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
- 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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