Ribs are delicious. In fact they are without a doubt my favorite thing to cook and to eat. Many people shy away from ribs though because the pitmasters out there are very critical about the “right” way to cook them. I call bs…
There are only 3 things you need for great tasting ribs:
- Your favorite rub and seasoning.
- Your favorite BBQ sauce.
That’s it. Everything else is just fluff. I will admit I prefer the way smoked ribs taste, but the ones made in the oven that you are going to see in this post are also great. In fact some of my friends and family think they taste even better. There is a key part in that list above though. Everything is based around what YOU prefer. You’re the one eating them so make them the way you like!
Before we dive into cooking ribs I want to go over the types of ribs and which ones I recommend. There are essentially three kinds of ribs.
- Spare Ribs: The name “spare” ribs stand to denote the small amount of meat upon the bone. This is because this part of the pig is mostly used for bacon. Because of this the spare ribs only have a scarce amount of meat, because it is cut very close to the bone.
- Baby Backs (My favorite): This is a wonderful cut, which is why it is so popular. Baby back ribs are taken from the muscle that runs along the back of the pig. This is a rather meaty cut containing the highest-quality meat.
- St. Louis Style: These ribs are actually from the same cut as spare ribs. However, St. Louis style ribs have a universal rectangular shape. This is achieved by removing the rib tip and the skirt, making them easier to handle and allowing them to cook much faster.
There are a few more cuts of ribs like flanked short ribs, Country-style pork ribs and of course beef ribs. But when cooking BBQ ribs in the oven its best to stick with the first three. I personally prefer baby backs because of all the extra meat, but get which ever ones you like.
Let’s get to the meat of this post (pun intended)…
Preparing Your Ribs
This part is essential because if the foundation of your ribs is off well… your ribs will be off. The first part of this is going to be removing the membrane of the back of the ribs. Now if you’re lucky the butcher will have done this for you, but if not grab your butter knife and a paper towel.
At one end of the rack, slide a butter knife under the membrane and move down the bone.
Loosen the membrane until it lifts or tears.
Grab the membrane with your paper towel and pull it off like the plastic on a new phone.
How To Rub Your Ribs
Now that we have that have the screen protector off the ribs we can get to the fun part. The rub. If you are brand new to BBQ and have no idea what you like you can buy a store bought rub or you can make my favorite rib rub. Either way just make sure it’s something you like. Because like I said earlier in the post these are for you.
>>Learn to make my favorite rub for ribs.
Once you have your rub of choice ready to go you will want to start with a light sprinkling of kosher salt on the ribs. This will help pull moisture out and also start to tenderize the ribs for you. Let the salt sit for 5 minutes or so then proceed to liberally apply your rub. Now this is the confusing part. Even though it is called a “rub” don’t rub it. Gently pat the rub into the ribs and allow to sit while we get everything else ready.
Side note: Many people like to use a binder on their ribs such as mustard or olive oil. These can help the rub stick, but don’t really make that big of a difference. So do it if you want to or don’t. Either way these ribs are going to taste delicious.
The Easiest Way To Cook Ribs In The Oven
This method is going to be the most accessible option for most people because well… most people have ovens. The best part about cooking ribs this way is that there are only two steps! The downfall to cooking ribs this way is that you can’t truly get that smokey flavor that comes from a smoker.
Step One: Roast The Ribs
This is the step that is going to make these ribs fall of the bone while keeping them juicy and f*cking delicious. I promise if you are wanting to BBQ ribs and everyone tells you that you need some fancy smoker they’re lying.
To roast the ribs you will want to preheat your oven to 350°. Then get a cookie sheet and put a cooling rack on top of it. Into the bottom of the cookie sheet pour 5-8 Tbsp of plain white vinegar. That’s it.
Place your ribs on the cooling rack and wrap tightly in foil. It is important that you make your wrap job air tight because it’s the steam inside that is going to tenderize the meat. If you have any spots where the steam can come out your ribs won’t taste as good. So quit being cheap and double or triple wrap this.
This is where the third important ingredient from the beginning comes from. You need to be patient and let these ribs do their thing. I like to let mine cook for 2 to 2.5 hours.
After that pull them out and let’s move on.
Step Two: Broil The Ribs
When you pull your ribs out of the oven pull back the tinfoil and allow them to cool off a little bit. While you’re right there set your oven to broil. I like to let the ribs hang out while I make my BBQ sauce. If you are using a bottle sauce or if you aren’t a procrastinator like me and made your sauce ahead of time just wait 10 minutes or so.
After your ribs have cooled off it’s time to make them BBQ ribs (who said you need a grill for good BBQ?). While keeping your ribs on the cooling rack flip them so that they are meat side down. Now take your sauce and slop it all over the back side of the ribs, place into the oven, and broil for 5 minutes or so. Next pull the ribs out, flip them over and repeat on the meat side. I usually repeat this 2 or 3 times or until the color is the way I want it.
That’s it! You’re done. Congratulations you just learned how to cook bbq ribs in the oven, and I promise these ribs will impress anyone (even your BBQ snob friends).
The Best BBQ Ribs Using The Oven
- Baking Sheet
- Cooling Rack
- 5-8 tbsp White Vinegar
- 1 Cup Your Favorite BBQ Rub
- 2 Cups Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
- 2 Racks Baby Back Ribs You can use St. Louis style ribs too!
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Sprinkle kosher salt on ribs and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
- Put an even coat of your favorite BBQ rub on the ribs.
- Place your ribs on your cooling rack and set on top of the cookie sheet.
- Pour the white vinegar into the bottom of the cookie sheet.
- Wrap the ribs tightly in tinfoil making sure there are no places the steam can escape.
- Place in oven and cook for 2-2.5 hours.
- Remove ribs and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Set your oven to broil and let heat up.
- Cover the ribs in BBQ sauce and broil for 2 minutes.
- Flip ribs over cover in sauce and broil for 2 minutes.
- Repeat 2 or 3 more times until the color is nice and brown.
- Offer to share with friends and family, but end up eating them all before they show up.
How To Make Your BBQ Oven Ribs Even Better
If you follow the recipe above you are going to have some amazing ribs, but with one simple change they can be even better.
To add a little extra BBQ flavor to these ribs finish them off on a grill instead of broiling them. You will follow the exact same steps except you’re using a grill.
If you’re looking for even more flavor you can throw a smoke tube in the grill too for some additional BBQ flavor.