Note: This recipe was developed using the Char-Broil Big Easy Oil-Less Fryer. If you are cooking using the Char-Broil Smoker-Roaster Grill you should cook with the lid open and the temperature set to High. You might also need to adjust the cooking time.
I’m usually a smoke-your-ribs kind of guy. My preferred rib is a St. Louis-style sparerib, cooked low-and-slow for up to 6 hours. The result is a tender, lightly smokey flavored, moist rib. That’s why I went into this experiment cooking baby back ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy with a little skepticism (but an open mind).
These ribs were very tender, very moist and cooked perfect. The only thing they lacked was that smokey flavor. And of course you don’t get that lovely pink smoke ring you get from hours of low heat over smoke. A smokey BBQ rub and sauce helps make up for this if that’s what you’re hankering for. They’re basically trouble-free since the Big Easy is pretty much a light-it-up, load-it-up, and come-back-when-the-food-is-done cooker.
I’d make these ribs again. And again. You can fit 2 racks into the Big Easy (they have to be cut to fit as they have to be around 11″ or so or less in length), and you’ll need a set of Char-Broil Big Easy Rib Hooks (though you could fashion your own).
Hanging the ribs…
Here’s how the process came along.First, brined ribs are hung on rib hooks and placed into the basket.
The first cook…
The ribs are cooked “naked” (no sauce, no rub) for 35 minutes.
Foiled and cooked some more…
Next, the ribs are rubbed and foiled (not shown here) and cooked for another 45 minutes.
Sauced and served…
I removed them from the foil, sauced them, and cooked them a bit longer. Sliced and served!
Also check out my Tony Roma’s, St. Louis-style, and Italian sausage ribs also made on the Big Easy. For a fantastic sauce for your ribs, make my copycat of Bulls Eye’s BBQ sauce. It’s great on it’s own or as a great basis for your own version.
Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!
Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy
- 2 racks baby back ribs cut to 11″ in length (or use 1 rack, cut in half and halve the remaining ingredients below). Remove the membrane from the backs of the ribs and trim any large chunks of fat.
- brine below
- your favorite BBQ rub
- your favorite BBQ sauce
For the brine
- 32 ounces apple cider or juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar loose packed
- Place the ribs into a large resealable container.
- Stir together the brine ingredients and add to the ribs. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours, turning occasionally.
- Start up your Big Easy.
- Cut small slits after the first rib in each “rack” and insert the rib hooks.
- Place ribs into the cooker and cook for 35 minutes.
- Remove ribs and place on large sheets of foil. Sprinkle with your favorite rub. Wrap ribs up in foil and seal well. Add more foil if you need.
- Place ribs back onto the cooker and cook another 45 minutes.
- Remove ribs and check for doneness. Meat should be pulled back from the bones and should bend easily.
- Unfoil the ribs and brush with BBQ sauce.
- Place back onto the cooker and cook until the sauce is warmed and the ribs are the desired color.
- Let rest 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Nutritional values are approximate.
21 thoughts on “Baby Back Ribs on the Char-Broil Big Easy”
Mike, do you leave the lid off?
That’s a good question! It’s been a while since I made those ribs, but I’m pretty sure I left the lid off. You can try it either way. If the tops of the ribs aren’t getting the same color as the ribs further down, try putting the lid on, but keep an eye on them.
When you put the ribs back into the big easy after wrapping in foil do you put them back on the hooks our just lay in the bottom of the basket?
Hi Dave, I did put the ribs back onto the hooks, but I don’t think it was necessary. At that point the ribs had ‘set up’, and weren’t as flexible so getting them onto the hooks was a bit of a challenge. I don’t think you have to re-hook them. They’ll do just fine without them.
At what temp settings?
Hi. My Big Easy has only one temperature: On. I know the other larger model has two settings. I’m not sure if you could compare the two, but I suspect your higher setting is the one you would use. My Big Easy gets mighty hot (I measured it once, but can’t recall the temperature. I believe it was 450-500F).
Hey do you think you can cook them without the hooks at all? Just wrapped in foil?
