Very Best Baby Back Spare Ribs Recipe…Ever!!!

August 21, 2007 at 10:23 pm 29 comments

So my family says, anyway, and that’s all that counts.

My husband said of the ribs:  “Honey, those are the best ribs I think I’ve EVER had anywhere.  You could open 2007-8b.jpgyour own restaurant with that…if you weren’t so skinny”. 

Give me a few more weeks with this home-made bread kick and it will be the last time I hear that one!  I prefer “slender”, or “lean” to either “skinny” or “boney”, but I can’t complain.  I’ll take a compliment like that any day. 

Now I know how mom’s eat up this cooking thing over the years.  Nothing says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven!   Apparently.  This place was kickin’ last night.  Local Kroger, on sale…go buy you some of these scrumptous ribs. 

Everyone from 6 yrs to well, 40 something cleaned up!  Every single plate.  Not one rib of the two baby back racks were left!  Of course, Daisy Dog was in Doggie heaven, running to the door every time we moved!  The vet tells me not to give her bones.  Oops.

Everyone wants them again.  Boy Wonder wants them for his birthday! 

Then, the dread words:  Hubby says, “I sure hope you can duplicate that again!” 

Oh.  I put about three or four ideas together.  I suppose I should try to write that down with it fresh in memory! 

Here goes:

I wanted a lot of flavor, to be able to gnaw it off the bone.  Baby backs don’t really have a lot of “meat” to fall off the bone for the great sounding crock pot versions you all suggested.  So, I decided to follow a couple award winning recipes on the net to pack in lots of flavor by adding a simple marinade.  I cooked them whole, in a pan.  My MIL says she cooks them that way, and if it’s good enough for her, well, worth trying ehre.   I’ll try some of the other methods in the future when I have some “country style” meatier ribs available!  But, for today:

“Maggie’s Best Ribs Ever”

Place a cake pan of water in the oven in the middle rack.  Let it sit at 220. 

Meanwhile, clean the ribs, and coat pan with tin foil…spray both pan and ribs with cooking spray. 

Coat ribs in following marinade:

2Tablespoons sugar,

2 Tablespoon paprika,

1 tsp. salt,

1 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

Sprinkle generously on both sides.  (you can soak them overnight in this…didn’t seem necessary with fresh ribs).

Let ribs rest for 10-15 minutes.

Place ribs on coated cookie sheet on TOP rack of  220 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours, water still below.  Do not cover.

Then, pull out ribs, bump temp up to 350 degrees, slather in BBQ sauce.  (I use KC Masterpeice as our BBQ of choice.  There seems no substitute for us).  Cover loosely with FOIL this time (I’ve found things overbrown quickly with BBQ sauce otherwise).

Return to oven.  Bake 20 minutes.  Check ribs for doneness.  Add sauce if you like, I found it unnecessary, flip if you like (I didn’t see the need), but if they are browning too quickly or sticking, you might flip.  I added about 1 cup of water to the pan to ensure moisture.  Cook 20 minutes more, wrapping a bit more tightly.

Remove from oven (they can sit there with the oven off, but I didn’t want to risk drying out).  NOW, wrap tightly in the foil.   Let sit to steam, and cool a bit.

Finish dinner while they set, steam, and cool a bit. 

We had fresh oatmeal bread (not as “different” I’d hoped, but not bad), steamed carrots, baby green peas, baked potatoes, and salads with fresh cucumbers, fresh shredded cheese (using my handy dandy Pampered Chef cheese turn-style grader) and fresh from the garden cherry tomatoes.  Mmmmm!



Thank you, Lord, for making our dinner especially special tonight! 


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29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Johnnie Ruth Hamill  |  August 22, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I’m going to try this soon! We have some baby back ribs in the freezer as I bought them on sale last week…I’ll let you know the outcome. YUMMY!

  • 2. Jenn  |  August 22, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    I have those same chairs and plates!!! Oh, do I miss some good ribs – love the baby wipes…that’s how you can tell they were good…you needed to bring out the heavy duty clean-up materials!

  • 3. Jude  |  September 4, 2007 at 12:08 am

    My mouth is watering….THIS is a recipe to make this week! The recipes I have tried so far turned out dry and well, a bit chewy! And YES, I have discovered that the BBQ sauce does burn easily… LOL… a burnt offering? This recipe holds HOPE for a tender fall off the bones ribs.Thanks for sharing my friend!

  • 4. Barbra  |  December 20, 2007 at 8:38 am

    A quick question: Does cooking the meat at 220—will this cause bacteria to grow or will the meat end up cooking done enough?

    Maggie replies: It’s sort of a slow cooker method.

    I have to admit, I had some thicker ribs last time and bumped it up to 300 for a good while, and then reduced heat once I thought they were thoroughly heated.

    The bones are pretty thick and heat up the inside, and often meat is not that thick at all on ribs.

    I never take them out until the meat is a done color.

    I was going to suggest a meat thermometer, but it would be hard to find a spot where you aren’t hitting bone!

    Good question. Thanks for your good question!

