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.

sliced Oven Baked Ribs

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.

  1. The best pork ribs are baby back ribs or pork back ribs. They are the most tender.
  2. Wrap the pan with foil and ensure it is well sealed. This helps the ribs steam in the oven for tender flavorful meat.
  3. Cook them low and slow in the oven until they become really tender.
  4. These can be made with any sauce (my fave is below) or even just salt & pepper.
  5. Once the meat is tender, broil or grill to get a little bit of color before serving.
ingredients for oven baked ribs

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.

Preparing ribs for the oven

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.

Barbecue Ribs before being cooked in the oven

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.

  1. Prep Ribs: Remove the membrane (tips above). Check the ribs to remove any small bone shards. Pat Dry.
  2. 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.
  3. Bake: Cover with garlic and onion. Then seal with aluminum foil and bake per the recipe below.
  4. Broil: Grill or broil to brown a little bit if you’d like.

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

adding sauce to ribs to make Oven Baked Ribs

How To Check if the Ribs Are Done

Once the ribs have cooked in the oven for at least 2 hours, open a corner of the foil (be careful, steam will come out and it’s very hot). Use a fork to pull off a little piece of meat.

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.

cut Oven Baked Ribs on a sheet pan with sauce
How long to cook ribs in the oven

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

Do you have to remove the membrane?

No, you don’t and some ribs will already have the membrane removed.

What are the best ribs to buy

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.

How do you make ribs tender?

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!

sliced Oven Baked Ribs
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Tender Oven-Baked Barbecue Ribs

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

Equipment

Ingredients  

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

BBQ Sauce

  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce
  • ½ cup chili sauce or additional BBQ sauce *see note
  • ¼ cup ketchup

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

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 hoursAfter 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, 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.
4.95 from 135 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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

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Sides to Serve with Ribs

slices of Oven Baked Ribs with a title
close up of Oven Baked Ribs slices with writing
cut Oven Baked Ribs with writing
Oven Baked Ribs cooked on a sheet pan and cut with writing

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About the author

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. Wow these were fall off the bone fantastic! My husband said “we are never going out for ribs again!” Followed the instructions, added an extra 20 mins until the meat was tender and skipped the broil step. Spread the BBQ sauce on top and yum! We will be making these again-thank you!5 stars

  2. I made these ribs today, and they were absolutely delicious! They were fall-off-the-bone tender, and were some of the best we’ve ever eaten! Usually, I add BBQ sauce to my ribs when I am ready to eat them, but the flavor was great with just a small amount of sauce, or even none at all! I’ll definitely make them again and again!5 stars

  3. Did these today, followed the recipe exactly. I am quite happy with the result. I used
    your bbq sauce recipe as well, and a friend had given us homemade chili sauce that went
    in as well. My my my. Served it with freezer steamed corn (gotta have a shortcut or two),
    twice baked potatoes and a green salad (lettuce from the garden.) Yep, will make this
    again. Thanks for developing these great recipes!5 stars

  4. I get near perfection ribs by cooking them in the Instapot for one hour & then basting them with bbq sauce under broiler for 10-12 minutes. Fall off the bone tenderness

  5. These look amazing. I have that zesty ketchup and it is very good. My question is do you separate the ribs after they are done cooking? My guess is yes. Thank you.5 stars

    1. Once ready to serve we often cut them into single riblets for easy serving but that step is totally optional. They can be served as whole racks as well.

  6. I tried this today. It worked well with side ribs with about 2 hours 45 minutes in the oven. While I liked the spice level, it was a little too intense for my wife, so I will probably lower the amount of chili sauce in the BBQ sauce. Overall excellent.4 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed these! A note on the chili sauce, the one we use has no spice at all, it’s more like a zesty ketchup and can be found at the grocery with the ketchup. I buy Heinz and the bottle looks like this. I hope that helps!

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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