This recipe for ribs in the oven, the Rodbard way, comes from TASTE founding editor Matt Rodbard’s mom, Cheryl, and appears in Food IQ. With the absence of a smoker, the oven is the next best bet for preparing moist, succulent ribs. These ribs utilize a dry rub that adds flavor to the meat before a low-and-slow steam roast, thanks to plastic wrap, that gets the meat to fall-off-the-bone status. This recipe calls for the use of your favorite barbecue sauce, be it homemade or a bottle pulled from the grocery store shelf. Bull’s-Eye is the Rodbard family favorite.
2 racks, serves 4
- Boil the ribs in enough salted water to cover them for 15 minutes, occasionally skimming the fat off the surface. This strips out some of the fat and makes for a chewier rib. Remove the racks from the water, let them cool, and pat them dry. If you don’t have a pot large enough to hold whole racks, a roasting pan spanning two burners on the stovetop works well.
- While the ribs boil, make the dry rub. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, sugar, chile powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, and pepper, mixing well.
- Once the ribs are cooled and dry, rub them all over with the dry rub, then wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and again with aluminum foil. The ribs can be cooked immediately, but for the best results, allow them to cure for 2 to 3 hours or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 225°F. Place the wrapped rib racks in a roasting pan, slip the pan into the oven, and bake until the meat is extremely tender and the racks bend when “waved” (think of waving a hankie at a departing ship).
- To finish, remove the pan from the oven and raise the oven temperature to 400°F. Unwrap the rib racks and coat them with the barbecue sauce. Return the pan to the oven and bake until browned and crusted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting the racks into individual ribs and serving.
Matt Rodbard is the editor in chief of TASTE and author of Koreatown: A Cookbook, a New York Times best-seller, and Food IQ: 100 Questions, Answers, and Recipes to Raise Your Cooking Smarts.