Making baked ribs in the oven ensures they are fall-off-the-bone tender and incredibly delicious. Literally perfect every single time.
These have been dubbed the “best ribs ever” by almost everyone who has tried them. Below is the step-by-step method I learned from my mom for finger-lickin’ perfection.
5 Secrets for Tender Ribs in The Oven
Perfectly tender ribs are actually easy to make and the secret is in the method below! They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender and flavor packed.
- The best pork ribs are baby back ribs or pork back ribs. They are the most tender.
- Wrap the pan with foil and ensure it is well sealed. This helps the ribs steam in the oven for tender flavorful meat.
- Cook them low and slow in the oven until they become really tender.
- These can be made with any sauce (my fave is below) or even just salt & pepper.
- Once the meat is tender, broil or grill to get a little bit of color before serving.
Ingredients for Oven Ribs
RIBS – Baby Back (or Pork Back Ribs) are the best choice, they cook to tender perfection. Although the cost is more, it really makes a difference and in my opinion, it is worth the extra money.
SEASONINGS – These can be simply seasoned with salt & pepper or use the dry rub below. The homemade rib rub below is easy and inexpensive (and not too salty). Start with the mixture below and change it to your liking. Try cumin, cayenne pepper, or dry mustard.
BBQ SAUCE (or not!) – Use a favorite BBQ sauce, try making your own barbecue sauce, or opt-out completely! My husband loves salt & pepper ribs while I love barbecue sauce mixed with chili sauce for zesty and delicious sticky ribs.
The membrane does not have to be removed from the ribs, but I prefer the texture. On the back of a rack of ribs, there is a very thin layer of the membrane (photo above). If you don’t see it, it is sometimes it has already been removed at the store.
How to Remove the Membrane from Ribs
To remove the membrane, slip a knife under the edge of the thin skin on the back of the ribs on one end. Grip the edge of the membrane (use a paper towel if it’s slippery) and gently pull it away from the meat. Discard the membrane.
How to Cook Ribs in the Oven
In this recipe, the ribs are baked sealed, low and slow, for the most melt-in-your-mouth tender meat.
- Prep Ribs: Remove the membrane (tips above). Check the ribs to remove any small bone shards. Pat Dry.
- Season: Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper or massage dry rub onto both sides of the ribs and place them meat side down on a baking sheet.
- Bake: Cover with garlic and onion. Then seal with aluminum foil and bake per the recipe below.
- Broil: Grill or broil to brown a little bit if you’d like.
My preferred method is a low temperature for a longer period of time.
Cook at 275°F – 2 hours to 2 ½ hours *preferred method
Cook at 300°F – 1 ½ hours to 2 hours
Cook at 350°F – 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hours
No, you don’t and some ribs will already have the membrane removed.
Baby back ribs or back ribs are the best. They’re so tender and delicious and we prefer them over spare ribs or side ribs.
Cooking low and slow as directed in the recipe below ensures they’re perfect every time!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the oven, microwave, or air fryer.
What to Serve with Ribs
Did you love these BBQ Ribs in the Oven? Be sure to leave a rating or a comment below!
Tender Oven-Baked Barbecue Ribs
- 3 pounds baby back ribs 2 slabs
- 2 onions sliced
- 4 cloves garlic sliced
Rib Rub (optional)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ½ cup BBQ Sauce
- ½ cup chili sauce or additional BBQ sauce *see note
- ¼ cup ketchup
- Preheat the oven to 275°F. Mix together Rib Rub ingredients if using.
- Remove the white membrane from the back side of the ribs (the side with less meat). It should pull off easily. Pat the ribs dry and check for little bone shards or pieces.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper or sprinkle generously with the rub and massage it into the ribs.
- Place ribs on a foil-lined tray, the meaty side down, and cover with sliced onion and garlic.
- Cover & seal with another piece of foil.
- Bake ribs for 2 hours. Carefully open the corner of the sealed foil and pull a small piece of meat off to ensure the ribs are tender. If not, bake another 20-30 minutes and check again.
- Meanwhile, combine BBQ Rib Sauce ingredients together.
- Remove ribs and discard juices, onions & garlic. Brush ribs with olive oil and brush generously with BBQ sauce.
- Grill or broil over medium high heat 5-10 minutes or until charred.
- Rub: The homemade rub can be substituted for a purchased rub if desired or use salt and pepper in place of a rub.
- Baby back ribs or back ribs give the most tender results.
- Sauce: Chili sauce is not spicy it is more like a zesty ketchup and is found where the ketchup is sold. It is a great addition to BBQ sauce. If you’d prefer, use all bbq sauce in this recipe.
- Membrane: To remove the membrane, slip a knife under the edge of the thin skin on the back of the ribs. Grip the edge of the membrane (use a paper towel if it’s slippery) and gently pull it away from the meat. Discard the membrane. Some ribs will have the back membrane already removed.
- Cutting the ribs into pieces (about 4-6 ribs) makes them easy to grill and serve.
- 275°F – 2 hours to 2 ½ hours *preferred method
- 300°F – 1 ½ hours to 2 hours
- 350°F – 1 ¼ hours to 1 ½ hoursAfter cooking, if the ribs are not tender, they need MORE time. Seal them up and cook an additional 20-30 minutes if needed.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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