By Mike Hubbartt, © Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Low and slow is the way to go. I love ribs, and it is so easy to prepare and cook them. This recipe works as-is for bone-in baby back ribs and St. Louis cut ribs – reduce the total cooking time to 3.5 hrs if you want to use this recipe for boneless ribs. And yes, ribs are not on most diets, but eating moderate portions makes them a possibility even when watching your calories. When eating ribs I either have just 2 meals in the day or have 200 – 300 fewer calories the next day to help offset the extra ones in this meal.
There are three things about this recipe that seem to make these ribs moist and fall-off-the-bone tender. The first is the low and slow approach to cooking (low temp, long cooking time), which is a staple of many BBQ restaurants. The second is the inclusion of water to the pan, as it helps keep the meat moist. The third is using a rib rub 12 – 24 hours ahead of cooking time.
- Rib rub (commercial or home-made) – I do recommend Mike’s Sweet Heat BBQ Rub.
- 3 – 5 lbs of ribs
- BBQ Sauce (commercial or home-made) – 2 tbsp per 3 rib section
- Liberally rub each rib section with your rib rub. Keep in the refrigerator between 12 and 24 hours. The longer the wait, the stronger the rub flavor.
- When you are ready to cook the ribs, put each rib section (bones down) in a baking pan, add enough water to 1/2 inch of the pan, and then cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
- Place the baking pan in the oven and cook for 5 hrs.
- Remove the pan from and carefully remove the aluminum foil, then brush 1-2 tbsp BBQ sauce on each rib section. Return the pan without the foil cover to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Switch from Bake to Broil. Turn the broiler on and let the ribs cook another 2-4 minutes to set the BBQ sauce. Remove the ribs from the pan and plate. Do not use the liquid in the pan with the ribs, although you can add more fresh BBQ sauce if you so desire.
Each 3 rib section should be around 800 calories, so go light on the side dishes. Ribs can be eaten by those that watch calories, but it is extremely important to be aware of portion sizes as well as the amount of BBQ sauce used when preparing and eating them. Most commercial BBQ sauces I’ve checked had 30 – 50 calories per tablespoon, but there are BBQ sauces for diabetics that are also online and are worth trying.
Tip! You can do this entire recipe outdoors with a smoker instead of using your oven, or just do the last three steps in the smoker if you can’t spend the entire afternoon outdoors – both ways add a lot of extra flavor to the meat.
Tip! When preparing this recipe indoors, a dash of liquid smoke in the water adds a nice flavor to the meat.
GOOD SIDES WITH RIBS
Try the Grilled Onions, Guiltless French Fries, or Julie’s Fave Green Beans and a salad to keep the calories down.