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Deus Mortus

Ribs in the oven

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Lately I have been getting an increased hankering for some quality ribs, but sadly I find myself without a backyard to make my normal smoked ribs recipe, nor a good BBQ place to get some.

So what recipes and tricks do you have for making the perfect spareribs or baby back ribs in the oven?


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they managed to get a smoke flavor to the oven ribs by putting a tray of Lapsang Soochong tea, and let the smoke on the tea give flavor to the meat. Seems like a rather expensive smoke source.

I have tried rub mixes w. hickory smoke powder. They gave a mild smoke flavor, which I found much preferable to liquid smoke.

Sorry to hear of you lack of BBQ. Talk about food deserts, that's the worst.

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I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen where they managed to get a smoke flavor to the oven ribs by putting a tray of Lapsang Soochong tea, and let the smoke on the tea give flavor to the meat. Seems like a rather expensive smoke source.

I have tried rub mixes w. hickory smoke powder. They gave a mild smoke flavor, which I found much preferable to liquid smoke.

Sorry to hear of you lack of BBQ. Talk about food deserts, that's the worst.

Well I was planning on buying some liquid smoke later on (I'm waiting for the webshop who sells them to restock their smoked shallots), but I'm fine going with just a marinade or rub to get some taste on the meat. I didn't expect to be able to get some real smoke flavor without a smoker.

BBQ really isn't that popular in the Netherlands, while we have enough people firing up a charcoal grill in the summer, we don't have a culture of well done BBQ and as such any BBQ we can get from restaurants is generally really bad, greasy, under seasoned crap.


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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It ain't barbecue, but it's good...

Liberally salt and pepper a rack of spareribs, cook at 200-250F for a few hours.

Jim


olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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It ain't barbecue, but it's good...

Liberally salt and pepper a rack of spareribs, cook at 200-250F for a few hours.

Jim

Hmm I've actually never had ribs without seasonings, does it really stack up to a well marinated rack?


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Ribs are on sale at our local market all the time lately so we've been making them. I'm very slovenly when it comes to this, though. I salt and pepper the ribs, then rub them with a local "Kansas City Style" bbq sauce. Put them on a rack over a pan with some water (to keep the drippings from burning, put them in a 275 oven for an hour, then flip them, brush on more sauce and go for another hour, flip again with more sauce and go for about 45 minutes more. They're tender and juicy and the sauce gets a deep flavor from the long slow cooking. It might not be Lexington BBQ #1, but they're dang good.

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Chris Schlensinger, a local hero in the Boston area (East Coast Grill, ...) has a number of very fine "grill/bbq" books from the time when this was not so well known, at least on some coasts.

in "The Thrill of the Grill" he has a recipe for oven BBQ ribs: 'BBQ Ribs, Missouri Style: home version'

ive made these and variants and they work well. The gist is: Get a full rack of spareribs 3/down. Not baby back. Make your Rub (dry).

Rub the ribs with the rub, after removing the inner membrane. Oven at 180 F. On a baking sheet (with a lip - think jelly-roll baking pan to save the juices) bake 3 hours. Dont turn.

You can add a 'finishing sauce' after that and broil each side being careful not to burn the sugar/tomato in the sauce.

Some commercial dry-rubs have 'smoke-flavor' but I cant tell you what that is. Sauer's has a Mesquite grill seasoning and on the back it says among the ingredients:

Mesquite Smoke Flavor ( Malodextrin, mesquite smoke flavor )


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Hmm I've actually never had ribs without seasonings, does it really stack up to a well marinated rack?

It's a completely different product: it's like comparing a smoked pork shoulder to a pan-fried pork chop. Both have their own merits. If you like the taste of pork ribs (as opposed to just the taste of BBQ seasoning, etc.) then yes, you can make great-tasting ribs in the oven. Hell, you can go ahead and season them up as for BBQ if you want, you're just missing the smoke flavor. Different, but still tasty.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Not like barbecue - no smoke, different texture - but good.

