1bottleready-made barbecue sauce, divided (see Tip)
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Prepare 1 large sheet of tin foil to cover the bottom, sides, and top of a 13-by 9-inch baking dish. Place the foil covering the bottom and sides of the with the edges standing upright. (See Tip).
Cut ribs into 4 equal pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle onion powder and garlic powder over ribs. Using your hands, rub seasonings into ribs. Arrange ribs in foil-lined baking dish. Add 3 tablespoon water to the bottom of the dish.
If using garlic cloves, cut small slits in between ribs (do not cut all the way through). Insert garlic slices in slits. If using bay leaves, arrange alongside ribs.
Fold foil into a tent-shaped packet over the ribs.
Bake ribs for 55 minutes. Carefully open top of the foil packet, letting steam escape. Baste ribs with barbecue sauce until just covered. Set aside remaining barbecue sauce. Do not reseal foil packet.
Bake with foil packet open, 15 minutes or until ribs are fork-tender and sauce is caramelized. Remove from the oven, lightly close the top of the foil and let stand 10 minutes. Transfer to serving plates and serve with remaining BBQ sauce.
Replace the ready-made barbecue sauce with one of these homemade sauces, if you desire:
The USDA recommends that baby back ribs be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. While they will be safe to eat at this point, they will not be very tender or flavorful. Barbecuing experts agree that ribs are done between 180°F and 195°F. (One of the best tests is to bite into a rib and see if you can see your teeth marks!)
The cooking time for these baby back ribs will be more than enough to be cooked to a safe temperature. Now, you just need to test for doneness which is best done with a fork. - Or your teeth :)