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Perfect Oven Ribs by Sterling West

If you think that the only way to be successful at ribs is to be a level 72 pitmaster, think again.  Delicious oven-baked ribs can be achieved by anyone. It will require a little planning and patience to achieve this perfection.  The good news about this oven ribs is almost all of the work is done sitting back and waiting. So if your idea of cooking includes a good movie and a beer then you are in luck.

The first thing we do in preparing the ribs is to remove the membrane.  Removing the membrane will keep our ribs from being tough, to get those fall off the bone ribs this is a key part of that success.  To remove it, use a knife to gently slide under the membrane then using your fingers to pull the membrane away from the bones. If slippery or difficult to remove, use a kitchen towel to take hold of it and pull. 

pull off rib membrane

By the way, you might actually find that the butcher or shop you bought your ribs from has already removed the membrane. Less work for you! If you prefer your ribs to have a little bite/chewiness then you might prefer the membrane left on. It’s all up to you!

The next step is covering your ribs in salt and pepper and whatever spices you like. You don’t want to put any sauce on at this time as we will save that for the end.  After applying your favorite spices cover the ribs in aluminum foil. Remember low and slow is the key to rib success so set your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 3-4 hours until tender.  If you like wet ribs finish them off by slathering sauce on them and broiling until sauce begins to caramelize. Ribs in the oven are just that easy.   


Kansas City Rub

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon/15 mL salt

1 tablespoon/15 mL chili powder

1 tablespoon/15 mL garlic powder

1 tablespoon/15 mL onion powder

1 teaspoon/5 mL cayenne


Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (suggestion Sriracha)

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Salt and ground pepper, to taste


After 20 years in the United States Army and retiring as a Sergeant First Class, Sterling West pursued his second career and graduated from the Park City Culinary Institute with a Cuisine Certificate. He now leads operations at the school.


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