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Mar 4, 2014 06:59 AM

Need help with this crazy barbecued baby back ribs recipe

Hi everyone!

I have this REALLY old recipe from my sister in law for barb baby back ribs, which my husband LOVES. So I am trying to make them for him. I, however, am a vegetarian, and I know NOTHING about how to cook ribs!

The recipe is really confusing, so I thought maybe someone here could help me figure it out...???

I seasoned the ribs (3lb rack) last night, and put back in refrigerator.

Says to preheat oven to 350
Place in roasting pan, fill 1/2 way with water. Cover for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 325 for 3-4 hours. Cover ribs with tinfoil tightly and place in oven for about 4-6 hours. (Ribs should be fork tender - literally fall down and apart off of fork). Remove ribs from oven and reduce heat to 300. Cover ribs in honey and brown sugar - enough to coat but not enough to drip and run over sides. Sprinkle brown sugar over ribs - just enough to stick to ribs and cover them. Pour over enough barb sauce to taste. Return to oven, bake between 1/2 hour to 45 min (un-covered) Serve immediately.

So...when I put the ribs in the roasting pan initially, should I put them in tinfoil? Do I just let them soak up the water in the pan? This has gotten me so confused, and if you could only see the original recipe...there are notes and directions ALL over the place. looks like she corrected it, and moved the order around, and crossed things out, etc.. It's impossible to figure out! Please help!!!!!

I know that this may sound elementary to some of you. I apologize. I am just trying to make my husband happy by cooking his favorite recipe ever. And we no longer speak to my sister in law, so i can't ask her.

Thank you!!!!!!!

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  1. well I'm not looking at your recipe as you are but that's a lot of hours to cook ribs. there are easier ways of doing a bang up great tasty rack of ribs.

    can you ask your sister in law to clarify?

    a friend of mine was going on and on about the bbq ribs she'd done the night before. I knew she wanted to say more so I asked for the recipe.

    ribs seasoned well with salt pepper brown sugar and a little cayenne mix together, rub well. let sit on counter wrapped in Saran for 3 hours. undo Saran, rub down with your favorite bbq sauce. rewrap in Saran, wrap that whole thing is heavy duty foil, pinch tight, place on wire rack over cookie sheet in oven at 325* for 2 hrs then bump up to 375* for 1 hour. take out of oven, let rest undisturbed for 20 minutes, plate up enjoy

    5 Replies
    1. re: iL Divo

      iL Divo, it took me about 3 reads and 15 minutes to get my head around what results the OP was looking for, and I think what you posted will do it.

      I don't sauce my ribs in the oven due to the sugars in teh sauce burning (I;ve had it happen both covered in foil and uncovered)but the late saucing and late oven crank looks like it will do the job spot on.
      3 hours total cook time should do the trick max., especially if doing multiple racks of ribs.

      Awesome trick I will definately have to try.

      1. re: jjjrfoodie

        yep jjjr, I was doing 2 sheet pans. I know my MIL always used Saran, although it feels completely different now, not the same finger feel at all, it is ok for oven use. but the method of covering/enclosing, letting rest, then covering that with foil and sealing tight, then roasting isn't a problem for me anyway with sugars burning. I know what you mean otherwise, but for whatever reason, this works. and I agree 2 1/2-3 hrs should be max.

      2. re: iL Divo

        I'm sure that it is awesome, but I would omit the saran wrap during the baking process because of the chemicals.

        1. re: rudeboy

          well, that can be done too. I'm simply saying that's how my friend swore by and it does work

          1. re: iL Divo

            iL Divo - not trying to be critical or anything. I'm sure that it works very well. I'm an environmental engineer and feel the duty to warn!

      3. I agree with iL Divo.

        That's waaaay to long to be cooking baby back ribs. Even for fall off the bone tender.

        I personally am not a big fan of the results of the liquid braise method for oven baking.

