer them in water; I'm less sure about the crock pot), although the ribs will be tender. Thanks for the comment.

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  15. What a great looking plate of pork ribs! I never would have known that these were cooked in the oven. They look like they've been slowcooked in a smoker for hours. We don't do a lot of BBQ, but Bobby loves smoking meats on the grill. He has a cool little system that he's rigged up. These would be great to bake in the oven in the winter and what a treat to have summer flavors in the middle of winter! I say winter, because once it hits 90 tomorrow, the oven is officially off until late September. That's the way it is when you don't have air conditioning. :) Hope you have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!

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    1. Hi MJ, I wouldn't turn my oven on without AC either! Good thing Bobby can do this on the grill so you won't miss out. And then come winter you can do them in the oven. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. As you have already read from a couple of your other Australian readers, ribs really are not that well known or popular here. I seem to be luckier than Charlie tho' because both my Woolies and local butcher certainly always have them. Yours do look appetizing and I am pretty certain to try them. Being a medico/nutritionist actually feel that this is a much healthier option in a not very healthy dish. Barbecuing with smoke outdoors releases an awful lot of carcinogens: your oven method methinks would taste almost as good, but get its taste simply from the rub! My opinion :D !

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    1. Hi Eha, the rub definitely adds a lot of flavor, that's for sure. I'm not expert on carcinogens, but from what I've read carcinogens are formed during grilling when hot fat hits fire - that's the smoke that causes problems. If you smoke meat properly, it's not over the hot fire (it's usually over a water bath), so the smoke doesn't cause a problem. That said, an awful lot of people don't do it properly! Definitely give these a try - they're really good, and I think you'll like them. Maybe you can make them better known in Australia! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. That's SOME close-up. Perfect to get the appetite going for this holiday weekend of grilling.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, maybe too close, though kinda interesting. ;-) And we'll definitely we grilling this weekend! Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Those spare ribs look ever so mouthwatering! A great way of cooking them. Unfortunately, I don't own a BBQ, so this recipe is for me.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Hi Rosa, I think this recipe is for most of us - smoking ribs properly is a lot of work. Easier to do in the oven, though you do lose some flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  19. It's a BBQ season in Europe as well :) Your ribs are definitely on my list to make.

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    1. Hi Marta, enjoy! Thanks for the comment.

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  20. Your rub sounds amazing, John. And, in case I haven't mentioned, I love the shared conversations with Mrs. KR...

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    1. Hi Liz, they're really good. Glad you enjoy the conversations - they're lots of fun to do, and actually are pretty true to life! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. I used to hate eating ribs because I'd always end up wearing so much of them across my face. Now I don't care. I could eat them every week. Yours look fantastic.

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    1. Hi Maureen, it's impossible to eat ribs without wearing BBQ sauce! And I don't care either - one of the great things about getting older. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. This is a wonderful recipe, John - I do something similar with country ribs [aka pork steaks] and the flavor is so rich. thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Donalyn, country ribs are fun too! Much easier to eat because they have less bone (sometimes none), but it's the meat closest to the bone that's the sweetest. Tough to choose between them! Thanks for the comment.

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  23. What a great BBQ primer! I was reading comments on CCU's site and thought I would drop by. From looking through your recipes, I think I will be back! :)

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    1. Hi Debra, glad to meet you! Welcome! And thanks for the comment.

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  24. Ribs twice in one weekend! Mrs. KR really is a lucky woman. And I'm looking forward to that pulled pork recipe.

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    1. Hi Beth, that really was a lot of ribs! We both enjoyed them, though. ;-) I'm looking forward to doing the pulled pork too! Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Wow you have the greatest tip on BBQing...loved this post, its very useful. The spare ribs look terrific!!!! Want to try this recipe soon!!!

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    1. Hi Shibi, the spare ribs are wonderful - hope you enjoy them! Thanks for the kind words, and comment.

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  26. Bring on summer grilling! These ribs looks divine, John!

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    1. Hi Kiran, I'm so ready for summer! And all the good food we'll be eating. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. Your ribs look so delicious. I love the rub. I have actually slow cooked ribs with this method and they were really tender and my family loved them.

