If you’ve never served the backyard crowd with juicy baby back ribs, now’s the time to put these favorites on your weekend menu with our quick-start guide. If you’re a seasoned home chef who already knows how to cook perfect ribs, you can compare your techniques to ours and enjoy some baby back tips.
A Quick Baby Back Primer
The last time you enjoyed a big, tender bone-in pork chop, you also had a baby back rib on your plate. The name comes from location and size. These ribs are high on the hog in the animal’s center back loin section.
They’re smaller than spare ribs which explain the “baby” in their name. Baby backs are an excellent choice for weekends in the backyard because you can relax while they slowly cook. As long as you have a proper meat probe with a digital wireless thermometer, you can cook up perfect temp ribs without breaking a sweat.
How to Cook Tender, Juicy Baby Backs
The longer they cook, the better they get, but you have to know when to quit. Don’t try to guess at how the ribs are doing. Don’t depend on the clock to tell you when they’re done. Precisely monitor internal meat temperature with your probe and wireless thermometer setup.
- Step 1. Preheat the smoker or grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit while you prep the ribs. A dual probe thermometer gives you a much more accurate equipment temperature readout than a built-in smoker or grill thermometers.
- Step 2. Peel off the thin membrane that covers the baby backs, and wet them with a light coat of olive oil or honey. You can use apple cider vinegar or Worcestershire sauce too. Finish prep by coating the ribs with a dry rub.
- Step 3. Place the meat probe needle between rib bones or in the thickest part of the meat, but don’t let it touch the bone. Cook the baby backs for about three hours to an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 4. Remove the ribs, take out the probe, and wrap the meat tightly in foil. Reinsert the probe, and give the baby backs another two hours to become tender. Make sure their temperature stays around 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 5. Remove the ribs and probe, unwrap the package, and give the baby backs a good mopping with your favorite glaze or barbecue sauce. Replace the probe, and let the ribs cook for about an hour to a final temperature between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 6. Let the ribs cool just a little before slicing and enjoying. It allows them to retain their juices, and it lets that beautiful, smoky barbecue bark set up. Congratulate yourself because you’ve just cooked up perfect baby backs.
Easy Baby Back Tips
Everybody has a favorite rub or a secret sauce, but these easy baby back tips work with all types of recipes.
- Give ribs extra flavor by seasoning both sides with rub the night before and storing in the refrigerator.
- Let the baby backs sit for an hour at room temperature before you start cooking.
- Kick up your mop sauce by spicing it up with your barbecue rub.
- Trapped smoke can make meat taste bitter, so leave the smoker or grill damper open.
Our Salute to You
Whether you smoke or grill your baby backs, we salute your cooking talents and your hospitality. We’re happy to help make your backyard dining and entertaining a little bit easier and much more relaxing. All of us here at iTronics wish you and yours an excellent barbecue season.
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