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Yes, we know not all dads like indulge in meaty meat, but for those that do embrace their inner caveman when it’s time to eat, these rib recipes are the perfect thing to make for Father’s Day dinner.
If you’re planning to grill anyway, don’t futz around with the generic BBQ fare. Do something a little more special—paella is great for pescetarian dads, and it’s possible to pull off great vegetarian BBQ food too. But if your old man is firmly in the carnivore camp, show him you care by presenting him with slabs of ribs you’ve marinated, rubbed with spices, smoked, and slathered with homemade barbecue sauce.
And if you don’t have a grill, don’t sweat it—we have options for oven baked ribs, Crock Pot ribs, and Instant Pot ribs below too. In any case, you can do most of the prep work the day before, so you’ll have more time to chill with dad before dinner on his special day.
This is a serious rack of ribs, with real heft and deep beefy flavor. Finding the ribs will probably be the hardest part; the actual cooking process is pretty laid back, beginning with a spicy-sweet dry rub best applied the day before. You can also make the smoky chipotle BBQ sauce ahead of time. Then on the day of, just roast the ribs in the oven until they’re super tender, and finish them on the grill to caramelize the outside. Get our Smoky-Sweet BBQ Beef Short Rib recipe.
An equally easy approach (rub, roast, grill to finish) suits more common baby back ribs too. You can use smoked paprika if you want some extra hazy flavor, especially if you finish the ribs under the broiler instead of on a grill, which is a totally valid option. Get our Easy BBQ Baby Back Rib recipe.
Another less famous cut, country-style pork ribs are more like steaks, meaty and boneless. They get a rub-down with brown sugar, chipotle and ancho chile, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder and chill out overnight, then are cooked entirely on the grill until juicy and charred. Get our Grilled Country-Style Pork Rib recipe.
Oven baked ribs are not only easy, they’re incredibly succulent—and you can still get a sticky lacquer finish with a bit of char by cranking up the broiler at the end of cooking. These baby back ribs are simply seasoned with lots of garlic, cider vinegar, brown sugar, and lemon zest, but you can go with a more traditional sauce if you prefer. Get our Vinegar and Spice Oven Baked Rib recipe.
Another indoor option is to make Crock Pot ribs. Our Slow Cooker Bourbon BBQ Rib recipe submerges baby back racks in a super savory BBQ sauce with bacon, bourbon, and brewed coffee. Alone, it’s delicious, but combined with the dry rub on the meat, it’s next-level. We recommend giving these a brief run under the broiler too, after 4-5 hours in the crock.
If you’re in a hurry, Instant Pot ribs are an obvious choice. You can find Instant Pot baby back rib recipes galore, but we like a meatier cut best for this method. Our Pressure Cooker Beef Short Rib recipe uses what might sound like an odd ingredient—cola—to help balance the spicy rub, but it blends beautifully with the other ingredients to form a rich, beefy gravy that’s perfect over mashed potatoes.
If you want to practice your smoking skills and really impress dad, these smoked baby back ribs are amazing. If you don’t have a smoker, you can hack a charcoal grill per the directions in our Smoked Barbecue Baby Back Rib recipe. We like our bourbon-bacon BBQ sauce with these too, but you can always use your favorite barbecue sauce instead.
Korean BBQ is never a bad choice, and these thin-cut beef short ribs are an ideal choice for impatient eaters, too; they only take 20 minutes to cook (though they do benefit from being marinated overnight). Get our Grilled Beef Kalbi recipe. And don’t skimp on the banchan—but don’t be afraid to pair these with potato salad either.
Don’t have all night to let your meat marinate? Our Grilled Korean Short Rib Kebab recipe only needs 4-6 hours to infuse the thinly sliced beef with great flavor. There’s a kick from garlic and Sriracha (try gochujang instead if you have it), but that’s balanced by soy, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and mirin.