These Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs make it super easy to get tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs that are full of flavor every single time!
Cooking pork ribs to perfection doesn’t have to be a complicated process! Just sprinkle them with a delicious rub, cook them low and slow in the oven, and then finish them off with your favorite barbecue sauce either on the grill or under the broiler. So simple!
For a long time, I never bothered to cook ribs because it seemed a bit intimidating. I mean you see all these competition shows where people prep for days and then babysit the ribs on a grill or in a smoker for hours and hours on end…
Sorry, but no thanks. That level of commitment is just not for me. I’ve got other stuff to do all day, don’t you? I love cooking, but I also like to keep things simple.
Enter these ribs. They are a total game-changer!
Sure, you still have to cook the ribs low and slow for a few hours in order to get the meat super tender. BUT with this recipe, all those hours are hands-off time! Go do other things while the oven and the spice rub work their magic on those ribs!
A big thank you my sister-in-law, Terry, for sharing this amazing recipe with me years ago (which originally came from Bon Appetit). I use my own rub recipe (and so can you if you have one that you really love), but it’s the cooking method that is spot-on and works every time!
Ingredients you need:
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Dry ground mustard
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Brown sugar
- Pork spare ribs or baby back ribs
- Barbecue sauce
Different types of pork ribs:
When buying pork ribs, you will generally see three kinds: whole spare ribs, St. Louis-style spare ribs, and baby back ribs. Any of them will work with this recipe!
Whole spare ribs are the largest cut, and St. Louis-style spare ribs are just whole spare ribs that have been trimmed a little more (the brisket bone and some of its meat is removed, resulting in a more rectangular, even shape).
Spare ribs have more meat than baby back ribs, and the meat has more fat (which, to me, always means more flavor – and less chance that the meat will dry out). They are my go-to for this recipe.
Baby back ribs are smaller than spare ribs and tend to have less meat, but the meat is usually more tender. The cooking time will be a little shorter (and the price tag will likely be a bit higher).
How to make oven-baked BBQ pork ribs:
Tips & Tidbits:
- I use kosher salt in my rub, which is less salty than table salt. If you use table salt, you may want to reduce the amount of salt. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of salt to suit your own personal tastes.
- The step of cooling the ribs helps the ribs stay together so you can move them around more easily when finishing on the grill or under the broiler. If you try to move them around right after baking while still hot, they may fall apart.
- After they have cooled, I usually cut the rack of ribs in half before grilling or broiling. This makes them much easier to handle.
- If you want to make the ribs a day or two ahead of time, once the ribs have cooled, remove them from the cooking liquid, cover, and refrigerate. When you’re ready to serve, finish them on the grill or under the broiler, basting with barbecue sauce until heated through.
- If you use baby back ribs, the cooking time will be shorter – about 2 hours.
I actually love serving these ribs when I’m having a cook-out. I can make them the day before or in the morning and then finish them on the grill when we’re ready to eat. They’re always a hit!
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!
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Oven-Baked BBQ Pork Ribs
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 rack pork spare ribs, whole or St. Louis-style, about 3½ to 4 pounds
- 1½ cups barbecue sauce
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the rub ingredients until well-combined.
- Place the ribs on a double layer of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the ribs. Note: I always fold together two pieces of foil to make one big piece for each layer
- Sprinkle the ribs with the rub on both sides, evenly covering the ribs.
- Wrap the ribs with the foil (fold the foil over long-ways down the middle and then fold the sides up from the bottom so the juice doesn't leak out). Place the foil packet on a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 3 hours or until the meat is tender.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, open the foil, and let the ribs cool completely, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cooling the ribs will allow you to move them around more easily in the next steps without them falling apart. Note: If you want to make the ribs a day or two ahead of time, remove the ribs from the cooking liquid and store them covered in the refrigerator. When you are ready to serve them, proceed with the recipe.
- While the ribs are cooling, preheat the grill to high.
- Once the ribs are cooled, remove them from the foil and cooking liquid and grill, basting with the barbecue sauce and turning frequently, until they are heated through and the sauce begins to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Note: I usually cut the rack of ribs in half before grilling to make them easier to handle.
- Cut the ribs into pieces. Serve with extra barbecue sauce, if desired.
- Kosher salt is less salty than table salt. If you use table salt, you may want to reduce the amount. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe to suit your own personal tastes.
- Alternately, you can finish the ribs under the broiler instead of on the grill. Remove the cooled ribs from the foil and cooking liquid and place on a baking sheet or broiler pan. Broil, basting with the barbecue sauce and turning frequently, until heated through and the sauce is beginning to caramelize.
- You can also use baby back pork ribs, which are smaller (a rack usually weighs about 1 1/2 to 3 pounds). Reduce the oven cooking time to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.