When you live—and cook—in Kentucky, you need to know your ribs. Chef Edward Lee starts his baby back rib recipe with a classic dry rub, then cooks the racks low and slow in a sauce spiked with spicy gochujang, a nod to his Korean roots. (Note: Ribs need to chill overnight in the fridge, so plan ahead!)
BBQ sauce: In a saucepan, bring all ingredients to a simmer over low heat. Cook uncovered, 1–2 hours. (Note: Sauce can also be made while the ribs are baking during the first hour, Step 3.)
Ribs: Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Place ribs on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle rub all over the ribs, using more on the meaty side. Massage the rub into the meat (tip: wear non-latex gloves for easy cleanup). Cover with foil and chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Remove ribs from refrigerator and wrap each rack tightly in foil. Place them in a roasting pan side by side and bake 1 hour. (Alternatively, you can smoke the ribs, uncovered, in a smoker at 220 degrees F for 1 hour.)
Take the ribs from the oven and remove the foil. Return the ribs to roasting pan; pour any liquid in the foil over the ribs. Pour the BBQ sauce over the ribs. Loosely cover pan with foil and bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, basting halfway through.
Assembly: Remove ribs from oven and place on a cutting board. Cut into two-rib portions and serve stacked on a platter, with extra sauce from the pan on the side.