Grilled or barbecued ribs are always delicious, but if you don’t have a grill or smoker, oven braised or baked ribs are just as good. This easy Cajun-influenced rib recipe for the oven, from New Orleans chef Isaac Toups, employs a couple smoky spices for the rub and braises the ribs with beer, honey, and hot sauce. They’re served with double-dill pickles to cut through the richness of the meat. (The method of making the pickles is genius and you’ll have plenty extra for sandwiches and snacks.)

See a video demo of the recipe for more pointers, check out our guide to the best baby back ribs and spare ribs ever, and don’t forget the best rib sides to serve along with your meaty masterpiece.

Shopping Note: Aleppo pepper has a smoky flavor but if you can’t find it, you can substitute more smoked paprika or chili powder if need be.

Game Plan: Make the pickles at least a day in advance, if not more like a week; they’ll keep a while and taste good with lots of other things.

Ingredients (12)

For the ribs:

  • 3 pounds baby back pork ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons Aleppo pepper
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces amber beer
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

For the Double-Dill Pickles:

  • 32 ounce jar whole dill pickles
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco hot sauce


To make the ribs:

  1. Season both sides of the rack of ribs with salt, Aleppo pepper, paprika, and black pepper, seasoning the meat side a bit more than the bone side. Let rest for 20 minutes in a roasting pan.
  2. Once it’s rested, move the rack to the highest rack in your oven and preheat the broiler.
  3. Broil ribs for 5 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from the oven and change oven temp to 325° F.
  4. Take a large piece of aluminum foil and set the ribs on top. Create a boat-like shape that surrounds the ribs at the base.
  5. Pour beer, honey, and Tabasco sauce directly over the ribs and wrap foil to cover the ribs completely, using another piece of foil if necessary.
  6. Place ribs back in the roasting pan and bake for 1 hour.
  7. Remove ribs from the oven and de-foil. Pour any and all rib jus into a heatproof glass measuring cup or bowl and set aside. Skim off and discard the fat from the top of the jus.
  8. Cut the rack into 1 bone segments and add to a large bowl. Add reserved jus and butter to the bowl and toss well.
  9. Let the ribs sit in the sauce for 2 minutes and then toss again before serving.

To make the Double-Dill Pickles:

  1. Strain the pickle brine into a large nonreactive saucepan and remove the pickles to a cutting board. These are going to go right back in the jar so save it.
  2. Cut the pickles into 1⁄2 inch thick slices and put back in the jar.
  3. Add the brown sugar and Tabasco sauce to the pickle brine in the saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir. Once the sugar is fully dissolved, pour the hot liquid back over the pickles directly in the pickle jar.
  4. Let cool to room temperature.
  5. Refrigerate for 24 hours and they are good to go. They will keep refrigerated for several weeks.