Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

The federal holidays like the Fourth of July call for a traditional barbecue. And just in time for Independence Day, many of the grocery stores typically have some sort of ribs on sale.

Shoppers may choose among baby back ribs, short ribs, spareribs, St. Louis cut ribs and rib tips. This recipe uses baby back ribs.

Because the weather gets so unpredictable, with sudden thunderstorms, my recipe calls for cooking ribs in the oven. This easy method produces tender meat that literally falls off of the bone.

Ingredients: Serves 6-8

8 to 9 pounds of Pork Loin Back Ribs (extra meaty)
Rub to cover

Rub Recipe
2 tablespoons of paprika
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of cumin
2 teaspoons of dry mustard
1 tablespoon of black pepper
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of ground rosemary (optional)

Barbecue Sauce
Yields 3 cups

3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cups of ketchup
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco to taste


Make the rub first. Rubs can be made of almost any combination of spices. Many call for garlic and onion powders, but I didn’t have them on hand when preparing the ribs. Cumin, one of my favorite spices, worked very well. Mix all of the ingredients well.

Cover ribs evenly with rub and then wrap ribs in aluminum foil two times. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or more. After this, place the ribs (still wrapped) in a roasting pan and bake in preheated oven at 300 degrees for 4 hours.

For the barbecue sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions until they are translucent. Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 or 15 minutes. 

When the ribs have finished cooking carefully unwrap and place on serving platter. Pour warmed barbecue sauce over the ribs and garnish with parsley.

Make it ahead

Both the run and the sauce can be made days in advance. Store the rub in a spice jar and the sauce in the refrigerator. Reheat the sauce just before serving.