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Best way to prepare ribs without a grill or smoker?

I have a lovely rack of pork ribs sitting in my fridge in a proven rub. I now need to figure out by tonight, how to prepare them. I only have a short amount of time and was planning on boiling them. After doing research on here I found many frown upon boiling for one reason or another. Any good ideas, and also, any that would allow a re-heating after 3 hrs would be great too in case the original recipe calls for longer cooking.

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  1. After using the rub I wrap the rack tightly in heavy duty alum. foil, put on a sheet pan and put in a 375F oven for one hour. Then take them out of the oven but leave them wrapped in the foil for at least another hour. At this point I normally fire up the grill and finish them there, crisping them up with the BBQ sauce. However, i see no reason that couldn't be done under the broiler. Ribs are done and very moist, not dried out.

    1. Try Alton Brown's method-- I'm fairly sure it only involves an oven. His shows are available on DVD. My husband made them and the meat fell off the bone.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Procrastibaker

        Here's the Alton Brown recipe. It involves braising the ribs in a foil packet in the oven:

        1. re: Covert Ops

          I LOVE alton's ribs and for a bit of smokeiness try TJ's Mesquite Honey... :)


      2. Not sure if you have the time for this, but put the rack on a baking sheet, cover with foil and bake at 250 degrees for 4-6 hours. When you are ready to eat, just remove the foil and finish under the broiler for a few minutes per side just to crisp things up a bit (this is when you add sauce if you want it).

        2 Replies
        1. re: TorontoJo

          agreed. long and slow. I find 3 hours at 300 F does the job. Peel the membrane from the rib side first, or at least run a knife tip down the bones to split the membrane. I find this makes a better eating finished product.

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Totally agree with TorontoJoJo. They come out amazingly tender. I actually cook mines at 210 degrees for about 6 or 7 hours. The most important thing (which I've found out through trial and error) is to make sure you cover them or even wrap them in foil. The steam heat that builds up while it cooks insures that the ribs will turn out tender. I once cooked them at 210 degrees without the foil, and it came out chewier then I would of liked.

          2. I'd also recommend putting 1-2 Tbsp of apple juice or some other liquid in with the ribs to make them even more moist and tender

            1. agree with everyone above. slower the better and covered in foil. if you want to get a smoky taste add a tsp or so of liquid smoke. but don't over do it b/c it has kind of an odd taste to it...i'd mix it with other liquid to make it cover the ribs evenly.

              1. Low and slow is definitely the way to go, but I would avoid using the "Texas Crutch" (foil) unless you want the ribs to taste steamed. Use your favorite rub (it's hard to go wrong with a basic 'Dalmatian rub' of freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt), and put 'em in the oven on a broiler pan or rack at about 250F. Time will vary, depending on whether they're spares (longer time) or baby backs (shorter time), and also the meatiness of the ribs. When the meat has pulled back from the end of the bone about a quarter of an inch, and when you lift the middle of the rack and it bends but doesn't crack, your ribs are done. In general terms, babybacks could be done in as little as a couple of hours, while spares may take six or more.

                Whether you peel the membrane or not is really a function of your preference for texture. If you like 'falling off the bone', then peel the membrane. If, on the other hand, you like a little more *snap* to your ribs (along the lines of natural casings on hot dogs, I guess), leave the membrane intact.

                As last step, if you like to sauce your ribs, slather on some of your favorite sauce (commercial or home brewed), turn on the broiler, and let the sauce caramelize for just a little bit (don't walk away, or it'll burn and turn bitter).

                Boiling the ribs will shorten the cooking time and give you a wonderful pork-y stock for pork soup, but remember that the flavor of the pork soup comes directly from the ribs, so you'll have pretty bland ribs....

                1. If you're short on time, turn up the oven and reduce the time. I did some ribs a couple of weeks ago for 2 hours at 325, covered in foil, then finished them on the grill. They were fantastic. But I have also just uncovered them, and finished them in the oven at a higher temp (400 for 15 mins, brushed with some mustard and honey.)

                  - Sean

                  1. I suggest putting the ribs (I use foil) on a rack over a pan of beer and cook low and slow. Finish on the grill or under the broiler.

                    1. Thanks for the replies everyone...The reason I am short on time is because I am in a competition which starts at 11am. Do to uncontrollable cicumstances I have two options. Either start them 930am or start them earlier(as early as need be) to do the low and slow technique and let them sit from 830am until the competition at 11ish. I am able to heat them up at the competition. Any other ideas or confirmations. How will the ribs hold for 3 hrs. and how should I hold them? Thanks

                      1. Well Chowhounds...Thank you for the advice. I actually ended up winning the rib cook-off. I rubbed them with a great rub, let them sit for a day in the fridge. Then baked them low and slow at 225 for about 3hrs with the texas crutch over them(foil). I put a few tablespoons of Orange juice on the bottom of the baking sheet. After that I lightly coated them with BBQ sauce(homemade of course) and had to drive an hour and a half. They were finished 3 hrs before hand but reheated and they worked obviously. The best part was that the judge was jose Garces, the executive chef and owner at Amada, a top restaurant here in Philadelphia. He really took his time too, judging three different categories and meticulously writing notes. Thanks again as this made my entire week.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Tonyjlive

                          Are you going to share your award-winning rub? What kind of ribs did you use?

                          1. re: Tonyjlive

                            Congrats and thanks for the follow-up!

                            Just to add my method to the mix, here's my report on oven-baked ribs: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                            A few questions for you:

                            1. Did everyone in the competition oven-bake their ribs or were other methods (grill, smoker) used?

                            2. How did you end up reheating?

                            3. Mind sharing the ingredients in your rub and sauce or is it a big secret now that they are award-winning? ;-)

                          2. If you're interested in other techniques, check out this thread

                            where we got into hanging ribs over a tray of water in the oven

                            1. I'm not sure how everyone else cooked their ribs. They ended up reheating them in the oven for a few minutes. The rub recipe that follows should be doubled for a rack, I used pork spare ribs. I apologize for it not being in a traditional format(i.e. actual measurements)
                              4 pinches of salt
                              20 grind of pepper
                              handful of brown sugar
                              2 pinches of cayenne
                              pinch of chili powder
                              couple pinches of paprika
                              pinch of cinnamon
                              pinch of onion powder
                              pinch of garlic powder
                              1 pinch of allspice
                              1 pinch of cloves

                              BBQ Sauce:
                              sautee 1/2 cup onion in butter and oil mixture, then add the following and simmer for 25 mins:
                              1/2 cup water
                              2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
                              1 tblsp worchestire
                              juice of half a lemon
                              2 tblsp brown sugar
                              3/4 cup of ketchup
                              pinch of salt
                              1/2 tsp paprika(I used a little hot, regular and smoked paprika to reach the desired amount although I had this sauce without using 3 paprikas)
                              few grinds of pepper
                              1/4 tsp curry powder
                              1/2 ounce of Southern Comfort(could use your favortie liqour I would assume)
                              ...I threw in a few dashes of cayenne and it was terrific, the sweet at first was complimented by a wow factor on the back of your tounge. However, for those who don't like hot and also alcohol can obviously omit

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Tonyjlive

                                Thanks for taking the time to share your "secrets." Your sauce sounds very interesting...

                              2. Congratulations! Fantastic news, and shows, once again, what a fun and useful resource the Chowhound family is!

                                - Sean

                                1. Congratulations! I love ribs but have never made my own sauce. Yours sounds great. I think I have all those incredients except the Southern comfort. Guess I'll have to get some :)