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Grilled baby back ribs

Think you have to cook ribs over a flame until they are fall-off-the-bone ready? We have an easier way! Impress backyard-barbecue guests with these finger-lickin’-good grilled baby back ribs slathered with a sweet-savory cherry barbecue sauce

The secret? Your oven. These pork ribs bake on a bed of onions and garlic, absorbing the sweet-savory flavors of a brown sugar-spice rub. Only after you slather them with a cherry barbecue sauce do you sear them on the grill for a few minutes.

The rub matters: brown sugar, smoky paprika, garlic powder, ancho chili seasoning, salt and black pepper. Rub this mixture all over the ribs.

Then you spread a generous amount of onions and garlic in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Add a cup of chicken broth. Place the ribs on top of the onions and garlic.

ALSO TRY: Pork tenderloin with sweet and spicy rub

Tightly cover the pan with foil and bake low and slow in the oven at 250F for four hours. Seriously: All you need to do is slide your roasting pan in the oven and walk away. No matter how good they smell, resist the urge to check on them. Do not remove the foil until they have cooked for four hours.

Heat your grill to 350F and oil your grates to keep the ribs from sticking. Lay the ribs on the grill and generously brush both sides with the cherry barbecue sauce. Grill the ribs for three minutes on each side. The sauce will caramelize slightly. Take the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with additional barbecue sauce and sink your teeth into some of the most tender ribs you’ve ever savored.

>> Click here to jump straight to the recipe

Pour paprika over brown sugar in bowl

Pour paprika into mixing bowl

Add garlic powder and ancho chili

Add ancho chili to mix


Whisk together dry rub

Whisk rub together

Place chunks of onion onto baking pan

Add chunks of onion to baking pan

Add garlic cloves to pan

Add garlic cloves to baking pan

Lay baby back ribs over onion and garlic in the baking pan

Place rib baby back pork ribs to pan

Sprinkle dry rub onto grilled baby back ribs

Sprinkle dry rub on baby back ribs

Pour chicken broth into baking pan

Pour chicken broth over ribs

Cover ribs with aluminum foil before baking

Place aluminum foil over the baking pan

Rub cherry BBQ sauce onto ribs while grilling

Place baby back ribs on the grill

These flavorful grilled baby back ribs are tender and juicy!

Finished ribs

Grilled baby back ribs

Yield 8–10 servings


  • 2 full racks of pork baby-back ribs, tendons removed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons smoky paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled, left whole
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Cherry barbecue sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 250F.
  2. In small bowl, mix brown sugar, smoky paprika, garlic powder, ancho chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Evenly spread onions and garlic cloves in bottom of large roasting pan.
  4. Add two racks of ribs.
  5. Rub spice blend generously on top and bottom sides of each rack of ribs. 
  6. Pour chicken broth into bottom of roasting pan.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil.
  8. Bake for 4 hours.
  9. Remove pan from oven and discard onions and garlic cloves.
  10. Heat grill to 350F and oil grates.
  11. Place each rack of ribs on grill with bottom side facing down.
  12. Brush cherry barbecue sauce on both sides of meat and grill for 3 minutes on each side.
  13. Remove ribs from grill and allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  14. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.


Alternatively, place ribs on parchment-lined baking sheet, laying out so they do not overlap. Brush cherry barbecue sauce generously over top. Broil ribs for 3 minutes, turn, and brush with more sauce.  Continue to broil for 3 more minutes or until exterior is just browned and crispy.

Courses Main Course

Finished ribs

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