BBQ Rib Recipe: Easy to prepare & cook perfect Baby Back Ribs

Paired: BBQ Ribs | Chef Mary Moran
Paired: BBQ Ribs | Chef Mary Moran

PAIRED, 4th of July recipes: Baby back ribs are finger licking good and most importantly they’re a perfect way to celebrate the forth of July.

Baby back ribs are ideal to serve because they’re small, tender and flavorful.  At the grocery store you will find them in the pork section.

READ ALSO: PAIRED: Sparkling wines and Champagne for the Fourth of July

Ribs can be a specialty item that is only found during the summer months, so if you can’t find it on the shelf ask your butcher to prepare the cut for you.

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Like all meats baby back ribs should smell slightly sweet without any heavy rancid smell. Look for slightly pink and clear juices on the bottom of the tray or in the plastic bag it’s purchased in.

Also make sure the bones are an off white color (if you can see them).

Splurge and buy organic or grass fed pork for a more flavorful meat. Be aware you’ll pay extra money for organic and grass fed meats but it’s worth it.

READ ALSO: Paired on Blog Talk Radio: Meat, how to buy, prepare and what to drink with it

Baby back ribs are small and extremely delicious so when you are buying them figure four to five ribs per female and then six to seven ribs per male. Men typically eat a few more but not always.

This method was handed down to me by my mother. The trick to creating really tender meat that falls off the bone is to boil the meat first.

The next important thing is to NOT overcook the ribs because it will dry out the meat and leave it tough and inedible.

READ ALSO: Paired perfect foods for 4th of July: Napa cabbage cashew coleslaw

The last important trick is to glaze the BBQ ribs with just five or six minutes left on the grill so the sauce doesn’t burn and ruin the ribs.

Prepare the ribs for your guests by cutting them into three’s (three bones per serving). The easiest way to cut them is by placing the ribs on a cutting board meat side down. Use a very sharp knife to cut in-between the ribs.

READ ALSO: PAIRED: Fried Zucchini and Onion Rings are a 4th of July treat!

However when you are platting them serve them meat side up.

Your guests are going to rave about your ribs.  Just make sure to hand them wet towels at the end so your hard work doesn’t end up all of your house and walls.

Baby Back Ribs

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes                 Servings: 4


2 slabs baby back ribs

2-½ c barbq sauce (I always go for a sweeter barbq sauce made from molasses)

1 onion peeled and halved

1 carrot peeled

½ c Mary’s BBQ Spices*

Salt and Pepper to taste

¼ c chopped parsley

*Mary’s BBQ Spice-

1 tbsp garlic powder

½ tbsp paprika

½ tsp chili powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tbsp salt

½ tbsp pepper


First cut the top and the bottom off the onion. Then peel the outer layer of the onion. Next cut the onion half.

Cut the top of the carrot off and peel it. Then cut it into large chunks.

When you’re ready remove the ribs from the package and wash and dry them.

Next in a large pot, fill it almost to the top with water (leave enough room for the ribs).  Add the onion and carrot to the water.

Bring the water, carrot and onion to a rapid boil and add both slabs of ribs.  Boil for 35 minutes, when you are finished remove them from the pot and set them on a cookie sheet.

In a medium mixing bowl add all of the spices and mix thoroughly and set aside until you are ready to spread it on the ribs.

Next heat your grill to a medium high heat.

Rub your ribs with Mary’s Spice and a bit of canola oil. Place the ribs on the grill presentation side down (turn down the heat directly under the ribs).

Cook them for 15 minutes and then flip. Cook for another 10 minutes and then baste every few minutes for an additional 10 minutes.

Once they are golden brown remove them from the grill.

When you are ready to serve the ribs cut them into three bone segments (its easiest to cut the ribs from the underneath rather than the top) garnish them with chopped parsley and serve them with more BBQ sauce.

READ ALSO: PAIRED: Perfect, and easy, Berry Cobbler for 4th of July 

And don’t forget to listen to Paired with Chef Mary and Duane – Every Saturday at 1:00pm ET.

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Upon graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in 2002, Chef Mary Payne Moran began her professional career shelling crabs at the world-renowned restaurant, Michael's in Santa Monica. Simultaneously, she launched her own company, Hail Mary’s, founded upon the belief that good food nurtures the soul, and began catering weddings, parties and large corporate events. In the fall of 2008, Mary began teaching her culinary skills to others. Currently she can be found at Hollywood School House teaching her after school cooking class, and teaching her popular "Vegetables or Not Here I Come" assembly. Most recently, Mary has launched another division in her company as well as a chef she is now also a Certified Nutritionist for high profile clients. She helps her clients discover their healthy way of eating. Mary has recently been published in the Los Angeles Magazine, & The New Jersey Star Ledger. Daily she addresses cooking aficionados through her blog - Cooking with Chef Mary as well as her how-to webisodes on You Tube.