Pork Ribs

From Geoff Last

2013 Sep/Oct

What this recipe lacks in smoky intensity it makes up for in tenderness and depth of flavour from a simple dry rub. The key is to make sure the foil pouches are sealed tight so that the steam from the juices tenderizes the meat.

I always use back ribs for this recipe and recommend using either Spragg or Broek Pork Acres’ meat; it’s local, free-range meat and it tastes great. Finish these ribs quickly on the barbecue using a good quality sauce, such as Bone Suckin’ Sauce, or make your own. Remember that barbecue sauce contains sugar and other sweeteners that will burn over direct heat. For this reason, I use the top rack of the grill. If you don’t have a top rack, turn the heat down low (or use low coals) and turn the ribs frequently to avoid burning. We tend to think of dishes like this as summer fare but I find these even more comforting in the winter months. If you are too much of a wus to grill in the cold, you can use the broiler to finish them but the results won’t be as good as when finished on a grill.


  • 2 T. kosher salt
  • 1 T. dry mustard
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 t. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 t. cayenne
  • 1/2 t. ground black pepper
  • 4 large racks of pork back ribs
  • 1-1/2 c. barbecue sauce


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine the salt and spices in a small bowl. Lay the ribs out on a large surface and distribute the dry rub evenly over the ribs on all sides, massaging the spice mixture gently into the meat. Wrap each rack in a double layer of foil, folding over the tops and sides to create a pouch that will seal in the moisture. Place the sealed pouches on a baking sheet and bake for 2 hours.

Preheat the grill or prepare coals about 20 minutes before the ribs come out of the oven. Remove the ribs from the oven and unwrap one of the ends. There will be about 1/2 cup of meat juice and fat in each package. Drain the juices, then unwrap the ribs, allowing them to cool. (This can be done ahead of time. Once the ribs have cooled, they can be wrapped and stored in the fridge until ready to be finished. Allow them to come to room temperature before finishing). The leftover juices, which are mostly fat, can be degreased and added to your barbecue sauce.

Lay the ribs on a baking sheet and brush them on all side with the barbecue sauce. Place them on the grill over low coals or indirect heat on a gas grill and cook for about 10 minutes, turning frequently and basting with more sauce to lacquer them. A little charring here and there is fine, but they should not be blackened. I typically serve these with coleslaw and the non-traditional addition of coconut rice.

Serves 6.