After my post on using the smoker<, I had an email that asked what to do if you don't have a smoker, or a BBQ grill. You can easily oven roast pork ribs, you may not get that smokey flavor but that doesn't mean they won't be delicious in their own right!  (If you need the smokey flavor – add a tsp of liquid smoke to the mustard, but personally I’d skip it. No sense trying to pretend to be something it isn’t, when what it is, is damn fine.)

Today we’ll do 2 racks of babybacks. And learn that things don’t always go as planned.


Dry Rub Recipe ( you won’t use all of it for this dish)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 TBS Coarse salt
1 TBS Sweet Spanish paprika “Dulce”
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder

2 racks babyback ribs 
4-5 TBS Dijon Mustard
BBQ sauce  (optional)


  1. Remove ribs from package, pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Remove membrane from the back of the ribs. Slide a table knife under the membrane to loosen it up.  If necessary, use a paper towel to grab the membrane and pull it off. Yes I use gloves, I often do in the kitchen or the garden. These are Nitril powderless gloves. You retain tactile sensitivity while keeping your hands clean.
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  4. Coat generously with  rub, more on the meat side than the bone side – At this point the ribs can go back into the fridge or you can brush them with the mustard now.
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    My mouth waters just looking at the rub as it extracts moisture from the meat.

  6. Preheat oven to 250F.
  7. Brush ribs with mustard.
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  9. Line a large baking sheet with sides (a jelly roll pan) with heavy duty foil. Put a cooling rack on it and place ribs on rack OR use a rib rack placed on the foil lined pan.
  10. Roast for 1.5 – 2 hours, until meat is tender. Spare ribs will need about an hour more time than the babybacks. The reality is, I checked at 2 hours and the oven was only holding at 230 so I increased the heat and let them go another 1.25 hours.
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  12. Pull them from the oven.
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  14. If saucing, remove ribs from rack, set rack aside, pour off fat from pan, place ribs back into pan, spread sauce and broil – until sauce is hot and bubbly – be careful not to burn it.
  15. While that was going I made some sweet potato fries.
    Plated it up, one dry, one sauced.
    So there I was, plate of deliciousness, a glass of wine. And I misjudged the edge of the table….

    Imagine super slow motion, the plate slipping from my grasp and slowly overturning while I shrieked “Nooooooooooo!”

    Clump! Perfectly upside down on the floor, BBQ sauce and ketchup (not in the picture, guilty as charged) embedded into the carpet.

    What would you do? Don’t judge me but….

    Five second rule and blotting the stain until I think it’s gone was my strategy.

    The ribs were good, but more roast porky than ribby goodness. A surprise? Not really,  but I prefer the smoker or the grill. In a pinch this works, but since I have the tools, I’ll use them next time.

    Now where is that oxy-clean?

    Until next time, Eat well & Keep Digging!