Traditional recipes

Barbecue Ribs Recipe

Barbecue Ribs Recipe

Istock/Stephanie Fray

BBQ Sauce

This recipe for Dutch oven ribs is smothered in thick BBQ sauce and cooked to perfection.

[Editor’s Note: Lewis uses a type of Dutch oven known as a camping, cowboy, or chuckwagon, which has a rimmed cover in order to place coals on top. If you are using a generic Dutch oven, you can simply place it inside your home oven at 325 degrees rather than using hot coals as Terry instructs.]


  • 6 pounds of country-style pork or beef ribs, individually separated
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • One 28-ounce bottle of BBQ sauce, preferably Bull's Eye


  • One 12-inch Dutch oven
  • 60 hot coals


Over 12 coals, slightly brown the ribs in a Dutch oven and season with salt and pepper. Cover the ribs with barbecue sauce.

Cover and bake, using 8 coals underneath the oven and 14-16 coals on top, for 1 ½-2 hours. (You will need to replace the coals with new ones after 50 minutes of cooking time.) If the sauce gets too thick during cooking, add a small amount of water to thin it.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Mix together the brown sugar, salt, mustard, paprika, smoked paprika, black pepper and garlic salt together in a small bowl. Be sure to break up any lumps with your fingers. Reserve 1 tablespoon of rub in a small bowl for serving.

Remove the silver skin from the underside of the ribs by sliding your fingers under the thin membrane and pulling it off. Repeat with the second rack. Rub the ribs with the seasoning on both sides. Place in a single layer in a large roasting pan and cover tightly with heavy-duty foil. Place the roasting pan into the oven and bake until the ribs are tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Grill the ribs on each side for 15 minutes, watching and flipping when necessary, for 30 minutes total. Baste with Jamie’s BBQ Sauce the last 10 minutes. (The sauce goes on at the end because it is sugar based and you don’t want to burn your ribs.)

Let the racks rest 5 minutes before slicing into individual ribs. Sprinkle the cut ribs with the reserved dry rub and serve along with extra sauce.

Jamie's BBQ Sauce

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and stir until softened. Add the vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cayenne pepper and some salt and black pepper to the saucepan and simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 35 minutes. Yield: About 4 cups.

Look no further than our pork ribs recipe for the perfect food for a cosy night in. Pick up some baby back ribs, fire them in the oven ready for you to put your feet up. Is the football on? Spending the night on Netflix? Whatever you’re watching, our sticky BBQ ribs will certainly make your evening a great one.

What you'll need

  • 2 racks of baby back pork ribs
  • 8tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 8tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 2tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 2 cans of soft drink to your taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C and fit your ribs into a roasting tin – don’t worry about them being too snug.
  2. Pour over your soft drink and some water so that the ribs are covered, before covering the roasting tin tightly with foil.
  3. Roast for two to three hours, until the ribs are tender.
  4. While the ribs are roasting, put all of the sauce ingredients in a pan and gently heat and bubble for around two minutes while stirring.
  5. When the ribs are done, carefully lift each of them out of the tin with tongs and place on kitchen paper to dry, before tipping the liquid out of the tin and cleaning it.
  6. Put the dry ribs back into the tin and smother with the sticky sauce before covering over and allowing to chill for at least an hour. Top tip: At least an hour is enough if you’re in a rush but, if you plan ahead, a 24-hour marinating time is best for the most decadent flavour.
  1. When you’re ready to eat, heat the oven to 200˚C and put the tin filled with the ribs back into the oven. Turn the baby back ribs occasionally.
  2. When the ribs are sticky, hot and crisping on the outside, take them out of the oven and slice to serve!

And that’s our pork ribs recipe – a perfect taste for the perfect night in front of the telly. Pair with herb-glazed potatoes and a warming Argentinian Malbec for an incredible flavour trio. Now you know how to make ribs in the oven, you can pick up the ingredients from your local SPAR. Looking for other football-friendly recipes? Sign up to our E-newsletter for some more Ballon d’Or winning recipes, seasonal guides and our latest deals and competitions.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 300°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.

Step 2

Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely. DO AHEAD: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.

Step 3

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.

Step 4

Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

How would you rate Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs?

i made St. Louis ribs and i cooked them for 3 hours. they were falling off the bone so i finished them in the oven. these ribs are greatgreatgreat and the sauce is delish!