  • 5. My Kind of Memorial Day « M A G N A N I M I T Y  |  May 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    […] Meanwhile, I’m cooking some ribs for the fam Red helped me prepare a marinade for this morning with my Very Best Baby Back Spare Ribs Ever recipe.  […]

  • 6. Krista  |  September 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I found this post in a search. The ribs were absolutely delicious.

  • 7. Maggie  |  September 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks so much for trying it and for commenting, Krista. My family is still loving them! It’s become my most requested “special” meal around here! I have to keep baking more and more at a time, however!

  • 8. lora  |  February 4, 2010 at 3:06 pm


  • 9. Adele Nettleton  |  October 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    This sounds delicious. How do I print it out?

  • 10. t rousi  |  November 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Sorry, Ive never made ribs and abit confused. Is the pan with water in it ever used for the ribs, or is its only purpose to create moisture while the ribs cook on the shelf above

  • 11. Maggie  |  November 21, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Just adds moisture!

  • 12. Cathryn Simpson  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I am going to use this recipe this week and have a question regarding the 1 cup of water you added at about the time you said to “flip if necessary”; does that water go in the pan with the ribs or the water pan? Looking forward to this meal!!

  • 13. Maggie  |  March 2, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I put it in with the actual ribs this time, just to prevent dryness. You should be able to tell how moist or dry they look and adjust your moisture level accordingly. Good luck! My family is begging for them again lately. I need to find a sale on ribs!

  • 14. Cathryn Simpson  |  March 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Thank you for your fast response! I actually had the ribs in my freezer as we bought a pig at fair last year. I am really enjoying having things on hand and pork at $2.30 a pound can’t be beat!

  • 15. Cathryn Simpson  |  March 5, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Well, I am eating these ribs right now and just had to comment! (first I had to lick my fingers 🙂 They are DELICIOUS! It is my first time ever making these small ribs! I have always shied away because I was afraid they would either be underdone or overcooked and dry. Not the case with this recipe! Thank you for sharing. Especially the tip about the water in the pan underneath the ribs!

  • 16. Maggie  |  March 7, 2011 at 10:57 am

    You are SO welcome! Thanks for taking the time to come back and post your results! Man, you are making me hungry! (I should have put wet wipes in the list of needed ingredients, eh?)

  • 17. Milly  |  June 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    I am making these ribs tonight. They smell awesome! However I am a bit confused. First the recipe states to line the pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. I used a rectangular (10X13) cake pan. But them the recipe called for the ribs to be put on a cookie sheet and then placed in the oven. So I took them out of the pan and placed them on a foil lined, sprayed with cooking oil cookie sheet. Then when I got down to the the last 20 minutes the recipe suggested adding a cup of water to the pan. Well you can’t add a cup of water to when you used a cookie sheet, so I put the ribs back in the original pan and then added the water. Did I miss something? Anyway like I said they smell delicious and I suspect they will taste the same.

  • 18. Rebecca  |  July 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Hello Maggie. I just found your wonderful recipe tonight and it is exactly what I was looking for. I am planning to make the ribs tomorrow for dinner, so I just wanted to say thank you in advance. -Rebecca

  • 19. kris  |  January 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Ok in the process, however I am using boneless ribs I will start at 300 degrees. They are quit thick like 2-3 inches. Still cook for 2 and 1/2 hours or? ? Help. 🙂

  • 20. spanish how quickly learn to  |  April 8, 2012 at 10:35 am

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  • 21. Pussnboots  |  May 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Excellent ribs! I changed the rub a bit by doing half brown sugar and half white sugar and I added two bottles of ale to the water below.. Made the house smell so good!

  • 22. Maggie  |  June 12, 2012 at 7:10 am

    Doesn’t it smell wonderful? Glad you enjoyed it!

  • 23. maymarsh  |  June 12, 2012 at 11:37 am

    What do you do different if you are going to grill them outside?

  • 24. Maggie  |  June 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    I don’t know as I’ve never tried it. I would wrap them in foil on low heat for a long time, though, unwrapping to BBQ, as with this recipe! If you try it, let us know!

  • 25. dainty39gm  |  July 17, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Hi I tried this for the first time awhile back, but they didn’t come out as tender as I wanted plus I didn’t cover the ribs and wasn’t sure if I should. However, your rub tasted so good I have some made up. I made this again not long ago, but a little differently. Definitely wrapped ribs in foil, used your rub, and a couple of secrets and the ribs were very tender and tasty. Thanx.

  • 26. Maggie  |  August 7, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Great! As a note, if using anything but the smallest of baby back ribs, add considerable cook time to get them tender. The old fashioned country style ribs can take a couple more hours!

  • 27. Maggie  |  August 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Sorry for the confusion. I lined a pan with foil, then sprayed it. At that time, I added water at the end before sealing the foil, I think.

  • 28. Larni  |  September 2, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    oh boy! This is the best ribs ever! I put my oven on to 300 for 2 hours and oh dear they so tender and so delish! I cant wait to make it again. thanks Maggie.

  • 29. cause depression  |  September 24, 2014 at 4:23 am

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    Very Best Baby Back Spare Ribs Recipe…Ever!!! | M A G N A N I M I T Y

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