Finger Lickin’ Oven Ribs

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These have been dubbed the “best ribs ever” by almost everyone who has tried them.

Making baked ribs in the oven ensures they are fall-off-the-bone tender and literally, perfect every single time. 

Below is my mom’s step-by-step method that our family has used for years.

sliced Oven Baked Ribs
  • They come out super tender every time (check out the reviews!).
  • They are actually easy to make – the prep takes less than 10 minutes.
  • The rub is made from scratch, it’s packed with flavor and not just salt.
  • Slow-roasting ribs in the oven (instead of boiling) ensures they have lots of flavor.
  • No smoker or grill is required; since they’re made in the oven, they’re perfect all year.
ingredients for oven baked ribs ingredients for oven baked ribs

Ingredients for Oven Ribs

Ribs: I always use Baby Back (or Pork Back Ribs) because they’re the most tender. They do cost a bit more but, in my opinion, it is worth the extra money if it is in your budget. You can use side ribs in this recipe, but you may need to add a little more cooking time.

Onion & Garlic: Onion and garlic are added to flavor the meat during roasting.

Seasonings: I use a homemade dry rub as I like to control the amount of salt in these ribs. You can change it up with other spices (try cumin, cayenne pepper, or dry mustard). Swap the homemade seasoning for salt & pepper or a prepared rub (this is our favorite pre-made rub).

Barbecue Sauce (or not!): Use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce, make your own, or opt out completely! My husband loves salt and pepper ribs, while I love barbecue sauce mixed with chili sauce for zesty and delicious sticky ribs.

Preparing ribs for the ovenPreparing ribs for the oven

How to Remove the Membrane from Ribs

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.

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 ovenBarbecue Ribs before being cooked in the oven

How to Make Ribs in the Oven

  1. Prep Ribs: Remove the membrane if present and season the ribs (recipe below).
  2. Bake: Place the ribs, meat side down, on a baking sheet, smother with onion and garlic, and seal with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake (optional): Bake the ribs until tender and then 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!

Holly’s Top Tips

  • Use baby backs and ensure the pan is well sealed so the ribs steam with the onions. This will make them tender and add flavor.
  • Cook them low and slow in the oven until they become really tender.
  • 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 char.
adding sauce to ribs to make Oven Baked Ribsadding sauce to ribs to make Oven Baked Ribs

Oven baked ribs will need at least 2 hours. After 2 hours, check the ribs by opening a corner of the foil (be careful; steam will escape) and pulling off a little bit of meat.

If the meat is not tender, it needs MORE time. Seal them back up, bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, and check again.

If the ribs are tender, they are ready to enjoy. You can either serve them immediately or turn the oven off and let them sit for up to 1 hour – don’t open the oven.

cut Oven Baked Ribs on a sheet pan with saucecut Oven Baked Ribs on a sheet pan with sauce

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 Ribssliced Oven Baked Ribs

4.97 from 232 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

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Spice Rub (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 275°F. In a small bowl, combine the spice mix and set aside. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  • If present, remove the white membrane from the back side of the ribs (see notes). Pat the ribs dry and check for little bone shards or pieces. Cut into 4 to 6 rib pieces.

  • Gently massage the seasoning mix (or salt and pepper) into both sides of the ribs.

  • Place the ribs on the prepared baking pan, meaty side down. Cover the ribs with onion and garlic. 

  • Cover & seal with another piece of foil.

  • Bake the 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 they are not tender, bake for another 20-30 minutes and check again.

  • Meanwhile, combine BBQ Rib Sauce ingredients together.

  • Remove the ribs from the oven and discard the juices, onions, and 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.

  • Rub: A homemade rub can be substituted for a purchased rub, or salt and pepper can be used instead of a rub.
  • Sauce: Chili sauce is not spicy it tastes like zesty ketchup and is found with ketchup in the store. If you’d prefer, use all bbq sauce in this recipe.
  • Membrane: Some racks of ribs come with the membrane removed. It is on the side of the ribs with less meat. 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 easier to grill and serve.

Variations on 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 232 votes

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

Tender Oven Baked Ribs sliced with a titleTender Oven Baked Ribs sliced with a title
easy to make Tender Oven Baked Ribs with writingeasy to make Tender Oven Baked Ribs with writing
cooked Tender Oven Baked Ribs with sauce and close up photo with a titlecooked Tender Oven Baked Ribs with sauce and close up photo with a title
Tender Oven Baked Ribs with writingTender Oven Baked Ribs with writing
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