Oven Baked Ribs

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Just fifteen minutes of prep time, and the rest is hands off for these Oven Baked Ribs. They’re the perfect combination of sticky bbq sauce and fall off the bone tender, while still being juicy. They bake low and slow creating the most tender texture, and can be made with Baby Back, Spare, Country, or St. Louis style ribs. They’re naturally gluten free and dairy free, and can be sugar free as well with the right bbq sauce. You’ll find all the tips below for how to make these crowd pleasing ribs.

Seven sliced ribs with bbq sauce and a knife alongside.

I love ribs on the grill, especially from a smoker grill. But here’s the thing… you need 6 hours to cook ribs that way! And while it’s 100% worth that effort, I crave ribs more often than I have 6 hours to cook them. Enter oven baked ribs which are way easier, and pretty much hands off.

These ribs cook low and slow while covered in the oven which is what keeps them both juicy and produces that ‘fall off the bone’ tenderness you’re looking for. These are sure to become a regular favorite with their sticky goodness.

Sliced finished BBQ ribs with the knife on the side.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Baby back ribs in a bowl with spices and bbq sauce in bowls on a wooden cutting board.
  • Pork Ribs – baby back, country style, St. Louis, and spare ribs all work here. Baby back are super meaty, but spare ribs are my #1 favorite overall. They have a bit more fat between the ribs which means they bake up extra tender, juicy, and perfectly moist. And as a bonus, they’re usually cheaper as well.
  • BBQ sauce – your faovrite bbq sauce is perfect here. I use Kinder’s Organic mild BBQ Sauce which has great flavor. Although it has a fair amount of sugar in it, like most tasty bbq sauces. I also love Primal Kitchen’s sugar free BBQ Sauce as well, although it lacks smokey flavor, so you can also add a touch of liquid smoke if desired. Finally you can follow my recipe for homemade bbq sauce listed in my Bacon Wrapped BBQ Chicken. That way you can also choose how much sweetener you want to add to the sauce.
  • Spices – a simple mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and smoked paprika add a lot of flavor here. I love using smoked paprika for the touch of smokiness it adds, but you can use regular as well. I buy bulk packages of smoked paprika at Natural Grocers, and I promise you’ll find all sorts of ways to use it. It’s great on deviled eggs and in taco seasoning as well.

How to make this recipe step by step

Spice mixture stirred together in a small pottery bowl.

Step 1: Start by preheating the oven and mixing the spices together for the dry rub.

Ribs coated in the spice mixture in a white baking dish.

Step 2: Next place the ribs in a covered baking dish, or on a lined baking sheet. Rub the ribs with the avocado oil, then evenly sprinkle the spice mixture over the top. Cover and bake until tender, 2-3 hours. If you’re using a baking sheet, wrap the pan tightly with foil.

Finished ribs with the BBQ sauce broiled in a white baking dish.

Step 3: When the ribs are tender, increase the oven temperature to broil, and brush the ribs with the barbecue sauce of choice. Bake again uncovered until the sauce bubbles and lightly caramelizes on the top of the ribs.

Slicing the ribs on a wooden cutting board with some bbq sauce on the side.

Step 4: Remove the ribs from the oven and carefully slice them between the bones. Serve with more bbq sauce if desired.

Finished sliced bbq ribs on a marble background with a knife on the side.

Ways to serve this

FAQ’s

How long do you bake ribs for in the oven?

Anywhere from 2-3 hours on average. It depends based on the type of ribs you use and will vary depending on thickness as well. Baby back ribs cook a bit faster around 2 hours, and all the spare ribs I’ve done have been closer to 3 hours.

What temperature is best for oven baked ribs?

Low and slow at 275ºF will give you fall off the bone tender ribs that are still juicy. I’ve also ‘rushed’ the cooking a bit at 300ºF which also works, but it’s better to keep the temperature low.

Storing leftovers

  • To store – place any leftovers into a sealed container and refrigerate for 4-5 days.
  • Reheat – place them in a covered oven proof dish and reheat at 300ºF until warmed through. Or for a single serving you can add them to a small skillet with a few tablespoons of water, cover and simmer until warmed through. (Also you can microwave for the easiest option.)
  • To freeze – place any leftovers into an airtight sealed container and freezer for 1-3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating as directed above.
Straight down view of all the sliced ribs with a knife on the side.

Tips & Tricks

  • Be sure to check the ribs about 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, the cook time varies from rack to rack. I’ve made these lots of times and the cooking time is always a bit different. Baby back ribs cook the fastest and are often ready just before 2 hours.
  • You can easily test the doneness of the ribs by using a paring knife to check. If the knife slides into the meat between the bones easily, they’re tender and ready for sauce.
  • Make your own BBQ sauce by following the recipe for it in my BBQ Bacon Wrapped Chicken. Or for sugar free, try Primal Kitchen which makes a great one.

I really hope you enjoy these Oven Baked BBQ Ribs! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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Finished sliced bbq ribs on a marble background with a knife on the side.

Oven Baked Ribs


  • Author: Kari Peters
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Just fifteen minutes of prep time and the rest is hands off for these Oven Baked Ribs. They’re the perfect combination of sticky bbq sauce and fall off the bone tender while still being juicy. They bake low and slow creating the most tender texture. They’re naturally gluten free and dairy free, and can be sugar free as well with the right bbq sauce. You’ll find all the tips below for how to make these crowd pleasing ribs.


Ingredients

Scale

2 pounds ribs, baby back, spare, country style, or St. Louis all work

1 tablespoon avocado oil, or olive oil

1 cup bbq sauce, plus more for serving

Spice Mixture:

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 275ºF.

If you have a covered 9×13″ baking dish, this works well, otherwise line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Remove the tough membrane from the back of the ribs. Then lay the rack of ribs on the baking sheet, or cut them in half to fit into the covered baking dish.

Stir together the spices listed, then evenly coat the ribs with the spice mixture.

Cover and bake for 2 – 3 hours, checking at 1 1/2 hours or so to see if they’re tender. I use a pairing knife and if it inserts easily between the bones without resistance, they’re ready.

Baby back take about 2 hours, and some spare ribs can take as long as 3 hours.

When the ribs are tender, remove them from the oven and turn the oven to the broil setting.

Brush the bbq sauce evenly over the ribs, then return them uncovered to the middle rack of the oven. Broil just until the sauce bubbles on the ribs and begins to caramelize, 3-5 minutes.

Remove the finished ribs from the oven, then using a fork and a sharp knife, carefully cut between the bones to create the ‘ribs’.

Serve immediately with extra bbq sauce if desired.

Notes

If you’re feeding anyone with allergies, be sure to check the bbq sauce you choose to make sure it’s gluten free dairy free, etc.

Don’t cook the ribs any longer than it takes for them to become tender, otherwise they will turn out dry.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: O
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Oven BBQ Ribs, Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs, Oven Baked BBQ Ribs, Easy Oven Baked Ribs, Oven Baked Ribs 2 hours

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