BBQ Ribs are something we had never made before, mainly do to lack of access to a smoker or long-term access to a grill. So we decided to give oven-baking a try. Obviously, you are not going to get that natural wood smoke flavor like you would with more traditional methods. But, what can you really do when you live in an apartment.
We started with a dry rub. While we could have started from scratch, we used a spice blend we got at Williams-Sonoma as a starter and then added on from there. We went with a little bit of ground coffee and mustard seeds. The base seasoning mix included smoked salt along with a whole host of other ingredients that rounded out the flavor profile and gave a slight smokiness. We let the ribs bake low and slow with the dry rub before adding the BBQ sauce.
Rob created his own sauce for this which, since he hates liquid smoke (he once described it as the flavor of a camp fire), definitely went toward a sweet-savory flavor combo. He added a mix of sweeteners in addition to some good umami notes. Overall, the sauce was well balanced and was perfectly sticky once baked onto the ribs. I will definitely be making these again soon. They make for a great apartment game day finger food; just make sure to have plenty of napkins standing by. These can get a bit messy, but its so worth it!
Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs
- 3 Lb St. Louis-Style Pork Spare Ribs
- 4 Tbs Williams-Sonoma Smokehouse Seasoning
- 1 Tbs Brown Sugar heaping
- 1 Tsp Yellow Mustard Seed
- 1 Tsp Brown Mustard Seed
- 1 Tsp Finely Ground Coffee
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 Cups Ketchup
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Molasses slightly less than 1/4 cup
- 2 Tbs Honey
- 3 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tbs Hot Sauce
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Pat the meat dry. Combine all of the ingredients for the dry rub. Coat the meat with the dry rub and allow to stand at room temp for 30 minutes.
- Wrap the meat in foil and place meat side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours, spin the pan around half way through.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat and allow to come to a light simmer, then reduce heat to low and allow to combine for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After the 2 hours, pull the meat from then oven and raise the temp to 350F.
- Remove the meat from the foil, coat both sides in the BBQ sauce, and place back on the baking sheet meat side up. Bake for an additional 30 minutes.
- Slice the meat between the ribs and serve.