This sandwich…. oh this sandwich. It is so good and yet surprisingly simple to make. Not a lot of hard work because the oven does most of the work for you. It is so flavorful, tender, and has the right amount of spice, and pairs well with any summer side dish.
A little small back story on these ribs… My father made his ribs the same exact way as I do here. I, however, added a few extra spices to the mix, and OMG!!! It is such a delight. Everything else is the exact same as how my father made them for many, many years. Well, except they are in sandwich form. I took his recipe, tweaked it a tad bit, and turned it into a beautiful sandwich. I am sure he would be proud of the sight and flavor of such a wonderful and tasty sandwich.
Dad here’s to you…
Let’s get started.
1 to 2 racks of baby back ribs ( depending on the size of your family)
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp onion powder
2 Tsp smoked paprika
1/2 Tsp black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper ( more if you like it spicy)
1 Bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Thinly sliced onion – for topping
Pickle slices – for topping
Split burger buns
Condiments of choice
Neutral oil ( I use avocado oil)
* double the spices for 2 racks of ribs*
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325*. Lightly line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. You will wrap the ribs in the foil later.
- Turn the ribs so that the bones are facing up. Take a knife and make a slight slit in the membrane ( which is the translucent skin holding the bones to the meat). Grab a few paper towels and grab the membrane with one hand and hold the ribs with the other. Pull the membrane from the bones in one swoop. It should come off fairly easily. Discard the membrane. You will not need it.
- Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and brush both sides of the ribs with a little neutral oil. This will help the seasonings stick to the meat and make it nice and flavorful.
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
- Place the ribs on the sheet tray and sprinkle the spices on both sides evenly. Rub the spices into the meat. Wrap each rack of ribs separately in aluminum foil for even cooking. Make sure the foil is sealed well and wrapped tight. Make sure the bones are facing up when cooking.
- Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and unwrap them from the foil. Using a small paring knife run it along the back of the bone to release the casing from the bone. Gently pull the bones from the meat. They should release easily. If not, just run the knife along the side of the bone gently and wriggle the bone gently while pulling and it should release. The meat is very tender so be careful not to shred the meat.
- At this point, you can either increase the heat in the oven to 450* or turn your broiler on high. Carefully place the ribs on a lined sheet tray that has an oven-safe rack on top. This will help the ribs get even heat distribution during the last baking session so they developed that delicious BBQ crust.
- Brush one side of the ribs with BBQ sauce evenly and either bake for 10 minutes or broil for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and carefully flip the ribs over and brush the other side with BBQ sauce. Bake or broil again as stated above. Keep an eye on the ribs if you are broiling them as they cook rather quickly. You don’t want them to burn. Remove.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the ribs into what I call three rib sections. This means for every three bone indentations you cut the rib meat. This will ensure the section of meat will fit onto your burger bun.
- Now you build your “burger” or “sandwich”. Here is how I assemble mine. To the bottom bun, I add a slight amount of mayo and then add a bit of slaw. Any kind of slaw will work for this. I then top that with a piece of rib followed by thinly sliced onion, extra BBQ sauce, and a pickle. I then top it off with the top bun. You can either place the slaw underneath the meat or on top of the rib meat. How you assemble it will work just fine. I also like to butter and toast the buns until golden brown in a dry skillet. It adds more flavor.
- Serve with the sides of your choice.
- If you like to make your own BBQ sauce then by all means go for it. I just use the bottled stuff. It’s easy and I always have some on hand.
- I like to serve this with extra slaw on the side with either fries or onion rings.
- These are slightly messy so have a good amount of paper towels or napkins on hand for easy cleanup.
- To reheat these you can either reheat them in an air fryer for 5 minutes or so or you can place them on a sheet tray or baking dish and reheat them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes at 350*. Just be sure to flip them halfway through so both sides get nice and toasty whichever way you choose to reheat them. You can also reheat them in the microwave for about 3 minutes or so. I like the first two options as it keeps the BBQ sauce kind of “cooked” onto the ribs. If that makes sense to you.
- If you don’t want to remove the bones don’t. Just leave the bones in and follow the steps for broiling and or baking. Serve them alongside your favorite side dishes. You do not have to make them into a sandwich if you don’t feel like it that day. That is ok. Just cut the ribs into single sections or double sections. However you want to serve them, they will be very tasty.