Chicago Ribs (America's Test Kitchen)

Total Time
3hrs 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 3 hrs

From Cook's Country episode 111, "Midwestern Favorites." Baby back ribs are the classic cut for this.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Soak 1 cup hickory chips in water for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a paring knife, trim membrane off bone-side of racks. Place on a baking sheet.
  3. In a bowl, thoroughly combine rub ingredients. Remove 2 tablespoons and set aside for sauce making. Pat ribs dry and sprinkle remaining spice rub over both sides of both racks.
  4. Set barbecue grill for indirect heat. Place hickory chips in a disposable aluminum pie plate directly over heat source. Place a second, large aluminum roasting pan to one side of the heat source, and add 2 cups water. Arrange cooking grates over pans. If using gas, turn on burner under wood chips to high, and other burners to medium. Close lid and preheat 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce main burner to medium and turn other burners off. Place ribs over pan of water, bone side up. Cook 90 minutes, turning once halfway through.
  6. Place a rack over a baking sheet. Pour enough water in bottom to just cover. Transfer ribs to rack and wrap tightly in foil. Place pan in preheated 250°F oven for another 1½-2 hours. Transfer to cutting board, tent with foil and rest 10 minutes.
  7. Combine ketchup, molasses, vinegar, water, liquid smoke, and reserved spice rub. Whisk thoroughly. Mop ribs thoroughly with sauce, using about 1 cup of sauce. Serve remaining sauce on the side.
Most Helpful

This recipe made tender and very tasty ribs. I used baby back beef ribs. Since it is January, I altered the cooking method slightly by cooking entirely in the oven. For the first roasting, I placed the ribs on a rack over a baking sheet with water in it and cooked uncovered. The second roasting I added water and covered with aluminum foil. When they were done, I removed the foil, brushed with the BBQ sauce (delicious) and turned the oven off until serving. Then I brushed them again.

threeovens January 06, 2010

By far the best rib recipe I've tried! I followed the instructions as stated, using both a gas grill and the oven, and these came out way better than I expected! Juicy, tender, spicy, sweet, just the right combination! The sauce is fabulous as well! you will not be disappointed in these ribs if you follow the instructions as stated!

Experimental_Cook June 18, 2012

I enjoyed the recipe (I like spicy) but it was too spicy for my hubby and kids and I even used less cayenne than the recipe called for. I need to find a sweeter rub and sauce.

Danny's Diner December 25, 2013