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
4.97 from 213 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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.
4.97 from 213 votes

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

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. Hi Holly,
    Is it fine if I leave the Rib Rub on the ribs overnight and cook them the next day?
    Thank you

  2. Firstly, the recipe didn’t call for enough salt or to allow the rub to settle into the meat before cooking. 2) the time allotted to cook @ the temperature suggested, the ribs were still not tender after 2.5 hours. Very disappointing.2 stars

    1. The recipe does call for the salt “or to taste”, as written it has enough salt for my family but you can certainly increase the salt if you’d like.

      Did you use baby back ribs? Other types of ribs (including side ribs) can need a little bit longer. If they’re still not tender, cover them back up and let them cook a little bit longer as directed in step 4. I hope that helps!

  3. This recipe is the best ever. I bought a package of 2 racks of pork ribs. Can I freeze one of the cooked rack? If so, how would I reheat..
    Thanks,Lynn5 stars

    1. Yes, it can be frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. It can be reheated in the oven by baking at 375 for about 15 minutes and then broiling as directed in the recipe until browned and heated.

  4. The ribs were great! Thanks for the recipe. Instead of tossing the onions and garlic covering the ribs I threw them in a pan with some beef stock and made French onion soup which was also yummy.

  5. Flavors were good so give it 4 stars but took longer than suggested. Definitely takes at least 3 hours.. maybe a tid bit more for perfection.. after 2 hrs 45 minutes decided to just eat it because we were hungry but definitely could have used more time 15 minutes maybe even a half hour perhaps. Was tender enough to eat but didn’t “fall off” bone as ribs should for perfection was a little tough.4 stars

  6. I have never cooked ribs before, and these turned out great! I used my own rub and preferred bbq sauce (Ray’s). But the instructions on how to cook the ribs were perfect abs the family loved them..5 stars

  7. Penny,
    In your info on the recipe, prior to recipe, you say to place the rib meat side down on the tray not the bone side. Yet in your recipe you don’t mention how to place the ribs.
    So which is it: Ribs meat up or down in pan to bake?
    I’m going to usevthuscreciooe tomorrow.

  8. The ribs were not ready at 2 hrs, turned up heat to 375 for another 30 minutes. Broiled them for about 10 minutes. They literally fell off the bones and were absolutely delicious!!! The spice rub was just right. This is a keeper!!!5 stars

  9. I love this low and slow Cooking method for ribs. I made this a few times already, and it comes out great.

  10. Hello!

    I’m hosting a large bbq at my house and would like to know if you have ever cooked them in the oven the night before and finished them on the bbq the next day? Thanks

    1. I haven’t tried it the day before but I do think it would work. Rather than a quick sear on high at the end, you’d want the heat low enough to ensure they have a chance to heat through. Let us know how it works out for you!

  11. These look like the perfect meal for the 4th of July. Do you usually add the BBQ sauce before you cook or after they are done? I’ve never made ribs and want these to turn out perfect.

    1. We bake them first, then coat with BBQ sauce in step 6 before broiling them! Enjoy Denise.

  12. Yummy! The onion and garlic on the rack side of ribs while cooking made the house smell heavenly! Made the rub just a bit different, same premise. Didn’t use anything other than premade Kinder Mild BBQ sauce. Would add the bbq sauce when testing for doneness at 2 hour mark and not broil as long as noted, maybe not broil at all next time. Ribs were tender but starting to dry out from the added heat of broiler.. Hubby said he likes these better than the ones he cooked on his Traeger…go figure!5 stars

  13. Hi Holly! Oven baked ribs are so easy and delicious to make. My recipe is very similar to yours. I add a little ginger powder, mustard powder and red pepper flakes because I’m from the caribbean and my family loves a little heat. I encourage anyone to try this recipe! It truly falls off the bone. Have a great 4th of July with your family and stay safe. :)5 stars

    1. Yummy additions Erma! Thanks for sharing. We hope you enjoy your 4th of July weekend as well! :)

  14. Love this recipe! I noticed a lot of people have trouble removing the silvery membrane on the back. I place the rib slab upside down in front of me with it longways, left to right. with a sharp knive, cut the membrane across the center, between the center two ribs. Grab one side of the membrane from the center with a paper towel and pull to one end. Then pull the other side of the membrane from the center and pull it to the other end. It slips right off.5 stars