I have always loved having 7 siblings. Growing up there was ALWAYS someone around to play with or talk to. I am the 7th of 8 children and I idolized my older siblings. I am sure I drove them crazy as I spied on them with their dates or wouldn’t leave them alone when their friends came around. I had a front row seat to my sisters getting ready for proms and pageants, and I had a crush on ALL of my brothers’ friends. I attribute my love for college football, in part to my brother Brent. He is my sibling closest in age to me and we would spend hours on Saturday mornings watching college football. I loved spending time with him and having our bedrooms in the basement, when we were older. We just celebrated his birthday and I suggested to my mom that we make ribs for Brent because he loves them. Some friends from my neighborhood taught me this method and they are the BEST ribs ever! I know ribs can seem intimidating, but do not fear. You will WOW your friends and family with these, succulent, fall-off-the-bones, tender and moist ribs. And they are SO easy! The trick is to bake/smoke them in the oven, low and slow to let the meat get tender and the fat to baste the meat while it melts away. Let me walk you through it…..
I like to use baby back pork ribs. Spareribs are good also, but I find they have more fat and are harder to work with when cutting into serving pieces. Either cut will work just fine for this recipe. There is a membrane that runs along the back of the ribs, slip a small knife between the bone and this membrane, make a small cut, and with your hand pull the membrane off.
Season with season salt or your favorite rub, on both sides of the ribs. (If you have a favorite BBQ restaurant, go in and ask them if they sell their rub seasoning and/or bbq sauce.) Pour liquid smoke into the bottom of the pan and add some water. I cook 3 racks at a time in each pan. I push long, thin, wooden skewers through the 3 seasoned racks of ribs to help them stand up-right in the pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and then tightly cover with heavy aluminum foil. I know what you are thinking, “Plastic wrap in the oven?”. But trust me, it works. It keeps the ribs moist and the liquid smoke doing its thing for all those hours. It will not melt as long as you are sure to cover it tightly with foil. Cook for 6-8 hours at 225 degrees fahrenheit. Now here is the trick, remove the pan from the oven but do not touch the ribs!! Let them cool and place them in the fridge overnight. If you were to try and grill these at this point, you would lose all the meat through the slats of the grill. Actually, you wouldn’t even get to that point because you wouldn’t be able to move them to the grill in one piece.
30 minutes before you want to eat, preheat the grill and get the pan out of the fridge. Remove the wooden skewers and place the racks of ribs on the hot grill. Brush the ribs liberally with your favorite barbecue sauce (again, this is where your favorite bbq restaurant comes in handy, if they sell their sauce) and let the sauce caramelize on the meat. Flip the slabs over, you can cut them in half for easier handling, and brush more sauce on the other side. They heat through surprisingly fast. Be sure to turn them before the sauce burns underneath. I like to baste and turn a couple times to get them sticky and slathered.
My family raved over these ribs, and I got a big hug from my brother. Be prepared for everyone to want the recipe. Enjoy!!
3 racks of baby back ribs
3 wooden skewers
Large roasting pan
Season salt or favorite bbq rub
1/4 c. Liquid Smoke (I like hickory)
1 c. water
Heavy duty aluminum foil
Preheat oven to 225 degrees fahrenheit. Rinse meat with water and pat dry with paper towels. Season liberally, both sides of ribs with season salt or bbq rub. Stand 3 racks together and push wooden skewers through all 3 racks to keep them standing up-right in the pan. Into the bottom of the pan add the liquid smoke and water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then cover tightly with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 6 hours. Remove from oven and let cool before placing in refrigerator. Keep in refrigerator over night.
30 minutes before serving, remove pan from fridge and preheat grill on medium high. Place ribs on grill and baste with sauce, allowing the sauce to get hot and sticky, about 5 minutes. Turn the meat over and repeat. Turn often enough to prevent burning.