Recipe: Oven-Baked Barbecue Ribs

Spring is looming oh-so-near, and all this sun and warm weather brings the promise of grilling season. As much as I love braises and casseroles, I'm ready for burgers and barbecues. Unfortunately, my smoking skills aren't quite up to par.

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My boyfriend on the other hand is the pit master in this relationship. In fact, he was raised on generations of secret family recipes, passed down from father to son. Their all-day smoked pulled pork is enough to make you weep. (Seriously, it's incredible.) This means I'm usually banished to the kitchen; fortunately, my signature sides pair nicely with his succulent 'cue.

But sometimes I get a little impatient. With a beautiful February Sunday looming ahead of me, I wanted a warm weather meal from the comfort of my oven, no charcoal required. Sometimes a girl has to take the horse by the reins, right?

These oven-baked ribs are about as hands-off as it gets. Meaning you can be planning your summer garden while they cook away. Or laying on the couch watching the Oscars red carpet. Or hand-cutting, battering, and frying 5 pounds of french fries. Or all of the above.

By the time these beauties come out of the oven, you'll be so hungry from the delicious smells taking over your house, you won't even question that they didn't come from the grill. Pair with your favorite summer side dish (potato salad would be perfect!), a crisp white wine, and you've got yourself a summer meal in the dead of winter.

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Oven-Baked Barbecue Ribs
Serves 4-6

For the ribs
5 pounds beef back ribs

For the marinade
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup steak sauce or marinade (I use Allegra)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke
Freshly ground pepper

For the marinade
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined. In a large baking dish, pour marinade over ribs and refrigerate, basting occasionally, for a minimum of 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Preheat oven to 300°. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil and cook ribs for 2 hours.

Increase the oven temperature to 350°. Remove the aluminum foil and baste ribs with barbecue sauce. Continue cooking for 45 minutes, basting with sauce every 15 minutes. The ribs should easily separate with a knife and the meat should be fall off the bone tender.

Serve ribs with remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

For the barbecue sauce
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients, whisking to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook until thick, approximately 10 minutes.

Related: Cheap and Meaty: How to Make Great Ribs in the Oven

(Images: Nealey Dozier)

Per serving, based on 4 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
2646
Fat
230.1 g (354%)
Saturated
83.1 g (415.3%)
Trans
11.4 g
Carbs
56.2 g (18.7%)
Fiber
0.7 g (2.9%)
Sugars
40.9 g
Protein
91.7 g (183.3%)
Cholesterol
446.2 mg (148.7%)
Sodium
2446.4 mg (101.9%)

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Main Dish, Recipe

Nealey Dozier is a former wedding planner turned chef, culinary instructor, recipe developer, and food writer. She is based in Atlanta. You can find more of her Southern adventures in eating and entertaining at www.dixiecaviar.com.

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