Oven Barbecued Ribs

How to make ribs without a grill or smoker

There is nothing quite as hedonistic and finger licking good as a plate of meltingly tender barbecue ribs. They are easy to make (the only real investment is time) and so unctuously savory, meaty, and satisfying that I'm tempted to make them more often than is good for me.

Boozy Epicure's Oven BBQ Ribs

I don't have a smoker, so I rely on a dry rub, oven braise, and liquid smoke to make my ribs. To start, get a rack of your favorite cut of ribs. I like St. Louis style, since they are big and meaty. They do take a little longer than baby backs to cook, but what's an extra 20-30 minutes when you are cooking them for around 2 hours anyway? The first thing you'll want to do is cover the rack in dry rub and pat it in. The ribs will need to sit for at least a few hours. I like to get them in the dry rub the night before, and let them rest overnight in the fridge.

Dry Rub Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tblsp kosher salt
1 tblsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried ground thyme
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

Ribs covered in rub...
After an overnight rest.

Braising Liquid
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbslp red wine vinegar
2 tbslp Worcestershire sauce
2 tblsp ketchup
1 tsp liquid smoke

The next day, preheat your oven to 300 F. Place the ribs on a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil that is placed in a sheet pan.  Add braising liquid to the foil then fold the edges over to make a packet that holds your ribs and braising liquid as tight as possible. Place in the packet in the oven and bake until the ribs are tender, about 2 and 1/2 hours.

Ribs with braising liquid.

Wrapped for baking.

After 2.5 hours.
From here, your ribs are just a few minutes away. I like to separate the rack into servings, brush the cooked ribs with bbq sauce (see note) and either broil or grill to get some final charred, crusty bits.

Ready for broiling/grilling
Once they are bubbling and crusty, remove from the oven/grill and let them cool for a few minutes before devouring.

Note: I often make my own bbq sauce on the stovetop. I don't have an exact recipe. I usually start by grating some onions into a pan with butter, cooking until soft, then adding a little ketchup and a little leftover coffee or instant coffee powder. I add the leftover braising liquid from the ribs (carefully pouring directly from the foil packets) then adjust seasonings to taste. You can do the same, or just buy whatever bbq sauce makes you happy.

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