These are the best ribs! Baking low and slow is our secret to fall off the bone oven-baked ribs. Some people think that ribs should be left to the “pit masters” — it’s just not true. Baking ribs in the oven is seriously easy. All you need is time — 95% of the recipe time is sitting back and relaxing while the ribs bake. Let’s do this!
Quick Overview: How to Cook Ribs in the Oven
these ribs are our most popular (this juicy skillet Cow chop recipe being the runner-up). The full ribs recipe is below, but here’s a quick overview of the method we follow in our kitchen:
- Remove the membrane (remember, this ensures fall off the bone ribs).
- Generously season both sides with salt and pepper. This is also a great opportunity for adding more flavor with your favorite spice rub.
- Cover the ribs with aluminum foil.
- Bake the ribs at a low temperature (275°F) for 2 ½ to 4 hours or until they are tender.
- Slather the baked ribs with barbecue sauce, and then broil (or grill) the ribs for a few minutes until the sauce is caramelized.
Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce
You can use any barbecue sauce you like, but for us, we like to cook up our quick sweet and spicy sauce — it only takes a few minutes. It combines ketchup, brown sugar, chili sauce (like Sriracha), and spices. We’ve shared how to make it in the recipe.
I like making a double batch of the sauce and keeping it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 5 days. The sauce is perfect with chicken, on a burger, or as a dip for fries.
What to Serve with Ribs
We love these ribs. Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve alongside them:
You can never go wrong with potatoes! I love our Creamy Potato Salad, but when I’m looking for something a little bit lighter, I turn to this Mayo-free Herby Potato Salad. These Crispy Roasted Potatoes or even mashed potatoes are also excellent options. Here are our recipes for Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Pasta salad is a favorite around here. For a veggie-packed salad, try our Easy Pasta Salad or for a creamier salad, I love this Easy Creamy Macaroni Salad.
Anytime I’m serving heartier meat dishes, I love serving them with a big salad. Throw your favorite salad greens into a big bowl and serve alongside one of these homemade dressings: Honey Mustard, Creamy Blue Cheese, or try my favorite Homemade Ranch.
YOU WILL NEED
RIBS2 to 2 1/2 pounds baby back pork ribs
Salt and black pepper
SWEET AND SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup ketchup, try our homemade ketchup recipe
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (suggestion Sriracha)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
- PREPARE RIBS
Heat oven to 275° Fahrenheit (135C).
If the ribs still have the thin membrane covering the back of the rack, remove it. See how in the notes section below.
Season both sides of the ribs with a generous amount of salt and pepper. If you are using a spice rub, add season the ribs with it now. Place the ribs, meat-side up, into a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. (It may be necessary to cut the ribs in half for them to fit into the pan).
Cover the pan or baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil, and then bake until the meat falls easily from the bones, 2 ½ to 3 ½ hours. We like to check the ribs after 2 hours to see how they are progressing. The ribs are done when the meat is cooked through and tender.
- MAKE BARBECUE SAUCE
While the ribs bake, make the barbecue sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Add the ketchup, hot chili sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, season with salt then cook for 2 minutes. Set aside in preparation for the ribs to finish roasting.
- TO FINISH
Remove the ribs from the oven, discard the aluminum foil and generously brush both sides with barbecue sauce.
Optional: Move an oven rack near the top of the oven. Turn broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3-4 minutes, just until the barbecue sauce begins to caramelize. (Keep a close eye on the ribs while they broil so the sauce does not burn.)
- STORING AND REHEATING
Store baked ribs, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze, wrapped in foil or freezer paper and in an airtight container, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, and then reheat.
To reheat the ribs, wrap in foil or parchment paper and place into a 300°F oven until warmed through, about 30 minutes. If you have some leftover, slather some extra sauce that’s been warmed over the ribs before serving.