You can make FABULOUS baby back ribs in your oven; here is my recipe + video+ tips + tools for making them EASY, AHEAD of TIME, and DELICIOUS!!!!
The Best Baby Back Ribs are Made in the Oven
For those of you, like me, who hate having to fire up a grill or smoker, you’ll be THRILLED to know that you can make fall-off-the-bones baby back ribs in your oven. It is EASY, and the ribs are AMAZING!!!! You’ll never long for smoked or grilled ribs. These are perfect. Everyone raves over these ribs.
How do you get fall-off-the-bones baby back ribs?
The secret is found in cooking the ribs LONG, LOW, and SLOW in the oven! When I bite into a “too firm” rib, I know that it was not cooked long enough. I typically cook three or more racks at 200-225 degrees for 8 hours or so. On top of this, I let them sit for 30 minutes or an hour after cooking. The meat gets even more tender and begins to pull away from the bone (see pics).
Baby back ribs and St. Louis Style Spareribs: What’s the Difference?
Baby Back ribs are leaner; spareribs are fattier and thicker. I always use baby back ribs, and I usually get them from The Fresh Market or Costco. Because we are big meat eaters (especially yours truly LOL), I buy 3-5 racks. The ribs are excellent left over and reheated in a warm oven the next day.
How do you remove the membrane from ribs?
This is something that makes ribs so much better, and it is super simple. Just get a pile of paper towels (or a thin dry washcloth). Find the edges of the membrane and use the towels or cloth to grip the edges. Keep pulling all the membrane until it is gone. It doesn’t take long; it is just messy. Note: It is worth asking the butcher if he or she can remove the membrane. If so, this will save you the time and trouble!
Use Dry Rub AND Wet Sauce for the Best Ribs!
I always use both a dry rub and wet sauce (bottled or homemade) for making ribs. The dry rub always goes on first, either a day before cooking the ribs or just before freezing them. Dry rub provides a good base of flavor to penetrate the meat.
- Dry rub: I include my go-to homemade dry rub in the recipe box below; however, there are TONS of grocery store dry rubs that are fabulous. My favorite dry rub is Pilleteri’s Rub a Butt (made locally in Birmingham), but in a pinch, I’ll use Bad Byron’s Butt Rub . When I use store bought, I typically add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to prevent the rub from being too salty.
- Bottled Sauce: There are so many great bottled sauces on the market, and most BBQ restaurants bottle and sell their sauces. I am a “mixer” and tend to use a sweeter red (Bob Gibsons, Sticky Fingers, etc..) along with a savory red (Dreamland).
Savvy Tips & Tools for this Recipe
In case your oven roaster isn’t big enough (mine isn’t) for large batches of ribs, I use a large baking sheet with grid. You’ll use a pastry brush (or two) throughout the process, along with a few other tools. In the short video below, I share the must-have tools that I use to make preparing these SO much easier!!!
- Commercial Baker’s Big Sheet Pan. I couldn’t live without this. It is perfect for roasting veggies, cooking ribs, and doing big batch cooking in the oven.
- Oven Liners. One fat drippings spill is all I needed to turn me into a fan of these oven liners. No matter what spills, overflows or burns, if it falls onto these, you toss them (and put another one in its place).
- Large Pastry Brush. I love Oxo; it is my favorite for basting sauce onto meat.
I do hope this post gives you an easy way to put some yummy ribs on your family table. If you make any or all of these, let me hear from you in the comments!
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- 2-3 racks of baby back ribs
- 1 bottle red barbecue sauce (your favorite)
- Your Fave Dry Rub (or make the recipe below)
- HOMEMADE DRY RUB:
- 4 (packed) Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Remove membrane from ribs; cut racks in half if needed for easier handling.
- Rub ribs liberally with dry rub; cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
- Remove ribs from fridge; let sit at room temp for 30 minutes.
- .OVEN METHOD:
- Preheat oven to 200-225 degrees.
- Line bottom of roasting pan with heavy duty foil; pour 1/2 cup water in bottom of pan. (May place directly on roaster without grid).
- Place cooking grid on pan; spray or brush grates liberally with oil.
- Place ribs on grid; cover tightly with foil, sealing the edges to make an airtight "oven" for ribs.
- Bake 8-9 hours. (Don't open door during cook time; this will make the process take longer.)
- Remove from oven; let ribs rest for 30 minutes (to let juices settle so meat will be tender).
- Remove foil; brush ribs with bottled sauce.
- Place ribs under broiler for 5-10 minutes for glazed exterior.
Amount Per Serving Calories 332 Total Fat 21g Saturated Fat 7g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 12g Cholesterol 79mg Sodium 1277mg Carbohydrates 13g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 1g Sugar 10g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 22g