I tried this recipe with Beef Ribs. I think one of the keys is to bake and refrigerate first before throwing on the grill as instructed. Really keeps the ribs together and the meld of rub then sauce with the extra time is fantastic. I did keep the ribs out on the counter for 1/2 hr before grilling so as to not put cold meat on a hot grill. As hot as it gets here in summer, doing the bulk of the work in the oven early and ending with a short grilling for that crispiness is no good ppl.

This recipe is the only recipe I will ever need for making ribs ever again. It's so delicious that I only have two changes I've made to it, and that's adding brown sugar to the rub and using smoked paprika. Making this along with Bon Appetit's Bourbon barbeque sauce is so amazing. Everyone who has eaten these ribs after I made them has told me that they are the best ribs they've ever had.

Would so appreciate help - the store sent spare ribs, but pre-cut instead of in slabs. Should I do anything differently? Appreciate any insight!

Delicious and so easy. I only had 3 lbs of St Louis ribs but cooked them just as described (just scaled down the spices) for about 2 hours 45 minutes in the oven, then finished on the grill. Can't wait to make it again and again. I loved the trick of mixing the juices into the barbecue sauce. Thanks Claire!

Ridiculous. I had my doubts about this but I tried it anyway. Needless to say they came out perfect. While grilling I threw some applewood pellets on the coals for some smokey flavor. I just finished 3/4 of a rack of st louis style ribs by myself. I wonder, would this method work with an offset smoker to speed up the smoking time vs smoking raw pork ribs?

I’ve made these many many times, and they always work perfectly. I’ve even been told I should start a restaurants/farmers market stand to sell them.

These ribs are phenomenal, so tasty and easy to make. I highly recommend

I've made this recipe twice the first time in the oven, and the second time on the smoker. both times, the ribs came out perfect!

I've made ribs a few times using this method and they've turned out perfect each time--beautifully tender with a lovely char on the outside. Definitely my go-to technique for ribs from here on out.

The caption says to cook at 300 F, but recipe and video say 350 F. Which is correct?

You want to make these ribs! The rub is an easy and delicious blend of ingredients you probably have in your pantry. The bbq sauce can be your own or a good jar (Sweet Baby Rays). The only thing you will be slaving over is eating the ribs. I am a terrible cook but this recipe makes me the best rib maker ever! Everyone loves them.

So simple and Claire’s tips help with the mess and creating a great basting sauce! I am in love with this recipe. Can’t wait to make it for a family gathering.

No, but for real. These are the best ribs in the history of ribs. I'm not particularly skilled at cooking meat (ex-vegetarian here) and I'm not really great at BBQing. But my brother and I had a contest one day on who did the best ribs and these were fall apart perfection (I won). And the flavours were magnificent. I have no suggestions expect to follow the recipe.

You can make it happen. Here’s the real smoked BBQ ribs recipe, good enough to bring home a trophy in a cook-off. In fact, many readers have done exactly that with this ribs recipe. There may be a few more steps in this process than you like, but it’s not hard and we’re talking restaurant grade here. Better. You don’t need a special smoker, although it helps. Once you’ve mastered the basic concepts, you can cook killer authentic smoked BBQ ribs on most charcoal and gas grills!

Hardware needed for this smoked BBQ ribs recipe

1 smoker or grill with a lid. You can use a dedicated smoker or any charcoal grill or gas grill as long as it has a lid. A tight fitting lid with adjustable vents like those on the Weber Kettle is best.

1 (18 pound) bag of charcoal for charcoal grills or smokers. You won’t use all that charcoal, but because you will need more on cold, windy, or wet days than on sunny and warm days, have a full bag on hand. I prefer briquets (read my article on charcoal to see why). Absolutely do not use the instant igniting stuff that has solvent in it. Chimney starters are by far the best way to start charcoal, especially for long slow cooking where the smell of the solvent in charcoal starter fluid can ruin the taste of the meat. Read my article on how to start a charcoal fire.

  • A tank of propane for gas cookers. You won’t need it all, but, until you get the hang of this technique, don’t risk running out by starting with a partial tank.
  • Long handled tongs
  • One sauce brush, preferably one of those newfangled silicone jobs
  • A good digital oven thermometer
  • A six pack of beer (for the cook, not the meat)
  • One lawn chair
  • Good books and plenty of tunes

If you boil ribs the terrorists win

A lot of folks boil their ribs before grilling them and slathering on the sauce. The concept comes from Eastern Europe where Poles and Czechs prepare ribs by simmering them in water with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and caraway seed, making a very nice pork stew.

But water is a solvent. It pulls much of the flavor out of the meat, and it can make the meat mushy. When you boil meat and bones, you make a rich flavorful soup. All that color in the pot is flavor that you can never get back into the meat. Boil meat too much and water can even dry it out by causing the proteins to contract and squeeze the moisture out of the muscle fibers.

