Tender Oven Baked Ribs

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Ribs are an absolute favorite in our house and we enjoy them all year long!

Making 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 use for finger-lickin’ perfection.

Barbecue Ribs served on a plate with baked beans

How to Make Tender Ribs in The Oven

Perfectly tender ribs are actually easy to make and the secret lies 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.
  • Cook them low and slow in the oven until they become really tender.
  • Wrap the pan with foil and ensure it is well sealed. This helps the ribs steam in the oven for tender flavorful meat.
  • 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.

Kitchen Tip – Baked, Not Boiled!

Before grilling (or broiling),  ribs are cooked slowly to make them tender… often people BOIL them. Boiling ribs will make all their flavor seep out into the water and they’ll be bland!

Ribs cooked in the oven like the ribs recipe below keeps all of the flavors, you’ll never boil ribs again!

ingredients for oven baked ribs

Ingredients

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.

RUB Dry rub is sold almost anywhere seasonings and spices are sold but I often find most pre-made rubs to be too salty.

The homemde rib rub below is easy and inexpensive, start with the mixture below and change it to your liking. Try cumin, cayenne pepper, or your own favorite spices.

SAUCE 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.

Preparing ribs for the oven

How to Remove the Membrane from Ribs

The membrane does not have to be removed from ribs, but I prefer the texture. On the back of a rack of ribs, there is a very thin layer of membrane (photo above). If you don’t see it, it is sometimes it has already been removed at the store.

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.

Barbecue Ribs before being cooked in the oven

How to Cook Tender Ribs in the Oven

In this recipe, the ribs are baked sealed, low and slow,  for the most melt-in-your-mouth tender meat.

  1. Prep Ribs: Remove the membrane (tips above). Check the ribs to remove any small bone shards. Pat Dry.
  2. Season: Massage the spice rub into both sides of the ribs and place them meat side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake: Cover with garlic and onion. Then seal with aluminum foil and bake per the recipe below.
  4. Finish: Grill or broil to finish if desired.

Our favorite side dishes with ribs are corn on the cob and of course Classic Coleslaw and Beans!

How To Check if the Ribs Are Done

Once the ribs have cooked in the oven, open a corner of the foil (be careful, steam will come out and it’s very hot). To check the ribs, pull off a little piece with a fork. If the meat is not tender, they need MORE time. Seal them back up and add another 20-30 minutes and check again.

If they are ready ahead of time, turn the oven off and let them sit for up to 1 hour if you don’t open the oven. Perfect fall off the bone ribs.

Barbecue Ribs in the Oven

How Long to Cook Ribs in the Oven

My preferred method is a low temperature for a longer period of time. I  most often cook baby back ribs in the oven at 275°F for about 2-2 ½ hours.

  • 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 hours

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.

More Ways to Enjoy Ribs

Did you love these BBQ Ribs in the Oven? Be sure to leave a rating or a comment below!

close up of plated Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs with beans
4.94 from 107 votes
Review Recipe

Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Ribs in the oven are easy to make and come out perfectly tender every single time. 

Ingredients

Ribs

  • 3 pounds baby back ribs 2 slabs
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic sliced

Rib Rub

  • 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

BBQ Rib Sauce

  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275°F. Mix together Rib Rub ingredients.
  • Remove the white membrane from the back side of the ribs (the side with less meat). It should pull off easily.
  • Massage Rib Rub into ribs. Place ribs on a foil lined tray 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 make sure they are tender. If not, bake another 20 minutes and check again.
  • Meanwhile, combine Rib BBQ Sauce ingredients together.
  • Remove ribs and discard juices, onions & garlic. Brush ribs with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper or brush generously with BBQ sauce.
  • Grill or broil over medium high heat 5-10 minutes or until charred.

Recipe Notes

Ensure the ribs you purchase are baby back ribs or back ribs for the best results.
Some ribs will have the back membrane already removed.
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.
Cutting the ribs into pieces about 4-6 ribs makes them easy to grill and serve.
The homemade rub can be substituted for a purchased rub if desired. 
Cook times/temps:
  • 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 hours
After cooking, if the ribs are not tender, they need MORE time. Seal them up and cook an additional 20-30 minutes if needed.
If they are ready early, you can turn the oven off and let them sit for up to 1 hour in the warm oven.
Nutritional information does not include sauce and is based on 3lbs baby back ribs.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 447, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 44g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 167mg, Sodium: 145mg, Potassium: 763mg, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 595IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2.2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Course Entree, Main Course, Pork
Cuisine American

Sides to Serve with Ribs

plated Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs with beans and a title
Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs on a plate with a title
cooked Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs with writing
Tender Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs on a cutting board and plated with writing
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Comments

    1. Other types of ribs (including side ribs) can need a little bit longer to cook. If they’re still not tender, cover them back up and let them cook a little bit longer as directed in step 4. Hope that helps, DW.

  1. Yeah, as a farm wife I can say with 100% confidence this is by far the best way to cook ribs in the oven. My farmer is RAVING, and that is huge!
    I never much cooked ribs because I never liked the end result (as a Canadian I am not BBQ’ing anything in February), but this?!? It’s how I will cook them forever. Thank you!5 stars

  2. This is how I make my baby back ribs several times a year. However, they always take at least 4 hours. I like them super tender, almost falling off the bone. Yum!5 stars