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Eat Like a Fan: Race-Day Oven Honey Ribs

baby back ribs recipe for the oven

baby back ribs recipe for the oven

As the weather heats up, so does the NASCAR schedule. The late April slate of races is one of the best stretches of the entire Cup season — with the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway (April 15), Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway (April 21) and GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (April 29). Both Bristol (Tenn.) and Richmond (Va.) provide electric short-track energy, while Ricky Bobby’s favorite track at Talladega (Ala.) is a restrictor-plate behemoth unlike any other.

For the perfect race-day feast during NASCAR’s Southern swing, we caught up with Francine Bryson, author of Country Cooking from a Redneck Kitchen. Her “Oven Honey Ribs” are a great addition to any race-day watch party — or one-man rib-eating contest on the couch. “Honey and barbecue go hand in hand,” says Bryson. “This recipe makes a sweet, tangy, sticky rib with a bit of kick to it at the end.” Hopefully the racing is as good as these ribs.


In a small bowl, combine all dry rub ingredients.

• 1 Tbsp kosher salt

• 1 tsp smoked paprika

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 1 Tbsp granulated onion

• 1 Tbsp granulated garlic


Sprinkle the tops of 2 full racks of baby back ribs with 2 heaping tablespoons of the rub. Turn and sprinkle the bottom surface of the racks with the remaining rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.


In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine all of the sauce ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes.

• 1 cup ketchup

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• ²⁄ ³ cup Worcestershire sauce

• ²⁄ ³ cup light brown sugar

• ½ tsp hot sauce

• 1 tsp black pepper

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp smoked paprika

• 1 tsp chili powder

• 2 Tbsp yellow mustard

• 1 Tbsp liquid smoke flavoring

• 1 tsp minced garlic

• ¼ cup all-purpose flour

• 1 (12 oz) bottle amber ale

• ½ cup honey


• Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking pan or sheet with foil. • Remove the plastic wrap from the racks and arrange them on the baking pan or sheet. • Cover the pan with foil. • Bake the ribs until the meat starts to pull away from the end of the rib, about 3½ hours.


• Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. • Remove the foil and drain off any accumulated liquid. • Brush both sides of ribs with the barbecue sauce. • Return them to the oven and cook, uncovered, until darkened in color, 30 minutes longer.