Sweet and spicy baked ribs

No barbeque? No problem!

Ribs are definitely one of my favourite finger foods. I love it when the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and slathering on a zingy sauce just makes them taste so good. This recipe is great because you can partially prepare it in advance, then finish cooking and glazing the ribs a day or two later. If you are looking for another delicious way to prepare ribs in the oven, check out this tasty recipe.



  • 2 racks meaty pork back ribs, about 4-5 lbs (2-2.2 kg) in total
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth or water

Spice rub:

  • 2 teaspoons each smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (or a bit more, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) ketchup
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) molasses
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cider vinegar
  • Grated zest of one orange
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice


  • Preheat oven to 375F, with rack in the centre of the oven.
  • Remove membrane from the bone side of the rib racks (here’s a video if you need tips). Cut racks into halves and fit them, meat side down, into a baking dish or roasting pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add broth to pan then cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  • While ribs are baking, stir together spice rub ingredients in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients; set aside (cover and refrigerate if not using within 12 hours).
  • Remove ribs from pan to cool; drain off all pan juices (I like to refrigerate or freeze the cooking liquid for soups or sauces). Pat cooked ribs dry with paper towel; cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours if you are prepping in advance.  
  • When ready to finish this recipe, line a large baking pan with parchment or foil. Heat oven to 425F.
  • Sprinkle the spice rub over the meaty side of the ribs, pressing with your hands to get it to adhere. Carefully cut the ribs into individual segments. Place them, meat side up, in the prepared baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes (add an extra 15 minutes if they were refrigerated).
  • Remove pan from oven and brush sauce over the tops (meat sides) of the ribs. You should use just under half the sauce for this first application. Bake 5 minutes more.
  • Turn the ribs on their sides and brush again with sauce, using half of the amount remaining. Bake 5 minutes more.
  • Turn ribs once more so the uncoated sides are facing up; baste with remaining sauce and bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Transfer cooked, glazed ribs to a platter and serve hot.

Serves 6.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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