Grilled or Roasted, baby back ribs are fall off the bone tender and sweet. Where other smoked meats are cooked “low and slow” to tenderize, flavorful baby backs can be cooked on a grill or in an oven for much less time. A fruity BBQ sauce or sweet sauce like homemade Kansas City Sweet Red BBQ Sauce makes these small ribs sensational.
Sweet and Smoky Baby Back Ribs
- Grill or roasting pan
- 2 racks Baby back ribs (4 pounds)
- 1 RECIPE Southern pork rub
- 1 RECIPE Kansas City Sweet Red BBQ Sauce, or any fruity store bought sauce
- 2 tsp Liquid smoke (for baked)
- 2 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (for baking)
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
- Prep – Build a fire on one side of a grill and heat until coals are covered with gray ash. For gas grills, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat for 15 minutes and then turn burners down to medium. Pat ribs dry with paper towels. Remove membrane from the underside of the ribs by grabbing one corner with a paper towel and pulling or cutting through the membrane with cross hatches (or just leave it on). Mix 1 cup BBQ sauce with 1 cup water in a bowl.Cook – Generously sprinkle the ribs with smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Place directly over the heat and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. Brush a thin layer of the BBQ sauce/water mixture over the ribs and flip every 5 minutes or-so. Finish the last 5 minutes by brushing a thick layer of undiluted BBQ sauce over the meat side of the ribs. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into individual ribs. Serve hot with plenty of napkins.
Oven-Cooked Baby Back Ribs
- Prep – Preheat oven to 275°F (140°C). Pat ribs dry with paper towels. Remove membrane from the underside of the ribs by grabbing one corner with a paper towel and pulling or cut the membrane with cross hatches (or just leave it on). Put each rack face-side down on its own sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Spread ½ tsp liquid smoke over meat-side of each rack and then cover with 1 tbsp rub. Turn ribs over and repeat liquid smoke and rub application. Cook – With meat side down, tightly wrap ribs with foil. Place on a large rimmed baking pan meat-side up and cook in oven for about 2½ hours. Remove and let rest 15 minutes untouched. Carefully peel back the foil and brush with BBQ sauce. Broil for a few minutes until the sauce is sticky and bubbly. Be careful not to burn. Cut into individual ribs and serve with addition BBQ sauce on the side.