These baby back ribs are sweet and savory and are bound to be your new favorite. They are coated with a cocoa spice rub and slathered with a sweet and pungent peach glaze.
What makes these baby back ribs so amazingly flavorful? It’s a cocoa spice rub that’s sweet, savory and a little bit spicy. If you have the time, it is worth it to apply the spice rub and let the ribs wait until the next day. Refrigerate them wrapped tightly in plastic overnight. This allows the spice rub the time to soak in, flavor the meat and create a nice crust.
Salt is not included in the spice rub but it is CRUCIAL that you coat the rack all over with salt BEFORE applying the spice rub. The flavors will not be as wonderful without the salt directly on the meat.
How to Prepare the Rack of Ribs
Place the rack of ribs on a cutting board, meat side down. Use a knife with a small pointy tip (boning knife if you have one).
With the knife parallel to the cutting board slip the knife under the translucent film over the back of the ribs and cut a 2″ slit.
Using a paper towel between your thumb and forefinger, grab the membrane where you cut the slit and gently pull to remove.
Trim the silver skin and excess fat off the meat side of the ribs.
Sprinkle both sides of the ribs with a good coating of salt. It is important for the salt to be directly on the meat, so be sure to do it before you put on the spice rub. I prefer Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
Coat the meat side of the ribs with a thick coating of the spice rub (see the recipe card below for the spice rub mix) and distribute evenly. Sprinkle the remaining over the back of the ribs.
You can cook the ribs immediately or wrap them snugly in plastic and refrigerate overnight. This gives the spice rub time to really flavor the meat.
If you refrigerate them, pull them out 30 minutes before cooking. See the full recipe below.
How to Cook Baby Back Ribs
There are 2 cooking options for these baby back ribs. I prefer the gas grill but the oven works too.
Cook the ribs on a gas grill:
Heat the grill for at least five minutes on high.
Put the ribs on the grill lengthwise, over to one side. Then turn off the burner underneath the ribs and turn the other(s) down to a low flame and close the lid.
The goal is for the grill to remain at approximately 300°F. Check the temp in about 10 minutes to see where it is and adjust accordingly. If your flame is as low as it will go and the temp is still too high, you can prop the lid open an inch or two with a wad of foil.
At one hour, rotate the ribs 180° so that the opposite long side faces the flame.
At 90 minutes (total cooking time) spread on a light coating of the peach glaze. If the temp remains at around 300° the ribs should cook in about 2 hours. To check that they’re done, hold with tongs from the narrower end. If they bend easily and the meat has pulled away from the cut ends of the bone, they are ready.
Cook the Ribs in the oven
- Pre-heat the oven to 300°F
- Place the ribs in a roasting pan (cut the rack in half if necessary) and cover the pan with foil.
- Bake for 2 hours. Remove the foil, brush on a light coating of sauce and place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.
These baby back ribs go really well with a fresh acidic salad like my Broccoli Slaw or sides like my gluten-free biscuits, corn with lime butter, sweet, fluffy gluten-free corn bread or my gluten and dairy-free cornbread recipe. See my full list of gluten-free salads and gluten-free sides.