Almost everyone loves barbecued pork ribs. They are a favorite meat in restaurants and cooked outdoors on a grill. The question for those who like ribs, but can’t or don’t want to cook them outdoors, is how to bake pork ribs in the oven. Fortunately, there is a method of cooking them indoors that turns out moist, finger-licking-good oven-barbecued ribs. The recipe is simple, but follow the steps carefully for the best results.
Step 1: The selection and purchase of the meat:
There are two kinds of pork ribs, spare ribs and baby back ribs. The spare ribs have larger bones, and most of the meat has been trimmed off them. They are cut from the thin end of the rib and many think their flavor is not as good as the other variety. The baby back ribs are meatier and cut from the lower back rib section. The baby back ribs are recommended; but, whichever type is chosen, low temperature and slow cooking will turn them into a tender, delicious and flavorful meal. The amount of ribs to purchase will be determined by the number and the appetites of the people who will be served at this meal. If you over purchase, however, leftover ribs are delicious and surely would not be wasted. The only other part of the recipe that the amount of ribs cooked impacts is how much barbecue sauce to make. That part of the recipe is easily adjustable.
Step 2: First phase of cooking the ribs:
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil, and place 1 or 2 racks of ribs on it. Cover the ribs with foil and cook for 1 hour.
Step 3: Preparing the barbecue sauce (Do this while the ribs are cooking.):
1. In a large measuring cup, combine 2 cups of K. C. Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce, 2/3 cup of stone ground mustard, and ¼ cup of honey.
2. Mix well and set aside until ready to use.
3. Note: While this recipe produces a wonderful, full-flavored sauce, you may prefer to substitute your own favorite brand of sauce for the K. C. Masterpiece.
4. Note: If you increase the amount of ribs, you can easily increase the amount of the sauce.
Step 4: Second phase of cooking the meat, slathered with barbecue sauce:
1. After they have cooked for one hour, remove the pork from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Discard pan drippings.
2. Cut between the bones so each bone is separated from the others.
3. Return the ribs to the pan, meat side up.
4. Brush the meat with the barbecue sauce.
5. Return to the oven and cook, uncovered, for an additional 35 – 45 minutes, or until the meat is well browned and fork tender.
6. You may want to add additional sauce during this final cooking phase.
Alternate Step 4: A final variation that will enhance the flavor:
1. Do 1 and 2 as stated in the previous Step 4; skip 3 and 4.
2. Instead of putting the meat back in the oven for the second phase of cooking, the ribs can be placed on a charcoal grill and cooked over a low to medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes. The grill’s cover should be on and vents open.
3. If you choose this method, brush on the sauce right before the ribs come off the grill. This will prevent burning.
The most important thing to remember when cooking ribs is: long, low and slow.