Hard-core smokers of ribs may want to skip this recipe. But for anyone who likes a good rib, yet can’t devote hours to stoking the fires, this one’s for you.
What’s the secret? Precooking. Oven-roasting the ribs until they’re almost done means you can have your ribs and eat them too! Because roasting is a very controlled cooking method, the ribs always end up tender, yet firm—an important trait of fine ribs. And since the racks go on the grill nearly cooked, your focus is presentation. That is, achieving the right amount of char.
Aside from ease, another nice thing about this recipe is that the ribs can be roasted up to a day ahead, then grilled just before you’re ready to serve.
Makes 2 racks (26–28 ribs)
Total time: about 3 hours
For the ribs:
- 2 racks spareribs (about 7 lb.)
- 2 T. each kosher salt, pepper, brown sugar, and chili powder
- 1 T. each paprika, dried oregano and thyme leaves
For the sauce:
- 1 T. Vegetable Oil
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 1 T. garlic, minced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 T. prepared yellow mustard
- 1/2 t. Tabasco
Preheat oven to 300°.
Trim the skirt flap and excess fat from ribs; pull off membrane as shown above. Pierce (“dock”) meat between bones using a fork, then arrange racks on a baking sheet. Combine seasonings, then rub generously on both sides of racks. Tightly cover baking sheet with foil and roast 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce.
Saute onion in oil in a saucepan over medium heat 3–4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Deglaze with vinegar and reduce by half, about 6 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer 10 minutes; season with salt.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Remove ribs from oven, coat with sauce, and grill until charred, about 15 minutes total, flipping and spooning with sauce occasionally. Remove from grill and allow ribs to rest 10 minutes. To cut, hold ribs upright on a cutting board and slice between bones.
Per cup: 232 calories; 21% calories from fat; 6g total fat; 44g carb.; 114mg sodium; 6g fiber; 3g protein
Rubbed & Glazed BBQ Ribs
Use a paper towel to pull off the sinewy membrane on the back of the ribs. Trim away any excess fat.