This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Smithfield at Walmart. Read my full disclosure policy here.
We just finished the most amazing meal. Sweet and spicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs.
We’re talking finger-licking, three-napkin, slap-your-momma good.
Once I finally figured out how to cook ribs — and it’s really not hard or even time consuming — they quickly became one of our year-round family favorites. A rack of ribs is a great start to a family dinner and they’re also great to serve when you have guests over.
After I made these for my parents, my mom, my cooking guru, asked me for the recipe! She wanted to know my secret for fall off the bone ribs.
It’s really a combination of three things:
- the right cut of pork (like Smithfield All Natural Fresh Pork back ribs from Walmart)
- a fabulous spice rub
- steaming the ribs slow and low in the oven before saucing them and finishing them on the grill or in the oven
We always buy Smithfield ribs because I’ve found them to be meatier and more tender than other brands we’ve tried. I recently discovered Smithfield All-Natural at Walmart, a line of U.S. born and bred all-natural products that are free of hormones, steroids and artificial ingredients.
Now, it’s time to spice those ribs with a rub that does double-duty as a flavor enhancer and tenderizer.
I usually make enough spice rub to tenderize and marinate several racks of ribs. What you don’t use can be stored in the pantry in a mason jar for a few weeks, as long as you’re careful not to contaminate it with uncooked pork.
You wan to coat the ribs, top, bottom and sides, with a generous amount of the rub, massaging it into the meat.
Then you want to encapsulate that flavor. I usually overlap two pieces of aluminum foil, then top them with a long sheet of parchment paper. I wrap the rack of ribs inside both layers. Be sure to fold the parchment first, so the ribs can steam in the packet.
Then wrap in foil and bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 90 minutes, until the meat is tender and shows no resistance when you pierce it with a knife.
I always finish my ribs on the grill.
Carefully transfer the ribs to the preheated grill rack (they will be tender!) and brush both sides with your favorite barbecue sauce. Grill over medium low heat, flipping once, until the sauce caramelizes. (Watch the ribs closely and turn down the heat if the ribs are browning too quickly. The sugar in barbecue sauce can burn.)
If it’s too cold to finish the ribs on the grill, you can turn your oven up to 425 degrees and cook them on a lined, rimmed baking sheet for about 15 minutes or until the barbecue sauce has caramelized.
Are you hungry yet? Here’s the recipe.
- 1 rack pork loin back ribs
- barbecue sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup kosher salt
- 3 Tablespoons paprika
- 1½ teaspoons ground mustard
- 1½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine spices in a mason jar and stir or shake to combine, being careful to break up any clumps.
- Place two large pieces of foil, overlapping in the center, on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Top with a large piece of parchment paper, which is big enough to encase your rack of ribs.
- Place the ribs, meat side up on top of the parchment. Coat the top, bottom and sides of the ribs with spice rub. (You will have spice rub left over.)
- Fold parchment over the ribs, sealing along the center and at both ends. Then fold the foil over the parchment-encased ribs.
- Cook ribs for 1 hour to 1½ hours, until a knife pierces the meat easily with no resistance.
- Transfer to a medium low grill and brush ribs on both sides with barbecue sauce.
- Cook on the grill over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until the sauce has caramelized.
- Alternately, you can finish the ribs on a lined baking sheet in a 425-degree oven, cooking for about 15 minutes.
- After basting the ribs with barbecue sauce, watch them closely as the sugar in the sauce can char or burn.
Smithfield All-Natural sets the standard for the highest quality and safest US born and bred products possible through commitment and compassion.
Stay tuned: later this month, I’ll be sharing another delicious pork recipe that is perfect for the holidays.