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Jan 15, 2005 02:14 PM

spare ribs in the oven

  • b

Would like to get a rack of spare ribs at Cosco. After reviewing a number of recipes for oven baked spare ribs, many of recipes call for the ribs to be cut in half. I don't think Cosco will do this for you. Other recipes suggest cutting the ribs individually. I would think it would be easier to separate after they have been cooked. Also, some recipes call for the ribs to be covered with tin foil while they are baked and others not. What's the best method to cook oven barbeque ribs?

Once I get the technique mastered, then I would like to make a BBQ variation and a Chinese variation.

Any suggestions?


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  1. Good timing, we just munched on some Costco ribs yesterday afternoon!

    This'll be a bit long, but complete.

    The costco ribs usually (always?) include three full racks of ribs in the cryo-packed version.

    So, find a knife, three gallon size'd ziploc bags, and a cutting board.

    Bring out the kosher salt, water, garlic, onion, pepper, etc. for spices. (Brown sugar is optional here too)

    Rinse the ribs off. If you're feeling really daring, turn the over so the bones curve upwards, and remove the thin white membrane over the back side of the ribs. This is optional I've found... but some swear it helps make them more tender. (What it really does is remove the thin tough layer of from the back of the rib.

    Next, eyeball about half-way down your rib. Get out your chef's knife and slice cleanly through the meaty part, making two half-racks! (These'll fit into the gallon size ziploc bag perfectly!)

    We'll now have six half-racks of ribs for the three ziploc bags. On to the brine!

    In the bottoms of each of the three bags, add about 1/3 cup kosher salt, and your assorted spices. If you like the ribs with a touch of sweetness, add some brown sugar, or even better, apple cidar!

    Fill each bag about 1/3 way up with liquid (water, water and apple cidar) Yes, warm water will help dissolve the solids easier, but cold water will work just fine too!

    Close and shake the bags furiously, until you can't see the kosher salt anymore.

    At this point, ease two half racks of ribs into each ziploc bag. The goal is to have just enough liquid to cover the ribs completely. If you need to, add more liquid to the bags!

    Zip up... and if you're fearful of leakage, place them into a second ziploc bag. The brine will be hard pressed to find it's way out of TWO bags in your fridge.

    I usually leave the ribs in my fridge for three days to brine, then off to the freezer to hold until I'm ready for a rib party.

    Thaw (if necessary) and drain your ribs. Toss them onto a sheet pan with a cooling rack, or a broiling pan, or even the bottom of your roaster in a single layer. Tent the pan with aluminum foil to help keep the heat in, but allowing the steam to escape.

    Place into a 300 degree oven for about one hour. The goal is to get the internal temperature of the meat to 155 degrees... I believe 150-155 is the "magic number" to disolve the connective tissues into a deliciously moist and tasty "done" stage.

    (I've never probed my ribs for temp... I just pick them up with a set of tongs and see how they move around. If they're nice and loose, and you start to see the meat shrinking up away from the bone, they're done.)

    At this point, it's time to remove the foil, turn on the broiler, and prepare any basting sauce you'd like to put on the ribs.

    Some ideas...

    "Spicy" BBQ. Chipotle Tabasco Sauce, brown sugar, and white vinegar. Combine to taste, and baste.

    "Asian" BBQ. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. Again, combine to taste, and baste.

    "Traditional" BBQ. Find a bottle of what you like. Thin it out with some water, and baste. (The Jack Daniels Grilling sauce is pretty taste. Specially on burgers....)

    I'm sure there are lots of other bastes, etc for the ribs... but the main thing is to cook the ribs until completely done before adding any sauce. The sugars will promote burning, so wait until the ribs are finished... baste, and get nice and "grilled" looking under the broiler, turning as needed. 3-6 minutes per side should do, depending on the output of your broiler.

    Let the ribs cool for about 15 minutes, then slice between each bone.

    If there's any pink to the meat, they're not done. Make a note of the time, add 15 minutes when you do them again, and place back into your oven at 425 for about 5-10 minutes, until the pink is done. They'll still be good, and nobody will get sick from them.

    That's what I've found works best for me. I used to hate the ribs my mom would cook... when I got older I realized why. She'd par-boil them in water, and then broil with sauce. NOT the tastiest way to do them... but what did I know? I was only 7!

    I've also tried oven roasted ribs using a dry rub, and they came out pretty hard, and tasteless... I think the dry rubs are best for ribs using a smoker... otherwise the brine carries moisture and salt INTO the meat... giving your a wonderful, moist, and delicious end result.

    (We had the asian style yesterday... they were great!)

    Hope this'll help. :)


    1. Make it easy on yourself and get Curly's BBQ Ribs from Costco...already cooked, delicious...and about the same price as the raw uncooked back ribs.

      1. I am no ribs expert, but have experimented w/ cooking pork ribs at home in the oven several times. You may be referring to beef ribs, but I think my comments should still be applicable. This was last summer so can't quite recall all the details, so I may be a bit off on the timing. Didn't use a recipe, just my instincts, so keep that in mind. Resulted in tender, flavorful meat, but not fall-off-the-bone (which I wasn't aiming for).

        I tried 3 dif. cooking variations last summer, and the method that rendered the tastiest result was first coating the ribs w/ a dry rub, cooking COVERED w/ foil on relatively low heat (I think around 200-250F) for about 1.5-2 hrs., and then cooking for the last 30-45 min. UNCOVERED while basting occasionally w/ sauce of choice (it should create another coat but not burn). Finish w/ additional sauce at the table if you like.

        Made a homemade rub w/ paprika, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, little cumin, S&P. Paired w/ a traditional American BBQ sauce. Found that the rub really infuses the meat w/ flavor while the sauce adds another layer of exterior flavor.

        Of course, you'll want to pair the right rub w/ type of sauce. If I were to use an Asian-style sauce, then rub might consist of five spice, ginger powder, and cayenne. Sauce might contain hoisin, soy, rice wine vinegar, and little brown sugar. Finish w/ shards of scallions. Asian-style ribs pair well w/ a Viet cabbage salad or Thai papaya salad IMO.

        I would leave the slab intact if you can; def. wouldn't cut up into individual pieces before cooking as that would dry out the meat more quickly. Good luck.

        1. I did these last winter and they came out beautifully. Nice and tender with great flavor