Easy Barbecue Baked Spareribs

Easy barbecue baked spare ribs on a plate

The Spruce

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
836 Calories
41g Fat
29g Carbs
83g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 836
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 14g 72%
Cholesterol 262mg 87%
Sodium 906mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 83g
Calcium 91mg 7%
*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.)

This recipe for baked spareribs is super easy and full of flavor. Just top the pork ribs with a balsamic vinegar-infused barbecue sauce and you don't even need a grill. In case you have ever wondered how to cook pork spare ribs in the oven fast, this recipe is your method to tender perfection.

Spareribs are a type of pork cut from the bottom section of the ribs and breastbone of the pig, just above the belly. (Baby back ribs are from the top of the rib area along the back. They are not as meaty or succulent as spareribs.) As bacon is removed, a thin layer of meat remains on the spareribs.

The term comes from the German "rippenspeer," which literally translates to "spear ribs," as this cut was traditionally roasted on a spit or spear. In English, it became ribspare and, eventually, sparerib. This term not only refers to the practice of roasting the meat on a spear or spit, but it is also a perfectly reasonable description of the cut itself.

Naming history aside, when these ribs are slathered with this tasty sauce, which is put together using some pantry and fridge staples including your favorite barbecue sauce, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, they become transformed into a tangy delight. Half the sauce is used for the ribs during their time in the oven, and the other half is reserved for serving. (Try it sometime on beef ribs, too.) Whip up a batch to use for other meats and seafood.

1:21

Click Play to See This Easy Baked BBQ Spareribs Recipe Come Together

Ingredients

  • For the Ribs:
  • 4-pounds pork spareribs
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • For the Barbecue Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about two to three large juicy lemons)
  • 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: hot sauce (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for barbecue baked spareribs
    The Spruce
  2. Heat oven to 325 F. Select a large baking pan to fit ribs in one layer. Line with heavy-duty foil. Place baking rack (a cake rack works fine) inside lined pan to keep ribs from resting on the bottom of the pan.

    Baking pan for ribs lined with foil and a rack
    The Spruce
  3. Remove the thin membrane (silverskin) from the back side of the ribs (if not already done by the butcher).

    Silverskin from pork ribs being removed on a cutting board
    The Spruce
  4. Sprinkle both sides of the spareribs liberally with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Place seasoned ribs, bone side down, on the rack in the baking pan.

    Pork spareribs seasoned with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, resting on a baking pan
    The Spruce
  5. Prepare the sauce by combining lemon juice, bottled barbecue sauce, ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and hot sauce (if using) in a small bowl. Stir vigorously until combined. This will make about 3 cups of barbecue sauce.

    Bowl of barbecue sauce with a wooden spoon
    The Spruce 
  6. Pour half of the sauce into a separate container and set aside for serving. Drizzle remaining sauce over the top of the ribs, covering all exposed areas.

    Barbecue sauced on top of the spareribs in a baking pan
    The Spruce
  7. Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. Bake about 90 minutes to 2 hours, or until tender. 

    Spareribs in a baking pan covered with foil
    The Spruce 
  8. Serve spareribs with reserved barbecue sauce. Enjoy!

    Barbecue baked spare ribs completely cooked, on a rack in a baking pan
    The Spruce

How Do You Cook Spareribs Without Drying Them Out?

The key to keeping spareribs nice and moist is to cook them slowly at a lower temperature over indirect heat: the oven. Using a marinade with vinegar (such as this one) and then wrapping them in foil in the oven will allow for steam to develop will also prevent them from drying out. Skipping direct high heat of a grill, say, in lieu of a lower temperature that you can more easily control (the oven) eliminates some of the variables that can produce dry, disappointing ribs.

Tip

  • After cooking the spareribs in the oven, you can also char them on the grill or under the broiler before serving, if you wish. This adds a nice little crust, which serves a pleasing contrast to the tender cooked ribs.

Recipe Tags: