Recipe courtesy of Dana Beninati for Food Network Kitchen

Stovetop Smoked Baby Back Ribs

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Growing up in the South gave me a real soft spot for smoked barbecue, especially fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs. Did you know you can recreate smokehouse favorites at home, right on your stovetop? Smoking gives meat a rich flavor, crispy exterior “or bark” and amazing tenderness. Slather all of that in a four-ingredient homemade barbecue sauce and you have a blue-ribbon winner!



Slather Sauce:


Special equipment:
a 7-quart black Dutch oven (see Cook’s Notes), a metal steamer basket, heavy-duty aluminum foil, 8 ounces (about 4 cups) barbecue wood chips
  1. Soak 8 ounces (about 4 cups) barbecue wood chips in water to cover for 1 hour. Drain and discard the water.
  2. Prepare the stovetop smoker: Place a 7-quart black Dutch oven on the stovetop (see Cook’s Notes). Cut two pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil long enough to line the bottom of the pot and still come up the sides with overhang. Lay the pieces one on top of the other in a crisscross pattern (like a plus sign). Place the soaked wood chips on top of the foil and spread in an even layer. Fold one piece of foil overhang over the wood chips. Top with a metal steamer basket.  
  3. For the ribs: Whisk together the salt, paprika, cumin, ground mustard, garlic powder, coriander and allspice in a small bowl. Sprinkle generously all over the ribs. Press the spice rub into the ribs with your hands and transfer them to the steamer basket (it’s okay if the ribs overlap slightly). Cover with the lid and fold the excess foil over the lid. You can use more aluminum foil to create a tight seal around the lid as needed to keep the smoke in the pot. 
  4. Cook the ribs in the smoker over medium heat until the meat easily pulls away from the bone, about 1 hour.  
  5. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and prepare the slather sauce: Whisk the ketchup, date syrup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce together in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.  
  6. Once the ribs are smoked, remove and discard the foil around the seal of the pot. Set the steamer basket of ribs on a sheet pan and carefully lift the warm wood chips out of the pot using the excess foil. Allow them to cool completely on a sheet pan before discarding them.
  7. Place the steamer basket of ribs back into the pot and cover. Roast until the ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, about 30 minutes.
  8. To serve, cut between the bones to separate each rib. Pour the slather sauce on top and serve with coleslaw and cornbread.

Cook’s Note

You can ask your butcher to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs if desired. This is not necessary but some prefer to do so. A cast-iron or black enameled cast-iron Dutch oven is preferable for this recipe since smoking can discolor lighter colors. If you like your ribs saucy and sticky, just before serving place them on a sheet pan and use a brush to coat them with the sauce. Broil on high until the sauce bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes.