Ribs don't always have to be cooked on the grill. This recipe calls for a delicious homemade rib rub slathered on a rack of ribs and then cooked in the oven. The flavor is out of this world!

Homemade Rib Rub Recipe

I drive a lot for work so I am a big fan of audio books. Currently listening to “The End of Overeating” in the car. In the book the author, David Kessler, shares his research on how our brains have been hardwired to crave food full of fat, sugar, and salt.

Recently, I heard David read that we also are more apt to eat unhealthy food — even if we are not hungry — if the food, location, season, whatever elicits a positive memory or emotion.

Not exactly rocket science there, but it did make me think: Are there foods that I associate with a memory or emotion?

Ribs instantly came to mind.

I love ribs. I always have.

Ribs remind me of this fun and sort of fancy place we used to always go to for my dad’s birthday in Cincinnati.

It reminds me of my Senior Prom when I ordered a full slab of ribs while all the other girls at the table carefully ate salads and light colored chicken dishes. (That’s what towelettes are for anyway, right!?)

And, of course, ribs remind me of summer barbecues.

That’s when I thought that it’s not shocking that ribs came to mind: I could really go for a summer barbecue.

However, Problem #1: I try to find pasture raised meat relatively locally. We do chickens on our own and have a decent hook-up for beef, but pork has been kind of hard to find in the winter.

So tough, that in the last few weeks my husband and I have even been talking about raising our own cows and pigs for ourselves and to maybe even sell to other people. Because of this we were checking out different ways to potentially market and sell the meat and we came across Home Grown Cow.

Home Grown Cow is an online farmers market that features family farms across the nation in order to give them a larger audience.

I love this mission for growers. It’s hard and time consuming for farmers to not just grow food and raise animals, but also try to figure out social media, line up (and work at) farmer’s markets, market to consumers, and so much more.

I also love how Home Grown Cow‘s mission also serves consumers. Not only do they get introduced to farmers in their area, but they also get a peak at the farm to know where their food is coming from.

One of my favorite parts of the site was that you can add filters to your search specifying locations, cuts of meat, and even farming practices.

Using these filters I found pastured spare ribs from a farm in Wisconsin called NorthStar Bison and placed my order. NorthStar Bison is home to 1200 acres and the owners believe that grass fed, pastured meat is the best product for the land, animals and people. They raise a slew of animals on these acres including elk, beef, pork, chicken, turkey, bison, lamb, rabbits, and even ostrich!

[quote]Ordering from Home Grown Cow was a cinch and the ribs arrived frozen in an insulated box with dry ice. I was one step closer to my Wanna-Be Summer Barbecue.[/quote]

For real “summer” flare I began making plans to make a side dishes with some of my remaining frozen garden zucchini and sweet corn in addition to my go to homemade rib rub. This rub is great balance of sweet and spicy. It has a full depth of flavors thanks to the mixture of ingredients like coffee grounds, paprika, and oregano. It also adds a nice texture as the rib crisp up at the end of the cooking process.

Enter Problem #2: We got eight, maybe nine, inches of new snow the day I was planning on barbecuing the ribs.

As the heavy snow fell on our smoker and grill on the patio, my husband looked at me and said, “Well, I’m not going out there.”

I wasn’t either.

Instead, we stayed out of the snow and made them in the oven. Cooking ribs in the oven is so easy. The flavors of the seasoned rub, the pastured ribs, and a local artisan’s barbecue sauce were so great together.

It was the perfect taste for the perfect winter barbecue to give me a new memory to associate with ribs… and Home Grown Cow!

Both of which, I look forward to enjoying again.

Homemade Rib Rub
  • 4 pounds spare ribs, membrane removed (you have to check out the amazing quality meats over at Home Grown Cow)
  • Rib rub (see below)
  • ½ yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • water
  • 8 ounces barbecue sauce of your choice
Ingredients for Rib Rub (we love to get organic, non-irradiated spices and herbs from here)
  • 5 Tbs brown sugar (organic and non-GMO like this)
  • ½ cup paprika
  • 4 Tbl oregano
  • 3 Tbl coffee grounds
  • 4 tsp salt (unrefined, real salt like this)
  • 1 Tbl pepper
  1. Combine all rub ingredients well
  2. Gently rub into ribs and let rest so that flavors work into meat at least 1 hour (this can also be done one day before cooking)
  3. Heat oven to 325
  4. In a ½ inch to 1 inch deep baking sheet, add onion, garlic and enough water to cover the bottom of the sheet. Place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet and add the ribs to the rack
  5. Loosely cover ribs with foil and bake for 90 minutes covered
  6. Remove ribs from oven and remove foil cover. Brush barbecue sauce over the ribs and place back in the oven for another 90 minutes, uncovered
  7. When the ribs easily twist off the rack, raise oven rack and broil for five minutes
  8. Enjoy right away!

This post is sponsored by Home Grown Cow, however, the opinions and photos are our own. Authenticity is of the highest importance to Scratch Mommy, so we would never promote any brand or product that we wholeheartedly don’t believe in or wouldn’t use ourselves.

Comments 4

  1. This RUB sounds great! But, could I use this for RIBS cooked in a smoker??
    Would I still use the pan under the rack with onions and garlic and water? Or,
    what would u suggest? Thanks, Liz

    1. Post

      Hi Liz! Thanks! And, yes! This would work great in the smoker too. You still want to have a pan with at least water under the ribs so that they don’t dry out. Onions and garlic in the water can help add some flavor to the steam. I have also used half water and half apple cider vinegar before which has a neat, tangy flavor!

  2. Great minds think alike! This past weekend smoked some ribs with a rib rub, then finished them off in the oven with homemade bqq sauce. For a bit more spice, add in some chili powder to your rub mix! When making bbq sauce, I found the ingredient that is key is black strap mollasess, really pulls all the flavors together! Counting down the days till summer! 🙂

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