RECIPE: Baby Back Ribs With Sweet and Sour Glaze from NYT (with sneaky ingredient)



Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 large rack baby back pork ribs (3 to 3½ pounds)
  • 1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt (Marilyn: probably Diamond Kosher--not noted but more of NYTs recipes have been annotating this)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
  • ¾ cup Concord grape jelly (or blackberry preserves, per reader recommendation)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  1. Step 1
    Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and another rack on the bottom of the oven. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. If you’d like to remove the membrane from the bony underside of the ribs, use a small knife to release one corner of the thin membrane, then pull off the rest with your hands and discard.
  2. Step 2
    In a small bowl, stir together the salt, onion powder and black pepper. Season the ribs on both sides with the spice mixture. Wrap the ribs tightly in aluminum foil as if wrapping a present, place on a sheet pan flesh-side down and bake on the bottom rack until the meat is tender and pulls away easily from the bones, 2 to 2½ hours.
  3. Step 3
    Remove the ribs from the oven, then heat the broiler. Unwrap the ribs and, reserving the foil with its juices, transfer the ribs to the sheet pan flesh-side up. Carefully tip the juices from the foil into a large skillet. Stir in the garlic, jelly, vinegar and soy sauce, and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the glaze is syrupy and reduced by about half, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. Step 4
    Brush or spoon half of the glaze, including the garlic cloves, over the ribs. Place back in the oven and broil until charred in spots, 1 to 3 minutes. (Don’t step away!)
  5. Step 5
    Place the ribs on a cutting board and spoon over the rest of the glaze. Cut between the bones into individual riblets and transfer to a large platter to serve.

Reader comment: remove membrane to make ribs even more tender. Use a rounded butter knife to slip between bone and membrane and slide knife to loosen. Use a paper towel to grab and pull the membrane away.

Paul host
Staff member
I haven't done ribs in a while and there are so many BBQ places I've been wanting to try that I probably won't in the near future but that jelly / preserves addition is so interesting that it makes me want to try it. I totally agree with the membrane tip. It made a huge difference for me. A chef I know just scores through the membrane along the meat line on each rib with a very sharp knife. But that is not for me.


Made these the other night and used huckleberry preserves as that's what I had on hand. It did make a nice glaze on the ribs but I thought it needed more flavor, or at least more basting time - I basted it twice under the broiler but next time I'll make the sauce ahead of time and at least add it once to the general cooking to lock in more flavor. Husband really enjoyed the sauce.