This go-to recipe for classic barbecued ribs embraces what we refer to as our "oven-cheat" method -- a technique that'll get you ultra-tender meat without spending 12 hours manning a smoker. Choose your cut -- baby back or spareribs -- and follow three simple steps: 1. Season 2. Bake 3. Grill. For sauce, whip up a batch or use a store-bought variety.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.
Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 2 hours for baby back ribs or 3 hours for spareribs. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely.
Do ahead: Ribs can be baked up to 3 days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through.) Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush grate with oil. Add broth or water to rib juices, if needed, to measure 1 1/2 cups. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce to blend.
Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with more barbecue sauce.
Also in Bon Appétit's Summer-Time Grilling Menu
From The Grilling Book: The Definitive Guide from Bon Appetit, Andrews McMeel Publishing, May 2013.
Darra Goldstein is editor in chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, an 888-page reference guide to all things sweet. "The book is really a compendium of human desires, a cultural history of desire for things that are sweet and what it has caused in the world, in both the realm of pleasure and also of pain," she says.