Learn to Make ‘The Office’ Alum Brian Baumgartner’s BBQ Ribs

Learn to Make The Office Alum Brian Baumgartner BBQ Ribs
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In The Office, Kevin may have spilled his famous chili, but Brian Baumgartner — the actor behind the iconic character — is much more skilled in the kitchen IRL.

Baumgartner, 51, recently released Seriously Good Barbecue Cookbook, the follow-up to his 2022 Seriously Good Chili Cookbook, and he’s sharing his smoked baby back ribs recipe with Us just in time for the 4th of July.

“Ribs are the king,” the Office alum shares in the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now. “[These ribs are] moist and fall off the bone.”

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

“Even though it takes five to six hours to make, it’s very satisfying … and perfect for 4th of July,” he adds.

Keep scrolling for Baumgartner’s full ribs recipe:

Learn to Make The Office Alum Brian Baumgartner BBQ Ribs
Courtesy of Fox Chapel Publishing

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Serves 2


For Rub

  • 8 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp hot cayenne pepper

For Ribs


For Rub

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

For Ribs

  1. Wash the ribs in cold water and pat dry. If possible, have your local butcher remove the membrane. If not, remove the membrane before continuing.
  2. Liberally place rub all over the ribs.
  3. Preheat your grill to 225 degrees. (I like to smoke my ribs with hickory chips.)
  4. Place the ribs bone down on your smoker/indirect heat. Cooking time will vary, but expect the ribs to smoke 5 to 6 hours. I like to put apple cider in a spray bottle and occasionally spray the ribs as they cook to keep them moist. It 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 chips with fresh-soaked chips as you go if needed.
  5. Test the ribs using the “bend method”: Pick up one end of the rack and allow the ribs to bend. If the meat cracks and starts to separate, they are finished. The meat should nto fall off the bone yet.
  6. That’s it! After the bones pass the bend test, let them rest for 20 minutes and serve as is or with your favorite barbecue sauce!

Hot Tips

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

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