Simple & Tender Barbecued Ribs

Easy-Barbecued-Ribs Me and ribs, we go way back. They’ve always had a special place in my heart – you know, right up there next to cheese curds and Dairy Queen cakes.

Growing up, my family would occasionally order take-out ribs from a local place in our small town called Big Jeff’s. The name Big Jeff’s made me giggle then as much as it does now. And I don’t know what it was…maybe it was just the fact that we were having take-out, maybe it was watching my sometimes picky Dad devour those ribs as happily as a bear in a blueberry patch…but by the time I was ten, barbecued ribs were top notch in my book.

 And then came one of my worst birthdays ever. I had strep throat like you wouldn’t believe. I spent over a week swallowing little more than mashed potatoes and smoothies. But days before my birthday, certain I would be better by then, I requested that my mom make ribs. And she did. And on my birthday, I laid on the living room couch, smelling the ribs and their barbecued goodness, as my family inhaled them; while I was still totally unable to even think about swallowing them. #birthdayinjustice


Despite that rib betrayal, I still love them. In fact, when I was pregnant with Owen, I craved Famous Dave’s ribs more often than not. And this baby seems to have similar tastes. But now? I have rib-making power and need not call Eric minutes before he leaves work to request demand that he stop and pick up some ribs…you know, for the baby.

I always though making ribs was out of reach for me, even though my mom’s been making them for years. Hers are just…perfect. Falling-off-the-bone tender-smoky-barbecued perfect. But ribs were on sale recently, so I emailed my mom for the recipe, and to my surprise, she sent me an ingredient list that contained only seven items, and 3 basic steps. What the what?

So I mixed up the simple sauce of ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, and a few spices. Poured it on the ribs, and then cooked them covered for a few hours in the oven. Our entire house smelled like the 7th level of Rib Heaven for three hours, and it was all I could do to not snarf them all down the minute I pulled them out.


But after eating only two three four, I got my act together, threw them on the grill, and brushed them with barbecue sauce. They tasted like my mom’s. They tasted like ribs should. And I can’t even tell you how easy it all was; seriously, the hardest part was smelling them in the oven all afternoon. I hope before the weather turns to fall, you find an excuse to make these; they’re great for a party, or you know, for you to mow down on alone because who really wants to share something this good? 


Simple & Tender Barbecued Ribs

Simple & Tender Barbecued Ribs

(recipe from Carpé Season)

(yields 4 slabs of ribs)

This recipe is so simple, yet yields a ton of flavor on smoky, tender ribs that start in the oven and finish on the grill.


1 ½ c. ketchup

1 ¼ c. brown sugar

2 tbs. vinegar

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

4 slabs pork back ribs or baby back ribs

bottled barbecue sauce of your choice


Preheat oven to 325*.

Prepare a 13x9" pan (or larger) by spraying it with cooking spray. Place ribs in pan.

Mix together sauce ingredients and pour over the ribs, using your hands or a brush to coat them on all sides.

Cover pan tightly with foil, and cook for 3 hours. Remove from oven.

Grill over medium heat, brushing with bottled barbecue sauce, until they look grilled and irresistible.

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10 thoughts on “Simple & Tender Barbecued Ribs

  1. You just had to mention Famous Dave’s ribs, didn’t you? ;) Now all I can think about are ribs and it’s 10 p.m. I’m putting the ingredients for these on the grocery list first thing tomorrow morning and they are most definitely being made this weekend. Huzzah for 3-step ribs!

    • Glad to hear you crave pork after 9:30 at night too.
      (Sometimes I wake up thinking about these things.Possibly worse.)
      Have fun with them this weekend!

  2. I actually think I might make these while we are at the cabin with josh and Stina and Phil and Kels. If I double it would that feed 7 and two small kids? Or should I triple it?

  3. Ribs…. we do not really have a past. I am finicky about my teeth, and the only ribs I ever tried were stringy:(
    I do have some ribs in the freezer from when we slaughtered a whole hog. A little ironic really as I was JUST talking about ribs just before I saw the post! I need to figure out how to do this in the crockpot since we (sadly) do not have a grill! Thank you for letting us in on the sauce recipe!

    • You can totally make these in the crockpot – on low all/most of the day. The ribs are amazingly tender this way; though the sauce tends to be a little runnier this way than in the oven. They are so good out of the oven and crockpot; if you’re looking for that grilled “feeling” though…maybe try putting them on a grill pan or griddle or frying pan for a few minutes after they come out of the oven or crockpot and brushing on the bottled sauce then? If you try it, let me know how you like it!

  4. Wait…that’s it?

    My grandma’s ribs are supposedly a “secret family recipe” (one that the grown-up grandkids have been known to throw elbows waiting at the grill for). Now I’m starting to be a little suspicious that she’s got all of us hoodwinked.

    Thanks again for another must try!

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