Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oven-Cooked Pork Ribs

Yesterday was definitely a day full of cooking for me. I suppose I was trying to get in as much cooking as possible before school restarts next week. In addition to the cake that I made, I also did biscuits and gravy for Rick and I for breakfast, and then for dinner, we had ribs and cole slaw.

We've done baby back ribs in the past, but this week, Publix has spare ribs on sale. My favorite way to do ribs is to start off with them in the oven and then put them on the grill to get a little charred and add some flavor. I had done them not too long ago using this method, and they turned out perfectly. I start them off by preheating the oven to 250F. The ribs are covered on both sides with barbecue sauce (yes, we will get to that later!), completely wrapped with aluminum foil, and placed on a baking sheet to cook for 2 hours. As you can imagine, the ribs create quite the aroma as they cook which makes waiting the 2 hours a little difficulty towards the end.

Usually, after the 2 hours are up, we take them to the grill for a few minutes per side, but when we got to the grill last night, it refused to light. We weren't really sure what was going on, and since it was starting to get dark, we decided to take them back in to finish under the broiler. I added a little more barbecue sauce to both side of the rack of ribs and broiled them for a 5-7 minutes per side. I was really impressed with the results! They didn't dry out which is always a fear of mine. The key is to cook the pork to 160F to make sure to that all the bacteria are killed while still ending up with a tender, juicy piece of pork.

For the sauce, I got the idea from a messageboard on Inside Carolina when we did them the first time, and we liked it so much that it has become our sauce of choice. It's simple and easy even though it isn't home made. When getting a bottled BBQ sauce, it can really be hit or miss (and more like miss, miss, miss in my experience) until I was introduced to the goodness that is Sweet Baby Ray's. The label isn't flashy so it probably never caught my eye when browsing the sauce aisle at the grocery store, but I am so glad that I was introduced to it. We mix it with hot sauce (in this case, Moore's Wing Sauce). I did 3/4 Sweet Baby Ray's and 1/4 Wing Sauce so that it wasn't too hot for me!

Here are the recipes.

Oven-Cooked Pork Ribs


1 slab pork ribs (can be spare or baby back)
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ sauce
1 bottle Moore's Wing Sauce


To make the sauce:
Mix 3 parts Baby Ray's to 1 part Moore's Wing Sauce. (I start out with a 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup and then add more from there)

For the ribs:
Preheat oven to 250F. While oven is preheating, brush both sides of the rack of ribs with sauce. Wrap ribs in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Place ribs in the oven and cook for 2 hours. After two hours have passed, take the ribs out of the oven.
Check meat temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat is 160F. If it has not reached 160F yet, rewrap with the foil and return to the oven to cook some more (cooking time will vary based on oven and size of rack of ribs). Once the meat has reached 160F, unwrap from the foil and coat both sides again with the sauce.

Pick one of the two following options to continue cooking.
Option 1: Turn on oven broiler. Place ribs on a broiling pan, and broil rack of ribs for 5 minutes on each side.
Option 2: Place ribs on a hot grill for 2-3 minutes to char the meat, and then flip them for another 2-3 minutes of cooking.


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