Restaurant Style, Meltingly Tender Ribs

September 3rd, 2008 by katie

I always imagined cooking delicious, tender ribs to be some restaurant secret. I figured attempting to cook ribs at home would be complicated, time consuming and would result in a tough, possibly inedible waste of money. Lucky for us, I took the chance one year and I’ve been making these delicious ribs ever since. They are one of my favorite meals to make for company or a crowd because they are so easy and impressive. Just keep in mind, regardless of who does all the work-cleaning, preparing, rubbing, wrapping, and cooking the ribs-the person who actually grills the meat for 10 minutes in the final step will be the one who gets the credit for making the ribs.

The key to making restaurant tender ribs at home is the cooking technique-which is quite simple. You can use any spice rub combination you like or simply salt and pepper, which is how I make them when the kids are eating. My grown-up rub consists primarily of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice then equal amounts of cumin, cayenne, paprika and mustard.  mrChaos’s rub is here. I simply add a teaspoon of this or that until it smells right. The cooking method then is as follows:

Baby Back Ribs

serves 4, prep 10 min, cook 3 1/2 hours
  1. Clean ribs and remove silver skin fat from the back. It should pull right off if you can get a good grip on it. Don’t worry about it too much, they’ll be delicious either way.
  2. Place each rack atop two sheets of heavy duty foil. Rub ribs with spice mixture all over.
  3. Fold and wrap foil around each rack. At this point you can place them in the fridge to marinate or put them directly in the oven.
  4. When you are ready to cook preheat oven to 300°F and place rib packs on a rimmed baking sheet. You want to catch any juices if your packets leak or your oven will be a mess.
  5. Cook ribs for 3 hours.  Remove a rack and unwrap a small section to check for tenderness. You should be able to twist the bones in the meat with little resistance.  If not, re-wrap and put them back in the oven checking every 1/2 hour.
  6. Heat the grill and dilute barbecue sauce with a little water until it is thin and brush-able.
  7. Unwrap cooked ribs and transfer them carefully to the grill and brush with barbecue sauce.
  8. Grill over a high flame for a few minutes, or until charred.
  9. Alternately, you can crisp them up under the broiler in the oven if you don’t have a grill. Just give them a nice crust.

Follow these same steps regardless of how many racks of ribs you are cooking.  I have cooked as many as six racks at a time piled up in the oven and it works just fine, although you may need to allow for a slightly longer cooking time.

What’s for dinner this week?

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Posted in Easy, Main Dish

13 Responses

  1. janelle

    LOL! I loved your comment that the one using the tongs to flip those ribs one lovely time gets the rib-making credit:)))). Hilariously true!!

    I just started making ribs too, it is such an easy meal to assemble when I am shoveling off my kids from one extracurricular to another!!! Esp. when all it requires is the closest person and a pair of tongs:).

  2. Kristen

    Those look melt in your mouth, delicious!

  3. melissa

    Yeah, that last 10 minutes comment is true and funny. ;)

    Steve’s been begging me to make another batch of ribs soon. These look surprisingly good to me right now… I say surprising because it’s 10 in the morning. But YUM.

  4. noble pig

    Funny what you say about credit for the ribs, it’s so true!

    These sound amazing.

  5. Marie

    Sounds and looks like you know what you’re doing with these ribs! The picture speaks volumes!

  6. Niall Harbison

    That is so funny about the person at the end getting all the credit! You have to make sure that it is yourself somehow! I agree that there is no massive restaurant style secret about cooking ribs and as they are not usually that expensive to buy they are a great treat to cook at home!

  7. Nate

    thank God you didn’t say to boil the ribs. That would have been extremely bad.

    How big is your bamboo cutting board?

    I love my bamboo cutting board! It is by far my favorite cutting board. It is 18 inches x 12 inches which makes it the perfect size for me-lots of space but still store-able! -Katie

  8. Jacques Olat

    Sounds great. I add a little smoked paprika to the rub…very tasty and pour in some cider vinegar mixed with water inside the tinfoil for the ribs to soak up. Delicious!

  9. Christine

    We followed your recipe and the ribs were incredible!

  10. Kelly

    Ribs are ready and in the fridge. Making them tomorrow, will let you know how they turn out!

  11. Kelly

    Best ribs ever! I could not find ancho chili powder. I replaced with a New Mexico chili powder. These were the easiest ribs to make! So tasty and the meat just fell off the bone. Everybody loved them! Thanks for the great recipe!

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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