How to Make Baby Back Ribs

Amber Bracegirdle | Bluebonnet Baker

Learn how to make baby back ribs with this easy recipe from Martha Stewart

If you're craving deliciously juicy and tender baby back ribs, smothered in BBQ sauce and falling off the bone, then you've found the perfect recipe! 

Grilled Baby Back Ribs Photo

What's the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs?

Baby back ribs are also known as back or loin ribs and come from the rib cage of a pig, but the part that is between the spine and the spare ribs. This is located below the loin muscle, resulting in them being super tender. Meat can be found between and on top of the bones, which makes them meatier than spare ribs; they are also much shorter and have more of a curve to them. 


Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Picture


Choosing baby back ribs

When searching for the best baby back ribs, look for those that have streaked patches of white fat, which will help create more flavor.

Typically, a rack of baby back ribs will contain about 12-13 ribs, which can feed about 2-4 people. To give you an idea of price point, you are likely to pay anywhere between $3-$7 per pound.

Grilled Baby Back Ribs Image

We recommend avoiding buying ribs that have been marinated or enhanced with additives. 

What to serve with ribs

Of course BBQ ribs are delicious just as they are, but to create the most amazing meal, don’t forget to consider your side dishes. Some of our favorites include:

Soul food mac and cheese

Healthy potato salad 

Cornbread zucchini muffins  

Jalapeno cheddar grits

Roasted corn and tomato salad 

Healthy coleslaw

The great thing about these side dishes is that they can be prepared in advance; in fact, by doing so you can allow the flavors to develop more.

If you are a wine lover, pair your BBQ ribs with a Bordeaux, California Cabernet; we also find that because we use a spicier rub on our ribs, Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz or Argentine Malbec pair beautifully.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs Pic

Beer and ribs are a dynamic duo, so we recommend brown ales or dark lagers for maximum enjoyment. 

Now, let’s get cooking our Smoky Baby Back Ribs!


How to Make Baby Back Ribs

    6 Servings


  • 2 racks Baby Back Ribs
  • 1/2 cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons Smoked Paprika, or use sweet paprika if preferred
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Stone Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Chipotle Pepper in Adobo, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Honey


1. Start by preparing the ribs; the level of work involved here will be dependent on how they were prepared by your butcher or the supermarket you purchased them from. If you notice a rubber-like membrane on the underside of the ribs, you will need to score the meat between the bones and peel away the membrane.
2. In a bowl, mix brown sugar, 1/3 cup salt, 1 tsp ground pepper, cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne pepper and ground mustard. Use only half of the rub and rub it onto both sides of your ribs. The remainder of the rub can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.
3. Lay a large sheet of foil down, followed by a large piece of parchment, just slightly smaller in size. Place the ribs in the center and fold the edges and crimp them to make a packet.
4. Make the sauce by combining chili sauce, chipotle chiles and honey. 
For the Grill:
5. Heat your grill to medium heat on one side. Place the rib packet on the cooler side of the grill. Cover and cook for about two and a half hours, until a knife can slice into the meat without any resistance.
6. Remove ribs from the heat, unwrap and brush with the sauce made in step four. Grill ribs until the sauce is bubbling and begin to char, about two minutes per side.
For the Oven:
7. Preheat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place rib packet onto a baking sheet and bake for about two-two and a half hour, until a knife can slice into the meat without resistance.
8. Remove the ribs and heat your broiler. Remove the packet and place ribs onto the baking sheet, brushing generously with the sauce in step four. Broil until the sauce is bubbling and ribs begin to char, about five minutes. 
Source: Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart
Cooking Method:
How To Guides
, , ,
Related Recipes:
How To Guide Recipes, Rib Recipes, Grilling Recipes, Barbecue Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Amber Bracegirdle
Source: Martha Stewart
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 165 minutes
Total Time: 178 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 107
Calories 261

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g
  Saturated Fat 5g
Sodium 293mg
Total Carbohydrate 24g
  Dietary Fiber 0g
  Sugars 23g
Protein 12g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Amber Bracegirdle

About Amber

Amber is a native Texan, born to a family of fabulous cooks. She shares her love of all things Tex-Mex and Southern both on her blog, Bluebonnet Baker, and here on Food Fanatic. She heavily endorses the use of the contraction "y'all".

Show Comments