How to Cook : Ribs

Another day, another day off school. And then the predicted storm totally missed us. The good thing to come of it was that the girls’ dance classes were cancelled, so I had time today to cook ribs and blog about them. Just for you!

Ribs are another one of those things that, for a long time, I was intimidated by. I had many rib failures before finally finding a recipe that fits my lazy cooking from scratch lifestyle. Indeed the recipe is not only lazy, it’s perfect for a lazy weekend. Low and slow is the key here. Low heat and me cook you long time.

I’m starting to drool just thinking about it.

Above I have about 4 pounds of beef short ribs.

And here I have about 2 pounds of pork spare ribs. There’s another couple of pounds hiding outside of the shot. Allow about a pound and a half of beef ribs per person, or one half to one pound pork ribs per person.

First things first. The rub. The rub is one of the things that was missing from my early attempts at ribs. This recipe makes enough rub for all 8 pounds of the ribs I fixed today. If you’re going to fix fewer ribs, just throw the leftover rub in a ziplock freezer bag and throw it in the freezer for next time.

The rub includes a couple of tablespoons of Essence of Emeril. You can buy this in the store pre-prepared. But Emeril has been kind enough to share his essence recipe with you! So you can also make up a batch of that, and store the leftovers in the freezer.

One thing about living in the country is that if you’re out of a certain ingredient, you try to make do with something else rather than run to the store. I was out of some of the components for Emeril’s essence recipe. So I used “Organic Delta Rub” from Excalibur Seasonings instead. I was also short on cumin, so I substituted curry powder for some of that. Don’t be afraid, get crazy, get creative, experiment!

I sprinkle the rub over the ribs, and then pat and rub it in so that it sticks to the meat.

Wrap the racks of ribs in foil, and lay on cookie sheets. Stick in a 275 degree oven, along with a pan of water to keep them moist, and then just walk away. Read the paper. Clean something. No, on second thought, don’t do that. This is supposed to be a lazy weekend. Watch a movie. Or two. Whatever you do, leave these puppies alone for 4 to 5 hours!

When they come out of the oven they will be moist and the rub will be a nice golden color, fused right into the meat. These are the beef ribs.

And these are the pork ribs. Remove the ribs from the foil at this point.

Now you can stop right here and eat them just like this if you want. A friend of ours does this, and sets the barbeque sauce out so that people can choose to use it or not.

Or you can coat the ribs right now, both sides, with your favorite barbeque sauce. Then stick them back in the oven, without the foil, for 10 or 20 minutes. Just long enough so that the barbeque sauce heats up and starts to carmelize a bit.

Our favorite sauce is Famous Dave’s. However the first ingredient listed in Famous Dave’s sauce is – you guessed it – high fructose corn syrup. So then I was going to make my own. But they all call for ketchup, and any ketchup I looked at in the store had – you guessed it – high fructose corn syrup. So I threw my hands up in despair and used up the last of the Famous Dave’s I had in the fridge. My quest for the perfect sauce continues. If you have tried-and-true barbeque sauce recipes, post them in the comments or post on your blog and leave a link in the comments.

It’s all over but the crying now. And the moaning. And the unbuttoning of the pants.

(And I could really use some more vegetables on my plate, but the kids were complaining that they didn’t get enough so I had to sacrifice. Because who’s going to deny their kids when they ask for more veggies?!?)

Be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand. Nothing like gnawing your meat off the bone.

How to Cook: Ribs
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. Essence of Emeril
1 T. salt
1 T. ground black pepper
1 T. paprika
1 T. cumin
1 T. garlic powder
1 t. cayenne pepper

Mix together to make the rub. Sprinkle rub on both sides of rib racks and press into meat. Wrap ribs in foil and cook on a cookie sheet at 275 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. Put a pan of water in the oven along with them.

Remove ribs from oven. Discard foil. Coat both sides of ribs with barbeque sauce. Return to oven for 10 to 20 minutes, until sauce is hot and carmelized.

