Low and slow is the way to go to make these tender, succulent ribs with a spicy citrus and brown sugar glaze in the oven! This recipe for oven baked ribs is easy with a homemade spice rub and glaze.
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I am not a grill master. More like a grill...acquaintance? Maybe more like grill spectator.
My daddy tried to teach me to grill when I was a little girl...but I was afraid of fire. Especially big flames that I have to get close to. I mean, I mostly got over it in culinary school (fires can be...not common-common, but they happen...) but now we live in a condo and...well, grilling isn't allowed. Blame the HOA. I am not an HOA type of person, I want to be able to grill if I want to.
The HOA doesn't seem to have noticed the neighbors in another building have a grill sitting out on their patio, though. By the smell of charcoal wafting through the halls, I'm sure they use it sometimes.
But I'm surely not about to be that person getting in trouble with their HOA.
Anyway, all this to say, I noticed that to make deliciously melt-in-your-mouth, super tender, with just a touch of chew, ribs can only be made in oven or in smoker. Grills just don't do it, really. Brian and I tried when we lived in Atlanta (how I miss that big backyard and grill!). Finish off the ribs on a grill, sure, but don't cook them all out on the grill, they just don't turn out as tender.
Nothing beats smoker ribs, but good Lord, ribs from the oven are delicious. And super easy.
How easy? Get a baking dish and some foil, make a giant foil packet and put the ribs in. Rub the rack down in the spice rub, cover it up and bake for 2 hours. Make the glaze, then lacquer those ribs up and have at it! So simple, right?
I used baby back ribs (they were on sale!) but you can do with this spare ribs, just cook them for a longer period of time (maybe 3-4 hours) but keep the same process. The spice rub isn't some big fancy, special thing: just kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, a little cayenne, plenty of brown sugar, smoked paprika (I love this stuff! It just has an amazing flavor, if you've never had smoked paprika, drop what you're doing and buy some at the store. I'll wait!), a touch of cumin, garlic and onion powders. That's stuff everyone has, right? Riiiight.
As for the glaze, it came about because I forgot ketchup. Oops. And I just made some fresh tomato sauce, so I had no tomatoes to make some homemade ketchup, which tastes way better than tomato sauce in BBQ sauce, in my opinion.
So I figured I'd make a nice, flavorful glaze with oranges, brown sugar, molasses, honey, dijon mustard, spices, and sriracha. It's sweet, tangy, a little spicy, and very barbecue-esque in flavor. Slather it on the ribs and save the rest as a dipping sauce or to smother other barbecue items in. It's too good to waste. This whole recipe is just too good to waste.
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- 1 rack pork baby back ribs or spare ribs
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- Juice of 3 oranges
- 2-3 tbsp hot sauce
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 3 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
- Mix spice rub ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Set aside.
- On a clean plastic cutting board, cut rack of ribs into two equal lengths. Flip them over and pat the back dry, then use a clean paper towel to pull the white-silvery membrane off the back of the ribs. If you need help, use a butter knife to gently pry membrane off the rib bones, then using the loosened membrane as leverage to strip it away from the rest of the rack.
- Season the rack parts generously with the spice rub on both sides. You may not use all the rub so keep the rub uncontaminated by raw meat hands, so that you may use the remaining rub in another recipe.
- In a large baking dish (I used an 11x13 Pyrex dish), line it in foil. Place the rib racks in the foil, then use another piece of foil to cover, pressing the seams of both the bottom and top pieces of foil to create a tightly closed foil packet for the ribs. Bake for 2 hours if using baby back ribs, 3-4 hours if using spareribs.
- 30 minutes before the allotted time is up create the glaze by dumping all glaze ingredients, except cornstarch and water, into a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk together until smooth, and heat until gently bubbling. Put cornstarch in a small bowl and add water, stirring with a fork to make a slurry. Add a little slurry at a time to the glaze ingredients, whisking to incorporate and thicken. If it thickens too much, add a little water or orange juice.
- Pull out ribs from the oven, remove the top layer of foil to expose the ribs, and glaze the ribs generously using a silicone brush to both front and back sides of the ribs. Return to oven for ten minutes, then add mor eglaze before serving.
- Cut into serving sizes or individual ribs and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 650
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.