Baby Back Ribs

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

Succulent ribs with a homemade dry rub and finished with your favorite BBQ sauce.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6 people

Gluten/Dairy/Soy free

Sweet, spicy, sticky, messy...these are the adjectives that perfectly describe these delicious ribs. Perfect for those craving BBQ and wanting to get messy without apologies. You will be licking your fingers... and that will be perfectly fine!

BBQ is king in the Southern and Southwest parts of the United States. It is so popular that regions have their own cooking styles and unique flavors.

I have combined the two styles I like into one: Kansas City and Memphis. I did a nice dry rub, cooked the meat slowly, and then smothered the whole thing with enough sweet 'n spicy BBQ sauce to fill a bathtub! What can I say? I like my ribs messy!

The dry rub used in this recipe is my own: a nice combination of spices and condiments that mixed together create a wonderful flavor explosion in the mouth.

What is the flavor profile?

Sweet, spice, tangy, and just purely delicious!

What ingredients will be needed to make this?

Pork Loin Back Ribs, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, mace or nutmeg, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, and any BBQ sauce of your choice.

What else will be needed?

Aluminum foil, a small mixing bowl, and a baking tray.

Can I make substitutions?

To be honest, I haven't tried to make any besides the barbecue sauce. But feel free to adjust the recipe to your needs. You can use any gluten free Barbecue sauce you want.

Can I use a smoker to make the ribs instead of using the oven?

Yes. You can apply the rub and use a smoker. It will take a little longer but the results will be just as good.

What kinds of BBQ styles are found in the United States?

According to Learn to BBQ , there are four different styles: Kansas City Barbecue, Memphis Barbecue, Carolina Barbecue, and Texas Barbecue.

1. Kansas City Style

Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of a wide variety of meat – pork, beef, chicken, turkey, mutton – (and sometimes even fish) and an equally wide variety of methods of preparation. Slow-smoking – traditional barbecue – is the most common method, but dishes cooked by other means, such as grilled chicken, also can be found on the menus of local barbecue restaurants. Just about any type of barbecued meat served in the country’s other barbecue capitals, from Carolina pulled pork to Texas brisket, is served here, though burnt ends – the crusty tips of a brisket of beef or pork – are distinctive to the city.

Barbecue sauce is an integral part of Kansas City barbecue. The sauces found in the region are tomato-based, with sweet, spicy and tangy flavor profiles. Most local restaurants offer several sauce varieties but the staple sauce tends to be both spicy and sweet. Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City-area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, French fries, coleslaw, and other soul food staples.

2. Memphis Style

Like many southern varieties of barbecue, Memphis-style barbecue is mostly made using pork, usually ribs and shoulders, though many restaurants will still serve beef and chicken. Memphis-style barbecue is slow cooked in a pit and ribs can be prepared either “dry” or “wet”. “Dry” ribs are covered with a dry rub consisting of salt and various spices before cooking, and are normally eaten without sauce. “Wet” ribs are brushed with sauce before, during, and after cooking.

3. Carolina Style

Carolina barbecue is usually pork, served pulled, shredded, or chopped, but sometimes sliced. It may also be rubbed with a spice mixture before smoking and mopped with a spice and vinegar liquid during smoking. It is probably the oldest form of American barbecue. The wood used is usually a hardwood such as oak or hickory.

Two styles predominate in different parts of North Carolina. Eastern North Carolina barbecue is normally made by the use of the “whole hog”, where the entire pig is barbecued and the meat from all parts of the pig are chopped and mixed together. Eastern North Carolina barbecue uses a thin sauce made of vinegar and spices (often simply cayenne pepper). Western North Carolina barbecue is made from only the pork shoulder, which is mainly dark meat, and uses a vinegar-based sauce that includes the addition of varying amounts of tomato. Western North Carolina barbecue is also known as Lexington barbecue, after the town of Lexington, North Carolina in which the style comes from, home to many barbecue restaurants and a large barbecue festival, the Lexington Barbecue Festival.

South Carolina has three regional styles. In western parts of the state, along the Savannah River, a peppery tomato or ketchup-based sauce is common. The central part of the state (the Midlands), barbecue is characterized by the use of a yellow “Carolina Gold” sauce, made from a mixture of yellow mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and other spices. Then there is the coastal “Pee Dee” region, they use the whole hog and use a spicy, watery, vinegar-and-pepper sauce. In the Piedmont area of the state shoulders, hams, or Boston butts are used.

4. Texas Style

Texas barbecue traditions can be divided into four general styles: East Texas, Central Texas, South Texas, and West Texas. The Central and East Texas varieties are generally the most well-known. In a 1973 Texas Monthly article, Author Griffin Smith, Jr., described the dividing line between the two styles as “a line running from Columbus and Hearne northward between Dallas and Fort Worth”.

Are there any other BBQ styles found in the United States?

Yes. In deep South Texas and along the Rio Grande Valley, a Mexican style of meat preparation known as barbacoa can be found. In Spanish, the word barbacoa means “barbecue”, though in English it is often used specifically to refer to Mexican varieties of preparation.

Generally speaking, the different Texas barbecue styles are distinguished as follows:

  • East Texas style: The beef is slowly cooked to the point that it is “falling off the bone.” It is typically cooked over hickory wood and marinated in a sweet, tomato-based sauce.

  • Central Texas style: The meat is rubbed with spices and cooked over indirect heat from pecan or oak wood.

  • West Texas style: The meat is cooked over direct heat from mesquite wood.

  • South Texas style: Features thick, molasses-like sauces that keep the meat very moist.


  • 3 or 4 pounds of Pork Loin Back Ribs

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons of salt

  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon of allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon of mace or nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder

  • 2 cups of Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet 'n Spicy Barbecue Sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

  2. In a small container, mix the all the dry ingredients together.

  3. Rinse the ribs, pat dry with a paper towel, and remove excess fat.

  4. Place the ribs on a baking tray lined up with aluminum foil (figure 1).

  5. Apply the dry rub generously on top (figure 2).

  6. Loosely enclose the ribs in the aluminum foil (figure 3).

  7. Place in the oven and bake for 2.5 hours.

  8. Once the time has elapsed, carefully remove from the oven, open the foil, add 1 to 1.5 cups of BBQ sauce to of the ribs, and return to the oven.

  9. Set oven on low broil and cook for up to 5 minutes.

  10. Once done, remove from oven and let the ribs rest for another 5 minutes before cutting and serving.


Printable PDF Recipe File below:

Baby Back Ribs
PDF • 18.60MB

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