Sweet & Smoky Oven Ribs

by byn on July 2, 2012

in Beef & Pork

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For Father’s Day this year, my Dad got to choose his own dinner adventure, as I emailed him short lists of mains, startchy sides and veggie sides, and told him to pick one from each list. We ended up with ribs, roasted potatoes and roasted summer veggies. He’s been watching a lot of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives lately…..so I’m not sure how much this influenced his decisions!

Now, you know I live in a condo with no barbecue, but luckily so does Smitten Kitchen. A few years ago, she wrote about how to make amazing ribs in your oven. I was a little skeptical, plus not too enthused about turning my oven on for six hours on a hot day, and I’m also not a big rib-monster either, but I thought this would be an interesting project.

I started off by dispatching my Mom to a butcher in my neighbourhood to check out the rib selection while I was at work. First of all, how is this butcher getting away with closing at 5pm every day? How are working business ladies such as myself supposed to purchase their quality meats? Anyway, Mom picked up 3lbs of pork ribs (SK estimates 1lb per person), and I froze them until the weekend.

Truly the hardest part of this whole thing is just making sure you don’t run out of tin foil halfway through. It really couldn’t be easier. Mix up a quick spice rub with things you probably already have in the cupboard, rub it on to the ribs, wrap them up in tin foil packets and stick in the oven for the day. Six hours later when we opened them up, I was kind of amazed about how good they looked! The meat was super tender and practically falling off the bones (that’s a good sign), and the rub was such a good balance of sweet and savoury. Smitten also says you can save the juices and boil them down for a sauce, but I found them quite fatty, so we just got rid of them.

This is the kind of thing that I’m not sure I would make again, but I like knowing I can if I need to! Probably next Father’s Day!

Sweet & Smoky Oven Ribs

Source: Smitten Kitchen (feels like a hot minute since I’ve made anything from SK!)

Yield: I used 1lb per person (total of 3 lbs), and this was perfect, but if you’re dealing with generous appetites/rib-monsters, go up to 1.5 or 2lbs per person


3 lbs ribs, cut into manageable slabs, I cut mine into 4

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp coarse salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch ground cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 200, and place two cooking racks on two baking sheets. Make sure you have lots of tin foil ready.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and all the spices.
  3. Take one of the slabs of ribs, and place on a piece of foil big enough to fold over the ribs into a packet. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the ribs, patting generously on the meat side, and lightly on the bone side. Turn the ribs meat side down, and fold the foil tightly to make a sealed packet. Repeat with the rest of the slabs.
  4. Bake for 4 hours, then turn the oven down to 175 and bake for two more hours.
  5. Carefully open the packets and pour the juices into an old can or container for disposal.

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