If there’s one thing I love, it’s barbecue. As it starts to warm up here in the tundra of Albany, I can start looking forward to the summer season. Summer’s all about grilling and fresh ingredients and barbecue. Unfortunately, I can only do one of those things even when I go back home. But goddamn will I make the most of that barbecue.
Now, brisket it is the king of all barbecue meats. But not only is brisket expensive, it’s also hard to cook without a smoker. I’m a Texas barbecue kind of gal. So what I look for in barbecue is a great rub and an even better smoke. For me to really be happy, I need a meat that’s been smoking for 16 hours. But I live on a college campus, our kitchens don’t come with smokers.
Fortunately, ribs can get by with oven cooking, you just have to cook them low and slow. That’s the name of the BBQ game.
Because I prefer Texas-style barbecue, I start out with a rub that I’ll link to so that I don’t have to talk about it in every barbecue post I make. The main component is brown sugar and the rest is a good mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, chile powder, paprika, etc.
So we take our nice big rack of spare ribs and we rub this mixture all over the front and back of these ribs. Now if you really want, you can take to trimming the fat off the meat, but I like to keep it there for the amount of flavor it gives.
I place the ribs on two sheets of foil, this isn’t just for keeping the pan clean, it’s how we keep these ribs nice and tender when cooking them in an oven.
So after rubbing this meat liberally with the rub mixture, it’s almost ready for the oven. So I ripped out two more sheets of aluminum foil and put them on top. Then fold the ends of the four sheets of foil together to create a little pouch that the ribs will sit in. Make sure their are no holes in the foil (which is why using two sheets is good) because you want as much of that liquid to stay in the pouch as possible.
Then you stick the ribs in a 350˚F oven for 3 hours, or you can cook it at a lower temperature for longer.
While that’s cooking, I made up some barbecue sauce that I would use once the ribs were done cooking. Like the rub, I decided to write it out in a separate post and just link to it, it seemed easier that way.
After 3 hours in the oven, the ribs aren’t quite finished, but we’re getting closer. So cut open the foil pouch from the top. You have to be really careful since the steam inside the pouch is pretty damn hot. Once it’s opened, carefully try to drain the juices out of the packet. I like to save them and use them in other dishes I’m making with this as a liquid instead of stock, but that’s really up to you.
Then brush both sides of the ribs with the barbecue sauce and throw it back in the oven. After about 10 minutes, I took the ribs out and recoated them with sauce and repeated this one more time for about 3 coatings of sauce and 30 minutes of uncovered cook time.
And in the end you’ll get these nice flavorful and tender ribs that you can serve when you’re missing barbecue or if you want to hold a barbecue without the hassle of having to smoke your meat for hours ahead of time.
Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3.5 hours
- Preheat oven to 350˚F
- Place ribs on two sheets of foil
- Rub both sides of the ribs with BBQ seasoning
- Cover with two more sheets of foil and fold layers together to create a foil packet
- Cook in oven for 3 hours
- Take ribs out and carefully open foil packet
- Brush both sides with BBQ sauce and put back in oven for 10 minutes
- Brush ribs with BBQ sauce two more times and cook for 10 minutes each