These ribs can take some time, but are well worth the wait.
3 – 4 pounds of pork baby back ribs
kosher salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¾ cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons mustard or 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3 Tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C and place an oven rack in the middle of your oven.
Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs: use your fingers to get underneath the membrane and loosen it along one side, then pull it off. (It may come off in more than one piece.)
Season the ribs with salt and black pepper.
Make the spice rub: in a small bowl, mix all of the spice rub ingredients together until they’re well combined.
Gently rub the spice mix all over the ribs, making sure to completely cover the ribs in the spices.
Make a pouch for the ribs: place two layers of aluminum foil down, and place the ribs (meat side up) on the foil, then pull the edges of the foil up around the ribs to wrap them. The pouch needs to be sealed well so that it will keep in the moisture. Let the ribs sit, refrigerated, in the spice rub for 1 – 12 hours, or bake them immediately.
Place the foil pouch on a baking sheet or baking dish and cook for 2½ – 3 hours, or more depending on the size of your racks of ribs. Turn the oven off and allow the ribs to rest until they’re cool enough to handle without oven mitts.
Open one corner of the foil pouch and pour the accumulated juices from the ribs into a large measuring cup or a bowl, and set aside. Keep the ribs wrapped in foil and return them to the warm oven while you make the BBQ sauce.
Make the BBQ sauce: add the reserved rib juices and all of the sauce ingredients to a medium-sized sauce pot over medium low heat. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, until it’s thick (about 20 minutes).
Remove the ribs from the oven and open the foil pouch. Turn the oven to broil. Brush the ribs with a good layer of sauce and broil them until the top is caramelized and the sauce is set (about 5 – 10 minutes).
Allow the ribs to cool slightly before cutting them into individual ribs or sections. Serve with extra sauce.