Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs Recipe

Baked barbecued baby back ribs recipe

The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 45 mins
Rest: 15 mins
Total: 3 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
502 Calories
23g Fat
47g Carbs
25g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 502
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 8g 41%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 2883mg 125%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 39g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 94mg 7%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 513mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you think of ribs, you probably think of firing up the grill or smoker. But the weather doesn't always permit outdoor cooking, and sometimes you're out of charcoal or not in the mood to refill the propane tank. Enter a gadget everyone has at home: the oven. Oven-baked ribs can be made any time of the year and turn out super-tender every time.

This recipe is for pork baby back ribs, which are some of the easier ribs to find at the grocery store. We call for two racks of ribs, but you can adjust the ingredients to make more or less. After removing the membrane, coat the ribs in a flavorful spice rub, cover in aluminum foil, and bake low and slow. Add your favorite sauce before baking uncovered to form a nice, sticky crust.

Serve these oven-baked ribs as a surprisingly easy weekend family meal, on game day, Father's Day, or anytime a craving for ribs strikes. Serve barbecue ribs with classic sides like potato salad, corn on the cob, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw.

"A foolproof oven method for cooking baby back ribs and one that I will use again. My ribs came out perfectly tender and juicy without falling apart. The rub was a little salty on the smaller rack (about 1 1/2 pounds), so use less if you have small racks or are sensitive to salt." —Young Sun Huh

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon paprika, smoked or regular

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2 full racks baby back pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, membrane removed, patted dry

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for baked barbecue baby back ribs

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  2. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 250 F. Combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, chipotle, thyme, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

    Spice rub ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  3. Place each rack of ribs in the center of its own large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Apply the dry rub to each side of the two racks (more so on the meat side).

    Rib rack covered in spices on a piece of aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  4. Wrap each rack in foil. Put the two foil-wrapped racks on a rimmed baking sheet.

    Ribs wrapped in foil on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  5. Bake for 2 hours until the meat is fully cooked and tender but not falling off the bone.

    Baked ribs in foil

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  6. Remove the ribs from the oven. Using tongs, open the foil. Place racks on one piece of foil on the baking sheet, meat-side up. Brush barbecue sauce on both sides. Turn up the oven temperature to 350 F.

    Rib racks coated in barbecue sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  7. Return ribs to the oven and continue cooking, brushing with more barbecue sauce about every 15 minutes, until the ribs are fork-tender and well-glazed, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

    Cooked ribs being painted with more sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu 

  8. Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

    Baked ribs on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

  9. Cut ribs can be tossed in additional sauce if desired.

    Cut ribs on a cutting board

    ​The Spruce / Diana Mocanu

Tip

For super tender ribs, remove the membrane before cooking. You can ask the butcher to do it for you, but it's also easy to do at home. Position the ribs so that they are bone-side-up. Use a butter knife to separate the thin membrane from the meat. Once you have enough pried up, use your fingers to pull it off the rack.

Recipe Variations

How to Store

  • Leftover ribs should be tightly wrapped and refrigerated. They will keep for about 3 days.
  • To reheat, wrap the ribs in foil and bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Open up the foil and bake until warmed through, adding more barbecue sauce if desired.