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    1. Hi Dawn, isn't this method terrific? It's all in the rub! Thanks for the comment.

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  28. this looks really delicious! such a good alternative to live fire cooking!

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    1. Hi milkteaxx, life fire cooking is fun, but just not always practical - so this is a really good substitute! Thanks for the comment.

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  29. You make these ribs sound so good as well as look good. I didn't really know the difference between grilling and barbecuing. I never do it but when Adriano does, it's usually a pretty quick affair so I suspect he is grilling.

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    1. Hi Suzanne, most of us grill - barbecue takes awhile. Some things take a dozen hours or more! Ribs are comparatively fast. And grilling is delish, too - it's what I do most of the time. Thanks for the comment.

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  30. Tremendous, love seeing oven ribs promoted. Looks wicked tasty and the pictures are amazing.

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    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the kind words, and comment. Love the name of your blog!

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  31. Honestly I have no clue about bbq and grilling. I mean I love them and in fact its the only time I look forward to be treated like a queen while the men take care of the meat on the fire, so I never thought that there was a difference between grilling and bbq, which by the way is very interesting! One day maybe John you ll be able to organize a bbq for us all. =)

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    1. Hi Helene, wouldn't it be fun to have a big blogger BBQ? ;-) Although there really is quite a difference between grilling and BBQ, as long as either one is done well, it's good stuff. Thanks for the comment.

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  32. Yum, yum! I'm bookmarking this one. I know I'll be making ribs as soon as I see a good sale. They look fabulous, I'm salivating!

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    1. Hi Chris, I usually buy my ribs on sale too! But if they're not on sale, and I'm hankering ribs, I'll buy them anyway - life is too short not to enjoy. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Mmmm my husband would love these!! Well, any guy would love these I think! What delicious looking ribs.

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    1. Hi Ashley, anyone who likes ribs will like these! Just supply lots of napkins. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Oh John thank you so much for sharing this succulent recipe and fantastic tips. We aren't able to have a grill and have been missing bbq ribs, not anymore thanks to your post. I can't wait to show my husband this.:) Have a great weekend!

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    1. Hi Nancy, have fun making these! They're awfully good, so I know you'll enjoy them. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. I must say, John, those ribs look finger looking good. I find I get so impatient slow cooking pork especially ribs but, you are so right, it really is the secret! I'm intrigued by the smokey ingredients must give them a try!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    P.S. Surprised to see me? You can read about it here.

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    1. Hi Louise, slow cooking really is the secret! And yes, I'm surprised - and delighted! - to see you. I'll check out your link. Thanks for stopping by!

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  36. My husband had to call my attention since I got distracted by your ppost here. We are catcthing a flight to Vegas as I write haha. Rest assured I will re read this post again when we get settled.

    Happy BBq weekend

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    1. Hi Malou, sorry to distract you! And have fun in Vegas. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Goodness, this makes me miss Texas. We had so many friends who could barbeque...and barbeque well! Not so much in Colorado. I guess I just need to learn myself! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Hi Monet, barbecue is so good, isn't it? It's not hard, but it does take some attention. But the result is so worth it! Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Oh my goodness. This looks too good. I so miss barbecue. I haven't had much since I've moved to New York City. I love that these are cooked in the oven. I will have to try this. My husband will go bonkers for this. Thanks John!

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    1. Hi Gomo, no reason to miss barbecue now that you know how to make this in your oven! It's not quite the same, of course, but pretty close. Thanks for the comment.

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  39. Oh...your BBQ ribs looks wonderful and succulent. I love your oven roasted method because that's more attainable for most of us. haha....it'll be a dream to own a professional smoker to make ribs....but don't think that's gonna happen any time soon. These would definitely satisfy the BBQ cravings without fuzz. ;) thank you so much for sharing. Have a wonderful memorial weekend.

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    1. Hi Amy, this method of making ribs really is doable for most of us. And the flavor is really good too! I hope you have a great weekend, and thanks for the comment.

