Learn how to make BBQ ribs from ‘The Office’ alum Brian Baumgartner

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In OfficeKevin may have spilled his famous chili, but Brian Baumgartner – the actor behind the iconic character – is much more talented in the kitchen IRL.

Baumgartner, 51, recently released Really Good Barbecue Cookbookthe rest of its 2022 Seriously good chili recipe bookand he shares his smoked ribs recipe with We just in time for the 4th of July.

“Ribs are king,” Desk actions of former students in the latest issue of Us every week, on newsstands now. “(These ribs are) wet and falling off the bones.”

Baumgartner says his ribs pair perfectly with potato salad and elote corn.

“Even though it takes five to six hours, it’s very satisfying…and perfect for the Fourth of July,” he adds.

Keep scrolling for Baumgartner’s Wholemeal Short Ribs recipe:

Learn how to make barbecue ribs Brian Baumgartner, Office alumnus
Courtesy of Fox Chapel Publishing

Smoked ribs

For 2 people


To scrub

  • 8 tablespoons of sweet paprika
  • 5 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered mustard
  • ½ teaspoon hot cayenne pepper

For the ribs


To scrub

  1. Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

For the ribs

  1. Wash the ribs in cold water and pat dry. If possible, ask your local butcher to remove the membrane. Otherwise, remove the membrane before continuing.
  2. Rub all ribs generously.
  3. Preheat your grill to 225 degrees. (I like to smoke my ribs with hickory chips.)
  4. Place the bone-in ribs on your smoker/indirect heat. Cooking time varies, but expect the ribs to smoke for 5 to 6 hours. I like to put apple cider in a spray bottle and spritz the ribs occasionally while cooking to keep them moist. This will also help the smoky flavor adhere to the ribs better. You can also pray the chips with apple cider to extend their life and replace the chips with freshly dipped ones as needed.
  5. Test the ribs using the “fold method”: take one end of the rack and allow the ribs to fold. If the meat cracks and starts to separate, it’s finished. The meat should not fall off the bones yet.
  6. That’s it! Once the bones pass the bend test, let them rest for 20 minutes and serve as is or with your favorite barbecue sauce!

Warm Tips

  • The day before, soak the chips or pellets in apple cider overnight. This will give your ribs a delicious, sweet, smoky flavor.
  • If you don’t have a smoker, you can use your gas grill and a “Smoker Box”. I recommend the Weber Universal Stainless Steel Smoker Box. Simply place the pre-soaked chips in the can over direct heat and place the bone-in ribs on the other side of the grill.

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