Nearly every time I ask my boyfriend what he wants for dinner he says ribs, fried chicken, or barbeque. Even when we don't have any meat at all in the house. It's also important to note that we do not own a grill! He's determined.
Last time we went grocery shopping, he really wanted to buy ribs, so I made up my mind to learn to cook them in the oven. I originally wanted to go the "sauce-the-hell-outta-them" route because I had read that was easier for beginners, but Tyler was jonesing for a dry rub. So I had to figure that out as well.
Needless to say, they turned out well and I can't wait to make them again!
Step 1: What you'll need:
- a rack of ribs (I used the "baby back" variety)
- a baking sheet
- cooling racks or other wire racks to keep the meat above the baking sheet
- spices for dry rub (recipe on next step!)
- an oven set to 300 F
Step 2: The Dry Rub
- 2 1/2 T chili powder
- 2 T ground cumin
- 1 T ground coriander
- slightly less than 1 T if using table or sea salt OR 1 T kosher salt
- 1 T paprika
- 1 T dark brown sugar
- 1/2 T freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Step 3: Prep and apply dry rub.
Preheat your oven to 300 F.
Clean your ribs by running them under warm water and patting dry.
Now - find a suitable dry rubbing area. I used a sheet of aluminum foil, but you could do parchment paper or a cutting board. Anything to give you a clean surface that'll make cleanup easier.
You're going to apply 1/4 C of dry rub on each side of the ribs. (I used a 1/4 cup scoop to dump it onto the ribs so there was no cross-contamination and I could store the rest of the rub with no worries!) Really work it in with your hands until everything is covered.
Then, place it on the rack bone side down.
(Note that you can line the baking sheet with aluminum foil as well for quicker cleanup... something I chose not to do because I always end up washing it like crazy anyway. :)
Step 4: Cook for one hour.
Make sure you have the ribs in the middle of the oven and that the oven's properly preheated. :)
After one hour, they'll come out looking like the picture above - starting to brown, lose a bit of fat, and the cut bones will begin to show as the meat cooks and shrinks.
Turn the tray and put the ribs back in the oven. Now we're going to start checking them every 30 minutes.
Step 5: Additional cooking time.
You'll cook the ribs for two more hours, turning the tray every 30 minutes. (Remember not to turn the ribs over, just change the direction of the tray!)
The last picture shows them halfway through, the other pictures are the finished product. Make sure to let them rest a little while before you cut into them... mine sat around for about 15 minutes before I did anything with them.
Step 6: EAT! And additional recommendations.
These went really well with fried squash and zucchini. Seriously delicious.
Also, while the ribs turned out excellent - super moist and flavorful to boot - I think I might drop the temperature to 275 F and cook them a little longer next time. Maybe four hours? I have a feeling they will only get better.