BBQ Ribs the easy way!


BBQ Ribs on the Eastern Shore. Photo by D.J. Lutz

I have been known to fire up the grill in all types of weather, including a torrential downpour once when I was stationed on Okinawa. (Oh, the joys of living and working in building ni nichi ni and its adjacent Habu Valley.)  Yesterday, however, was a day for company coming over to the house so it behooved us all to stay high and dry as a typical summer thunderstorm rolled on through the Eastern Shore.

Babyback pork ribs were on the menu and the Weber grill was off-limits. What to do?

Tyler Florence of Food Network fame has a great recipe for babyback ribs.  I altered it just slightly to fit what we had in the pantry.  This was easy to cook and tasty to eat.  Here’s my take on the recipe:

Serves 4 regular people or two hungry lads.

Oven: 250 degrees F.


3 lbs. Babyback ribs

4 tablespoons olive oil (leave the bottle out; you’ll need more)

salt / pepper to taste

2 slices uncooked bacon

2 more tablespoons of olive oil (see?)

2 cups ketsup

1/4 cup mollasis

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon onion powder (no crying needed)

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon Liquid Smoke

one small jar of peach preserves


Place the ribs on a broiler pan.  I had to cut the rack in half so it would fit.  Also, I lined the inside with foil to make clean up a whole lot easier.

Brush the ribs down with the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper the rack to your taste.  Don’t be afraid to give ’em some extra flavor!

Put the ribs in the oven and cook “low and slow” for 2 hours. Helpful hint: I put a pan of water on the lowest oven rack to help keep the inside of the oven nice and steamy.  The ribs did not dry out, even cooking uncovered for several hours.

While the ribs are enjoying their steam bath, prepare the sauce.

In a 2 quart sauce pan, add the uncooked bacon and the two tablespoons of olive oil.  Using medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat starts to render.  Basically, once the fat starts to curl up a bit, you are good to go to move on to the next step.

Next step: add everything else and stir.  Be careful – the bacon and the olive oil are hot!   No need to make a trip to the emergency department or make a run to find that fire extinguisher.

Once everything is mixed well, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Once the sauce starts to bubble, go ahead and turn the heat down to low or even warm.  Re-cover, stirring every few minutes.

Once the ribs have cooked for their two hours, baste them with the sauce.  Both sides.  (Be sure to separate some of the sauce if you want it for dipping later.)

Continue to cook the ribs for another 30 minutes, basting every ten minutes.

Now the fun part…

Make sure the ribs are “backside up.”  In other words, they form a hill, not a valley.  Now, without moving the ribs higher in the oven, turn on the broiler.  Keeping the oven door open slightly so you can see inside, broil the ribs for 5 minutes or until the sauce has browned to your liking.

Ta-daa!  You are ready to serve your own famous barbeque ribs!  You will look like the awesome chef that you are!  Enjoy your moments of glory as you serve the best ribs ever!

Pairs well with fresh corn on the cob, slathered in butter and slightly peppered (is there any other way?) And some cold potato salad would be a nice contrast, too.  To drink, as Dandy Don would have it – ice tea is the name of the game, icy and refreshing!

Enjoy the ribs!   We certainly did!  Next time we are making a double batch!












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