Oven Baked Baby Back Ribs
Tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone BBQ Ribs in the OVEN! This easy Baby Back ribs recipe proves you don’t have to be a professional Pit Master to pull off Award Winning Baby Back Ribs at home.
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
I’ve found that consistency is key when striving for success. Whether is be a professional goal or a simple recipe, if you keep on keeping on…eventually you’re going to win. You will be successful at whatever it is you’re trying to achieve.
These easy BBQ Ribs in the oven is one of my “consistent until perfect” goals in life. I worked on making a rack of baby back ribs in the oven that was fall off the bone, melt-in-your-mouth tender….similar to the ribs I LOVE at popular BBQ joints in the area.
And guess what, the family agrees that this barbecue ribs recipe is award winning.
Well, it hasn’t really won any awards but to my family…if they eat it, I think that’s deserving of a blue ribbon any day. What makes these BBQ Pork Ribs so incredible is that they’re so EASY to make with almost no mess at all. And the whole recipe takes place in the oven.
What are Baby Back Ribs?
Baby Back Ribs are pork ribs that are taken from the back and loin area of the pig. They’re shorter and curvier than spareribs with a good amount of lean meat in between the bones.
Making tender ribs in the oven is simple to do using a standard braising technique. The braising liquid imparts tons of flavor into the pork ribs and even gives it a big hit of smokiness with the help of Liquid Smoke (you can get this pantry staple, here!)
You can use a BBQ Rib Rub if you want, I found a bunch of commercial rubs that I love but for this recipe, I used this easy Pork and Poultry BBQ Dry Rub. It’s simple to whip up and you can make a big batch to stash in the pantry for months.
How To Cook Baby Back Ribs in the Oven
I love the mess free aspect of cooking ribs in the oven and you’re always GUARANTEED that they’ll be tender, juicy and perfect. And you can even make your ribs a day in advance, then toss them on the grill or under the broiler right before serving to give them a nice char and caramelization on the coating of barbecue sauce.
To prep your rack of ribs, remove the silver skin (the pork membrane) from the bottom of the rack by slipping the tip of a knife under the end and pulling it up with your fingers. Gently, but firmly, pull the silver skin off the ribs. This will ensure the flavor can get into the meat all the way around and become tender. Leaving the membrane attached to your ribs will result in less-flavorful ribs and a tough texture.
Arrange your baby back ribs or spare ribs on a baking sheet lined with two sheets of aluminum foil. You’re going to wrap your ribs up in the foil to creating a little braising packet so be sure you use enough foil. Heavy duty aluminum foil is highly recommended here to hold up to the liquid, ribs and sauce.
Once you have your ribs arranged on the baking sheet, coat the entire rack with the BBQ rub. Liberally coat the top and bottom.
Fold the foil up and over the ribs, crimping at the top and one of the ends to create your “flavor packet.” Set aside for a moment.
Whisk together the liquid ingredients and pour the braising liquid into the foil packet with the ribs.
Crimp the open end and transfer to the oven for 2 hours at 300˚F.
When the ribs are finished cooking, open the packet (most of the liquid should have evaporated) and baste both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce. You can check your ribs internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. When it reads 190˚F, they’re ready! (If there’s a lot of liquid left in the foil, carefully drain the liquid off and then coat the ribs with the bbq sauce.)
Return the ribs to the oven and broil on high for 4-5 minutes until caramelized.
Allow the ribs to cool for 5 minutes, then cut the ribs apart and serve.
And that’s it! Tender, juicy, perfect ribs. This is, seriously, the BEST way to cook ribs in the oven.
Difference Between Spare Ribs and Baby Back Ribs
You can cook both Spare Ribs and Baby Back Ribs using the method I outlined above. BUT Baby Back Ribs will cook a little more quickly so you’ll want to check the internal temperature around the 90 minute mark.
Spare ribs are a cut of pork ribs that are cut from the lower portion of the pig, specifically the belly and breastbone, behind the shoulder, and include 11 to 13 long bones. They are meatier than baby back ribs, that’s why they take a longer amount of time to cook than baby back ribs.
Baby Back Ribs are cut from where the rib meets the spine after the pork loin is removed. The top ribs are called baby back ribs because they are shorter in relation to the bigger spareribs.
Tips for Perfect Ribs
- Do NOT skip the step of removing the membrane, it only takes a few minutes and is the key to tender, juicy ribs.
- PREP AHEAD – You can apply the dry rub mixture to your rack of ribs up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
- COOK AHEAD – You can totally cook the ribs in advance and skip the step of basting with bbq sauce. Bake the ribs as directed and cool to room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerator for up to 48 hours. When ready to eat, baste with bbq sauce and bake until hot. Broil for 1-2 minutes to caramelize the sauce.
What To Serve Them With
The easy make ahead tip is fantastic for tailgating when you want to have something super easy to make when you’re pregaming. We love to serve our BBQ Ribs with a simple Coleslaw recipe or a big bowl of this easy German Potato Salad. Or if you’re a purist, these Boston Baked Beans are a must have with your ribs.
Or try these easy side dishes:
Leftover pork ribs are amazing in these easy tacos….how’s that for an amazing Taco Tuesday!?!?
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More Easy BBQ Recipes
If you like these BBQ Ribs, you’ll also LOVE this easy Oven Baked BBQ Chicken. It’s always a hit with the little guy. Or give this Grilled Honey Chipotle Chicken a try, it’s sweet and savory….sooooo amazing!
Get the Recipe: Easy BBQ Ribs in the Oven
- 2 slabs pork ribs, Trimmed and silver skim (membrane) removed from the backside.
- 1/4 cup BBQ Rub
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 1/2 cups your favorite barbecue sauce
- baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 300˚F.
- Place the ribs in the center of a baking sheet lined with a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil (shiny side down). Coat the ribs with the dry rub on both sides of the rack patting the rub to help it stick to the meat. (You can cover the ribs and refrigerate for up to 24 hours at this point.)
- Whisk together the chicken stock, apple juice, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke.
- Wrap the ribs loosely in the foil to create a pouch leaving one end open on each pouch. Pour the braising liquid evenly into each pouch (your racks will each be in their own foil pouch at this point.) Seal the open end and transfer to the oven.
- Bake the ribs for two hours or until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F.
- Unwrap the ribs and coat with the barbecue sauce.
- Turn the broiler on high and broil the ribs for 4-5 minutes or until caramelized and sticky.
- Allow the ribs to rest for 5 minutes, then cut into pieces.
- Serve immediately with extra sauce, if desired.