Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Oven-Baked Baby Back Ribs

Last night I started to grill the remaining three half slabs of baby back ribs. A stiff south wind made me hesitate. I didn't feel like fighting flame burnout all evening.

This morning the thought occurred to me to use the kitchen oven to roast the ribs. Oven roasting is ideal for a cold winter day, especially when it's too cold to cook on the patio.

This recipe requires less attention than the grilled baby back ribs. Just rub your favorite spice mix over front and back, set the slabs on an oiled cookie sheet and pop them in the oven.

Brush the sauce on the ribs during the last 15 minutes. If you apply sauce too soon, the intense heat will crystallize the sauce into an inedible mess. It only takes 10 to 15 minutes to drive excess moisture from the sauce and give it some color.


2 slabs baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
1/3 cup dry rub
1 to 2 cups barbecue sauce

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 225 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet. If necessary, cut rib slabs in half so that they fit on the baking sheet. Pat dry rub onto slabs, coating thoroughly.

Place slabs on baking sheet and roast 2-1/2 hours, turning twice during cooking. Remove ribs from oven and baste both sides of each slab with barbecue sauce. Return to oven and roast until sauce is glazed and just beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Slice slabs into individual ribs and serve warm.

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