Cocoa-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


It's a lucky rack of ribs that meets this rub: warm spices like cinnamon, allspice, and ginger get a depth charge from cocoa powder and bit of heat from fiery mustard powder. Prepared a day ahead of time and then baked until meltingly tender, they're a perfect weeknight meal.


  • 13 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 12 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. ancho chili powder
  • 2 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried mustard
  • 2 tsp. dried ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 racks (3 lb.) pork baby back ribs


Step 1

Mix cocoa, sugar, and spices together in a bowl. Rub ribs generously with spice mixture, and wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.

Step 2

About 2 hours before you plan to serve the ribs, remove them from the refrigerator and allow the ribs come to room temperature. Heat oven to 375°. Place ribs in a shallow roasting pan; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Increase oven to 450° and transfer ribs to a baking sheet with a wire rack; bake curved side up and flipping once, until browned, 15–20 minutes more. Cut ribs into individual bones to serve.

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