You're going to need more napkins.
There's something about the sultry days of summer that makes you want to just pick up your food and eat it with your hands. Case in point: barbeque ribs. Sure, you could take your knife and fork to them, but then you'd miss all the pleasure of pulling the meat off the bone with your teeth and licking every last bit of sauce and spices off your fingers. And isn't messy eating what summertime's all about? (Looking at you, watermelon, s'mores, and corn on the cob.) Here are a dozen of our best BBQ rib recipes that'll have you licking your fingers all summer long.
Related: Browse our collection of homemade barbeque sauce recipes.
No grill? No problem! These top-rated pork baby back ribs are cooked low and slow in your crock pot or slow cooker until perfectly tooth-tender. To keep them from getting greasy, you'll bake them in the oven for 30 minutes, drain off the fat, and finish in the slow cooker. Many reviewers cooked the ribs in their favorite homemade or store-bought BBQ sauce and loved the results.
Recipe submitter LLOYD RUSHING says, "Country-style ribs are cut from the loin, one of the leanest areas of pork. These ribs are seasoned, boiled until tender, then baked with your favorite barbeque sauce. That's it! Back to simplicity, back to the country life. Sigh."
"Made exactly as directed," says Deana Murray Marquis. "This was my first time using the Instant Pot and the ribs were amazing! Seasoned just right and fall off the bone. Will definitely make again!"
VIDEO: Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
Pork baby back ribs are seasoned with a dry rub, baked slowly in the oven, and quickly finished on the grill. While the ribs are baking, you can make the sweet, sticky, whiskey-laced barbeque sauce that helps give these ribs their solid 5-star rating. It can take a couple of hours to fully reduce the sauce, so plan your time accordingly. Reviewers agree it's well worth it.
These baby backs are dry-rubbed, baked low and slow, then brushed with homemade barbeque sauce and finished in the oven. If you'd like to finish them on the grill, follow Baking Nana's lead: " For make ahead 'ready to BBQ Ribs' I usually coat the ribs in the dry rub and wrap tightly and let sit in the refrigerator over night. Bake at 250 for at LEAST 2 hours—sometimes they take longer. Then I let them cool in the package—drain the juices out of the package and store in the refrigerator until we are ready to grill. Finishing them on the grill, using indirect heat is so easy and there is virtually no clean up other than to wipe your chops and toss the bones. Enjoy!"
These baked and grilled ribs are finished with a bold rum and chile sauce that convinced many reviewers that homemade BBQ sauce is the only way to go.
VIDEO: Barbecue Ribs
Put your smoker to good use with this top-rated rib recipe. Recipe submitter dadcooksagain says, " I usually use baby back ribs but have had great success with spare ribs as well."
"This is the PERFECT spice mix, and the best way to season the meat," says CHRISNELDER. "Trimming the membrane off is crucial, and actually not that hard to do with a flat boning knife if you insert it parallel to the rib and directly over it. Once you get the first few done, you can grab the membrane and just tear it off the rest." Watch the video to see how to trim and cook the ribs.
VIDEO: Prize Winning Baby Back Ribs
Talk about easy! It takes only 4 ingredients to make these tender baked pork ribs. "Good Lord these ribs were awesome!" says Alicia Sanderita. "Everyone in my house loved them. I had 2 pans so I cooked them at 325 for 2 hours covered with aluminum foil. After 2 hours I drained the juice and covered the ribs with BBQ sauce. I turned the temp down to 275 and left the foil on for another 30 minutes. I then removed the foil for 20 minutes to let the sauce thicken. So a total of 2 hours and 50 minutes. The ribs fell off the bone!"
10. Barbequed Ribs
This two-day process intensifies the flavor of the slow-baked ribs with an overnight dry-rub marinade followed by a quick turn on the grill with a homemade barbeque sauce. "Believe the hype," raves MANDISSAL. "These were fantastic! I don't have a grill so for the grill part, I just put them in the oven at 350 degrees, basting frequently." Reviewers also recommend you double the sauce. I'd listen to them.
VIDEO: Barbequed Ribs
Korean-style short ribs (beef chuck flanken) are marinated in a sweet soy sauce with a touch of sesame oil to give the sauce its distinctive flavor. Since it takes only a few minutes on the grill to finish the dish, this is a great make-ahead for easy summer grilling.
Beef back ribs are slow cooked for hours in a simple homemade barbeque sauce. Perfect for when you're hungry for BBQ ribs but you don't want to fire up the grill or heat up your kitchen.
VIDEO: Slow Cooker Barbequed Beef Ribs