The best ribs are cooked low and slow on a charcoal grill—but who has time to tend to the barbecue for hours? Instead, bake your ribs in a tangy marinade, pop them on the grill and baste them with your favourite barbecue sauce. This recipe from Lucy Waverman even gives you a great shortcut to make “half homemade” barbecue sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Look for a Dijon without white wine or sulfites and make sure your spices do not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Heinz ketchup, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco original hot sauce are all additive-free. I used Miss Diana’s barbecue sauce as the base for my sauce.

Pour the liquid over the ribs in a baking dish

Bake for about 90 minutes

Separate ribs and grill, basting with barbecue sauce

Oven-baked ribs


2 racks pork back ribs


1 cup (250 ml) water

1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar

¼ cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard

3 tbsp (45 ml) brown sugar

1 tsp (5 ml) hot-pepper flakes

½ tsp (2.5 ml) cayenne

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

Half homemade spicy rib sauce

1 cup (250 ml) store-bought barbecue sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) ketchup

½ cup (125 ml) cider vinegar

1 tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp (5 ml) hot-pepper sauce

1 tsp (5 ml) cayenne pepper

1 tbsp (15 ml) chili powder


Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).

Remove the membrane covering the bones as that stops the rub from properly absorbing. Using a small, sharp knife, work the tip under the thin membrane until you have enough to grasp. Then, using your fingers, peel it back and discard. It is easiest to start in the middle and pull each part away from the bones. Place ribs in a baking dish.

Whisk together water, vinegar, mustard, sugar, pepper flakes, cayenne and salt until sugar dissolves. Pour over ribs and cover with foil. Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until ribs are tender. Reserve ribs and discard liquid.

Preheat barbecue to medium and oil the grill. Grill ribs for 25 minutes or until brown and crispy, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes.

Brush with barbecue sauce of your choice and continue cooking until sauce is glazed, about 15 minutes. Cut into ribs and serve with more barbecue sauce. Serves 4.

From Lucy Waverman