Classic BBQ ribs

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Paul Lillakas

Tip: To remove the inedible membrane from the bottom of back ribs, use the tip of a knife to separate it at the edge and use a paper towel to grip it as you pull it off. It should come off in one clean piece. 



For the ribs

  • 2 racks pork back ribs, membrane removed, (about 6 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the BBQ sauce

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 275F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Arrange ribs on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; rub to coat. Cover with foil; bake for 4 hours.
  3. Meanwhile, medium pot over medium heat, combine ketchup, vinegar, sugar, butter, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha (if using), smoked paprika and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until reduced by about half and thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. *Sauce will thicken as it cools.
  4. Brush ribs with thick layer of BBQ sauce. Return to oven and broil, or transfer ribs to greased grill, meat side down, and cook over medium-high heat (about 375°F), until slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Brush with more BBQ sauce and return to oven if more caramelization is desired. Serve leftover sauce on the side. 


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