I put the ribs in the pan, pile on sliced peppers and onions, cover, and bake at 250 til they fall apart.

The veg serve to baste, so I dont have to.

Can balance the vegetable sweet by using green instead of ripe peppers, and vinegar or salt to taste.

Sometimes I put barbecue sauce under the veg.

Its a very flexible approach.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Hmm I've actually never had ribs without seasonings, does it really stack up to a well marinated rack?

It's a completely different product: it's like comparing a smoked pork shoulder to a pan-fried pork chop. Both have their own merits. If you like the taste of pork ribs (as opposed to just the taste of BBQ seasoning, etc.) then yes, you can make great-tasting ribs in the oven. Hell, you can go ahead and season them up as for BBQ if you want, you're just missing the smoke flavor. Different, but still tasty.

I have had some good ribs from an oven in germany, but never without any seasonings, I have two racks here right now for tomorrow, so I'm definitely trying the salt and pepper on one of them.

Any good idea's for the dry rub? My dry rub is mostly flavors that reinforce the smoke flavor, so on their own they probably won't work very well.

Not like barbecue - no smoke, different texture - but good.

I put the ribs in the pan, pile on sliced peppers and onions, cover, and bake at 250 til they fall apart.

The veg serve to baste, so I dont have to.

Can balance the vegetable sweet by using green instead of ripe peppers, and vinegar or salt to taste.

Sometimes I put barbecue sauce under the veg.

Its a very flexible approach.

Sounds good, but I'm really in the mood for the primal joy of gnawing some meat of some bones, but I'll reserve the idea for another time, because it sounds great.


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Consider a smoked paprika along with your S&P, too, I find that it works well with pork. Mustard is another obvious choice.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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if you can get a can of chipotles in adobe, and puree it, they add a nice smoke flavor (and some spicy heat).

Doesnt seem a likely item for the corner store near you, tho.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Consider a smoked paprika along with your S&P, too, I find that it works well with pork. Mustard is another obvious choice.

I'll try that!

if you can get a can of chipotles in adobe, and puree it, they add a nice smoke flavor (and some spicy heat).

Doesnt seem a likely item for the corner store near you, tho.

I can order it, but no it won't be in tomorrow. I'll need to remember to order it next time to have in my pantry though.


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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A friend in highschool had a great-uncle that did ribs in the oven all the time. An old, way-out-in-the-country, mountain-end-of-Alabama guy. He seasoned them with whatever he seasoned them with, put them on a rack on a baking pan, poured water and vinegar (and possibly other things I don't remember) in the pan, sealed it with foil and popped it in the oven at as low a temp as the oven would go. He finished his on the grill with bbq sauce after the oven but it would be just as easy to pull the foil off, brush on some sauce and stick it under the broiler for a bit. I don't know the specifics of how he did them but they were really tender and tasty. Me and my buddy would sometimes go over with a cooler of beer (A legal cooler of beer! The age to buy beer and wine was 18 at that time and I turned 18 near the beginning of my senior year.) and spend the evening listening to his stories and eating ribs.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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A friend in highschool had a great-uncle that did ribs in the oven all the time. An old, way-out-in-the-country, mountain-end-of-Alabama guy. He seasoned them with whatever he seasoned them with, put them on a rack on a baking pan, poured water and vinegar (and possibly other things I don't remember) in the pan, sealed it with foil and popped it in the oven at as low a temp as the oven would go. He finished his on the grill with bbq sauce after the oven but it would be just as easy to pull the foil off, brush on some sauce and stick it under the broiler for a bit. I don't know the specifics of how he did them but they were really tender and tasty. Me and my buddy would sometimes go over with a cooler of beer (A legal cooler of beer! The age to buy beer and wine was 18 at that time and I turned 18 near the beginning of my senior year.) and spend the evening listening to his stories and eating ribs.

I've actually steamed lamb chops like that before (though with added white wine instead of vinegar), might be worth experimenting with when I have a bit bigger budget and can afford to ruin a few cuts.


