Doritos, Peanut M&M’s, crackers, two frozen pizzas, milk and ribs. That’s what my husband brought home from the store last Saturday when he had to make a necessary trip to Tom Thumb to pick up prescriptions. While these are probably not the same things I would bring home from a grocery store run, while risking exposure during a Pandemic, I will say the ribs were perfect. We’re out of propane so I baked the ribs in the oven with a sweet hickory seasoning blend and finished them off with the BBQ sauce I had on hand. They did not disappoint. Eating messy, finger licking BBQ outside last Sunday afternoon was definitely food for the tummy and the soul.
We are really trying to lean in and embrace (as much as possible) the craziness of this time in quarantine. Although we have had many moments in which this situation seems impossible, we are trying our best to make sure everyone is mentally healthy. Both my husband and I are working from home with wild, energetic little kids needing constant supervision and it is taking a toll on us all – but I keep reminding myself that this is temporary. We’re all doing our best to bring in the happy wherever possible, get outside every day and focus on the good. Last Sunday evening that happy was a messy, sauce covered rib dinner that we ate picnic style in the backyard.
With Easter this coming weekend I’ve been trying to come up with ideas of fun activities to do at home to celebrate. Right now our plan is a big brunch followed by a backyard egg hunt. If you don’t yet have a meal plan and still have a chance to get groceries, these easy baked ribs would make the perfect addition to your at-home celebration. I served ours with a simple potato salad and these garlic lemon green beans. Don’t overthink it, any picnic style side dish will be delish! Enjoy this time with your family, video call with the people you love and eat some messy, good for the soul food.
How to Make Oven Baked BBQ Ribs
The ribs get a quick rub with your favorite seasoning blend then a few pricks with a sharp knife. Then, into the oven meat side down, wrapped in foil. The ribs slow cook in the oven for 2.5 hours at 250°. Then, they are carefully unwrapped to reserve the cooking liquid for the glaze. Turn your oven up to 350°. Next, place the ribs on a baking sheet and brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce on both sides. Put them back in the oven for another 45-55 minutes, uncovered, meat side up.
I use St. Louis style ribs which are trimmed and cleaned up spare ribs. They are cut from the belly of the pig and are larger than baby back ribs. You can certainly use baby back ribs for this recipe, just adjust the cook time as they will cook faster. See the notes in the recipe card for adjusted cook times.
Making the BBQ Glaze
A simple BBQ glaze is perfect to pour over the ribs after they are cut and ready to serve. This sauce is so easy and so delicious. Pour the reserved meat drippings from foil into a sauce pan. Add in a 1/2 cup of your BBQ sauce of choice. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until it reduces by half and it’s ready to go. The ribs will be saucy and sticky when they come out of the oven. This BBQ glaze is the perfect finisher to the plated ribs.
Tip: Cooking For One
If you’re cooking for one you probably don’t want to eat leftover ribs for days. Cut the rack of ribs in half, wrap one half tightly in a zip top freezer bag and freeze it. Follow the recipe just the same, using the remaining half rack of ribs. The only adjustment to make is reducing the amount of BBQ sauce. Cut both the BBQ sauce you use to brush over the ribs and the amount of BBQ sauce in the glaze by half.
- Rimmed baking sheet -OR- glass baking dish
- Silicone pastry brush
- Small sauce pan
- 1 rack St. Louis pork ribs
- 4 tbsp dry rub I like sweet hickory or anything maple
- 1½ cups BBQ sauce I used Lillie's Carolina Barbeque Sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 250°.
- Pat your rack of ribs dry with paper towels then season generously with the dry rub of your choice, salt and pepper.
- Using a sharp knife poke holes all across the skin side of the rack of ribs.
- Wrap the rack of ribs tightly in foil and set them on a rimmed baking sheet or a glass baking dish. This will catch any juices that run out of the foil pack to reserve for the BBQ glaze.
- Bake at 250° for 2.5-3 hours.
- Remove the rack of ribs and carefully remove them from the foil making sure to reserve the cooking liquid from the foil and the pan.
- Turn the oven temperature up to 350°.
- Pour the cooking liquid into a small sauce pan and place the rack of ribs back on the sheet pan or glass baking dish.
- Brush both sides of the rack of ribs with 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (reserving the remaining ½ cup for the glaze).
- Return the ribs to the oven uncovered, meat side up, for 45-55 minutes.
- Let ribs rest 15-20 minutes before cutting. While you wait make the BBQ Glaze.
- Combine the reserved cooking liquid from the ribs and ½ a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce in a small sauce pan. Simmer for 20 minutes to reduce by half. Pour over individual ribs once plated.