I think you’d be ok without using hooks, just lean the ribs up against the side of the basket, or if you have a bunk bed basket, cut the ribs into two small sections that you can lay flat, one on the bottom of the big basket, and one on the bunk bed basket.
I have used this method twice now for ribs and the results have been pretty good. I have been a bit disappointed with the tenderness of the ribs. They seem to get up to temperature anf over very quickly. My thermometer probe shows the meat topping 190 on the first 35 minutes.
Why naked for the first 35 minutes? Why no foil? What can I do to get that low 183 degree temperature? I have been thinking about no lid, foil the whole time, reflective side out.
Greetings. You could try foil the entire time, but I’d be worried that the ribs would end up steaming more than roasting. I would’ve expected the brine to have moistened them up more for you. Perhaps you can try increasing the brining time by a bit also. Another idea would be to use spareribs, which are fattier. Let me know your results, and I will also try a few ideas next time I fire up for baby backs.
If I don’t brine the ribs, should I par-boil them?
You can skip the brine if you wish but you aren’t going to have quite the flavor in the end. You can par-boil them, but they won’t take as long to cook once you transfer them to the Big Easy so keep an eye on them.
One thing to keep in mind when you boil ribs is that they tend to lose flavor (it goes into the water). I recommend adding something to the water if you decide to par-boil them. I prefer liquid crab boil since it really infuses a lot of flavor, but you can also try your favorite spice mix or even a few (very few) drops of liquid smoke or hot sauce. Whichever you prefer.
If you do decide to par-boil them I’d sure like to know how they come out!
Pretty much followed the recipe to a T.
Had two racks to I doubled the brine and added a bunch of smacked up garlic.
Brined for 20 hours. (longer won’t hurt).
Used the lid because it was -7c in my garage
Double wrapped the foil and didn’t use the hooks for that step.
Followed all the times as per directed but finished them under my broiler in the oven (cherry chunks in the BBQ sauce) so I didn’t totally make a mess in the cooker.
My taste testers said they were the best ribs they had ever had. (Liars, but that’s ok) … they were very very good.
This recipe goes in my faves box.
Experiment with the brine, the rub and the sauce but leave the method alone.
I followed this recipe exactly as written. These were great I did put apple chips in the smoker cup. I did get a smoke ring. These were devoured by all in my party. This is now my go to rib recipe.
That’s awesome Dave! Someday soon I need to get the Big Easy that has the ability to add wood chips. Glad to hear you enjoyed the ribs.
I take a pie tin turned upside down and put on bottom of big easy—— lay wood chips around outside of it and voila, smoke
Excellent idea. I am going to give that a try this week! Do you soak your chips first?
Since its not a direct flame I don’t soak the chips, works great
I followed these steps to a T about 5-6 times now. Each time they are unbelievable. Some of the best I or my friends have had. A few tips for anyone doing it the first time:
-I leave lid off entire time and cook on high entire time. Let
– when I wrap them in foil and cook, I simply wrap around the entire rib nice and tight and poke the stainless rib hanger through the foil. Makes it easy to get on and off.
– as said above, longer the better with the marinade. I do it the day before so 20-24 hours it might marinate and I move them around before bed or when waking next day.
-for rub, I use McCormick grill mates pork rub nice and sweet with a little kick.
– I sauce a few minutes before done with sweet baby rays original.
I added a smoker to mine, running the smoke up through a pipe in the drain hole in the bottom of the inner lining. Use a mixture of hickory and mesquite.
I restricted the burner with 8-10 metal clips and turn the adjustment down to keep the temperature around $250. Coat the ribs with oil then your favorite BBQ rub. Cook for 2-2.5 hours or until the meat begins pulling back from the edges of the bone. Wrap in foil soak with apple juice and spread some drizzles of honey over the ribs. Place the wrapped ribs back in the big-easy and turn the burner up to 400 to 500 degrees then remove. AWESOME, full of smokey flavor and the meat falls off the bone.
After wrapping leave the ribs cook at a high heat for an hour.