It’s Spring! According to the calendar and what I’m seeing on social media, anyway. That’s a good enough reason for me to grill up some BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Living in San Francisco, I’ve essentially given up on the concept of seasons. They just don’t exist here on any kind of level, which is fine by me, after spending many a winter in the Northeast. But for those of you just digging out your flip flops and spending more time in the sun, you’re probably looking for more recipes to throw on that grill that has been gathering dust (or snow) for the past 6 months or so.
BBQ baby back ribs: You have options!
This recipe is actually made mostly in the oven, where the ribs cook low and slow to give them a chance for the meat to become tender and richly flavored by the rub and cider they cook in. (or: the instant pot, where they cook super fast and get unbelievably tender) The grill is just to finish them and char the incredibly flavorful sauce on them. So if you’re having a backyard BBQ where you’re grilling all the things, these bbq baby back ribs won’t monopolize your grill grates all day.
And if you don’t have a grill, or if your backyard is currently torn up to be renovated (our current situation is a sand pit- not inviting), you can finish these under the broiler. But if it’s nice out, eat ’em outside. Don’t forget the roll of paper towels!Print
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Total Time: about 2.5 hours
- Yield: 4-6 servings
- Category: pork
- Method: roast / grill
- 2 racks baby back pork ribs
- 1/2 cup hard cider (or 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and enough water or broth to bring it up to 1/2 cup
for the rub:
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
for the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon lard or coconut oil
- 1/2 cup diced shallots or onions
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 teaspoons rib rub
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos or tamari
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF
- Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside 2 teaspoons for the sauce.
- Rub the ribs on both sides with the spice rub and place in a large roasting pan, along with the cider. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add your cooking fat. Sauté the shallots and garlic until they’re beginning to soften and turn golden, about 3 minutes.
- Add the reserved rib rub, smoked paprika, and tomato paste, Cook for another minute or so, until the mixture becomes darker red and fragrant.
- Add the coffee, maple syrup, coconut aminos, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and molasses. Bring to a boil and then turn it down so it’s just gently bubbling. Summer for about 20 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Puree
- Puree the sauce in a blender or with a stick blender.
- To finish the ribs: Hear your grill to medium-low. Set the ribs on the grill, meaty-side down. Coast the exposed side with a layer of sauce. Grill for 4-5 minutes. Flip, and add another coating of sauce. Repeat so you’ve grilled both sides twice and have a nice char on them. (If broiling, follow these same instructions, in your broiler.)
- Remove the ribs to a cutting board and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes before cutting between the bones. Serve with additional sauce.
pro tip! Flip your ribs over before you cut them; it will be easier to see between the bones, and you’ll get cleaner cuts without disrupting the nice charred exterior.
Keywords: baby back ribs
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June Kamerling says
Wow, thanks Simone. These look amazing. I happen to have ribs in my freezer just waiting for this recipe. Thanks for sharing it.
Thanks, June! I hope you love them.
YUM! Can’t wait to try these for Father’s Day! 🙂 Can you recommend a good gluten-free (corn free) Worcestershire sauce? I haven’t been able to find a brand without junk in it. 🙁
This looks promising but I haven’t made it yet (and would just sub coconut aminos for the soy). I’ve had the same problem finding a grain free product.
I honestly just use Lea and Perrins, because I think it has the best flavor and the ingredients aren’t all that worrisome to me; the only questionable one is natural flavor.
That one above has malt vinegar, so don’t use that if you have a gluten allergy!
here’s another option, although it has GF tamari: http://www.edwardandsons.com/popinfo.php?id=239
http://www.adventuresofaglutenfreemom.com/2011/04/homemade-corn-free-worcestershire-sauce/ try this
Kristin A. Lindsey says
I just had to say… this was my first time making ribs, ever!! My dad always made them for us. Since he has passed I’ve taken up some of his traditions so I really needed to learn how to make ribs! But since I only like to cook with whole foods I knew I had to turn to zenbelly, and I was sure I could find a rib and bbq sauce recipe. I did, and they came out better than I could have ever hoped for! and that bbq sauce??…. Ill never make another one again! So good!
I’m so glad to hear that, Kristin! Sounds like you’ll do an excellent job carrying on the job of rib master 🙂