In the last two weeks I have been getting a lot of emails regarding my rib recipe. The number one question is, “How do I do this in my apartment”. To get the real deal, there really isn’t a shortcut. However, I do have a great rib recipe for making ribs in the oven. Yes, barbecued ribs without a barbecue.

These ribs are fall off the bone tender with a nice smokey flavor.
These ribs are fall off the bone tender with a nice smokey flavor.

Besides being really tasty they are quite easy to make.  Plus, they only take about 3 hours to make.

Ribs without a barbecue – (Not Real BBQ but it will get it done if you do not have any options.)
  • 1 Rack of ribs (baby back, St. Louis Style or spare ribs)
  • 1/3 bottle of liquid smoke (per rack of ribs)
  • 4 tbs garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can of your favorite beer (I love Miller Lite – Go Milwaukee)
  • Water

This recipe is for one rack of ribs.  You can scale it up quite easily.

First things first, rinse your ribs.  Once you have rinsed your ribs remove the silver skin.  This is one of those things that differ from pit master to pit master.  Some say leave it on others say remove it to add flavor.  Since we are making ours in the oven with liquid smoke, we need to remove it.  That way the seasonings will permeate the meat.  To remove the silver skin, use a knife at one end to get under the skin and peel away a flap.  Once you have enough to grab use brute force and peel it off.

You can peel it back easily once it gets started.
You can peel it back easily once it gets started.

Now place the rib(s) in a deep roasting pan.  You need to cover the ribs with liquid so make sure you have a deep pan.  Season the ribs with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke.  Remember to leave some for the other side.   You can also use more liquid smoke if you prefer a really smokey flavor.  1/3 cup per rack gives a nice mild smokey flavor.

Season Liquid Smoke

Now slowly add water to the edge of the pot.  You don’t want to wash away all of the seasoning.

Make sure not to pour the water directly on the ribs.
Make sure not to pour the water directly on the ribs.

While the pan is filling add the beer to the pan.

Any beer will work, but heck I lived in Milwaukee for ages.
Any beer will work, but heck I lived in Milwaukee for ages.

Make sure to fill with enough water to cover the ribs by about an inch.   Some of the water will evaporate.  If you don’t have a pan deep enough to fill over the top of the ribs, you will periodically have to add water throughout the cooking.

Try to have the water cover the ribs by an inch.
Try to have the water cover the ribs by an inch.

Place in a 350 degree oven for 2-2 1/2 hours.  The ribs are done when they almost tear when picked up by tongs from one end.  All of the bones will also be exposed by about a half an inch.

Fresh out of the oven.  Time to sauce them up.
Fresh out of the oven. Time to sauce them up.

Once you have your ribs out of the oven, turn your oven to broil.  Move the top rack down so that it is about 8-10 inches from the top.  I know that 8-10 inches sounds like far for broiling, but it will perfectly carmelize the ribs without burning them.  Sauce the top side with your favorite barbecue sauce and place in the broiler for about 4 minutes.

If you have your ribs any closer to the heating element it will burn the raised portions of the ribs before the rest gets a chance to carmelize.
If you have your ribs any closer to the heating element it will burn the raised portions of the ribs before the rest gets a chance to carmelize.

After four minutes, flip them, sauce them and place them back under the broiler for four minutes.  Once that is done flip, sauce and broil one last time for four minutes.  Keep an eye on them.  My broiler may not be as hot as everyone elses.  I would definitely check on them after 3 mins.

Perfectly carmelized
Perfectly carmelized

Using a sharp knife cut the ribs at the bones and serve.  They are delicious and easy to make.

This recipe is perfect for apartment living.
This recipe is perfect for apartment living.

Most barbecue experts would make fun of me for this recipe, but they haven’t tried them.  They are delicious and require no grill at all.

When serving it is nice to stack and weave the ribs.  It provides a nice texture and has the added benefit of making them easy to grab.
When serving it is nice to stack and weave the ribs. It provides a nice texture and has the added benefit of making them easy to grab.

If you want you can carmelize the ribs on a grill if you have one.  That adds yet another level of flavor, but it is not necessary.  The liquid smoke does a great job.

I know this is not real bbq, but people have been asking me how to make awesome ribs at home when you do not have a grill or smoker.  This mimics the flavor without a grill.

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe! Made it Friday night of #snowzilla DC and it was great – literally falling off the bone. Will blog it and share w Twitter.

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