posted in 4th of July

How to Cook the Best Ribs in the Oven

Seriously, for the best-ever way to make fall-apart, barbecue ribs, follow these directions > How to Cook the Best Ribs in the Oven

How to Cook Ribs in the Oven

We are no strangers to barbecued ribs in our house.  My son is madly in love with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce- Original (no, this is not a sponsored message!), and he puts it on just about everything he eats.  His favorite is ribs.  We often like to make them in our smoker, but since that’s kind of an ordeal and takes a whole lot of prep and thinking ahead, we usually opt to make them in the oven instead.  Besides, slow-baking ribs in the oven makes them turn out perfect in every way.  And by perfect, I mean falling-off-the-bone-tender-perfect!  I worked for a caterer for a few years back in college, and here is how we always made the best ribs for parties… and how I make them now in my house! >>

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First things first.  There is a membrane that runs down the rib rack that you need to remove and get rid of.  Don’t worry, it’s totally easy.  Just slip a knife under the membrane, wiggle it loose from the rack and pull it to remove it.  Sometimes it’s easy to grab it with a paper towel if it seems a little too slippery to pull.  You don’t want to leave them membrane on or it will cook into the meat and turn into a tough, leathery part of the rib.  Yuck.

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Lay out a couple of pieces of foil (I use the heavy duty), and place your ribs on top.  Sprinkle the ribs with your favorite dry rub (you can look for those in your market’s spice aisle, or you can make your own).  I like to use anything that has a smoky flavor to it.

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Lay a couple more pieces of foil on top of the ribs and crunch the edges together to make a big package.  Do the same with your second rack of ribs.  Now for the fun part- pop them into a 275 degree oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.  Just let them be!

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They’ll come out looking like this.  Remove them to a big cutting board and cut them into one or two-rib chunks.

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Drizzle them with your favorite BBQ sauce.  At this point, you have a choice.  You can pop them under your oven broiler for a few minutes to caramelize that sauce and get the meat a little crispy on the edges….

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…OR you can throw them on the grill.  That’s my husband, Brian, making a rare appearance on my blog 🙂

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Just grill them until you get them all warmed up.  That sauce will get all awesome on the ribs.

How to Cook the Best Ribs in the Oven #recipe -

And that’s it, my friends.  It’s fairly easy to make ribs in the oven (even if you’re not much of a cook).  When I worked for a caterer back in college, we always slow cooked a zillion ribs this way in the oven, then brought the ribs to the parties and finished them off on the grill with BBQ sauce.  It’s the best way to make them, and they are always a huge hit!

P.S. You can bake beef ribs using the same method, but they’re a little larger so you may want to increase the bake time to 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Yield: Serves 5 to 6 people

Prep Time: 25 min

Cook Time: 4 hour

How to Cook the Best Ribs in the Oven


5 to 6 pounds baby back pork ribs (or 2 slabs)
dry barbecue rub (I used McCormick Grillmates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
favorite barbecue sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray's)


1. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Remove the membrane, or silverskin, covering the bone side of each rib rack. Slide a table knife under the silverskin anywhere along the rack. If it resists in one spot, try another. Lift and loosen it with the knife until you can grab it with a paper towel. Pull it off the ribs; it should peel away in one large sheet, but if it breaks, use the knife to restart at another section.

3. Place two large pieces of foil (stacked) on a baking sheet. Rub one of the rib racks with your favorite barbecue rub on both sides, then place the rack meat- side down on the foil. Place another two layers of foil on top of the rack. Pinch foil together all around the sides to create a "package." Repeat with the other rack of ribs, dry rub and foil. Place both baking sheets of ribs into the preheated oven. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until ribs are falling-apart tender.

4. Open up the rib packages, gently transfer the ribs to a cutting board and cut into one or two-rib chunks. Drizzle with barbecue sauce. You can either return the ribs to the oven at this point and place them under the broiler to get a nice, caramelized barbecue sauce on your ribs... or you can transfer them to a pre-heated grill and grill for a few minutes. Either way, they turn out fabulous.


*If you are preparing this recipe as GLUTEN-FREE, just be sure to use a brand of BBQ sauce that is known to be GF.

*If you leave the silverskin on, it keeps seasonings and smoke from penetrating the meat, and it cooks into a tough skin on the ribs. Some racks are sold with the silverskin already removed (usually not though), but you probably won’t know this until you open the package.


53 Responses to “How to Cook the Best Ribs in the Oven”

  1. postedJun 23, 2014 3:17 AM

    I seriously could marry you for this! We moved to an apartment that DOESN’T LET US GRILL! It is the worst…especially in the summer time!
    So, now we can get our ribs on, without having to sneak into someones backyard and “Borrow” their grill! 😉 Pinned!

  2. postedJun 23, 2014 4:19 AM

    Wow – these really do look like the best-ever spare ribs. Thank you for sharing your tips and recipe. Your photos are mesmerizing! Although odd, that photo of the membrane looks awesome! – Great tip too – thanks. Cant wait to make these soon. Best wishes! 🙂

  3. postedJun 23, 2014 5:32 AM

    I totally need to try this. LOVE ribs!!!

