Super Bowl Faves: Oven BBQ Ribs and Slow Cooker/Instapot Pulled Pork


I’ve mentioned before that every once in a while you and I are on the same page when it comes to what to make for supper. It happened again recently when, after a presentation, a fellow came up and asked if I had a recipe for oven barbecued ribs. “I don’t want to mess with the grill in this weather,” he said. I had to laugh because a few days prior, that’s exactly what we enjoyed for supper.  

Making oven barbecued ribs won’t give you grill marks, but no worries. It’s a simple and pretty foolproof method. And one I hope you try. Good sides would be smashed boiled potatoes or mac & cheese and something green, either as a veggie or salad.

Now for another barbecue recipe, this time for pulled pork in the slow cooker or instapot, check the one I’m sharing from best friend Carol Vanover, and Indiana girl, who always comes up with doable, yet seriously tasty, food. 

With Super Bowl on the horizon, either of these would be good crowd pleasers.  

Easy oven barbecued baby back ribs

First you need a rub. Use your favorite store bought or try this one. It’s good on just about anything. It’s not real spicy so if you want to up the heat, add more cayenne.

Basic dry rub


4 tablespoons salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons sweet paprika (or sub in 1 tablespoon smoked paprika and 2 tablespoons sweet)

1 tablespoon each: garlic and onion powder

2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin (optional but good)

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne or ancho pepper

Few shakes allspice (optional but good)


Just mix together. Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to 1 month.


The rub is enough for 2 racks or more depending upon size.


Preheat oven to 250 or 275.

Place each rack of ribs meat side down on heavy duty foil. (Double the foil if using regular).

Prick back of rib rack with knife to poke through the skin. This allows the rub to penetrate.

Sprinkle rub all over on both sides – be generous.

Put rib rack meat side down again and fold foil all around to make a tight seal.

Place on cookie sheet.

Bake about 2 hours or until meat cooks through and is tender.

Remove from oven, drain juices and reserve juices. Leave ribs on foil.

Increase temperature to 350.

Brush barbecue sauce all over ribs. This time place the ribs meat side up, bone side down. Roast 10 minutes, remove from oven, and repeat brushing and roasting another 3 times or so. What you’re doing is building up a nice coating that bakes onto the meat as it roasts.

To serve

Cut into individual segments and serve with more barbecue sauce on the side.

Adapted from Chef John. 

Why baby back ribs?

Sometimes labeled pork loin ribs, baby backs are lean and tender and easy to pick up with fingers. The name “baby” comes from the fact that they are shorter than spareribs, and “back”, because they are closest to the main backbone.


Carol Vanover and I have been besties since early grade school. She is always coming up with simple, yet seriously tasty, recipes. Here’s her latest. 


1 pork sirloin tip roast, about 3 pounds

1 onion, cut into thick slices

1/2 cup each: brown sugar and catsup

1 packet dried onion soup mix

1/2 cup red wine (more if necessary to make mixture pourable)


Salt and pepper and brown on all sides in a bit of olive oil. 

Place in slow cooker and put onions around it. Carol said they actually caramelized in the slow cooker. Pour sauce over and around roast. Cook on low 8-10 hours (check at about 6 hours) or high 4-5. 

Shred pork, add some juices, and pour on favorite bbq sauce. 

To cook in instant: follow recipe directions for pork sirloin roast.

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