Oven- Prepared Kansas City Barbecue Ribs

Kansas City Style Ribs are typically characterized by the thick, sticky sauce brushed on in the last 30 minutes of cooking. The dry rub and sauce are on the sweet side using a brown sugar base, but are balanced with chili powder and pepper, producing some truly finger licking good ribs.

Included are step by step directions to make the KC-style dry rub, an authentic KC-style BBQ sauce, and how to make these killer ribs in the oven, baked first, then broiled to finish.

Use only baby back ribs, and be sure to ask your butcher to remove the membrane from the back of the rack, and trim the pork ribs of any excess fat.

With a 2/1 ratio of brown sugar to paprika and the usual dry rub spices like garlic and onion powders, salt and pepper, chili and cayenne pepper, this is a great balance of sweet and savory with a slight kick. Use less cayenne if heat is not your thing. Bump up the heat if you like, too.

After the dry rub the baby backs are wrapped in aluminum foil and refrigerated to marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, but overnight is better.

If the grill or smoker isn’t an option, you can still get that smoky Kansas City flavor by adding a little liquid smoke seasoning, available at most grocery stores.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place the ribs, bone side down, on top of a wire rack set in an aluminum foil lined baking tray and bake for 2-1/2 hours. Halfway through, cover ribs with aluminum foil to protect them from drying out. They will be done when a kitchen fork inserted into the meat between the middle two bones slides out easily without lifting the rack at all.

In the last hour, baste the top of each rack with the reserved marinade or BBQ sauce every 15 minutes. At this point they should be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. Then remove the foil cover and set the ribs under a broiler set to low and broil just until the sauce begins to blacken (be careful here not to let the sauce burn. It can happen very quickly at this point. The ribs should have an internal temperature of 145°F. Allow to rest, covered loosely with a foil tent, for 5-10 minutes prior to cutting.

Ingredients:

2 racks baby back ribs

DRY RUB

  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. 1/4 cup paprika
  1. 1 tbsp black pepper
  1. 1 tbsp kosher salt
  1. 1 tbsp garlic powder
  1. 1 tbsp onion powder
  1. 1 tbsp chili powder
  1. 1 tsp to 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  2. 1 tsp Liquid Smoke

Preparation:

  • Whisk together the Kansas City Style Dry Rub spices together and set aside.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the rack, and trim the pork ribs of any excess fat. Rub each rack liberally with the rub on both sides. Wrap ribs in foil or large container and refrigerate over night (optional, minimum 2 hours).
  • Remove the ribs from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
  • In advance, make the Kansas City Style barbecue sauce recipe (see bottom of this post) and set aside (or use your favorite).
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Place the ribs, bone side down, on top of a wire rack set in an aluminum foil lined baking tray and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours for spare ribs or 1 1/2 to 2 hours for baby back ribs. Halfway through, cover ribs with aluminum foil to protect them from drying out.
  • In the last 1/2 hour of baking, baste the top of each rack with the barbecue sauce, re-cover with foil, and finish cooking. At this point they should be tender enough to pull apart with your fingers. You want the ribs to have an internal temperature of 145°F. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes prior to cutting.
  • Kansas City BBQ Sauce
  • Ingredients:

    2 tbsp butter

    1 small onion diced

    3 garlic cloves minced

    1/2 tsp kosher salt

    2 cups ketchup

    1/3 cup dark molasses

    1/3 cup brown sugar

    1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

    2 tbsp yellow mustard

    2 tbsp chili powder

    2 tsp black pepper

    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

    Preparation:

    • In a medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
    • Add ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, chili powder, black and cayenne peppers and whisk to combine.
    • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Use a hand blender or carefully pour into a blender and purée until smooth. Let cool to room temperature. Use immediately or transfer to a clean jar with lid and keep refrigerated for up to a month.

    About Jeffrey Thal

    Lancaster Food Styles highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

    Posted on April 30, 2019, in Recommendations. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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