Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mom's Baby Back Ribs

      My Mom makes the best, fall off the bone, tender baby back ribs.  Her secret has always been, wrapping them in foil, placing them on a cookie sheet and baking them for three hours at 300 degrees.  The recipe couldn't be easier and the clean up is a snap.  On a recent camping trip I thought I would adapt her technique to dutch oven cooking.  To really simplify things, I wrapped the ribs before leaving home and kept them ice cold in a cooler before cooking them a few hours later at our campsite.  Basically all you do is slather the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce on a large piece of aluminum foil and wrap them up like a package, rolling the seams to make the packet air tight.  I cut a 2 1/2 pound slab of ribs in half and they fit perfectly in my 12 inch oven.  You don't want to stack the ribs in the foil, make sure they are placed side by side before sealing.  I cooked them for almost three hours.  They cooked in the hot sun with no wind so I only had to replenish the coals twice with 12 in a ring around the bottom and 18-20 on top.  I added more coals than probably needed but they threw the heat longer and I wanted to make sure I brought the oven temperature up to speed right off the bat.
      You really can't go wrong with this recipe, if you decide to cook them in a hotter oven, just shorten your cooking time by a half hour.  They definitely need a good 2 1/2 hours to cook.  This is a set it and forget it recipe, except for lighting more coals, you don't even have to lift the lid on your oven until the time is up.  If you are cooking for a larger group you will require a larger oven or even a second dutch oven to accomodate the extra portions.  I am not sure how they would come out but you might be able to stack two packets of ribs on top of each other in a deeper oven.  Of course the beauty of this recipe is the clean up.  Once I took the ribs out of the oven I was able to bake a quick batch of refrigerated biscuits without even wiping out the pot. Give these mouth watering ribs a try at your next camp out, trust me, they are finger lickin' good!

Mom's Baby Back Ribs
2-3 pounds pork baby back ribs, cut into aproximately 2 ten inch sections
1 bottle of prepared barbecue sauce
Extra wide, heavy duty aluminum foil

     Lightly oil or spray a 12 or 14 inch dutch oven.
     Tear a long piece of extra wide aluminum foil, at least 30 inches in length.
     Place rib sections upside down in center of foil.  Pour half bottle of sauce over ribs, spread sauce to completely cover underside of ribs.
     Turn ribs over and continue covering evenly with remainder of barbecue sauce. Bake rib portions side by side with the meat side up.
     Bring long ends of foil together and roll tightly to seal packet, as if you were wrapping a package.
     Seal ends of foil and roll tightly until ribs are closely wrapped and foil packet is tightly sealed. 
     Wrap in second layer of foil, repeating the same wrapping process.
     Place in dutch oven.  Bake at 300 degrees for 3 hours, replenishing the coals as needed to maintain a constant temperature.  Serves 2-3.

Ribs bathed in sauce then tightly wrapped in foil

Juicy, tender ribs served with campfire baked potatoes, corn and biscuits.

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