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  40. Wow those ribs surely looks so juicy! I wish it summer here soon, I got to wait 7 more months :)

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    1. Hi Raymund, too bad you have so long to wait for summer! Although think of all the great hearty dishes you'll be eating. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  41. These ribs look fantastic!! Perfect for this weekend. I haven't had them in forever, probably to avoid the messy face and hands, but these definitely look like they would be worth the mess :)

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    1. Hi Kristi, ribs are messy, no question. But awfully good! Thanks for the comment.

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  42. I didn't know the difference between bbq and grilling. Good to know! My husband is the King of Ribs in our house. I'm going to pass this along to him. He's always looking for recipes to improve is rib making! Enjoy the rest of your week. :)

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    1. Hi Kristi, this is a great recipe for when you can't do ribs outside! A lot less trouble, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  43. Hi John,these ribs look absolutely awesome and impressive. Better than 5 stars hotel, you sure got 7th Dan black belt in cooking. 2 thumbs up for you.

    Must use hands to eat these ribs and eating making sounds that will not be appreciated by 5 stars restaurant. LOL

    Have a great day ahead.

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    1. Hi Ameila, most great BBQ places don't necessarily even have plates - they may serve their food on butcher's paper! So I agree ribs and 5 star restaurants don't mix. ;-) Thanks for the fun comment!

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  44. I've been slow-cooking ribs in the oven for some time now and have even done it on the grill, removing the foil for the last 20 minutes or so. Problem is I've never been satisfied with my rub. I will definitely give yours a try, John. Thanks for sharing both your recipe and cooking technique.

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    1. Hi John, a decent rub makes a huge difference when using the oven, IMO. I really like smoky ingredients like smoked paprika an dried chiptole chile powder. Smoked salt also is kind of nice. Thanks for the comment.

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  45. John, these are the most appealing ribs I've ever seen - your photos are incredibly tempting! Low and slow is the ticket. I'm so happy it's barbecue season! I love the spice rub you made and may try it on chicken, as well. Happy Q-ing to you!

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    1. Hi Hannah, it's a nice rub, and easy to play with - you can change it up depending on your mood. I haven't tried it on chicken, but I'll bet it would work well. Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Ahhh I didn't use the terms correctly. I have been using "BBQ" and "grill" whenever I talk about the same thing, didn't know it's totally different things. I'll try your ribs when I make the bbq sauce! I can't wait to eat this...

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    1. Hi Nami, most of us use BBQ and grill interchangeably - I do it all the time! But of course there is an actual difference, and I do know some people who get agitated when the terms aren't used properly. Anyway, these ribs are a great match for that sauce - totally wonderful. Thanks for the comment.

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  47. Roy and I have been wanting to try do a real American BBQ. It is so far from our Aussie hot plates we are an impatient lot. We have mastered the Argentina BBQ style, once again it does not cook for such a long time. I think we need to make a day of it and your recipe looks great. Your photos are just mouthwatering.

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    1. Hi Lizzie, real American BBQ really does take hours. This ribs recipe is one of the faster recipes. It's not authentic - they're not cooked with smoke - but the flavor is pretty darn close. Thanks for the comment.

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  48. OH YUM! Now I want ribs, guess I need to ask hubby to get that smoker started up ASAP! :-) A little extra rub is NEVER a bad thing LOL! We like lots of extra flavor too:-) I love that you mentioned it is important have a good thermometer, the food safety in me is very happy to hear that! Your recipe sounds wonderful, Take care, Terra

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    1. Hi Terra, cooking is so much easier if you know what is happening. And know the temperature of your food is kinda basic! Thanks for the comment.

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  49. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is about all things BBQ? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

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    1. Hi Carole, if I have time I'll certainly see what it's all about! Thanks for the comment.

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  50. Making some tomorrow! Wish me luck!

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    1. Hi Anonymous, have fun and good luck! Thanks for commenting.

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  51. I pulled them out to cool a little before I dumped the fat. I snuck a rib. It was just supposed to be a bite but it was a rib. They are in the oven coated with Texas BBQ sauce now, in the finishing phase.....they are ready for some football.

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    1. Hi Grayce, pretty hard to eat just a bite. But you showed great restraint in keeping it down to just one rib! Texas BBQ sauce sounds most excellent with these. And football, too. Thanks for the comment.

