So here we are in February, and in the Pacific Northwest we are a bit dreary and rainy from time to time, so I really love to bring a bit of summer to our table. Now you don't need a fancy smoker or expensive grill to make this baby back ribs recipe, but if you do have access to a smoker these ribs will be even better.

You often hear the term "fall off the bone" tender. You want these ribs to be tender but not meat pudding. So, don't cook them till they are falling apart. Start with a shorter time and if they need a little more time that's fine. If you overcook them you can't really fix that.

The sauce recipe we included is really simple, sweet, spicy and a sticky sauce that will caramelize nicely under the broiler or on the grill. These ribs are a beam of sunshine on a dreary day in Seattle or a snow-bound afternoon in New York City. Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Ribs


  • 1 2-1/2# rack of baby back ribs


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne


  • 2 strips of bacon, diced
  • ½ an onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients for rub in a large bowl and mix completely. It will keep up to a month in a sealed container. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously massage rub into ribs. Place ribs on a cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 3 hours or until tender. Uncover ribs and drain off fat. In large sauce pan, over medium heat, add bacon and render fat. When bacon begins to color, add onions and garlic. Sauté until tender. Deglaze pan with vinegar and reduce heat to low. Add ketchup, Dijon, soy, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. In blender (or with stick blender), puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Preheat broiler. Paint ribs with barbecue sauce, place on cookie sheet and place under broiler. When sauce begins to bubble, pull from oven and apply another coat of sauce. Return to broiler until bubbly and caramelized. Cut ribs and serve.