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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If I don't do ribs and kraut in the oven, this is the recipe I go to most for bbq'd ribs in the oven

Sticky oven ribs


Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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When I want to do ribs without all the fussiness, I take a piece of aluminum foil slightly longer than the rack and lay it on a sheet pan. I squirt some Sweet Baby Ray's lengthwise down the middle of the nearest half. I put the rack on top of this and squirt more sauce on the top. Then I fold the far half of the foil over the top, leaving the rib tips exposed. Then into a 250 degree oven for about 2 hours. Optionally, broil or grill at the end.

Again, not barbecue, but it's good, easy, and virtually foolproof.

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Smoked paprika... yes!

My favorite ribs recipe actually is a Chinese braise called Wuxi Spareribs. The ribs are given a quick toss in soy sauce and then deep fried. After that they're cooked in a rich sauce and are so good I cannot stop eating them.

final.jpg

Wuxi Spareribs - 無錫排骨 Wuxi paigu

Serves 1 to 4

Spareribs

1 side of pork spareribs (about 2 to 2½ pounds) cut lengthwise in half, if possible (get the best quality pork you can find - it really shows here)

½ cup good quality, regular soy sauce

Peanut oil for frying

Sauce

6 stalks green onion, smashed with the side of a cleaver and cut into 1-inch lengths

4 finger-sized pieces of fresh ginger, smashed with the side of a cleaver

6 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine

4 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

3 - 4 cups boiling filtered water (or as needed)

4 pieces rock sugar the size of walnuts, or 5 tablespoons sugar (rock sugar highly recommended here)

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

Roasted sesame oil, optional

1. Have your butcher cut the ribs in half so that you're left with two long strips of riblets and then cut between the bones and through the cartilage at the base of the bones, or, if you don’t have an accommodating butcher, consider finding another place to buy good pork. Place the riblets in a large bowl with the soy sauce, toss well, and marinate them for 20 to 30 minutes, tossing them now and again while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The ribs will absorb lots of the soy sauce, which you soon will find is a very good thing.

2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Lift about half of the ribs out of the marinade (reserve this soy sauce for later), shake off any excess, and cautiously add them to the hot oil - it will splatter like crazy when you first put them in the hot oil, so direct the wok away from you and have a spatter screen or cover ready to protect yourself. Deep fry the ribs until they're a dark brown. They can almost be black in some areas along the edges where the soy sauce has caramelized; this is something extremely good, as these areas will turn into chewy, sticky morsels later on. Remove the fried ribs to a plate, heat the oil back up again, and add the rest of the meat.

3. When all the ribs are brown, pour off all but a tablespoon or two of the oil. Reheat the wok, add the onions and ginger, and stir-fry them for about a minute to release their flavors. Pour in the soy sauce used as a marinade, as well as the rice wine, star anise, cinnamon, and boiling water. Bring the sauce to a boil and add the ribs, and top it off with a bit more water if necessary to cover the ribs. Bring the sauce to a boil again and then lower to a gentle simmer. Cook the ribs covered for about 90 minutes until the meatiest areas can be easily pierced with a chopstick, and then add the sugar and dark soy sauce. Remove the cover and continue to braise the ribs until they are meltingly tender. (Don't add any more water during the braising, as you want the sauce to thicken and penetrate the meat.)

4. If the meat on the ribs doesn't threaten to fall off the bones, raise the heat under the wok to high in order to boil down the sauce to a lovely dark syrup; if the meat is unable to withstand any more abuse, remove the ribs to a platter with a slotted spoon and tongs before boiling down the sauce. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if you want, but that probably won't be necessary.

5. Arrange the ribs in a welcoming manner on a serving platter, and be sure to claim any imperfect pieces for yourself. Strain the thick sauce to remove all the seasonings and then pour it over the ribs. You can sprinkle some sesame oil into the sauce to provide a bit more gloss, if you like, but don't add more than just a few drops, as this could overwhelm the flavors. Serve immediately while they're hot, wait a bit and serve them a room temperature, or cool them down and store for later; these freeze very well and can be reheated by steaming.


