Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 17, 2009 02:28 PM

baby back rib emergency!

So my wife bought uncooked ribs, because she couldn't find those Boar's Head pre-made ones for our last-minute BBQ. She thought they were the same, as she is not a red meat eater!

The guests are here. A nine hour slow smoke ain't gonna happen. They are currently on the stove top headed for a boil/simmer, then a bake, then finished on the gas outside.

Hounds, if you can stop laughing at me, got any good 1-hour ideas?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'm not laughing; I empathize with your situation. Been there, done that (or similar) and I don't like embarrassig situations when I'm preparing food for guests.
    Serve the beer a little more quickly and use the broiler (or grill, if you can) to get the best results you can. It's amazing what a few extra "cocktails" and a little BBQ sauce can do to save a meal.
    You could also throw together some shrimp based hors dourves to set up their palates for the BBQ rib surprise.

    1. If it's a slab, cut into individual ribs. Put in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, s&p. Seal tightly with foil and cook at 450 for an hour. Remove from pan, brush on the sauce of your choice and brown on the grill for perhaps 5 minutes total.

      1. I added smoked paprika to the boiling water last time for my beef ribs and they had a smoky-er flavour than grilling alone.

        1. Deep-fry those suckers.

          Once you're done with them on the stove-top, let them cool, toss them in some flour, shake off the excess, cut into invidual ribs, and deep fry them for about 2 minutes.

          1. I'm sure it's too late now, but let me tell you what I learned by trial and error this year. It does not take nine hours to cook ribs on the grill. Forget about pre-cooking them. I did it for years and it's totally not necessary. Just put a rub on them (any rub, recipes abound), then put your lit coals (or turn the gas) on one side of the grill and the ribs on the other side. Add soaked wood chips and cover. Every 30-45 mins, check on them and turn them over and if there is more than one rack, turn them around. It takes two to two and a half hours for baby back (a little more for meatier ribs like st. louis), but they are amazingly delicious and tender. If you want sauce, sauce them towards the end. You can even sauce them and wrap them in foil for a bit. Would they be better slow cooked nine hours in a smoker, probably, but these are so good, you will never buy premade or pre-boil or bake again.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Val55

              Really? I'm a true blue believer you gotta go lo and slo to tenderize and break down the connnective tissue, yada, yada, and I always braise them first. I like c o's idea of higher temp, cut them up and cover tight. They really need some wet cooking before they can be dry cooked. But I will try you method on the next baby backs I do and report back. So your saying, how many pounds, at 2 1/2 hours on indirect on the grill? And you don't dry brine them first, just a quick rub & slap them on?

              1. re: Phurstluv

                I've never done this, but if I found myself in Newhound's situation I would pressure cook the ribs, then apply a dry rub or wet sauce and finish on the grill. How long to pressure cook, I don't know. Maybe 20 minutes.

                Actually, I don't own a pressure cooker, but that's what I would do if I had one. Otherwise I would do exactly what Newhound did. Simmer the suckers as long as possible, then grill. Or order take out.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Baby back ribs dont need to be low and slow. You can grill them and get good, albeit different results. About 45-60 minutes over indirect heat, but still higher than barbecue'ing temps. Need indirect so you dont burn them. Just dry rub and grill, flipping occasionally until the meat pulls back from the bones. I wouldn't try this with spare ribs though

                  1. re: ESNY

                    I suppose the baby backs are more tender, and you're saying the spare ribs need that extra cooking time? I rarely make spare ribs, seems like to much for our family.

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      I've never grilled spare ribs but have baby backs. Rightly or wrongly, I've always understood that spare ribs need low and slow cooking whereas for baby backs its merely an option (albeit the best option). All bbq recipes I've seen for both types of ribs usually specify about twice the cooking time for spare ribs vs. baby back.

                    2. re: ESNY

                      I've done St. Louis ribs with the method above. In fact, I started by following the cooks illustrated method for st louis ribs, but they ended up getting done more quickly than they recommended. Both sets of ribs were very tender, finger tender or fork tender, if not quite fall of the bone. I try to put the rub on them the night before, but shortly before worked also. Use indirect heat and wood chunks and tent with foil after an hour or so. Delicious and I even got a little smoke ring!

                    3. re: Phurstluv

                      These are back ribs. No need for low and slow. In fact, it's the wrong way IMHO. They don't have enough fat on them to sustain a long cook time. An hour on the grill and then get to the sauce.

                      Side ribs take much, much longer. But they're worth it.