Smoky, sticky, falling-off-the-bone ribs are easier than you think.
- PREP: 15 MINS
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HOURS
- SERVINGS: 6
- 2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
- 3 tablespoons smoked or sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
- Chipotle Sauce (see Cook’s Notes)
Stir together 1 cup chili sauce, 1/4 cup chopped chipotle chiles in adobo, and 2 tablespoons honey.
- Prep the ribs: Depending on how the butcher has trimmed the ribs, there may be a tough, rubbery membrane on the underside. If so, score meat between bones (being careful not to cut the meat) and pull membrane away.
- To cook on the grill, set up grill for indirect cooking: arrange heat source (charcoal or gas) on one side of grill and heat to medium-high.
- Combine brown sugar, 1/3 cup salt, 1 teaspoon ground pepper, Cajun seasoning, paprika, cayenne, and ground mustard. Reserve half the rub for later use (store in an airtight container, up to a month). Working with 1 rack at a time, lay a large piece of parchment-lined foil on a work surface, place rack on parchment, and liberally coat both sides with rub.
- Place rib packets on cooler side of grill, standing them upright on long sides. Cover grill and cook until a knife can pierce meat with no resistance, about 2 1/2 hours (if using a charcoal grill, add a couple handfuls of coals every half hour to maintain 300 degrees).
- Fold foil and parchment around ribs, crimping the edges together to form a packet.
- Remove ribs from grill, unwrap, and brush with Chipotle Sauce. If using a charcoal grill, lift grate to carefully spread out hot coals. On a gas grill, place ribs directly over heat source. Grill until sauce is bubbling and ribs are lightly charred, 2 minutes per side, brushing with more sauce if desired.
- To cook in the oven, preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place rib packets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until a knife can pierce meat with no resistance, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove ribs from oven. Heat broiler. Unwrap ribs, place on sheet, and brush with Chipotle Sauce.
- Broil until sauce is bubbling and ribs are lightly charred, about 5 minutes, brushing with more sauce if desired.