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+ servings
Barbecue ribs on a wood cutting board.

Best Barbecue Ribs

You don’t need a smokehouse and a gazillion hours to make your own award-winningly tender, fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth barbecue ribs. This recipe is what I make when I want the best, most phenomenal ribs at home. It frees me up to concentrate on planning the party and figuring out the side dishes, too.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 830kcal


  • 4 pounds pork ribs (spareribs or baby back ribs) trimmed and membrane removed (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke salt or smoked paprika or liquid smoke (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with two layers of foil.
  • To make the dry rub, in a medium bowl, add brown sugar, smoke salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Whisk to combine.
  • Apply dry rub on all sides of ribs. Arrange ribs meaty-side down on prepared baking sheets. Cover with two more sheets of foil. Crimp top and bottom foil together and roll up tightly to form a seal.
  • Bake until the meat is very tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven.
  • Preheat broiler on HIGH. Cut ribs into 2- or 3-rib portions. Arrange on boiler pan, bone-side up. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce on all sides.
  • Broil until sauce is sticky and bubbly, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn over ribs and broil second side.


I recommend removing the thin membrane from the concave side of the ribs. This makes the ribs tastier (the flavors can penetrate fully) and easier to eat (you don't have to gnaw through the membrane.
To remove the membrane from the ribs, insert a spoon handle between the membrane and the ribs to loosen slightly. Using a paper towel or kitchen towel, grab the loosened membrane tightly and pull away to remove.
If you can't find hickory salt smoke, brush the ribs lightly with liquid smoke right before baking.


Calories: 830kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 169mg | Sodium: 1545mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 860IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 3mg