  4. postedJun 23, 2014 5:38 AM

    My husband and I LOVE ribs! And so excited for an in the oven version! 🙂 We usually grill ours, but when it’s cold outside, this is the perfect way to still have some awesome ribs!

  5. postedJun 23, 2014 5:39 AM

    I’ve been making ribs like this for a few years. The biggest difference is that I make my own dry rub and a barbecue sauce similar to Sweet Baby Ray’s.

  6. postedJun 23, 2014 7:52 AM

    I love this post — I’ve never made ribs at home. EVER. It’s something I want to master because because tender, falling off the bone rib meat is the best! I’m trying this very soon, and I would totally grill them after. 🙂

  7. postedJun 23, 2014 8:45 AM

    By the looks of these, I would have never guessed they were made in the oven. Such a great idea!

  8. postedJun 23, 2014 9:08 AM

    These look amazing, Lori! Nothing like great ribs!!!

  9. postedJun 23, 2014 9:22 AM

    Hi Lori, great idea removing the membrane and using the foil wrap. I have to give your technique a try bit the results sure look great!

  10. postedJun 23, 2014 10:44 AM

    Woah! These are some good looking ribs, Lori! I need to try your oven method! Pinned!

  11. postedJun 23, 2014 11:23 AM
    Joan Winston

    I have never tried this version, but I have tried putting the dry-rubbed ribs on a rack in a pan with about 1 1/2 inches of water at the bottom. Cover securely with foil and cook at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours. They basically steam, plus the extra fat drips off. Remove the foil and continue in the oven or on the grill with your favorite BBQ sauce.

  12. postedJun 23, 2014 1:54 PM
    Maria in NJ

    its the only way i make them, I always do them in the oven first, kind of hot in the summer to be having the oven on…but what a difference!!

  13. postedJun 23, 2014 8:22 PM

    I will admit that I am totally intimated by ribs, thanks for the easy tutorial!

  14. postedJun 24, 2014 4:43 AM

    I follow the same recipe except I use a cooking bag. Place the ribs in a cooking bag (sold in the store for cooking turkey’s), DO NOT puncture holes in the bag like the directions indicate for cooking turkey’s. When the ribs are done you can discard the bag with all of the greasy mess from the ribs. Works awesome!

    • June 25th, 2014 @ 2:28 PM

      That’s a neat tip- thanks!

  15. postedJun 24, 2014 10:42 AM

    Great post — the grill or broiler step is KEY! Now I’m craving ribs. 🙂

  16. postedJun 24, 2014 11:44 AM

    I’ve cooked mine this way for years. I brush first with a mixture of half liquid smoke and half water before sprinkling with dry spices.

  17. postedJun 24, 2014 7:21 PM

    Can you do this with Beef Ribs as well?

    • June 25th, 2014 @ 2:28 PM

      Yes! I included a tip about beef ribs on there. Just a little longer cooking time, perhaps.

  18. postedJun 29, 2014 11:15 AM
    Kathleen @ My Trader Joes

    I never tried cooking ribs in the oven before reading your post and my family was pleasantly surprise with the taste, texture and the rib meat falling off the bones. Thanks for sharing Lori. In our favorite family recipe we (same as you) remove the fat membrane, marinate our ribs with garlic salt, black pepper, and mustard, yes mustard for some tangy taste for an hour or so. Boil the ribs for 60 – 75 minutes with 1 tablespoon of salt and ½ onion chopped. Heat up the grill, spread some BBQ sauce all over the ribs and keep an eye on them from 8 to 15 minutes. Bring them to your cutting board and enjoy.

  19. postedJul 6, 2014 10:32 AM

    What if i replace pork with beef ribs? i mean, does it take the same baking hours ?? And yes, your pictures tell everithing :p

    • July 8th, 2014 @ 3:57 AM

      Yes, totally fine. Just be sure to watch the timing. Beef ribs usually take a little longer to cook than the smaller baby back pork ribs.

  20. postedJul 15, 2014 10:08 AM

    I’ve done this for years too. I brush the ribs with liquid smoke first, then the rub. Wrap in saran wrap and put in the fridge 4 hours to overnight, then I foil and bake, but the last half hour, I put them on either a charcoal grill or gas grill with smoking wood chips to give that authenthic smoked all day taste. Absolute raves all the time!! Thanks again for this recipe!!

  21. postedJul 27, 2014 8:17 PM

    Just had to comment because the fam gave it rave reviews tonight!!! I’ve tried a few different ways of cooking the ribs and just haven’t been successful. I did my own rub and my hubby threw them on the grill but we actually only did the bbq sauce on one side (he likes them with just the rub) and you would think I was goddess of the kitchen tonight! Thanks so much!!!

  22. postedAug 19, 2014 3:59 PM

    I have a big pack of side ribs could I could prepare these the same way?

    • August 20th, 2014 @ 7:53 AM

      Yes, should work the same way.

