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.
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.
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.
1/4teaspoonTabascoany vinegary hot sauce will do and don't be afraid to add more
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.
I was wandering around the produce section at the grocery store when I came across a really nice basket of fresh-picked ripe peaches. I knew exactly what I was going to make with them. Peach BBQ sauce, the perfect sauce for a rack of St. Louis-style smoked ribs. Although I’d be partial to using this tasty sauce on anything, it really complements anything pork the best. This peach BBQ sauce isn’t too ‘peachy’. You can taste the fresh peaches, sure, but they don’t over-power the sauce. The peaches add a nice sweetness too.
I spotted pork ribs on sale the other day. That can only mean one thing: St. Louis-style ribs. I smoked them 3-2-1 style, which results in great tender ribs that are packed with flavor by themselves. I like to sauce my ribs just before I pull them off of the smoker, giving the sauce a bit of time to set up. I wanted a spicy sauce, but not too spicy. This Sriracha BBQ sauce is the perfect combination of heat with just a bit of sweet. But definitely not much sweetness. I used ketchup in this Sriracha BBQ sauce, but you can substitute tomato sauce for a slightly different texture that is a bit thinner. Either way you can’t go wrong with it. It’s great no matter where you use BBQ sauce, from great 3-2-1 ribs to grilled chicken.
Three of my favorite things on one plate. First, smoked 3-2-1 St. Louis-style ribs. Sauced with a BBQ sauce that combines two of my other favorites: strawberries and chipotles. That great sweet berry flavor with a hint of smoky spiciness. Strawberries are in season here, and I just love using them in everything from a strawberry poppyseed salad dressing to this BBQ sauce. The strawberry flavor isn’t strong, it’s there enough for you to notice. Same goes for the chipotle. You get the smoky, you get the kick, but it’s nice and not overwhelming. I cannot wait to use this strawberry chipotle BBQ sauce on smoked pulled pork. Though I think the sauce would be great on anything smoked or grilled, I feel nothing can touch its greatness on pork. There’s something about strawberry and pork. Delicious!
I could not have been happier with how great these St. Louis-style ribs came out. They were cooked high-and-fast on my Char-Broil Big Easy.The Big Easy is a great cooker for a whole lot of things. Although I’ve cooked baby back ribs on my Big Easy, my favorite rib is the spare rib because of the additional fat (flavor). When you cut them St. Louis-style you end up with a beautiful piece of pig meat, perfect for the Big Easy.
Making ribs on the Big Easy couldn’t get much easier. I rubbed down the ribs the night before with my no-burn rib rub. The next day I fired up my Big Easy. I decided to coil my ribs so they fit in the bottom of the cooker. If I’d had put in the Big Easy bunk bed basket I think I could’ve cooked two full racks at once. You could also cut the rack in half and hang it in the cooker using the Big Easy rib hooks.
It took about ninety minutes until the meat was starting to pull back from the bones. I slathered some of my Bourbon Street BBQ sauce onto the ribs and let them cook just a bit longer. This gave them a bit of a crunchy outer layer.
When the ribs were done I removed them from the cooker, uncoiled them, and let them rest for about 15 minutes. Then I sliced them and proceeded to enjoy some of the best ribs I’ve had. Not fall-off-the-bone ribs, those are overdone. You want a little tug, a little bite, to your ribs. These have that. And they’re juicy, oh so juicy, just like everything else I’ve cooked on the Big Easy. These are great ribs.
Your favorite BBQ sauceif desired (Note that if you use a sauce that contains a lot of sugar you will really need to keep an eye on the ribs or the sauce may burn. I used my Bourbon Street sauce, which definitely has brown sugar in it!)
Place the ribs on a large piece of foil and sprinkle rub on both sides.
Rub in slightly then seal.
Refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
Fire up your Big Easy. To fit the ribs into the cooker you'll either need to coil them as I did (I found this to be easier to do with the Big Easy kabob insert as a kind of holder) or cut them if they are too long and use the Big Easy rib hooks to hang them.
Cook the ribs for 90 minutes. You should see the meat pulling back from the bone about1/2" - 1". If not, let them cook a bit longer.
Slather the ribs with sauce, if desired. Note that if you use a sauce that contains a lot of sugar you will really need to keep an eye on the ribs or the sauce may burn. Return ribs to cooker for 15-30 minutes or until they have a nice crust on them.
Remove, let rest for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve. If desired, have additional warmed BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.
There was a time when I purchased many of the rubs I used for cooking, specially when it came to smoking pork butt or ribs. Now, I just use this simple but very tasty version of a Memphis rib rub based on a recipe from Myron Mixon.
A little sweet, and a little heat (add more cayenne if you like). It made my St. Louis-style ribs (and tips) something great. This recipe makes a nice big batch. Just store any extra in an air-tight container out of the light and away from heat.
I keep my homemade spice mixes in resealable containers. To identify them I write the name of the mix and the date on painter’s blue tape. The tape comes off easily when I’m done with the mix so I can re-use the containers for other things.