First things first, I have to admit this is not my original recipe. But I make it so often in the summer and I’ve tweaked it differently to a place I absolutely love and think you will too. It’s just too good not to share! And while I call them barbecue, I cheat. I have found this oven method to be so much easier, (You can set it and forget it!), and it doesn’t use a ton of propane or time spent fiddling with the temperature on your grill. With the low, constant heat in the oven and the pan of water underneath, to provide steam and moisture, and then a final finishing on the grill (or under your broiler) to caramelize your sauce, this, for me, is the best foolproof way to cook ribs.

BBQ ribs spice rub in a jar outside on a beautiful day.
Don’t cringe at the inclusion of sugars in the rub,  the sugar creates the crust (called “bark” by the pros) and you’re really not getting very much of it in the end. I also salt my ribs before rubbing the oil and sprinkling the rub on. If you forget to do the rub 24 hours in advance, it’s okay but not ideal. The marinating time is advantageous.


Just remember that this recipe takes a fair amount of time so plan accordingly – besides the marinating time, you’ll need the hour before going in the oven and then 5 to 5.5 hours in the oven and then some time on the grill. But all of it is worth it and relatively easy. Make it with LOVE and sit back and enjoy the compliments!


BEST BARBECUED RIBS – serves 4 – 6 (depending on how big your eaters are)

2 racks of St. Louis cut ribs
6 Tbs. canola oil
8 Tbs. Memphis Dust
1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce


Memphis Dust Spice Rub – makes about 1.5 cups (store extra in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid)

6 Tbs. firmly packed dark brown sugar
6 Tbs. white sugar
1/4 cup paprika
2 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. ground ginger powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 tsp. rosemary powder (grind dried rosemary leaves)


Mix the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. If the sugar is lumpy, crumble the lumps by hand or on the side of the bowl with a fork. If you store the rub in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid, it will keep for months.


The day before or at least 4 hours before: Rinse your ribs well and pat dry with a paper towel. If the butcher has not removed the membrane from the back side, do it yourself. Insert a butter knife under the membrane, then with your fingers, work a section loose, grip it with a paper towel, and peel it off. Trim the excess fat off from both sides as well.

BBQ ribs with rub on.


Lightly salt both sides of the ribs to taste with Kosher salt.

Rub the oil in on all sides using about 1.5 Tbs. per side. Then sprinkle on the spice rub, using 2 Tbs. per side. You don’t want a heavy thick coating. You want some meat to show through as in the above photo.

Place ribs in a glass dish, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.


Serving day: Remove ribs from the fridge an hour before putting in the oven.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees.
BBQ ribs in the oven.
Arrange the 2 racks of ribs, meaty side up on wire racks on a rimmed baking sheet as shown. Fill another baking pan with hot tap water and slide that in on the bottom oven rack. Slide the ribs in on a rack spaced above the water and bake for 5 – 5.5 hours.

BBQ ribs on the broiler pan.
When ribs are done in the oven, light your grill and brush the ribs with your favorite sauce and grill to caramelize the sauce, being careful not to burn the ribs and ruin your hours of cooking time. If you don’t have a grill or access to one, you can also carefully broil them as I did here. Place the pan in the center of the oven, about 10 inches away from the flame and turn the broiler to low. Watch carefully so they don’t char. About 5 minutes per side did it for me.


Assuming your meat is all good and natural, these will be the best ribs ever!!! For more recipes like this, follow my blog LOVE- the secret ingredient.

About The Author

My name is Mary Frances. I am a designer, creative director, painter, wife, mother and cook. I own an internationally recognized, award-winning brand development and marketing communications firm in New York City, and am a graduate of Parsons School of Design. I especially love to cook and serve great food to make people content and happy. Hearing mmmm’s makes my heart soar. I grew up in suburban St. Louis, in Webster Groves, the youngest of six and the only girl. (Yes, that’s FIVE older brothers!) My mom was a great home cook, and she made sure that I could make a mean pie from scratch. After Parsons, I married, had two boys and moved from NYC to the NJ suburbs where I threw myself into cooking and entertaining. Now it’s time for me to share the great recipes, tips, stories and LOVE with you. The inspiration for LOVE – the secret ingredient came from our youngest son when he wrote in a gift cookbook that the one ingredient that was ever-present in my meals was love. When you cook with LOVE, everything just tastes better.

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