Brick Oven Baby Back Ribs
Special praise must be given to baby back ribs for their double-handed talent of both sounding and tasting good on the tongue. A barbecue staple, well-cooked ribs of any kind are a point of pride for any aspiring or established pitmaster. However, these delicious cuts of meat aren’t permanently relegated to the rack of a grill; read on to learn about the history of ribs and how you can cook them in your wood-burning oven!
The origin of the word
Ribs, in their long-form, are referred to as “spare ribs”. Despite the name’s seeming implication that it refers to leftover cuts of meat on a pig’s ribcage, “spare ribs” actually comes from an old German word Rippenspeer. The Spruce Eats points out that this has the literal meaning of “spear ribs”, which was anglicized into ribspare and later, spare ribs.
Baby back ribs, much like the term spare ribs, also have a slightly misleading name. First used in 1954, Kitchn explains that the term “baby back” refers to the lower back portion where the ribs are cut, resulting in a smaller cut of meat, not because they were cut from a baby pig. (Wilbur isn’t in danger this time.)
A little barbecue history
Culturally speaking, barbecue is steeped in American mythos. Many states in the country pride themselves on their own regional variations, like the Texan love for beef or the South’s affinity for pork doused in various sauces. It’s thought that the term barbecue was used by Spanish explorers to refer to the cooking practices of the native inhabitants they encountered after arriving in the Carribean, and what would later be Florida. Importantly, as noted by Time, these Spaniards also brought pigs along with them.
The resulting mix of cultures created a form of cooking that allowed for large amounts of food to be prepared over the course of a day, imparting rich flavors to dense cuts of meat. As the United States expanded and regional differences became more pronounced, various forms of barbecue gained prominence in their respective locations of origin.
Baby back in your backyard
The term “barbecue” has expanded recently to generally include cooking any meat on the grill. Traditionally speaking, however, smoking barbecue ribs on a grill requires a lot of heat and a lot of time, which makes them the perfect food to cook in a wood-fired oven capable of supplying both of these things. With the right combination of searing pizza oven temperature and some culinary chops, delectable baby back ribs will make a mouthwatering addition to your book of wood-fired recipes!
Below are the details on how to bring the best barbecue ribs to your outdoor kitchen. As a bonus, he also gives his technique for preparing and cooking a rack of lamb as well.
- 3 Racks Baby Back Ribs
- French’s Yellow Mustard
- Dry Rub – use your own recipe or your favorite from a store
1. Fire up your CBO oven to 450-500°F — to better know the temperature in your oven, use an infrared temperature gun to know when it's ready.
2. Cut full rack of ribs in half (to fit a rib rack).
3. Coat both sides of the ribs with mustard.
4. Rub the ribs in dry spices on either side.
5. Place ribs in a rack with a drip pan underneath in the middle of the hearth.
Roast ribs for 35-40 minutes. Spin the rack around (front to back) midway through the cooking process to make sure all sides are cooking evenly. Cooking times will vary with size and thickness of ribs.
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