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BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs with sauce
BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Recipe, video and photography provided by Heinen’s partner, Chef Billy Parisi.

It is officially barbecue season, my friends and I’m going to show you how to make an absolutely delicious baby back ribs recipe that everyone will love!

Baby Back Ribs vs. Spare Ribs

When it comes to barbecue ribs, there are really just two different cuts that you can choose from: spare ribs or baby back ribs. It’s all about where on the pig the ribs are. Spare ribs are cut closer to the belly and are known for being a little meatier, a little fattier and a little tougher. Baby back ribs are cut a little cut a little closer to the back making them much more tender.

I love both of these, but for this recipe, I am going to use baby back ribs.

My dad has shown me how to make this recipe time and time again. It is absolutely delicious and if you don’t have a smoker or the time to smoke ribs for that matter, this is the next best thing!

Membrane or No Membrane?

For baby back ribs, or any ribs in general, there’s a little membrane that runs along to backside of the bones underneath the ribs. Now, there are tons of “rules of thumb” on whether to remove it or keep it on, but if you’re cooking for long periods of time, I recommend that you leave the membrane on. Since we’re going to cook this for about 2 hours, I think we are in good shape. It’s thin enough that it will eventually cook off.

Also, a lot of barbecue pit masters say that leaving the membrane on helps seal in all the juices so none of those yummy flavors leak out of the bottom.

Although I recommend leaving it on, if you want to remove the membrane, simply shove your fingers in between the membrane and simple pull it across until it’s all the way off.

How to Make the Rub

So now that the ribs are prepared, I am gong to make a very simple rub. Before I do it, let me say that Heinen’s has a wonderful assortment of barbecue rubs that you can use. If you want to make it from, here’s how you do it:

  1. Add brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt and pepper to a small bowl and mix together to combine.
  2. Slice your ribs in half since they will likely be too long to fit in a pan.
  3. Pour apple cider  vinegar onto the ribs and rub it all over both sides. Ribs love vinegar, if you’re wondering!
  4. Generously sprinkle the rub all over the top and bottom of the ribs.

Now that you’re ribs are seasoned, transfer them to a a casserole dish. Try to spread them out so they’re not overlapping too much. Next, add some beef stock to the pan. This will help the ribs steam and add some flavor. Chicken stock or event water will work just fine if you don’t have, or prefer not to use beef stock. Sometimes my dad even uses soda.

Wrap the casserole dish in foil and place it in the oven at 375°F for 80 minutes. Once the ribs are cooked, take them out of the oven and remove the foil. Now, to add extra flavor, generously brunch your favorite barbecue sauce (Heinen’s has a great one) all over the top of the ribs. Add them back to your oven, without a foil cover, to cook for another 20 minutes.

While you’re waiting, go fire up your grill because in just a few minutes, we’re going to want to be very hot at around 400°F – 450°F.

After 20 minutes, take the ribs out of the oven and grill them, barbecue sauce side down for 5-7 minutes. While this side is cooking, coat the side that is facing up in barbecue sauce. Flip the ribs and cook for another 5-7 minutes until a nice char forms.

Now all that’s left to do is remove the ribs from the grill and have a taste.

These ribs are seriously amazing! If you wanted to serve spare ribs instead of baby back, you can prepare them the exact same way. Whether you’re serving them at a cookout or for a weekly family dinner, they will turn out perfect every time.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

By Chef Billy Parisi
Chef Billy Parisi is a culinary school grad who spent 15 years in the restaurant industry as a line cook, sous chef and executive chef. Now he develops, photographs and films simple and delicious recipes that will make everyone feel like a chef in their own kitchen.

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