Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs

When I hear the words "baby back ribs," that catchy 90's Chili's jingle starts playing in my head immediately. Never fails. And it usually remains there for the remainder of the day. I've never eaten Chili's baby back ribs, but if they taste as good as the song sounds, I think I'd love 'em.

Like many other foods, making ribs at home seemed intimidating to me - how does one buy ribs? Does Kroger carry them or do I have to go to a butcher shop? Is there a butcher shop in Richmond? Do I need to smoke them? Too many daunting questions.

However, I was recently introduced to a very simple and delicious baby back ribs recipe that I had to share with y'all - before anyone gets to the breaking point of summer grilling...you know, when you just can't force down another burger.

This is a simple recipe that would be easy to serve to a big group as it requires little work! Combine kosher salt, dry mustard, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper in a small bowl.

Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil and sprinkle the rub all over.

Make it rain. 

And wrap 'em up.

Bake at 350, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Don't ask me what the difference is between them. Your house will smell ahmahzing.

Carefully unwrap ribs and let them cool completely. Pour any juices from the foil into a measuring cup, adding chicken broth, if needed, to measure 1½ cups. 

Whisk in that Sweet Baby Ray's, or whatever barbecue sauce you have, to blend.

Cover and set aside in the fridge.

Turn your gas grill on high. We balance the heat by brushing with Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, whisked with the juices from the oven. Turn the ribs frequently until charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. 

Fall off the bone tender with the right amount of sweetness and spice!

Now, I want my baby back back baby back.

Easy BBQ Baby Back Ribs

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 pounds baby back pork ribs (8 racks) or St. Louis-style spareribs (4 racks) 
  • Low-salt chicken broth (optional)
  • 1½ cups store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce plus more

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.

2. Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby backs and 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4- cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely.

3. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1-1½ cups. Whisk in barbecue sauce to blend.

4. Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce.

Note: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.


  1. The pic of these ribs looks like a Williams-Sonoma catalog. Stunning.