Hot & Smoky Baby Back Ribs

Union Market Hot Smoky Ribs

Summer has officially begun, which means we’re taking advantage of the warm weather and savoring our meals outdoors whenever possible. And whether you’re grilling, picnicking, or heading to the beach for the Fourth, we’ve got you covered with our selection of fresh summer produce, antibiotic-free burgers and hot dogs, and our housemade grab-and-go eats.

This July 4th, we plan on serving up our popular Hot & Smoky Ribs alongside some of our house coleslaw and potato salad. You can find these tender, slow-cooked baby back ribs at the Prepared Food counter in any of our stores, or you can make them at home using Chef Sandro’s recipe below.

These ribs are easy to make and can be prepared up to 5 days ahead of time. Just refrigerate them until you’re ready to reheat and serve; they only get tastier with each day in the fridge. Be sure to double or triple the recipe if you’re entertaining—they tend to disappear fast!


Hot & Smoky Baby Back Ribs

By Sandro Romano

Serves 2-3


1 full rack baby back pork ribs (2-2½ lb)
1 cup of either Szeged Rib Rub (available at Union Market) or homemade dry rub from the recipe below
⅓ cup of salt
1 cup Lillie’s Q Hot Smoky barbecue sauce (available at Union Market)

Sandro’s DIY Dry Rub:

¼ cup sweet paprika
4½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4½ tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp salt
1½ tsp ground cumin
1½ tsp dry Colman’s dry mustard powder
1½ tsp garlic powder
1½ tsp cayenne pepper
1½ tsp celery salt


Pat the rack dry on both sides with a paper towel.

Combine the salt with either one cup of Szeged Rib Rub or the ingredients for Chef Sandro’s DIY Dry Rub in a medium bowl. Mix together well and then rub all over both sides of the rack, making sure to apply it evenly. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you plan on cooking the ribs.

Preheat your oven to 225°F with the rack placed in the middle.

Set the ribs on a metal rack with the rounded side facing up, then place the rack on a large rimmed baking sheet and put into the preheated oven.

Cook undisturbed for one hour. Then, with a brush, coat the top and bottom of the baby back ribs generously with the Lillie’s Q Hot Smoky sauce and cook for another hour.

Turn off the heat and let the ribs sit in the warm oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove the ribs from the oven and brush with the remaining Hot Smoky sauce.

Let the ribs cool for 15 minutes and then, when still warm, wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap, making sure to remove any air pockets as you do so.

At this point the ribs can be refrigerated for up to 5 days until ready to serve.

Forty minutes before you’re ready to serve, reheat the ribs by putting the entire wrapped package on a baking sheet and placing it in a 140°F oven for 40 minutes. Make sure not to set the oven any higher than 140°F or you risk melting the plastic wrap. If you prefer, you can remove the plastic wrap and rewrap the rack in aluminum foil before heating.

Serve with Hot Smoky barbecue sauce on the side.