2 racks baby back ribs
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs chili powder (chipotle, hatch, or dixon recommended)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbs oil
1/4 sweet onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili (chipotle, hatch, or dixon recommended)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 cup water
4 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs dijon or whole grain mustard
1 Tbs soy sauce (tamari recommended)
1 Tbs worchestershire sauce
1 Tbs vinegar (white or apple cider)
1/3 cup HONEY
salt and black pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and place off to the side.
In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to scorch the spices. Add tomato paste and cook for another minute while stirring. Add water to the pan and stir to combine. Add ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, worchestershire, vinegar, and honey, whisking to combine. Simmer until sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. Season to taste with salt and black pepper and set aside.
Pat the ribs dry and then liberally season on both sides with the spice rub, pressing to ensure good contact. You can start cooking immediately, but allowing the ribs to sit at least two hours (preferably overnight in the refrigerator) will let the seasonings absorb into the ribs.
When you’re almost ready to cook, preheat your oven to 300 degrees and arrange a baking rack in the center of the oven.
Wrap each rack of ribs in a double layer of aluminum foil (meat-side down) and crimp to seal. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the meat starts to pull away from the bone.
Remove ribs from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes. Preheat broiler. When broiler is ready, peel back foil from ribs, tip to the side to pour off any liquid/fat, and brush the sauce on the bone-side of the ribs. Broil until slightly charred and the sauce is bubbling. Carefully flip ribs over, apply sauce on the meaty side, and return to broiler until slightly charred and bubbling. Slice into 2-3 rib segments and serve with any remaining sauce.
If the thick outer membrane is still on your ribs (bone side), remove from the rack prior to applying the dry rub. We like to use the handle of a dinner spoon to get it started and then a firm grip with a kitchen towel to remove the membrane in one piece.
Although we did these in the oven, you can certainly use a large grill if you have access to one. Pile the coals on the side of the grill or light the outside burners to create a cooler zone for slow-cooking the ribs. Finish off over high heat after applying the glaze to create charred spots.
Sauces are always a matter of personal preference. If you like more heat, try adding cayenne pepper or a splash of your favorite hot sauce. If it's too hot for you, adjust by adding a little more honey.