These succulent racks of St. Louis ribs are generously coated in a flavorful dry rub, slow-roasted in the oven to tender perfection, and then finished off on the grill with a homemade BBQ sauce that will knock your socks off. Get ready to unleash your inner pitmaster and let’s fire up the flavors!
These St. Louis pork ribs are the real deal, seasoned to perfection with a wicked blend of spices that’ll leave you craving more. We’re talkin’ slow and low, my friends. These ribs start off in the oven at a low temperature to render the fat out of them and get them evenly cooked.
Then they are finished off on the grill to achieve that coveted smoky char that’ll have you drooling from the moment you catch a whiff. And let’s not forget that homemade luscious BBQ sauce slathered all over those ribs, making ’em extra juicy and lip-smacking good.
Why Precook Ribs in the Oven First?
By combining the oven and grill cooking methods, you get the best of both worlds. First and foremost, the oven baking process ensures tender, well-cooked ribs, maintaining their juiciness and bringing out their delicious flavors.
Once they’re perfectly prepared in the oven, finishing them on the grill adds the smoky flavor, delightful charred texture, and the opportunity to slather them in your favorite BBQ sauce, enhancing their taste and making them even more irresistible.
- Tenderizes the Meat: Ribs can be tough and require a longer cooking time to become tender. However, precooking them in the oven at a low temperature allows the collagen and connective tissues in the meat to break down slowly, resulting in more tender and succulent ribs.
- Consistent Cooking: Oven baking helps to ensure that the ribs are evenly cooked throughout before they hit the grill. The controlled and consistent heat of the oven helps to achieve a more uniform texture, reducing the risk of undercooked or overcooked spots.
- Time: Precooking the ribs in the oven can save time on the grill. This is particularly useful when you have limited time or when you’re cooking for a large group.
- Flavor: Slow baking in the oven allows the dry rub to penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavor. The dry rub has more time to meld with the meat, resulting in a deeper, more developed flavor profile.
How to Make the Most Delicious St. Louis Cut Ribs
#1. Prepare the Spice Rub
- The best way to impart flavor deep into your ribs starts with a dry rub. We’ve got a little bit of heat in this rub with some chili powder and smoked paprika. But don’t worry, the ribs are not spicy.
#2 – Prep the Ribs
- First things first, let’s prep those St. Louis ribs. Start by removing the membrane from the back of the racks by grabbing a hold of it with a paper towel. This helps to ensure a tender bite and better flavor absorption.
- Removing the membrane from the back of the ribs is a common practice in barbecue for a few reasons. It improves the texture. It can be tough and chewy when left on the ribs.
- The membrane acts as a barrier, preventing flavors from fully penetrating the meat during the cooking process. By removing it, you allow the flavors of your dry rub, marinade, or barbecue sauce to better infuse the meat, resulting in a more flavorful end result.
#3 – Infuse the Meat
- Generously coat the ribs (front and back) with the dry rub.
- Wrap the ribs up in some heavy duty aluminum foil and allow them to rest for a minimum of 2 hours, but you really want these to go overnight.
#4 – Make the BBQ Sauce
- The BBQ sauce takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. I recommend making it at least a day in advance. Simply allow it to cool and place it in the fridge. The sauce tastes completely different the next day and gets better with each passing day. This will be come your new favorite barbecue sauce!
#5 – Bake the Ribs
- Next, it’s time to get those ribs tender and juicy. Preheat your oven to a low and slow 250°F and place the racks (still in the foil) meat side up on an extra large (or 2 regular) baking sheet.
- Pop them in the oven and let the magic happen for around 2 to 3 hours. Start cooking the ribs wrapped in foil, then at the 1 hour mark remove the foil. This low and slow cooking method will allow the flavors to meld together and render that oh-so-delicious fat.
#6 – Grill the Ribs
- Now comes the exciting part – grilling those ribs to smoky perfection! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, creating a sizzling hot surface. Carefully transfer the ribs from the baking sheet to the grill grates, bone side down, meat side up, and let the flames work their magic. Cook them for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, brushing on your homemade BBQ sauce during the last few minutes to create a sticky, caramelized glaze.
- Finally, slice those racks into mouthwatering portions and serve them up with extra BBQ sauce on the side. Get ready for a taste explosion like no other. Each tender bite, coated in that sweet, tangy, and smoky goodness, will have you reaching for more. Trust me, your taste buds will be forever grateful for this St. Louis ribs masterpiece.
What to Serve with BBQ Ribs:
Ribs are a delicious and hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of complementary sides. Here are some popular and tasty options to serve with ribs:
- Cornbread: Enjoy some warm and buttery cornbread as a classic and comforting accompaniment to your ribs.
- Cole Slaw: A refreshing and crunchy coleslaw adds a perfect balance to the richness of the ribs.
- Baked Beans: The smoky flavors of baked beans complement the smokiness of the ribs and create a flavorful combination.
- Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy and cheesy macaroni and cheese is a crowd-pleasing side that perfectly complements the meaty ribs.
- Potato Salad: A hearty potato salad is a great choice to round out your BBQ feast and add a delicious contrast to the ribs.
- Grilled Vegetables: Lightly seasoned and grilled vegetables like corn, asparagus, or zucchini add a nice contrast to the ribs.
- Garlic Knots: Our easy and simple garlic knots are a delightful side to enjoy alongside your ribs.
- Steak Fries: Crispy steak fries perfectly complement ribs.
ST. LOUIS BBQ RIB RECIPE
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A delicious slow-roasted St. Louis pork rib recipe with homemade BBQ sauce that’s perfect for summer grilling! These ribs are baked in the oven first and then finished on the grill where you will get evenly cooked, perfectly charred, fall off the bone BBQ Ribs!
For the Ribs:
- 1 Tbsp. Sea Salt and Brown sugar
- ½ Tbsp. each garlic powder, minced onion, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, dry mustard
- ¼ Tbsp. Black pepper
For the BBQ Sauce:
- 2 Cups Ketchup
- ½ Cup Yellow Mustard
- ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- ⅓ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- ¼ Lemon Juice
- ¼ Cup Steak Sauce
- ¼ Cup Dark Molasses
- ¼ – ¾ Honey
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. Chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Hot sauce
- 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
- Combine the ingredients for the dry rub in a small bowl and sprinkle on both sides of the ribs and rub into the meat.
- Wrap the 2 racks of ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.
- In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning on the bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the ribs on an extra large baking sheet (or 2 regular size) meat side up. Cook for 1 hour on the bottom rack.
- Unwrap the ribs but leave the foil underneath. Raise the temperature to 275°F and cook for 1 more hour.
- The ribs are cooked when the meat starts to easily pull from the bone or by checking with a meat thermometer. The meat should register between 190-200°F. Be careful not to overcook.
- The precooked ribs can rest unrefrigerated for no more than 2 hours before grilling.
- Preheat the grill to medium high heat and start the ribs meat side up, basting with the BBQ sauce, grilling for 7-10 minutes. Flip and cook another 5-10 minutes or until nicely charred.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.