I would think you could also throw the ribs, wrapped in foil or not, into a crockpot and cook them on low for 8 hours.

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14 Responses to How to Cook : Ribs

  1. Haymaker says:

    Yummmm. Too much to read about ribs before breakfast!

  2. Yummy – I’ll be trying them out this weekend for sure. I’ve never figured them out before – but this looks too easy. . . Kris

  3. Matt says:

    OK Kelli–How can you show ribs but no smoking? The oven? Man, that’s wrong. ;-) If you want to make your own BBQ sauce just use your own ketchup instead of store bought. Ketchup is easy to make and it is so good. Make some this summer and you’ll be all set for the future.I tried it this summer and I’m not going to go back to store bought ketchup.Those look tasty.

  4. caleb says:

    great blog – i’m getting ready to move back to my family’s farm in missouri and randomly found you. very inspiring stuff.when i was growing up, my folks were anti-corn syrup – for stuff like bbq sauce (or pecan pie) they used honey or sorghum. you’d just have to adjust the amount of brown sugar or whatever, but the depth of flavor is amazing.

  5. haymaker – leftover ribs for breakfast, mmmm :)qs – let me know how they turn out!Matt – got a good ketchup recipe for me??carl – thanks for the tip! I’ll try honey. (And if you have a recipe to share I’d love to have it!)

  6. Matt says:

    I use this one:http://southernfood.about.com/od/canning/r/bl90718g.htmI hope the link works. I add a tbls of onion and garlic powder though to kick it up a notch.BAM!

  7. These look incredible. I have to say that ribs are one of my favorite meals. Yum-O!I had to search high and low for ketchup without corn-syrup and the only one I’ve found is the H-E-B Central Market Organic Brand.I don’t know if you guys have H-E-B grocery stores up there or not so that might not be any help at all.I would definitely be interested in making my own ketchup too so if you find a good recipe I’d love to hear about it.Thanks for making us drool over your tasty looking ribs!

  8. Pichinde says:

    Oh, my. I don’t eat much cauliflower and broccoli, but that dinner plate had me drooling over even that! mmmm……Sarah

  9. Rurality says:

    Sorry for the late comment, I’m slow catching up these days. Just had to tell you that I will be thinking “me cook you long time” (and snickering) every time we cook ribs in the future!

  10. Cheryl says:

    I just found your recipe by googling, “how to cook ribs in the oven.”I’ve rubbed them down and will be putting them in the oven soon!!!I hope they turn out as good as yours look!

  11. ICAN says:

    I was doing a google search at came across this entry. Tried it this past weekend and my husband and I can’t stop talking about how WONDERFUL they were. I have always been so afraid of ribs but I am not afraid at all now! Thanks for your help!

  12. I have tried boiling ribs (they fell apart), just cooking them on the grill (they never did get done)-I had given up on trying to make ribs…I found this recipe by surfing the net. The ribs were the best I had ever tasted and the recipe itself was super easy! When is the cookbook coming out? Thank you!

  13. Katie says:

    I’ve found that most barbecue sauce recipes gratuitously call for ketchup, with people thinking some ingredients make a recipe “easier” to make, but a simple substitution is just tomato puree or crushed tomatoes (crushed lends more texture). Since Barbecue sauce is all about personal taste, I start with a base of chopped onions and tomato product and add garlic, brown or maple sugar, Worcester sauce (a MUST) and whatever spices I’m in the mood for-usually chili powder, oregano and cumin. Cinnamon and cloves impart a more exotic flavour if you’re in the mood.

  14. princess4993 says:

    hi im a 16 wait ill be 16 in three days and i really wanted to make my family a great meal to show my grattitude for coming to my birthday party. i was surfing the net and this popped up, wow im sure glad it did! if i couldn’t find a recipe mom said id be eating her tofu ribs uuuh… so nice safe. i think the vegatarians and meateaters in my family will appreciate your help too! Thanx,~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~*lauren*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~