Baby back ribs are always a crowd-pleaser for your carnivorous friends, and although they take a while to cook, they are super easy to prepare.
Technique tip: If you have a smoker, fire it up for that added barbecue flavor.
Swap option: You can use spareribs in place of the baby backs.
All-Purpose Barbecue Seasoning (makes 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons granulated onion
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seed powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 4 teaspoons hatch chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
Rib Baste (makes 1¾ cups)
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1/2 cup peach nectar
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 2 racks baby back ribs (about 2½ pounds)
- 1 cup all-purpose barbecue seasoning (recipe above)
- 1¾ cups rib baste (recipe above)
For the all-purpose barbecue seasoning:
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
For the rib baste:
In a bowl, add all ingredients and whisk to combine.
For the ribs:
1. Preheat your oven or smoker to 250°F. Remove the ribs from the package and pat dry. Generously season the top and bottom of the ribs with 1/2 cup of the all-purpose barbecue seasoning. Allow the ribs to sit with the seasoning until the seasoning looks wet, about 15 minutes.
2. Place the ribs on a sheet pan fitted with a baking rack, meat-side up, and cook — mopping with the baste every 20 minutes — for about 3½ hours, or until you can wiggle the bones but they don’t come out. The internal temperature should be about 198°F.
3. Remove the ribs from the oven and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving. If serving the ribs at a later time, wrap them in heavy-duty aluminum foil and hold them in a warm place until you are ready to serve them.