@MadameHuang & madamehuang.com & ZesterDaily.com

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Oh sweet lord Carolyn, that sounds great, but I think ribs is already pushing the bounds of my diet, so while deep fried ribs sound great (like really really, I'm tempted to break my diet great). I think I'll have to save that recipe until I lose these extra pounds.

I am however a bit surprised that you braise them after frying, is there any reason for that?


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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Consider a smoked paprika along with your S&P, too, I find that it works well with pork. Mustard is another obvious choice.

This is the seasoning that I think adds the most "smoke" flavor to oven cooked ribs, and many dry rubs have paprika in them, so this doesn't push the boundary that far.

That said, one of the few Alton Brown methods that I've recommended to friends over the years starts with oven braising of the dry-rubbed ribs and ends by finishing them underneath the broiler (or on a grill if one is so lucky). I much prefer St. Louis style spareribs to baby backs, however.

I also find Chinese style barbecued spareribs are a wonderful thing to make in the oven. They even look like there's a smoke ring!

Roasted Chinese Spareribs.jpg


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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"They even look like there's a smoke ring!" Love that.

Actually, Deus, the ribs are not as deadly as you might think, except that they taste so good you might end up eating the whole batch.

They are first deep fried after a brief dousing in soy sauce, as this gives the sugars in the soy sauce a chance to caramelize. There's no batter to trap the fat, just the sugars creating a seal on the meat, so the frying fat doesn't really adhere to the ribs. (By the way, pork or chicken fried with just a soy sauce coating has to be one of the most heavenly scents in the world.)

The braise then cooks away much of the pork fat and infuses every bit of the meat with flavor. You can refrigerate the ribs and remove the hard fat layer too, which really reduces the calories. The slow braise makes these extremely luscious, and since most of the fat can easily be discarded, it's not as fattening as it sounds on first reading.

Diet tip: serve it with lots of vegetables and have lots of friends over so that you are not tempted to eat them all, which is always my greatest temptation.


@MadameHuang & madamehuang.com & ZesterDaily.com

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"They even look like there's a smoke ring!" Love that.

Actually, Deus, the ribs are not as deadly as you might think, except that they taste so good you might end up eating the whole batch.

They are first deep fried after a brief dousing in soy sauce, as this gives the sugars in the soy sauce a chance to caramelize. There's no batter to trap the fat, just the sugars creating a seal on the meat, so the frying fat doesn't really adhere to the ribs. (By the way, pork or chicken fried with just a soy sauce coating has to be one of the most heavenly scents in the world.)

The braise then cooks away much of the pork fat and infuses every bit of the meat with flavor. You can refrigerate the ribs and remove the hard fat layer too, which really reduces the calories. The slow braise makes these extremely luscious, and since most of the fat can easily be discarded, it's not as fattening as it sounds on first reading.

Diet tip: serve it with lots of vegetables and have lots of friends over so that you are not tempted to eat them all, which is always my greatest temptation.

I'll have to try that next time, in the end I went with the Alton Brown method of braising and then broiling, I really liked the way the glaze came together, though I wasn't really a fan of the old bay and onion powder in the cry rub.

I did try a small two rib piece with only salt and pepper and I have to say it was pretty good!


"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them."

-Winston Churchill

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I am from Kansas City and I have a smoker in my back yard. But in reality, smoke only is important for a couple of hours at most for spare ribs. The rest could be done in the oven. Some people think you can pour sauce on anything and call it BBQ but actually it often has nothing at all to do with the cooking process. Many serious smokers think of sauce as a table condiment, not a part of the BBQ process. Having said that, if you cannot use a smoker, the rub is where most of the flavor comes from during the slow cooking time. I suspect you can get decent results by using hickory smoked salt as part of the rub and doing the whole cooking of the ribs wrapped in foil, then if you want do a quick baste of a smokey sauce under the broiler to finish them.

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I've used the alton brown method too many times to count and I love it. It's a great way to get good ribs from the oven.

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