People talk wistfully about meat that falls off the bone, but if it does, it has probably been boiled and denuded of its best flavors. What they’re really loving is the unctuous barbecue sauce. That’s why McRibs are so popular. They’re just ground pork swimming in sweetened ketchup mixed with liquid smoke and some other flavors. Classic Southern ribs have the same mouthfeel and bite as a tender juicy steak and most important, they taste like pork, not just sauce. An authentic smoked BBQ ribs recipe results in meat that tugs off the bone rather than fall off the bone.

If you are really really in a hurry, you are better off steaming or microwaving them and then finishing them on the grill or under the broiler.

Click here for my complete definition of Amazing BBQ Ribs, what I look for when I judge barbecue ribs in competitions.

How this smoked BBQ ribs recipe got its name

This easy low-and-slow barbecue ribs recipe needed a name when I first published it, and Doug and Trudy Calvin of Palm Springs, CA provided it. He wrote “I fixed ribs yesterday by following your recipe. My girlfriend made me promise that for her last meal on this planet I would fix the same ribs.”

Other outdoor ribs recipes on this site

    . The secret is mmmmmmaple syrup. . This recipe calls for marinating the meat in an herbed oil and vinegar bath and roasting without smoke. The results are complex and exotic. . Here are the tweaks the top competitors do to win big money. . Amazingly tender and juicy. . Sweet, salty, tangy. . Far better than McRib. . How they make ribs fast at the famous Rendezvous restaurant in Memphis.

Can’t make it outside? Here’s how to make BBQ ribs in the oven or to make BBQ ribs in a slow cooker.

There are several very good recipes for dorm dwellers, folks with no grills, and for blizzard days.

    . This recipe takes the concepts of this recipe and adapts them for your indoor oven. . Toss these in your slowcooker and let them braise all day. Their fragrance will knock you over when you come home. . Everybody loves those Chinese restaurant ribs. How do they do it? The secret is not the sauce, it’s the marinade. You can do them at home on the grill or in the oven. . These may be the best Chinese ribs you ever tasted. And you can cook them indoors. . Fried and crispy, flavored with five spice powder, these ribs are the perfect finger food for parties. . Arroz con Costillas de Cerdo is a great stove-top recipe with ribs swimming in a lush, juicy sauce on a bed of rice.

How to get meatier baby back ribs

The best advice I will ever give you: Develop a relationship with your butcher.

Baby back ribs are cut from the loin so the amount of meat on the baby backs is determined by your butcher.

Most grocers and butcher shops get their baby backs pre-cut in boxes, and the amount of meat on the ribs is determined by the price the store feels it can charge, and what the competition forces them to charge.

Even if they get their baby backs pre-cut, many butchers also get whole bone-in rib roasts.

If you ask nicely, your butcher may be willing to custom cut the baby back ribs off the rib roast leaving extra meat on them. Want baby backs with 1/2″ of meat on top? No problem? Want a whole inch? No problem. Expect to pay more for these extra meaty ribs, but the result is worth it.

A better option: Just buy the whole bone-in rib roast and then ask the butcher to remove the baby backs leaving about 1/2″ of meat on them. Then keep the de-boned loin meat for roasting separately. Yummmmmm!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 (2 1/2- to 3-lb.)s slabs St. Louis-style pork ribs (about 10 bones each)
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (about 2 medium onions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tsp.)
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat both sides of slabs dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, remove thin membrane from back of each by slicing into it and pulling it off with a paper towel.

Make the Southern BBQ Dry Rub: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl or large ziplock plastic bag. (You will have about 11/4 cups dry rub.) Divide Southern BBQ Rub evenly among slabs, rubbing on both sides of each (about 3/4 cup). Press gently to adhere. Place slabs, meaty side up, on a wire rack on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven until meat begins to pull away from bones but is not yet tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 450°F. (Do not remove ribs from oven.)

While the ribs are baking, make the Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Heat a large (12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, until skins begin to split and char, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add butter to pan, and cook until melted, about 1 minute. Add brown sugar stir until combined. Cook, without stirring, until edges start to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tomatoes completely break down and mixture is slightly thickened, about 45 minutes.

Remove from heat, and carefully transfer to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape) process on high until almost smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. (You will have about 1 quart of sauce.)