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  52. Just made these, wow... they were fabulous, thanks so much for posting these recipes. All the best

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    1. Hi Natalia, glad you enjoyed them! And thanks for letting me know. ;-)

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  53. I've use dark beer and ginger 3 hours before ending and it gave a wonderfull taste

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    1. Hi Anonymous, that sounds like a terrific idea! I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for the comment.

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  54. Just wanted to say that ever since I discovered this I have never been afraid to cook ribs again. Between your detailed instructions and the extremely tasty rub recipe my ribs always turn out with mouth-watering perfection. I have some in the oven right now and the house smells amazing.
    So thank-you all the way from Australia. :)

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    1. Hi Strange, isn't this a great recipe? Glad you're enjoying it so much! Thanks for taking time to comment and let me know.

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  55. Hi,

    I came across this recipe today. For me historically when using the foil method, I end up with dried out ribs and gallons and gallons of juices. If I do go with the foil method here, what is the trick to prevent all of the juices coming out and essentially giving the spare ribs what amounts to a long steam bath?

    Jim

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    1. Hi Jim, you do get some juices using this method, but not gallons! Maybe around a cup, and not always that (in fact not usually that). At least that's my experience. Is your oven fairly low (225 F) to start with? And is you oven thermostat accurate? (Mine isn't; I need an oven thermometer to make sure I'm getting the temperature I want.) I've had dried ribs before, but only when I started with oven temperatures higher than this. I think a little bit of liquid (and moist heat) is OK, but obviously not in the quantities you're getting. I'm not sure how helpful an answer this is, but I hope it does help some. Thanks for reading, and asking the question.

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  56. I can add a thermostat as you suggest, the other thing is maybe from the get go after doing the rub for the 24 hrs is to try and sear them a bit with a torch I have. I think my oven goes down to say 175F for the gauges anyways. I just was thinking maybe to half in foil and the other half non-foil method ( your instructions above ) and see which comes out better. Thanks for the input on this.
    Jim

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    1. Hi Jim, sounds like you have a couple of fun experiments in mind! Let me know how the ribs come out. Thanks.

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  57. My son is skeptical about oven ribs. I have done brisket for years this way (foil-wrapped), but never ribs.When I saw the prices for brisket this year, I wanted to faint! Googled slow cooked oven spareribs and your site was right at the top. I can hardly wait until the boys sink their teeth in this! Lisa in Texas

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    1. Hi Lisa, I was skeptical about oven ribs, too! Unless you have a smoker, though, these are better than what most people can produce in a kettle or gas grill. IMO, of course. And I'll put these up against a lot of smoker ribs, too. Isn't the price of brisket ridiculous? I almost need to take out a loan to buy it! Thanks for the comment.

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  58. This is such GREAT RECIPE!!! Too bad you can't print it out without 20 pages of comments

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    1. Hi Anonymous, glad you liked the recipe. What, you don't want to print all of the comments? ;-) Sorry about that -- highlighting, copying, then pasting into a word processing program is what I always do, although it's a bit of a pain. Thanks for the comment.

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  59. Hello Mr Kitchen Riff. I wonder is the pimenton sweet or hot variety? Thanks, Susan

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    1. Hi Susan, the pimenton I used was fairly spicy, but you could use sweet if you prefer. But spicy is always good, yes? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

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  60. Hi John, Im 29 years old and pretty new to cooking (I used to cook a lot when I was a teenager but got sick a few years ago, kind of put an end to it). Anyway, Im having a dinner party tonight and after much trolling over endless rib recipes I came across this one. I am making them tonight (well making them today-in preperation for tonight). Just a little FYI spare ribs cost an arm and a leg here in Australia, approximatley $20 a killo. Sorry cant do pounds-too early for my maths brain he he, is that the same kind of price in America? you guys seem to eat a lot of them and I always think.....how can you guys afford them?! lol.

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    1. Hi Holly, $20/kilo would be about $9/pound. Supermarket ribs (from big producers) would be about half that, and often even less when on sale. Although if you get ribs from someone pasture-raising heirloom pork, you'd pay at least $9, and usually quite a bit more. So there's a range. ;-) Hope you enjoy the ribs! And thanks for the comment.

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