Cooking spare ribs in the oven
I've been looking at recipes for cooking spare ribs in the oven, and some mention placing them on a rack before placing on top of a baking sheet. I've cooked other ribs in the oven without a rack and was wondering if there's a reason spare ribs are different? Thanks in advance for any advice you have!
P.S. I thought about placing this question in the grilling/bbq section, but since I plan to oven cook the ribs, I thought my question may fit better here =)
I've done spareribs in the oven a number of times without a rack; I can only imagine the recipes you mention are looking to drain fat away from the ribs.
I always cook ribs in the oven. If they are in a wet rub or marinade I just put them in a roaster. If it's a dry rub they go on a rack. With a dry rub though, I usually wrap them in foil & bake them.
What I would do is to season the ribs, place them on a foil-lined sheet pan, brown them in a 450° oven, bone side down first and later meat side down. After they are browned, remove them from the oven, wrap each rack in heavy duty foil and put them back on a sheet pan (minus the old foil and fat) and cook them at 250° until they are tender, about two hours.
Make sure to save the meat juices.
Another way to go, if you have a grill, is to wrap seasoned ribs in foil, cook at 250° until they are tender, carefully unwrap the foil, remove the ribs and strain the remaining liquid. Refrigerate the broth, wrap the ribs in foil and refrigerate that as well. The next day, brown the ribs on a grill, or under the broiler in the oven.
In both techniques I add sliced onions to the ribs when cooking them in the foil. It adds moisture and flavor. The cookingkquid xan be the base for a sauce or added to pulled pork.
The reason for the rack is to keep the draining fat separated from the meat. You don't really have to do this, you can just pour off the fat after cooking
I use Alton Brown's method... something like "Who loves ya baby back ribs"?? Rack liberally rubbed with spice mixture, into heavy foil packet and into fridge... 4 hours or over night works. His rub recipe is a bit salty for me (and I like salty) so I've made some adjustments to that.
After a few hours or over-night, a liquid is poured into packet and goes into low oven (maybe 250-275) on baking sheet (in case of LEAKS) for a few hours till about 75-80% done. I take the "pork-ade" that results from oven time and doctor it up into a BBQ sauce.
Ideally, last 20-30 miinutes is out side on grill to finish and baste with sauce. Last time I made them was when we ended up with TWO snow days, back-to-back...and no gas for grill on deck!?! I finished in oven on baking sheet... lined with foil for easy clean-up.