Q:

How do spare ribs baked in an oven compare to grilled spare ribs?

A:

Quick Answer

When prepared correctly, spare ribs cooked in the oven are just as delicious as spare ribs cooked on the grill. By using the proper baking equipment and first broiling and then baking the ribs, the tender, fall-off-the-bone consistency of grilled ribs is replicated.

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Full Answer

To cook spare ribs in the oven, first prepare a baking sheet. Line it with foil and place a cooling rack on top of the sheet. Line four to five pounds of ribs on the cooling rack in a single layer with the meaty side up. The elevation provided by the cooling rack allows the oven's heat to circulate evenly around the ribs.

Brush both sides of the ribs with 1/4 cup mustard and two teaspoons of liquid smoke. Apply 1 cup of dry rub containing brown sugar and preferred spices, making sure to pat the meat so it sticks. Turn on the broiler and broil the ribs until they begin to brown and the sugar in the dry rub begins to bubble. This takes approximately five minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pan on a middle oven rack. Cook for two and a half to three hours if using spare ribs, or one and a half to two hours if using baby back ribs. Cover them with foil halfway through the cooking process to prevent the meat from drying. 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time, cover the ribs with one cup of barbecue sauce, reapply foil, and continue cooking. When finished, allow the ribs to rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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