Quick & Low, Easy & Slow, Oven & BBQ Great Ribs

I am known for ranting and raving about quick and easy recipes. I understand the desire to simplify everyday life. It’s in our human nature. However, we shouldn’t forget that cutting corners often leads to lower quality results. Get used to lower quality and it becomes a new standard. It’s the same with food. Easy is not about simple. Easy and simple is about knowing how to do.

Yet! There are few magical exceptions in a culinary world — recipes so simple, a child can follow and get professional quality results. They do not require any special skills or equipment. I’m serious! I shared this recipe with my friends, clients, strangers, who were experienced and inexperienced, poor and rich, teenage students and mature adults, cooking for one or for large family — they all made perfectly cooked ribs.

Oven and Foil

That’s all you need — an oven and an aluminum foil. It doesn’t even matter how good your oven is, as long as it keeps low temperatures. When you pack seasoned ribs relatively tight in foil and cook it low (270-300F) and slow (~3 hours), you do not let any moisture to escape. Thus, you keep in all the juices and flavors of meat, bones, cartilage, and fat. They gelatinize tough tissues and concentrate. The result is full of flavor and melts in your mouth!

Cowboy Bigos
Cowboy Bigos

Win Through Logistics

Down-to-earth. After cooking for 3 hours, it is ready to eat. Brush it with your favorite BBQ sauce, caramelize for 2 minutes under the broil, portion by cutting between bones, and serve.

Patient-and-professional. After cooking for 3 hours, take it out of oven without opening foil. Let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate for a few hours. Have you noticed that portions do not look attractive when you cut hot ribs? Try cutting them now! Aren’t they beautiful? Now, you can

  • take a few portions at a time or all of them,
  • place them on baking sheet lined with wrinkled foil,
  • brush with your favorite BBQ sauce, and
  • broil to caramelize the top for 2-5 minutes before serving.

In case you need to serve just one portion, use microwave. In case you are not sharing, leave 3 or 4 portions for the next few days in refrigerator, portion and package the rest in foil, and freeze.

Professional-and-creative. Obviously, you can create flavor variations by using different dry rubs, marinades, and sauces applied to ribs before packing in foil and slow cooking. In addition, you can play with flavors by placing fruits and vegetables under the rack of ribs. They can be as simple as sliced onions, carrots, and potatoes. Or, you can go with really complex combinations that include dry and smoked fruit, pickled and fermented vegetables, fresh herbs and exotic spices. The sky is the limit.

Pork Ribs: Cowboy Bigos

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 20 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: apple, cabbage, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, meat, pork, recipe, vegetables
Servings: 6 portions


  • 1 rack pork ribs baby back ribs preferred
  • 2 lb fermented cabbage
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 12 dry plum
  • 2 apples Granny Smith or Pinata, sliced
  • 2 tsp thyme dry
  • 2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp bbq sauce Salt Lick Original preferred
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil or your favorite vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven 300F. Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil twice longer than a rack of baby back ribs you are cooking.
  • Slice onions. Squeeze cabbage to remove extra moisture. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet on hight heat and saute onions and cabbage. Your goal is to evaporate some moisture and slightly caramelize vegetables.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • Place them along the center line of one half of the foil.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • Core and slice apples. Peel garlic cloves. Arrange equally distributed dry plums, garlic, and apple slices on top of cabbage. Sprinkle with some thyme, pepper, and salt.
  • Cover with baby back ribs rack.
  • Season the ribs and place more apple slices on top.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • Cover with the second half of foil.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • Seal the foil. Cook in the oven for 3 hours.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • In 3 hours, remove apples from the top, brush with BBQ sauce and broil for 2 minutes before serving. For extended serving, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate uncovered.
    Making Cowboy Bigos
  • Portion cold ribs by cutting between every two bones, place them on baking sheet lined with wrinkled foil, brush with your favorite BBQ sauce, and broil to caramelize the top for 2-5 minutes before serving.
    Cowboy Bigos


Ковбойский Бигос
Смешно? Зато честно, потому что из собственноручно квашеной техасской капусты и пуза молодого дикого техасского кабанчика.
Бигос-фьюжн в слоукукере
Cowboy Bigos