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Add a smoky sweet flavor to ribs without having to have a smoker. You rock star, you.
In a medium sized bowl mix all of the ingredients together (except the ribs and BBQ sauce) until well blended. The brown sugar has a tendency to clump. Break up clumps by rubbing them between your fingers or by pressing them with the back of a spoon against the side of the bowl.
Sprinkle the ribs generously with the rub, about 2-3 tablespoons per side. Press the rub firmly into the meat. Put ribs into a dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap or put the ribs in a large plastic bag, press out the air, and tie closed. Place in the refrigerator for 8-24 hours.
Cover the remaining rub in an airtight container or seal in a plastic bag. I store mine in a jar.
Remove ribs from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking and allow them to come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 275 F.
Line baking pan(s) with foil. Set aside. Unwrap ribs, sprinkle both sides generously with remaining rub. Place ribs bone side down on baking pans.
For cooking completely in the oven:
Bake uncovered at 275 F for 1 1/2 hours, rotating pans halfway through the baking process if using more than one pan of ribs.
Remove ribs from oven. Turn oven to broil. Set oven rack 5-7 inches below broiler. If using barbecue sauce, apply the sauce prior to broiling. Return ribs to oven. Broil on each side just until some of the rub (or sauce, if using) begins to caramelize. Remove ribs from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into individual portions.
For starting indoors in the oven and then grilling outside:
Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours, rotating pans half way through the baking process if using more than one pan of ribs.
Towards the end of cooking time in the oven, heat outdoor grill to high. If using barbecue sauce, apply it before grilling. Place ribs on grill, cook 5-7 minutes on each side; just enough to get a bit of caramelization in a few spots.
Remove ribs from grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes prior to cutting into portion sizes.
Store any leftover rub in an airtight container.
Notes: For best flavor development, it is important to season the ribs and allow them to sit, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours prior to baking. If your home oven has a convection feature, convect bake at 250 F for 1 1/2 hours.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!