The BEST Baby Back Ribs Recipe (Baked and Grilled)
How to Make Killer Baked Baby Back Ribs
At our house, we all love to celebrate by throwing a barbecue. My gift is that I make the sweet rub (recipe below), homemade barbecue sauce (recipe below, or make this delicious Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce recipe instead… you can’t go wrong with homemade BBQ Sauce!), and bake the ribs. Half-an-hour before we serve, my guy fires up his grill, throws the slabs on his grill, slathers on the sauce, flips them once and serves them up.
Our kids cheer for him and call him, “King of the Grill!” I do most of the preparation, he gets all of the accolades, our family hero, it’s a splendid day for all of us. 🙂
Preparing the Baby Back Ribs
First, coat 2 slabs of baby back ribs all over with a sweetly spiced rub (you can use your favorite recipe, or I have one for you below), then cover with foil wrap. You can let them “marinade” up to 24-48 hours, but if you are short on time, go ahead and roast them in the oven while you make a simple barbecue sauce. After roasting, transfer them to a large, shallow container, set aside to cool for about an hour, then cover and refrigerate.
When you’re ready to grill, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour.
Note: You can make the ribs through step 7 (see the full recipe instructions below) up to 2 days in advance.
How to Grill the Baby Back Ribs
Preheat your gas or charcoal grill to medium, (350 to 450 degrees). When you’re ready to serve, remove the ribs from the foil and throw the ribs on the grill, bone side down, and brush with some of the sauce.
Cover the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush the ribs and cook another 5 minutes. Continue to cook, flipping and adding sauce for a total of 20 minutes, and let the heat turn the sauce into a sticky glaze.
Transfer the Killer Baby Back Ribs to a cutting board and cut the racks between the bones. I like to warm and pass the remaining barbecue sauce along with lots of paper towels and wet wipes.
If you’re hosting a BBQ, some side dishes you could serve along with these killer ribs would be some roasted potatoes, green salad, pasta salad, or mashed potatoes. Let us know if you have any other ideas!
Make the BBQ Sauce Ahead of Time
The sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Let it come to room temperature before using.
More BBQ Recipes:
- Healthy Grilled Pineapple Recipe
- The Best BBQ Chicken Kebabs Recipe
- Hawaiian Grilled Chicken and Coconut Rice Recipe
- Best Juicy Burger Recipe Ever
- Grilled Garlic Herb Steak Tips Recipe
The BEST Baby Back Ribs Recipe (Baked and Grilled)
- 2 full racks baby back pork ribs (about 5 to 6 pounds)
Sweet & Spicy Rub
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup light or dark molasses (not blackstrap)
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
For the Ribs:
- Place all of the ingredients except the ribs in a medium bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
- Cut 4 (24-by-12-inch) pieces of aluminum foil; set aside.
- Pat the ribs dry with paper towels.
- If needed, remove the thin membrane attached to the underside of the ribs by doing the following: Flip the ribs over so they’re bone-side up. Starting at the end of 1 rack, slide the tip of a paring knife between the membrane and the bone, then lift and cut through the membrane. Grasping the membrane with a paper towel, pull it toward the other end of the rack and completely remove it.
- Repeat with the second rack.
- Cut 1 rack in half and place the 2 half rack of ribs side by side on a sheet of foil. Repeat with the second rack and a second piece of foil.
- Evenly coat both sides of the ribs with the spice rub. Pull the foil up and over each set of ribs to create 2 completely enclosed packets. Place the packets side by side on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover the baking sheet tightly with the remaining 2 pieces of foil. (At this point, you can roast the ribs immediately, but for the best flavor and texture, refrigerate them for up to 24 hours.)
- Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. (If you rubbed the ribs in advance, remove them from the refrigerator and set aside at room temperature while the oven is heating, at least 20 minutes.)
- Place the ribs in the oven and roast until fork-tender, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the sauce.
- Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, whisking occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the sauce has reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to grill.
To Grill the Ribs:
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium (350°F to 450°F).
- Remove the ribs from the foil, place them meaty-side up on the grill, and brush them with some of the sauce.
- Cover the grill and cook for 5 minutes. Flip and brush the ribs and cook another 5 minutes.
- Continue to cook, flipping and brushing every 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the ribs are heated through and have grill marks, for a total grilling time of 20 minutes.
- Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut the racks between the bones.
- Transfer the remaining barbecue sauce to a serving bowl and serve with the ribs.