I usually smoke my ribs, but there are times when I’m more than happy to cook them in other ways. Usually, that means on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Once, heck, I even made them in the slow cooker! Gasp! This time I figured I’d try oven baked ribs, which really isn’t much different than using the Big Easy.
I ended up with tender, juicy ribs that tasted absolutely great. Of course, they do not have that smoky flavor I’d get on the smoker, cooked for 6 hours. But, I make up for that a bit by adding smoky ingredients like smoked paprika and using a smoky (hickory in this case) BBQ sauce at the end.
Although I did not include it in the recipe below, I’d consider adding a drop (and surely not much more) of liquid smoke to the foil before sealing the ribs. There’s already a good bit of great smokiness added by the smoked paprika so I wouldn’t go crazy with the liquid smoke. If you aren’t a fan of liquid smoke but want more smoky flavor, substitute smoked sea salt for the Kosher salt.
I used back ribs, though when I smoke ribs I almost always use spare ribs trimmed St. Louis-style. I wouldn’t use spare ribs in this recipe because I’d be afraid that the additional fat in them would almost end up ‘boiling’ the ribs in the foil.
Also try my oven-baked hot dogs. Hankerin’ for more ribs? Make some slow cooker Vietnamese ribs.
Oven Baked Ribs
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 2 racks
- 2 racks back back ribs membrane removed from back, loose fat trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place ribs onto two large pieces of foil.
Combine the remaining ingredients except for the sauce. Sprinkle the rub mixture over the ribs on all sides. Depending on the size of your ribs you may not end up needing all of the rub.
Seal the foil tightly, transfer to a large baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake for 2 1/2 hours.
Carefully open the foil.There will be lots of hot liquid accumulated in the bottom of the foil packets!
Remove the ribs from the foil (they might be quite tender, so support them from underneath using large turners or flat wooden paddles and transfer to the baking sheets.
Brush with plenty of sauce and place ribs under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has set.
Let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with more sauce for dipping if desired.
I’m a huge fan of spareribs trimmed St. Louis-style and smoked low-and-slow. I have to admit, my favorite part are the rib tips that come from trimming the spareribs. And that’s why, until recently, I haven’t really smoked a lot of baby back ribs, which have less fat and no tips. Well, now I cannot stop making them. This is my go-to method for making the most tender, juicy, flavor-packed baby back ribs in around 5 hours. They’re truly easy to make and are about as fool-proof as you can get, and you get the same results time after time.
Don’t be afraid of the mustard on these smoked baby back ribs. It’s there to help the seasoning adhere to the ribs. Trust me, you won’t taste it a bit when the ribs are done.
So why are they called 2-2-1 ribs? Because you smoke them uncovered for 2 hours, then smoke them wrapped in foil for another 2 hours, and finally finish them off uncovered for another hour. Now, depending on the size of the ribs and the temperature of your smoker, they might be done a bit earlier or later, but a minute here or there won’t make a big difference. Just make sure they’re nice and tender before removing from the foil.
If you prefer spareribs, check out my technique for making 3-2-1 smoked St. Louis-style ribs. Need a great homemade sauce? Here are just a few of the ones I’ve made and love: smokehouse, southwestern, atomic, Sriracha and sweet-n-spicy.
2-2-1 Smoked Baby Back Ribs
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 1 rack
- 1 rack baby back ribs any loose meat removed, membrane on back removed, rinsed and patted dry
- Prepared yellow mustard generic is fine
- Your favorite BBQ rub
- Chili sauce
- Margarine the kind in a squeeze bottle works best
- Your favorite BBQ sauce
Fire up your smoker for 225 F. Use a medium or light wood. I prefer hickory, cherry, apple, peach or maple.
Spread a thin layer of mustard on both sides of the ribs. Dust lightly with the rub.
Smoke for 2 hours, bone-side down.
Lay out a large piece of thick foil (double it if using thin foil). In center of the foil squeeze out a thin line of honey, a few teaspoons of chili sauce, and a line of margarine.
Place the ribs bone-side down onto the center of the foil.
Squeeze out another line of honey, a few teaspoons of chili sauce, and some more margarine along the meat side of the ribs. No need to spread out the ingredients.
Seal the foil tightly and return to the smoker for 1 hour or until you can easily slide a toothpick between the ribs.
Carefully open the foil (the escaping steam will burn!) and remove the ribs, placing them directly on the smoker grates. Reserve the basting juices and brush them onto the ribs.
Smoke another 30 minutes, brushing with the basting juices every 10 minutes.
Now, brush the ribs the BBQ sauce and smoke another 30 minutes or until the sauce is set as you desire.
Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
I’ve made baby back ribs on my Char-Broil Big Easy before and they’ve come out great. After watching a TV show segment on Tony Roma’s ribs I decided that I needed to try the same technique using my Big Easy. And boy, did they come out packed with flavor. Tender, almost-fall-off-the-bone meat. Perfectly tasty. And, a key in my book, not over-sauced. Just like they said on the TV show, you want to taste the meat. There are ribs there. Taste them!
The recipe steps may look like a lot of work, but these Tony Roma’s ribs are actually quite easy to make. Marinade overnight, cook for a while, brush with sauce, cook a bit longer to set the sauce, slice and serve. Done. If you prefer a more traditional ketchup-based BBQ sauce on your ribs try my copcyat of Tony Roma’s Blue Ridge Smokies sauce.
I do not like for my rib meat to be completely fall-off-the-bone. I like a little ‘tug’ to it and that’s what I got after 90 minutes. If you prefer your ribs to be even more tender, leave them in for the full 2 hours.
Also check out my St. Louis-style ribs made on the Big Easy.
Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page
and my free Big Easy eCookbook
Tony Roma's RIbs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
You'll need the Big Easy rib hooks
or fashion your own from stainless hooks or wire.
Prep Time12 hrs
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Total Time14 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 1 rack
- 1 rack pork baby back ribs trimmed of any lose fat
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco any vinegary hot sauce will do and don't be afraid to add more
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Cut the ribs in half if they are too long to fit into your Big Easy.
Place the ribs in resealable container or baggie.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan.
Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer until reduce by half and thickened, 15-20 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and let cool.
Reserve 1/4 cup of the sauce and pour the remaining sauce over the ribs. Coat well, seal, and refrigerate overnight. Turn occasionally to let the marinade get on all sides of the ribs.
Fire up your Big Easy.
Cut a small lit in one end of the ribs and insert the rib hooks.
Place the ribs on a piece of foil. Pour any remaining marinade from the overnight marinate (NOT the marinade you reserved) over the ribs and seal TIGHTLY. You want the foil seam to be at the top, near the hooks and the bottom of the ribs sealed so the juices and marinade does not leak out.
Hang ribs in the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
Cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours. After 90 minutes the ribs will be tender with a bit of a 'bite', meaning the mean will gently pull away from the bones. The meat will pull away from the bones about an inch on the ends. If you want your ribs to be completely fall-off-the-bone leave them in for the full 2 hours.
Remove the ribs from the Big Easy and remove them from the foil. Do not remove the rib hooks.
Brush the ribs with half of the reserved marinade and return to the Big Easy for 5 minutes.
Remove ribs from the cooker and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Brush with last of the reserved marinade and serve.