Ed. Note: Well, if it weren’t already entirely obvious, I’ve lost my muse.  Hence, my months-long absence.  Here’s to finding inspiration at the farmer’s market…or some such seasonal haven.  Also, I have no idea why the fonts in this post are wacky, but if I don’t post it right now it just won’t happen.  Please forgive/ignore. 🙂  Thanks much!


My husband could eat barbequed anything every day and never tire of it, so his Father’s Day dinner was a no-brainer: Ribs.  Now just to figure out WTH to do with them. 

I’ve tried, not too hard but tried nonetheless, for years to find the secret to making a rack of ribs actually taste good.  Like, really good.  As in, worth the effort it takes to eat them.  And good enough that makes the prep actually worth it considering the minimal amount of meat you actually get at the end of the whole deal.

I’ll spare you the tried-and-failed methods (except to say that one involved a bottle of Italian dressing…wha??!  I know.).  Behold the only method I will use from this point forward:  8-3-1-1.  Memorize that formula. 

8 T. brown sugar

3 T. kosher salt

1 tsp. your favorite seasoning

1 tsp. your other favorite seasoning  [I used thyme, some smoked paprika from Allspice, and probably some black pepper]


The genius and oh-so-generous butcher at Fareway let me in on this secret and I will be forever grateful. 

Here’s what you do:

Mix the 8-3-1-1 formula, pat gently over the rack of ribs.  Wrap the rack and refrigerate overnight.  The next day, unwrap the rack and place it on a sheet pan, cover with foil, and bake at 250 for about 4 hours.  [During that last hour and a half, your house will smell amazing and you’ll not be able to set foot in the kitchen without salivating.  Be warned.]  Remove from oven and let set. 

About 30 minutes before dinner, fire up the grill.  Slather the ribs with your favorite barbeque sauce—store-bought or homemade, whatever you fancy—and grill for a few minutes each side, turning often, just enough to caramelize that sauce and get it all sticky-delicious. 


These were outstanding.  Totally worth the effort and absolutely worth the time—all eight minutes of hands-on prep. J  Turning the ribs on the grill was a bit tricky, but only because they were so tender they were ready to fall apart.  I found it worked better to halve the rack and deal with just a section at a time.

Given that dinner was his Father’s Day gift, I’m more than thrilled that this formula and method turned out so well.  Might even make ‘em again this holiday weekend!


2 thoughts on “8-3-1-1

  1. OK Jess.. I bought ribs today… Not a rack of ribs.. but country style, bone-in ribs. Sooooo I will give this a try and hope it works! I must say I have not really EVER been a fan of ribs. Have never ordered them in a restaurant even. So I’ll make sure to report back how it goes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s