Brush both sides of ribs with 1 cup Melting Pot BBQ Sauce. Bake until ribs are very tender and caramelized, 35 to 45 minutes, brushing with another cup barbecue sauce halfway through baking. Remove from oven, and let stand at least 10 minutes. Serve with remaining 2 cups barbecue sauce.

Memphis BBQ Rub

In Memphis, the rub is the most important ingredient aside from the meat. Often ribs are served with only a rub and without sauce. This means that this barbecue rub has to provide all the flavor to make Memphis-style barbecue. This rub starts with a generous portion of paprika and then builds a slightly spicy but definitely savory profile to help you make the most of your barbecue. This Memphis rub is particularly good on ribs but can be used on any smoked meats.

The Ribs Recipe Only Chefs Knew. Until Now

The pros know you can't just sauce them up, slap them on the grill, and call it a day the best barbecue ribs need to be coaxed into greatness. Here's how.

The pros know you can't just sauce them up, slap them on the grill, and call it a day &mdash the best barbecue ribs need to be coaxed into greatness. Here's how to make them.

Cooking time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

2 racks baby back pork ribs (5 lb total)

½ cup barbecue seasoning rub

1½ cups mild barbecue sauce

1. Prep. Heat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil, for easier cleaning. If ribs have the silver skin attached, peel it off (see directions, right) and place ribs on baking sheet. Season all over with rub. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil.

2. Roast. Ribs will turn out tough if you cook them directly on the grill&mdashby roasting them first, you break down the tough fibers, resulting in super-tender meat. Roast in oven 1 hour. Uncover brush ribs with half of the barbecue sauce. Re-cover with foil and return to oven for 30 minutes, or until ribs are fork-tender. (If not being served immediately, cool ribs to room temperature. Refrigerate up to 2 days before grilling.)

3. Grill. If ribs have been refrigerated, bring them to room temperature. Heat an outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Grill ribs, brushing with sauce and turning several times, until slightly charred and glazed, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Serve. Transfer ribs to a cutting board. Brush with any remaining sauce. Cut into single portions and serve.

&mdashRecipe by Barbara Chernetz

The silver skin, which you'll find on the bone side of the meat, prevents the rub from soaking into the meat. Slowly peel the thin, papery membrane from the backside of each rack. If it's slippery, use a paper towel to gain a secure grip.

The rub will impart flavor to the ribs while they slowly cook. Make sure you work it into all areas of the meat with your hands.

Tightly wrap the pan with aluminum foil before roasting. This keeps the ribs from drying out, so you get that tender goodness you find at restaurants.

Finish the already-cooked rack on the grill. You'll end up with the smoky char and glaze that defines great ribs, without any toughness.

We cooked up a few racks and tested popular grocery-store BBQ sauce brands. These came out on top:

Stubb's Original, $3.79 "The perfect balance of sweet, vinegar, and smoke," said a REDBOOK staffer.

D.L. Jardine's Killer, $5.50 We liked the thick texture and chipotle-ish Mexican flavor of this one.

Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 Recipe, $2.59 Perfect if you like a sauce with a lot of smokiness.

Save this article for later by pinning this image and follow Redbook on Pinterest for more ideas.

3-2-1 Barbecued Spare Ribs

Steven Raichlen

We’re excited to partner with Reynolds Wrap® for this sponsored recipe.

If your idea of the perfect barbecued rib is smoke-infused meat that practically slides off the bone, the popular (and easy) 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs is for you. Never heard of it? It breaks the cooking of the ribs into three timed segments.

Meaty, well-seasoned spareribs are smoked (indirect grilled) for three hours at 225 degrees F. It’s during this segment that the ribs acquire the smoky flavor that is a hallmark of true American barbecue. Next, the bones are completely enclosed in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and returned to the grill or smoker for 2 more hours (still at 225 degrees F). In this moist environment, the meat fibers break down and become supernaturally tender, yet juicy. Finally, the ribs are unwrapped, brushed with barbecue sauce, and returned to the grill for an hour to firm up the exterior bark and complete the cooking.

You’ll be rewarded with ribs that have multiple layers of flavor. The predictable time frame is a bonus, too. Family and friends will declare you a barbecue genius when they taste these superlative bones.

Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is indispensable for this recipe. You can rely on sturdy, dependable Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil because of its durability. Proudly made in the USA.

A little sneak peek.

Keto: High protein for effective weight loss #2

Losing weight has never been more satisfying or delicious. Get all of the nutrients your body needs, while enjoying dishes like Keto chicken and mushroom casserole and our Garlic steak bite salad with tarragon dressing.

Most of the recipes take less than 30 minutes to prepare and will keep you below 20 grams of net carbs per day.

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