Bensonhurst Kitchen: Colleen’s No Barbecue, Barbecue Ribs

If you can stomach a salad after two racks of these ribs, you're a better person than me

You have a hankering for some home-made barbecue ribs but you live in an apartment. You don’t own an outdoor grill, much less a smoker. And since you’re on the second floor, there’s not even a backyard to barbecue in.

How do grill-deprived apartment dwellers, like ourselves, produce barbecue ribs that would make even a seasoned pit master salivate?

Fear not, because Colleen has the solution. She’s devised a devious method that delivers delectably smokey, caramelized, just plain delicious ribs to your taste buds without leaving the great air conditioned indoors.

Using some liquid smoke and an oven broiler, she has reduced fancy backyard smokers to bells and whistles.

Even if you do have a nice backyard setup, this recipe will help insure that you don’t go without ridiculous fall-off-the-bone ribs, even in a rainstorm.

And for all you upper floor renters, that backyard you wish you had is hereby an unnecessary accessory…

Colleen’s No Barbecue, Barbecue Ribs

(Serves 6 people)


4 lbs pork ribs
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)
Liquid Smoke
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce


Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Peel off the tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs.

Sprinkle liquid smoke on both sides of the ribs, rubbing it in. Start with a couple of drops and add additional as needed.

Mix together the light brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and chili powder or cayenne pepper to make the rub.

Apply the rub on all sides of the ribs equally making sure to use all the rub.

Lay ribs on two layers of foil. The shiny side of the foil should be on the outside and the meaty side of the ribs down.

Lay two layers of foil on top of the ribs, roll and crimp the edges of the foil together tightly with the edges facing up to seal.

Place on baking sheet and bake for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.

Remove from oven and turn the broiler on.

Arrange ribs on baking sheet bony side up and brush on your choice of barbecue sauce.

Broil until the sauce is cooked on and bubbly, approximately 1 to 2 minutes

Turn the ribs over and repeat on the other side.

When it comes to liquid smoke, less is more. It will give the ribs a great “cooked on the grill” flavor but too much liquid smoke will make you think you are eating the grill.

To remove the membrane, start at the bottom center and use a knife to make a pocket between the membrane and the ribs. Then slide your thumbs into it, working the membrane off from the center outward to the ends.

Recipe and tips by Colleen.


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