Country Style Pork Ribs are a budget friendly cut that are great to enjoy covered in BBQ sauce.
Have you ever heard of country style ribs? I’ll admit I initially wasn’t quite sure what this cut was or how to cook it and still end up with tender meat. But now I’ve done the testing so you don’t have to!
What Are Country-Style Ribs?
Country pork ribs aren’t really ribs at all. This cut comes from part of the pork butt, which is the shoulder, and contains both light and dark meat. You can find them bone-in or boneless and the sizes may vary a little depending on how they were cut. I used boneless for my Country-Style Pork Ribs recipe and they were about 4 ounces each.
They can sometimes be a conundrum to cook because the light and dark meat require different cooking times but I found a good solution.
If you’d prefer to cook baby back ribs, you can find my instructions for the oven here.
How Long Should I Cook Country Pork Ribs?
These are best for braising in a low temperature oven for a long period of time. The time needed for the dark meat to become tender though leaves the white meat dry. On the flip side, the dark meat can be tough and chewy if you cook the ribs to keep the lean, light meat moist and tender.
America’s Test Kitchen recommends brining the ribs in a salt solution, which I tried. The brine rendered itself right out of the pork during the low and slow cooking process needed to tenderize the dark meat though.
So where did I land with this? The dark side. I catered the recipe for the best part, the melt-in-your-mouth dark meat, and sauced up the ribs with my favorite barbecue sauce to keep the white meat moist.
The ribs will braise for a couple of hours and then broil for a short period of time to give it a caramelized surface and depth of flavor.
How To Cook Country Style Pork Ribs
To make the country style pork ribs, place one of the oven racks in middle slot. (If your oven only has a single rack, you’ll need to move this close to the broiler after the pork has braised.). Place second oven rack just below broiler. Preheat oven to 250°F.
Place the ribs on a sheet pan leaving about ¼-inch of space between each rib and set this aside for a minute. In a small bowl mix together paprika, salt, and pepper, and rub this mixture evenly over all sides of the ribs. It’s much easier to mix the spices in a bowl first and then rub it onto the ribs, rather than sprinkle them on individually, which can leave uneven patches.
Cover the sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil, and place the pan into the oven on the lower of the two racks. Bake this for 2 and 1/2 hours, and then remove the pan from the oven.
Now, I’ve seen some popular recipes for these ribs online that have you brush the ribs with sauce and then bake them for another hour after removing the foil. This is to bake in the sauce. However, I found that that contributed to the drying of the lighter meat. So instead, we’re going to get that sauce baked in using the broiler, and that gets us a bit of nice charring too!
So, change the oven setting to broil on high and remove the foil from the ribs. There might be some pan juices that have rendered onto the bottom of the pan. This needs to be removed so that the barbecue sauce doesn’t get mixed into the liquid. Either transfer the ribs to a plate and pour off the liquid and return the ribs to the pan or carefully tilt the pan with the ribs still in place and allow the liquid to drain into a ceramic or heat-proof container.
Baste ribs generously with the barbecue sauce, turning the ribs to coat them and brush the sauce on all sides. Try my Best BBQ sauce recipe or your favorite store-bought kind. Return the pan to the oven, placing the pan on the rack set just below the broiler, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until tops of the ribs are caramelized.
Remove the pan from the oven and let this stand 5 minutes before serving.
Serving Country Ribs
Serve these ribs with extra barbecue sauce and your favorite sides, like coleslaw and potato salad.
Because these ribs are boneless, they can be eaten with your hands, just like a bone-in rib, or cut with a knife and fork.
And, if you prefer pulled pork instead of ribs but don’t want to braise an entire pork butt, country-style pork ribs are an excellent alternative for smaller portions. Once they have been braised, shred them in a bowl and mix with barbecue sauce for an economical pulled pork.Print
Start low-and-slow then finish under the broiler for the best Country Style Ribs.
Serve with extra BBQ sauce!
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make these ribs, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 12 boneless country-style pork ribs*
- 2 tsp. smoked (or regular) paprika
- 2 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- Place one oven rack in middle slot. Place second oven rack just below broiler. Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Place ribs on a sheet pan leaving about ¼-inch of space between ribs.
- In a small bowl mix together paprika, salt, and pepper. Rub mixture evenly over all sides of the ribs.
- Cover sheet pan tightly with aluminum foil. Place pan in oven on lower rack. Bake 2 and 1/2 hours.
- Remove pan from oven. Change oven setting to broil on high.
- Remove foil from pan; carefully drain any liquid accumulated on bottom of pan.
- Baste ribs with BBQ sauce, turning ribs to coat.
- Return pan to oven on rack set just below the broiler. Broil 3 to 5 minutes or until tops of ribs are caramelized.
- Remove pan from oven, let stand 5 minutes before serving.
*Mine were about 4 oz. each.