smoked meats at bbq places are great, but being able to make just-about-equally amazing and practically foolproof ribs at home for much less is also great, in fact arguably greater. I didn’t believe the “just-about-equally amazing” part at first, but if cooked right, they absolutely are.
and it’s easy to cook them right because the basic formula is actually really simple: first cook them covered and slowly (90-120 minutes) at a lower temperature (300-350), then uncover and cook more briefly at a higher temp (5 minutes of broiling or 15-20 minutes at 450-500).
we’re talking pork ribs here, and I prefer baby back to spare. I also prefer keeping the rack whole while cooking, though cutting into individual ribs before cooking works too and may cut down the cooking time a bit.
after that basic formula comes the fun part, flavoring. season them before starting with a spice rub and/or wet marinade, and (re-) apply sauce before broiling. the pre-broil saucing is more recommended than necessary. and flavor-wise anything is fair game. a few favorites:
classic bbq (opposite order of how I would do it but practically the same) for the rub, just about any combination of sweet-spicy-salty will taste good so lots of room for creativity
other options galore: indian with curry rub and tikka masala sauce…north african with ras el hanout and harissa…vietnamese with soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and herbs…israeli with za’atar and yogurt…french with wine and mustard…mexican mole…cherry/blueberry/blackberry-balsamic…