Fail-Proof BBQ Ribs

Fail-Proof BBQ Ribs

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had high hopes for BBQ ribs, only to have your spirit dashed by an overcooked, dried out, swimming in sauce disappointing piece of meat. If you’ve ever experienced this sadness, you are definitely not alone. Enter the easiest solution to this problem that’s likely already in your pantry – plastic wrap! I know, I know, you instantly envisioned an evening of trying to get melted plastic off of your baking sheet; not to mention thinking The Recipe Lady has completely lost her mind. I promise neither will happen – plastic wrap melts at 250F and we’re cooking at 225F for low & slow. This recipe won’t disappoint even the pickiest rib fan and you can have BBQ ribs no matter if you don’t have access to a grill, live in an apartment, or the weather is less than cooperative.


  • 1 rack pork spare ribs available at IFC
  • 3 TB Rub already mixed, or DIY – ingredients listed below for DIY// available at IFC


  • 2 TB dark brown sugar
  • 2 TB smoked paprika
  • 1 TB salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic aka garlic powder available at IFC
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Mix spices & sugar well. Leftover rub can be stored in an airtight container for about 6 months or a few years in the freezer.


  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towels & cut the ribs into halves or thirds (this is for no other reason than they’re easier to handle).
  • Rub about 3 TB of spice mix onto the meat side of the ribs.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap, alternating left-to-right, top-to-bottom for a total of six layers of wrap. Taking care to make the bundle snug.
  • Place on a rimmed baking sheet, bone side down, and bake for 2 1/2 hours.
  • Carefully remove the plastic wrap, being careful not to burn yourself with the juices. (I’ve found that holding the packet with tongs over the sink, and using kitchen shears to remove the plastic is be my best method for not getting burned.)
  • Brush the tops of the rib racks with BBQ sauce (a little or a lot depending on how you saucy you like your ribs + available at IFC). Either return to the baking sheet, sauce side up & place under a broiler for 5 to 6 minutes to caramelize the sauce. Or, finish them, sauce side down, on a high heat grill.
  • Cut the racks into one or two bone pieces and enjoy!


Make ahead tip: Cook the ribs up to step 5, then refrigerate the wrapped ribs. On the day you want to eat them, remove from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Then proceed with step 6. This also works well if you’re only cooking for 1 or 2 and can’t finish a whole rack in one sitting. You can freeze some for another day – just let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then bring to room temperature before finishing them with sauce!