Oven-Baked Ribs That Are Soooo Tender and Juicy

Just because grilling season is over, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have ribs! These oven-baked BBQ pork ribs are so tender and delicious, you’ll make them all year, even when the grill isn’t covered in snow!

Just because grilling season is over, it doesn't mean that you can't have ribs! These oven-baked BBQ pork ribs are so tender and delicious, you'll make them all year, even when the grill isn't covered in snow!

Ribs are a wonderful thing, aren’t they? I love it best when the meat is firm enough to still hang onto the bone when you lift it from the plate, but tender enough that it falls right off with a gentle tug from my teeth.

The thing is, I think of ribs as summer food because I usually grill them. Actually, what I do is to start them in the oven and then finish them on the grill. You can see what I mean here. But regardless, the grill is involved. And even though I live in Florida, I tend to not grill much in the winter.

So what do I do instead? I make oven-baked ribs! These are seriously amazing. You get really tender meat for sure, and then, with the help of the broiler, you get some nice caramelization too.

If you’re familiar with other recipes on my site, you’ll know that my most popular is for how to roast pork (it gets so many visitors every day and lots of great comments. Thank you!!!). For that one, I do something similar where it is also started low and slow in the oven and then is finished on high heat at the end. This method is called “The Reverse Sear” and it works on so many things in the oven.

What kind of ribs to buy?

You can use this method for beef back ribs (also called beef spare ribs). That’s the big long ones, not short ribs. For short ribs go here.

I really prefer pork ribs though.

The easiest kind of pork ribs to buy are baby back ribs. These are trimmed and ready to go. They’re nice and tender and not as fatty as the St. Louis ribs. They’re also a bit less flavorful though.

St. Louis style ribs come from a different part of the animal. They’re meatier, have more bone, and a bit more fat. I find them much tastier. However, I typically trim them.

How to trim St. Louis Ribs

If you get yourself some, you’ll see that they have a bunch of bones that are lined up with each other in a row (the ribs). Then also in a row above that are smaller bones and bits of cartilage. I trim that all away so that the St. Louis ribs end up looking a lot like baby back ribs.

Why do I trim them? I find that the smaller bones and bits of cartilage are annoying, and possibly even dangerous, to have in your mouth if you’re not expecting it.

I don’t throw out the trimmings. I’ve used them in soup before. I’ve also prepared them as below alongside the actual ribs and then just cut them into small pieces where small bits of bone might be more expected.

Note that there’s nothing wrong with not trimming St. Louis ribs. Just warn people that there might be smaller bits of bone.

Do all ribs have a membrane you need to remove?

Whether you get baby back ribs or St. Louis ribs, they might have a membrane, or silver skin, along one side that you should remove. It stops seasoning and sauce from penetrating, and it also can get tough, or a bit leathery, when cooked.

To remove the membrane, slide a knife under it. Grip a bit of the membrane using a paper towel (it’s less slippery to grip with the paper towel than with your fingers) and then slide the knife all along under the membrane until it’s cut off. Here’s a good video from Youtube showing how to do it.

How to bake ribs

You’re going to simply season up the ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. You can add a bit of brown sugar if you like some sweetness.

Then put the racks of ribs in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them into a 300°F oven. They go in there for 2 hours. You don’t have to do anything at all. Just leave them in there uncovered and untouched.

After the two hours, cut the ribs into individual servings (1-3 ribs per serving). It’s up to you whether you want each rib to be by itself or if you want a few attached together.

Then, brush them with sauce.

What sauce to use for ribs?

Quite honestly, I often use store-bought barbecue sauce. I look for one with honey or brown sugar in the title because I like sweeter sauces. Just go with one you really like.

I don’t put a lot of sauce on my ribs so I find making a sauce is not very necessary. It’s just a subtle flavor on there. But, if you want to make your own BBQ sauce, I’ve got some good ones. This one here is my basic BBQ sauce. It starts with just a few ingredients and then you can add seasonings to make it however you’d like. It’s a good recipe to have on hand for when you thought you had sauce in the pantry but were wrong! This one on the other hand, has all kinds of delicious things in it that make it smoky and sweet.

The other thing I like to do with oven ribs is to go a bit more Italian. For that, I brush on a marinara sauce and then sprinkle everything with a bit of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan before broiling it. You’re not going to get the charred effect but it’s super tasty and is a great twist on ribs just for a change or if you don’t like barbecue sauce.

How to finish off the oven ribs

After they’ve been in the oven for 2 hours, and after you’ve cut them and brushed them with sauce, it’s time for the ribs to get finished off under the broiler. Turn on your broiler and position the oven grate so that the meat will be 6 inches from the heat source.

Arrange the sauced ribs on a broiler-safe baking pan. Put them under the broiler and cook until just starting to char in a few places, 2-5 minutes. Watch them carefully the whole time because the broiler can cause them to burn quickly.

At this point, I usually flip them over and broil them on another side too. But I’ve been in a hurry and just done one side before and they were fine. Up to you!

Get out a whole bunch of napkins and serve these babies!

 

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Oven-Baked Ribs


  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 and 1/2 hours
  • Total Time: 20 minute
  • Yield: 6 servings

Description

Just because grilling season is over, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have ribs! These oven-baked BBQ pork ribs are so tender and delicious, you’ll make them all year, even when the grill isn’t covered in snow!


Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 23lb racks of baby back ribs or St. Louis Style spare ribs, membrane removed
  • About 9 ounces bottled BBQ sauce. (Look for a sweet one that has the word honey or brown sugar in the name. Here is my favorite classic recipe, and my smoky and spicy recipe, if you want homemade.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300ºF.
  2. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar (if using), salt, garlic powder, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper.
  3. Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. See video link in article above.
  4. Put ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle on all sides with the seasoning mixture.
  5. Bake for 2 hours.
  6. Let ribs rest for 15 minutes. Cut into individual ribs, or cut such that 2-3 ribs are together.
  7. Brush lightly on all sides with sauce.
  8. Preheat broiler. Set grate so the meat will be about 6 inches from the heat source.
  9. Broil ribs until just starting to char, 2-5 minutes. Flip ribs and broil other side until similarly darkened in spots.
Just because grilling season is over, it doesn\'t mean that you can\'t have ribs! These oven-baked BBQ pork ribs are so tender and delicious, you\'ll make them all year, even when the grill isn\'t covered in snow! #ribs #pork #BBQ

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