        I just dry rub the day before, rest overnight then slap on a rimmed cookie sheet and loosely cover in alum foil but seal the edges tightly around the pan lips to create a seal.

        Thus your are essentially braising in it's own moisture.

        Oven at 325 degrees F.

        2-1/2 hours for two to three racks. 2 to 2-1/4 hours for one. May need to push or pull a littel depending upon oven.

        Remove from oven and crisp under broiler or on a gas grill for 3 minutes a side. To sauce/honey/drizzle or not to sauce before grill/broil is up to you.

        Been doing this way for 2 decades and have given the recipe to many a convert.

        KC or std. rack ribs need addtional cooking of course, but for baby backs 2.5ish hours will get them falling off the bone.

        Anything more will just obliterate them.

        As for the braising method mentioned above, anything with liquids touching the meat , or if meat is covered in liquids, will esentially be boiling the ribs.
        And...well..we all know what happens then.

        That at a minimum 8 hours of cooking based upon your recipe above. 11.75 hours cook time max.

        Yikes is all I can say. That math does not work for me at all.

        Good luck.

        5 Replies
          1. re: jjjrfoodie

            Agree as well. I loosely follow Alton Brown's method of oven braising for about 3 hours and then I finish on the grill. Works every time.

            1. re: valerie

              That looks good. I was a little confused, does AB's braising liquid go into the foil with the ribs, and it there contact?

              1. re: rudeboy

                Here is the recipe. I don't use foil packets. I use aluminum roasting pans and cover tightly with foil.


            2. re: jjjrfoodie

              that makeshift recipe if I'm reading correctly has this in the oven for a total of more like 12 hours........................WHAT

            3. I agree with iL Divo that there are easier ways of making tasty ribs. This recipe will result in essentially a long braise and overcooked fall apart ribs, especially for baby backs. But if you want to recreate the recipe, this is my interpretation of it.

              Fill a roasting pan 1/2 with water. Put the ribs on a roasting rack ABOVE the water. Cover the whole thing with a large piece of foil (like a tent). Bake for 1 hour.

              Reduce heat. Take the foil and completely wrap the ribs (directly, like a burrito). Return to oven directly on the oven shelf (not on the roasting pan rack). Bake for 4 hours. (Since she's giving you leeway, don't do 6!)

              Unwrap ribs carefully. I'm guessing they will want to fall apart at this point and there will be scalding hot liquid. Coat with honey and sugar and sauce. Return to oven so that the sugar caramelizes and the sauce forms a glaze. You might want to do this over the roasting pan to catch drips.


              3 Replies
              1. re: seamunky

                I think 4 hrs is way too long - at 350? I'd say 2 - 2/12 max - unwrap, check the ribs, brush with sauce and leave uncovered till sauce has browned slightly.

                This is the maximum time I would cook - I'd feel better doing them slightly less (or better yet on a grill).

                1. re: Jeanne

                  I agree but I was following along with the OP's original recipe and merely providing interpretation as that is what she asked for.

                  1. re: seamunky

                    No prob seamunky (love your name!) - I don't think anyone would agree with the instructions she was given. Too bad she doesn't have someone there to teach her one on one.

              2. Adding myself to those who say that's too long a cooking time. I wonder if the changes in pork over the years (you say this is an old recipe) might be a factor. But in any case, baby back ribs are inherently less needy of long cooking than spare ribs, and that recipe would be on the long side even for spare ribs.

                1. I have to agree with the previous posters that the cooking time is way too much for baby backs. My favorite method is very simple and the results are fantastic!

                  Wrap the ribs in foil, making sure the ends are tight (to prevent fat from leaking out). Bake at 300 degrees for three hours. Remove and drain the fat. The ribs will look a bit disgusting (esp. to a vegetarian). They will be grey. Coat with sauce, and place under the broiler to char them a bit. Do this on both sides. You want the sauce to start to caramelize.

                  Simple, and really great results. They are even better if you finish them off on the grill instead of a broiler.

                  Good luck!