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Cider Vinegar Baby Back Ribs

Father's Day dinner 2013

The meat from these baby back ribs is fall-off-the-bone tender and oh so flavorful!

Dave requested vinegar-based ribs as his Father’s Day main course. Done! Although the ribs were delish, they weren’t the best part of Father’s Day.

On the Thursday night before, I received a text from my sister-in-law, Teresa, saying that she was on her way to town for an unexpected visit.

Teresa and my older brother divorced over 20 years ago, but she and I have always been close… since high school actually. She and my four nephews moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho some 19 years ago. Sadly, we rarely see each other.

My dad gets up to Idaho to see his grandsons and Teresa every couple of years, but we haven’t been there since 2003.

Teresa wanted to know if she should call Dad or if I thought she should surprise him on Father’s Day instead.

Surprise, of course!

coady girls

So Teresa, her sister Jennifer, and their mom, Judy, walked in about a half-hour before dinner and surprised Dad. He was overjoyed and has been talking about it every day since. There is nothing better than seeing and catching up with family!

Jen, Judy, and Teresa are pictured above. Love them! xoxo


Dave’s Dry-Rubbed Cider Vinegar Baby Back Ribs

Dry Rub
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon celery salt
1  1/2 teaspoons whole cumin, toasted and ground
1  1/2 teaspoons whole coriander, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 slabs (racks) baby back pork ribs (about 10 pounds)
1 bottle of your favorite beer

Vinegar Basting Sauce
1  1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For Serving
Purchased tomato-based BBQ sauce, optional

rib rub

Dry Rub: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.

rubbed ribs

Place ribs on a large baking sheet and coat the ribs generously with the rub. Cover ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Roast Ribs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

add beer

Pour half of the bottle of beer into the bottom of the pan and recover with the plastic wrap and then with foil, taking care to be sure the foil completely covers all visible plastic wrap.

plastic and foil

Bake ribs in the preheated oven for 2 hours.


Remove the ribs after 1 hour and turn over. Add the remaining 1/2 of the beer to the pan, or as much of it as is needed.


Recover pan with new plastic wrap (as the old will be all shriveled up and useless)

new plastic

Then again cover the same foil, taking care to cover the plastic completely with the foil, and return to the oven for 2 more hours.

Remove from the oven and remove the plastic wrap and foil and roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes more. Remove from the oven.

4 hours later

If you have time, let the ribs cool to nearly room temperature before grilling. This will let them firm up a bit, otherwise, they are so very tender that the meat will just fall off the bone. Not that that’s a bad thing, but they will be easier to grill if they are not hot from the oven.

Vinegar Basting Sauce: While ribs are in the oven, combine all the basting sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. The sauce will not be thick. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

grilling ribs

Grill Ribs: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Spray or oil the grates.

Arrange the ribs, meat side down, brush with the sauce, and grill until they start to get a little brown and charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the ribs over, brush with the sauce, and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the ribs are nicely browned.

Cider-Vinegar Baby Back Ribs

Remove from the grill and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the ribs apart and arrange on a serving platter. Pass purchased BBQ sauce if desired.

Makes about 48 ribs

fathers day dinner

P.S. Along with the Zucchini Carpaccio, we had this Broccoli-Ramen Slaw as our other side dish.

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1 Marissa { 06.19.13 at 8:56 AM }

Ugh it’s only 9 a.m. but I want this.

2 Sloane { 06.19.13 at 9:00 AM }

They were amazing

3 Dave { 06.19.13 at 6:14 PM }

They were perfect, and an almost great fathers day it was. The almost part is of course because my beautiful daughter wasn’t there. But it was great having my wonderful son and the rest of the family around.

4 Lisa { 06.19.13 at 6:21 PM }

Plastic wrap doesn’t melt in the oven? For real?

5 Linda Hopkins { 06.19.13 at 9:36 PM }

Not when it’s covered by foil. For reals!

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