  23. postedMar 8, 2015 3:15 PM
    Ashley Henry

    Thanks so much for this recipe!!!  By far the best ribs I have ever tried.  Litterly falling off the bone clean.  No struggle to get the meat off.  I actually enjoyed eating ribs.  You can litterly eat them with a spoon and cut them in half with a spoon..  so delicious.   Will be using this recipe again!!!!  Thanks again

  24. postedMar 21, 2015 7:11 AM

    I do this but  at 225° and  5hrs. They fall of the bone and I don’t like that…will they stay I n the bone your way ??? 

    • April 8th, 2015 @ 5:17 PM

      They may or may not… depends on the ribs. The meat should be tender and easy to get off the bone!

  25. postedMay 13, 2015 5:01 PM
    Victor Johnson

    Lori, these look amazing. I’m going to have to give this little recipe of yours a try now that the weather’s nice.
    P.S. I’m also in love with Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce lol.

  26. postedMay 20, 2015 3:57 PM

    What about make ahead tips?  I am guessing I could follow recipe and after baking, put in fridge then grill the next day?

  27. postedMay 25, 2015 4:47 PM
    Sue Nowak

    Wow, wow, wow! First time making ribs and they were A-MAZING!! I will recommend this recipe to everyone! Thanks for sharing Recipe Girl!

  28. postedJun 8, 2015 5:15 PM

    WOW !!  I just made these for the wife and I, and put my own dry rub on and just used Sweet baby rays bbq sauce.  Your recipe Rocks, I liked the pics etc. and was nice to actually use a recipe to the tee that I never tried before and the finished dish was perfect.  Thanks from Canada !   Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

  29. postedJun 17, 2015 5:48 PM

    Thanks so much for this receipt it was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                       I made it tonight and my husband was blown away he could not stop
    Talking about. It.
                                              Thank you so much

  30. postedJun 20, 2015 4:23 AM

    I just tried making the ribs in the oven following these instructions. Just have to say they turned out simply wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  31. postedJul 17, 2015 10:14 AM

    Do you cook the Meat up or Bone up in the oven.

    • July 21st, 2015 @ 6:26 AM

      I make them just as the photo shows you- with the curved side of the rib on the bottom.

  32. postedAug 26, 2015 7:10 AM

    Would this method work for country-style pork ribs? (boneless, cut from the shoulder, I think).

    • September 3rd, 2015 @ 8:38 PM

      it should, yes.

  33. postedDec 20, 2015 11:44 AM

    Have ribs in oven now…14 degrees outside. Have made your ribs since first reading the recipe. Cooking since i was 7 yrs old. Old world Italien my specialty. – Cannot get better and easier ribs. Thank you. Chow.

  34. postedDec 31, 2015 11:15 AM

    They are in the oven now!! Can not wait to try them. I will post after they are done. Thanks for the recipe. They smell so good:-)

  35. postedDec 31, 2015 11:18 AM

    Made a rub of garlic powder, mild chili powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika/sweet, cayenne,salt and brown sugar. Did not marinate, but should have! I have homemade bbq sauce stewing away. I live in an apt with no bbq.

  36. postedJan 18, 2016 8:59 PM

    Hello There can the ribs be cooled and refrigerated then sauced and reheated?

    • January 23rd, 2016 @ 4:35 PM

      They’ll re-heat fine as leftovers, but I’m not sure I’d do the sauce entirely later.

  37. postedMar 24, 2016 10:07 AM

    Mmmmm looks delicious. I did exactly as said and darn it taste fresh and great. I never eaten ribs as good as today. Thank you 

  38. postedMar 27, 2016 4:38 AM

    I’m making them today. However, I’m making 5 racks for Easter dinner. Eeeeeeekkkkk. Will need to increase the cook time?

    • March 29th, 2016 @ 1:21 PM

      sorry- I am away on vacation right now so didn’t see this message in time. How did they turn out?

  39. postedMay 20, 2016 10:09 AM

      Delish is all I can say….this is the only recipe I use now for my ribs!!!!! Thank you so much Lori !

  40. postedMay 29, 2016 2:22 AM
    Dr Dave

    Great recipe and method. I have been making mine similarly for years. I clean and dry rub in the same way (the rub changes with my mood) but now cut the slab into 4-5 bone pieces and wrapping each separately with couple teaspoons of bourbon. I then make a couple of 1 inch foil ropes to use as a rack and place them in the bottom of a large aluminum roasting pan. Add 3/4 inch of water and the wrapped ribs. Cover with another aluminum roasting pan and bake for 2 1/2 – 3 hours at 300 degrees. We like them very tender but we don’t like our ribs to fall off the bone. (Nothing more annoying to me  than lifting a bare bone to your mouth.)  At that point you can finish them on the grill, cool them in the fridge for the next day, or freeze them for another day. We do that for camping or to have a quick rib dinner during the week. It works out great. Just let them thaw before you unwrap, grill and sauce.

    • May 29th, 2016 @ 7:13 AM

      Yum! Thanks for the tips!

  41. postedJul 4, 2016 11:20 AM
    Rob zulick

    Greatest recipe …hardest part is being patient

  42. postedAug 21, 2016 3:37 PM

    Lori, would you recommend the same amount of time and temperature for half of rack of ribs?  Thank you. 

    • August 22nd, 2016 @ 5:30 AM

      Yes, probably.

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