Photo of Dry rub-bbq ribs by WW

Dry rub-bbq ribs

Total Time
5 hr 5 min
1 hr 5 min
4 hr
Dry rub, dry brine, marinade, wet brine...the options for infusing meat with flavor are many. But one method beats them all when it comes to seasoning meat before cooking and creating a blanket of bold flavor on the exterior: the dry rub. Using dry seasoning blends without any liquids keeps the exterior of the meat dry which helps it sear and develop a nice char. Then, as the rub melds with the meat's natural juices during cooking, a mouthwatering transformation takes place. The difference between a dry rub and a dry brine is that the latter is rinsed off before the meat cooks. Here, ribs get rubbed with classic 'cue spicies before slow-roasting at a very low temp in the oven so that the meat becomes meltingly tender. After doing time in the oven, the racks get basted with a wet mop—in this case, your favorite prepared barbecue sauce—and transferred to a hot grill where they develop that charred and crusty exterior that a hot fire delivers. The finished result: hog heaven!


Garlic powder

2 Tbsp

Onion powder

2 Tbsp


2 tsp

Chili powder

2 tsp

Ground cumin

1 tsp

Table salt

1 tsp

Black pepper

1 tsp

Dark brown sugar

3 Tbsp

Canola oil

1½ Tbsp

Uncooked baby back ribs

24 oz

Barbecue sauce

4 Tbsp


  1. Combine all spices, salt, and sugar in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your work surface. Place ribs on the plastic wrap and coat evenly with the oil. Rub both sides thoroughly with the spice rub; wrap the ribs tightly in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, preheat oven to 250F.
  4. Place two large pieces of tin foil on your work surface. Remove the ribs from the plastic wrap and cut the rack in half. Place each half on a piece of foil, bones facing up (meat side down).
  5. Fold the foil over the ribs to enclose them in a pouch, making sure to tuck and fold the all edges.
  6. Place both pouches on a large baking sheet and place in oven and cook for 4 hours.
  7. After 4 hours has elapsed, remove the ribs from the oven. Cut one of the corners of the foil open on each pouch to create a hole. Carefully (watching out for steam) drain the liquid out of the foil. Open the pouch and let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Heat outdoor grill to medium-high; baste each half rack with barbecue sauce. Place each half rack on the grill, meat side down, and char for 3 minutes.