The glaze used to baste these ribs as they cook (either on the grill or in the oven, depending on your kitchen and the time of year) is sweet and spicy and cooks up nice and sticky. In polite company, you will need plenty of napkins. Among friends, I predict licked fingers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 5 lbs. pork baby back ribs
- 4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp. beer, divided
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. red chile flakes
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs — slide a paring knife under the membrane on each bone to separate it and then pull it off. It's okay if it breaks and some bits remain, you just want to get most of it off so the ribs are as tender as can be when you go to eat them.
- Mix the salt, pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Set the ribs on a large baking sheet and sprinkle them with the salt mixture. Cover and let sit 30 minutes at room temperature, or cover and chill for a few hours or up to overnight.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill to medium-low heat (you can hold you hand an inch over the cooking grate for 4 to 5 seconds) or an oven to 350°F.
- Place the ribs, bone side down, on grill or on a baking sheet in the oven and drizzle with 1/2 cup of the beer; close the lid or shut the oven. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tbsp. beer, brown sugar, vinegar, pepper flakes, and mustard to make the glaze. Turn the ribs over (bone-side up). Using a silicone brush, baste the ribs with the glaze. Cover or return to oven and cook 10 minutes. Brush melted glaze that accumulates in center of each rack up along the sides of the meat. Cover or return to oven and cook 10 minutes. Turn ribs back (bone-side down) and baste with glaze. Cover or return to oven and cook 10 minutes. Baste, cover, and cook until ribs are tender and cooked through and meat has shrunk back from ends of the bones, about 10 more minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the grill or the oven. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes covered loosely with foil, before cutting and serving.