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Grab extra napkins! These oven roasted baby back ribs are tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness slathered in tangy bourbon BBQ sauce.
I really have to be inspired to turn on my oven in the dog days of summer and a big plate of baby back ribs is as good a reason as I can think of.
My son Jack has a teeny tiny obsession with ribs, so I decided to put a smile on his face and make a pile of tender, saucy ribs slathered in homemade BBQ sauce.
Cook your Baby Back Ribs Low and Sloooow!
I cover them first in a dry rub, wrap them up tight, and let them sit in the refrigerator overnight.
The following day, they go straight into a 300 degree oven for a couple hours while I get busy with the BBQ sauce. My homemade BBQ sauce has brown sugar, honey, vinegar, spices and bourbon, because, well…bourbon.
It’s a little sweet, with a little heat, and a lot of tang.
For the last hour I crank the oven to 350 degrees, open the foil wrap, and drench the ribs with the BBQ sauce. The baby back ribs finish cooking in the oven, uncovered, until they are impossibly tender, and juicy.
The meat falls right off the bone and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
I like to serve them with grilled corn, fresh bread, a big green salad, ice cold beers, and lemonade. We keep the wet naps and paper towels handy, the conversation light, and the music cranking. This is how to summer!
Let’s make Baby Back Ribs with Bourbon BBQ Sauce
- Remove the membrane from each rack. Nudge it with a knife to get started, then peel.
- Combine the ingredients for the dry rub. Mix well.
- Lay each rack in a large piece of heavy duty foil and cover both sides with the dry rub, massaging it into the meat.
- Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Combine the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk well and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off heat.
- Roast the ribs, covered, in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, open the foil and pour the drippings into the BBQ sauce. Bring the BBQ sauce to boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Slather the ribs with BBQ sauce, reserving some to serve on the side.
- Return the ribs to the oven, turned up to 350 degrees and continue to roast, brushing occasionally with BBQ sauce, for about 50-60 more mins.
- Cut the ribs and serve with the remaining BBQ sauce.
Tips for success
- Be sure to remove the membrane before adding the dry rub to the ribs. If you don’t, it will be tough and chewy and won’t allow the flavors of the dry rub to permeate the ribs.
- Heavy duty foil is best for wrapping the ribs. It is tougher and less likely to tear.
- The dry rub gives these ribs an extra spicy kick. You can tweak it to your taste by dialing the spices up or down.
- Don’t skip adding the juices into the BBQ sauce. It gives the sauce a deeper, layered, meaty flavor.
- Yep these ribs cook low and slow and definitely take time. Don’t be in a rush! They’re worth the time and most of it is hand’s off.
More Pork Favorites
- Mustard Glazed Grilled Pork Chops
- Apple Cider Pork Chops
- Pork Milanese with Arugula and Tomatoes
- Pork Carnitas with Pineapple Mango Salsa
Update Notes: This post was originally published in August 2017 but was republished with tips and step by step photos in August 2019.