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Baby Back Ribs - Wrap 'n Bake or Convection Oven?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Okay,

First post here! :)

 

I am wanting to do some glazed baby back ribs for some guests we have coming over.  I have scoured the internet for recipes but there is one thing I don't totally understand.  Some recipes call for wrapping the ribs in foil and baking them in the oven and a few have called for just putting them on the oven rack and using the convection oven to heat them.  All suggest finishing on the grill.  

 

My question is what is the benefits/disadvantages of convention or foil/bake?

 

I appreciate any input you have. 

 

Thanks!

 

post #2 of 7

Basically it is a texture thing, in my opinion.  Foil wrapping steams the meat, and can result in tenderness that ventures into the mushiness.  Unwrapped you get roasted meat that can be tender, but still has some tooth or tug to it.  Personal preference, really.

 

Loin back ribs are fairly tender, compared to spares, and are easier to roast to tenderness without drying out.  I don't know what sort of glaze you are considering but whether you roast wrapped or unwrapped, you'll probably want to finish on a grill or under a broiler or higher heat ( 425 F ) oven to get a good glazed "bark" on the surface.

But if the glaze has a high sugar content you need to be watchful for scorching.

 

One of my summer favorites is loin backs rubbed with some of my HoosierQ dry rub and roasted over indirect heat in the Weber Kettle for about an hour or so, some tangy sauce on the side.  Yum.

 

So what sort of glaze are you considering?

 

mjb.

 

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your thoughts!  I am thinking about doing a honey-hoisin glaze.  Been looking at various recipes including this one:

 

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/honey-glazed-baby-back-ribs-with-whiskey-marinade

 

I was planning to tweak it a little to get some hoisin flavor in there.  

 

post #4 of 7

If I am stuck doing my ribs in the oven, which happens occasionally I always wrap, or at least cover them for most of the cooking time if not all.  I've found that the dry heat from the oven tends to dry the ribs out too much.  While I agree that ribs done this way can come out "mushy" if you are careful not to overcook them you can avoid this problem.

 

Of course, the best way is to actually barbecue the ribs, but I understand that not everyone has access to a grill all the time so then the oven is the only way.  When I do them in the oven, I give them a good rub down with one of my rib rubs, then give them a generous spritz of both apple juice and beer, wrap them in packages of 2, in aluminum foil, and bake them at about 275-300 until just short of being perfectly tender, but I always finish my ribs on the grill.  How long depends on if they are going right on the grill, from the oven or if the ribs have been cooled down ahead of time.  Cook them on the grill, over medium heat until tender, finishing them with your sauce (if using) during the last 10 minutes.  In the past I've done them this way for numerous catering events when I didn't have a smoker or large grill at my disposal.  And I have to admit, have done it this way a couple of times at home when I've been too lazy to fire up the grill, now though, with my smoker I haven't done ribs in the oven for quite some time. 

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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #5 of 7

That Food and Wine recipe looks pretty good.  Personally I'd probably use chili infused sesame oil and add some garlic to the marinade.

 

And after reading Pete's comment, I'm trying to remember the last time I did ribs of any sort in the oven rather than over charcoal.  It has been a long time, it seems.

 

mjb.

 

 

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #6 of 7

That F&W recipe is really nice. I've used it a number of times. I've done two(2) simple tweaks though, for my own preference. Instead of marinating in a large glass or ceramic baking dish, I put everything in a zip-lock bag and squeeze out the air. I put them in the refrigerator overnight. I also go with St.Louis cut ribs instead of baby-back. Anyway, it's a good recipe. If you like, you should check with your butcher if they can/will cut your ribs across the bone into 2-for-1 ribs like you get in Asian restaurants. This recipe also works great with rib-tips. The trick with that though is having a place that has good tips, not just a big frozen bag of "assorted cuts" tagged as "rib-tips".  Enjoy yourself. Making good ribs is like playing poker, "It takes 5 minutes to learn, a lifetime to master", or something like that. 

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post #7 of 7

Spares are often done on a smoker with what is called the 3-2-1 methodat 225*.   3 hrs smoked uncovered, 2 hours foiled and the remaining hour uncovered to redevelop the bark or crust.  Personally I find 6 hours at this temperature too long for spares.  Back ribs being more tender would require less time than spares.  I will often do spares with the 3-1-1 but each cook will find what works best for them.  By combining both uncovered and covered techniques you can shorten the time needed to cook ribs and also retain the bark that we look for in smoked meats.

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