With spring in the air, thoughts of grilling and summer foods can’t be too far away.  One of my favorite things to do during the summer is to smoke baby back ribs.  Using my electric smoker, I usually make a ton of crowd pleasing slabs of ribs seasoned with my special pork dry rub mix and then covered with tangy barbeque sauce.   As long as you can regulate the temperature of your grill or smoker, making these ribs is almost fail-proof.  But, if the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor smoking, or you don’t have a grill, don’t worry.  I’ve taken the best elements of my outdoor smoked ribs and created a version that you can do in your oven all year long. 

Oven Smoked Ribs

Ingredients

2 slabs Baby Back Ribs
2 tbl Olive Oil
1/3 cu Dry Rub (below)
1 med Onion, thinly sliced
1 med Orange, thinly sliced
1/2 cu Orange Juice
2 tbl Liquid Smoke
1 cu Barbecue Sauce (your favorite brand)

Method

Rinse ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Using a paring or other sharp knife,  away the white membrane on the backside of the ribs (or have your butcher do it for you). Rub ribs with olive oil and liberally coat them with the dry rub mix. Place them on a baking sheet and cover with plastic or place them inside of a large 2 gallon sealable plastic bag.  Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Remove ribs from refrigerator and let them sit for 30 minutes to bring them up to room temperature. Line a large baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil or two sheets of regular foil. Leave enough to hang over the edges. Place onions and orange slices on top of aluminum. Pour orange juice and liquid smoke on top. Place ribs, meaty side up, on the foil. Cover with an additional sheet of aluminum. Crimp the edges tightly to fully seal the ribs inside.

Place ribs on the middle rack of your oven for 3 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and carefully open the aluminum package (be very careful, extremely hot steam will escape from the package). Let ribs rest for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully remove ribs from the aluminum package and place them on another baking sheet, meaty side down. Brush with barbeque sauce. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove ribs from the oven and turn them over. Liberally cover the meaty side with the remaining sauce. Bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Remove ribs from the oven and let them rest for an additional 10 minutes before serving. Serve with additional barbeque sauce, potato salad, coleslaw and something sweet, like a peach cobbler, for dessert.

Wayne’s ‘Squealer’ Grilling Spice Mix
ideal for roasting and grilling pork

Ingredients

5 1/2 tsp Paprika
3 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 1/2 tsp Brown Sugar

Method

Mix ingredients together and either grind in spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.  Store in an airtight container.