Rating: 4.35 stars
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2

They say that whoever makes the most delicious thing with the fewest number of ingredients wins, which was the idea that inspired these. The recipe reminded me just how delicious pork ribs are when we don't try to do too much to them. Plus, this has to be the easiest method I've ever shared for doing ribs.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
3 hrs
additional:
4 hrs 15 mins
total:
7 hrs 25 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix salt, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, and garlic powder together in a small bowl. Set spice rub aside.

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  • Stir Dijon mustard and vinegar together in a small bowl.

  • Place ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Turn the ribs over so that the meat side is down. Use the tip of a small, sharp knife to make some very shallow slashes every few inches through the membrane that covers the ribs. Poke the knife 3 or 4 times between each rib bone, about 1/4 inch deep.

  • Brush about 1/2 of the Dijon mustard mixture on top. Sprinkle with about 40% of the spice rub. Turn the rack over and brush on the rest of the mustard and vinegar mixture. Sprinkle on the rest of the rub, reserving 1 or 2 teaspoons in case you want to use it to season the cooked ribs later.

  • Refrigerate the ribs, uncovered, 4 to 12 hours before baking.

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove ribs from the refrigerator.

  • Cook in the center of the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and baste with the pan drippings. Continue to cook until very tender and the tip of a knife slides in very easily, about 1 1/2 hours more.

  • Remove from the oven, baste again, and let ribs rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Chef's Notes:

Use a 3 1/2- to 4-pound rack of ribs. You can use a couple slabs of baby back ribs instead if you like.

If you don't end up using the reserved 1 to 2 teaspoons of reserved spice rub for the ribs, use it for coleslaw or potato salad.

If you have to cook these right away instead of letting them sit for 4 to 12 hours, then go ahead, they will still come out really good.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of salt and pepper rub. The actual amount of rub consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

400 calories; protein 29.1g; carbohydrates 1.2g; fat 30.2g; cholesterol 120.2mg; sodium 1084.1mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (22)

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
06/23/2020
Nice and simple rub for ribs, and they turned out good. The timing might be a bit long for back ribs as Chef John used St Louis Style Side ribs, but they were still mostly tender and only dry on the ends. A bit plain flavour wise compared to a lot of recipes (especially those with glazes), it goes great with Chef John's "All American BBQ Sauce" recipe. Regarding the salt: I think the issue other reviewers have had is that Chef John uses kosher salt, and using the same amount of table salt will result in something too salty. It's about 2 tsp table salt for every 1 tbsp of kosher salt. I used a tablespoon (plus a bit extra to taste) of table salt since I'm all out of kosher, and the ribs (about 4 lbs of back ribs, so 2 large racks) turned out well seasoned. Read More
(4)
31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 22
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 4 stars
06/23/2020
Nice and simple rub for ribs, and they turned out good. The timing might be a bit long for back ribs as Chef John used St Louis Style Side ribs, but they were still mostly tender and only dry on the ends. A bit plain flavour wise compared to a lot of recipes (especially those with glazes), it goes great with Chef John's "All American BBQ Sauce" recipe. Regarding the salt: I think the issue other reviewers have had is that Chef John uses kosher salt, and using the same amount of table salt will result in something too salty. It's about 2 tsp table salt for every 1 tbsp of kosher salt. I used a tablespoon (plus a bit extra to taste) of table salt since I'm all out of kosher, and the ribs (about 4 lbs of back ribs, so 2 large racks) turned out well seasoned. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2020
I totally forgot to brush on the mustard and vinegar at the beginning, but these still turned out great. Only used about 2/3-3/4 of the rub mixture. I let them sit for about 4 hours before cooking. I did an extra basting with about 30 minutes left, no idea if that made any difference. Will definitely make again. Regarding the saltiness, others have stated. Make sure you are using non-iodized kosher salt. This is very important. I'm not even sure swapping sea salt or Himalayan salt would be a good idea in this situation. The ratios of ingredients would be different. Also, use some common sense, know your own cooking preferences, use the amount of seasoning you think is right. Generally though from my experience, you do need to add a bit more than you think you would when cooking big pieces of meat. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
07/09/2020
For those complaining about salt, there is also a difference between Morton Kosher salt and Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (red and white box). If you can find Diamond Crystal, it is made by a different process than Morton's and results in a finer flake that is less salty than Morton's plus it dissolves faster than table salt or Morton's salt. I found that once I started using this salt in recipes created by Chefs, the seasoning started turning out just right. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/16/2020
I made these using pork baby back ribs, omitted the cayenne and granulated garlic, and the only pepper I used was the pepper mix in my grinder, which contains white peppercorns. The mustard paste was made with Dijon and apple cider vinegar, and it was a great way to get the salt and pepper to stick. After seasoning, I let the ribs hang out overnight in the fridge, then smoked them the next day at 250°F using maple wood chunks for smoke. I basted them with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, and after four hours they were done. I served them with a very good BBQ sauce, which paired wonderfully with the rib meat, and the minimal seasoning was perfect so the pure taste of the pork really came through. My wife said those were the best tasting ribs I've ever smoked, so I've decided to season them this way for the rest of whenever! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
08/14/2020
Made these the first time as written. They were good. After that, I got lazy and have used a variety of pre-made rubs. Every single time (no matter the rub concoction) they turned out great. Either way, I'm making them for the 5th time tonight with another type of pre-made rub. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/22/2020
Keep it up Chef John! Amazing! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
06/25/2020
Seems straight forward to me that those complaining of the saltiness are not using kosher salt, which is about half as salty as table salt due to the larger grains. I highly recommend using kosher salt, or cut the salt in half if using table salt. I forgot to put the mustard vinegar on before the rub. I was in such a hurry to make these I got the rub on and put them in the fridge overnight. At cook time I added the mustard mix then. They turned out great but I'll be anxious to do the "right way" next time. My spare ribs were already cut into the 1 1/2 inch width pieces so I maybe could have cut down the cook time a bit. Those who mentioned dry ribs may also have not put the ribs on the pan "bone side up", or meat side down. Doing so let's the rendered fat keep the meat moist as the cook goes on. I'll be making these again for sure, and I'm an ardent smoker of back ribs on my weber charcoal kettle. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
06/29/2020
I used kosher salt and followed the recipe exactly. Came out way too salty. I really like Chef John, but this wasn't his finest. The ribs could have been so much better and it still took 3 hours. Sorry Chef John. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/29/2020
I made it exactly as written [including using kosher salt instead of the much saltier table salt, and grinding both the black and white pepper immediately before using]. It was simple, easy to make, and very tasty and tender. The black pepper and salt came through quite strong, and if either flavor were stronger they would have overpowered the dish. But since the dish is called "salt and pepper ribs", I'm not going to fault it for bringing salt and pepper. When I made it a second time I decreased the salt and black and white peppers by 20% and doubled the cayenne and Dijon mustard. That flavor profile felt more balanced, although what I made that time would be better called "salt, pepper, and Dijon ribs". Read More