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A close up of bbq baby back ribs ready to serve with sauce on top
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4.68 from 25 votes

BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Spiced with a smoky-sweet dry rub and finished with BBQ sauce, these are the Ultimate BBQ Baby Back Ribs!  You can slowly bake or grill these over hot coals!
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 554kcal


  • 8-10 lbs pork baby back ribs (you can also cut the recipe in half if you are cooking for a smaller group)

For the Dry Rub

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Oil cooking spray

For Final Basting

  • BBQ sauce use your fave or homemade


  • Properly rinse ribs and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Turn the rack of ribs bone side up. Using a sharp small knife, slip it between the membrane and the bone then remove the membrane. It should pull right off after you get some momentum.
  • In a plastic bag, shake together brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt, cumin, chili powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper until combined.
  • Line a large baking sheet with non-stick foil and lay one of the racks of rib on top. Make sure the foil is longer than the rack.
  • Spray the outside of the rack of ribs with oil spray then massage dry rub into each side of the ribs.
  • Cover the ribs with the foil and wrap tightly then store in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

To Grill Ribs

  • Make sure to properly oil the grates of the grill so the meat won’t stick.
  • Once the grill is ready and hot, place the ribs bone side down on the grill over indirect heat. Grill covered for an 1 ½ hours then turn them over and grill for an additional 1 ½ hours still over indirect heat.
  • Make sure you are checking every now and again on the ribs to make sure they don’t stick or burn if they get close to direct heat. After 3 hours or so, the ribs should be super tender. If not, continue for an additional 30 minutes. The ribs should have an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Transfer the ribs to direct heat and brush with bbq sauce on both sides. Grill uncovered for 5-10 minutes then remove.

To Bake Ribs

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Bake ribs for 2 ½ hours. Check to see if they are incredibly tender. If not, leave covered and allow to bake an additional 30-45 minutes. The ribs should have an internal temperature of 145°F.
  • Drain the excess fat from the ribs then apply bbq sauce to both sides.
  • Turn your oven on to broil and allow the sauce to stick to the ribs then remove.


You’ll want to cook the ribs at a low to medium heat. Going low and slow is the best way to get super-tender, smoky meat.
Cooking meat on the grill requires constant attention. Stay close to the grill, tongs in hand, and only flip when necessary. Only baste with BBQ sauce in the last 30 minutes of cooking or the sugars will burn along with your ribs.
Let the cooked ribs sit for at least 15 minutes before you serve them! If cut too early the ribs will leak out their juices and become dry. Serve with extra BBQ sauce.


Calories: 554kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 131mg | Sodium: 808mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 1038IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 2mg