You don’t need a backyard barbecue pit to make fall-off-the-bone tender BBQ pork ribs. We’ll show you how to bake baby back ribs in the oven with our melt-in-your-mouth homemade dry rub and easy bbq sauce recipe.
Maybe you have a sudden craving for barbecue ribs, but it’s pouring rain and your BBQ is off-duty. Or maybe you live in an apartment and don’t have a barbecue at all. Or maybe you loved our slow cooker ribs recipe but you need a rib recipe that’s a little quicker.
Cooking ribs in the oven is a sure-fire way to get bonafide baby back ribs. You don’t need a grillmaster’s certificate, because baking ribs is easy; the foolproof foil packet ensures that your oven bbq ribs always cook evenly and never dry out.
And though there’s a bit of a time commitment, baked ribs in the oven don’t take all day — but they do taste every bit as real-deal as smoked ribs. Plus, when you make bbq ribs in the oven, you fill your kitchen with all of of that amazing “Come and get it!” baked baby back ribs smell.
Massage our 5-ingredient brown sugar rib rub recipe (say that three times fast) into the meat for luscious flavor — you probably have all of the spices in your cupboard already. And you can use this smoky dry rub for pork ribs of all kinds: country-style ribs, spare ribs, rib tips.
Yeah, you could save time and use a bottle of your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce. But we’ll let you in the secret to our homemade bbq sauce recipe: reserve the savory juices that the ribs release while cooking in the foil pouch, then reduce it into a sweet and tangy, finger-lickin’ rib sauce.
Finish your oven baked ribs under the broiler for the last few minutes so that barbecue rib sauce gets nice and caramelized — and then slather on even more. Just make sure you’re not wearing white.
- If you have time, it’s best to let the wrapped and rubbed ribs sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, and up to 12 hours. Generally speaking, the longer the ribs have to absorb the flavors of the dry rub, the better. But if you need oven bbq ribs like now, it’s fine to cook them immediately after applying the rub.
Baked BBQ Ribs
Makes 6 – 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- 3 – 4 pounds of pork baby back ribs
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons mustard or 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 3 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 250°F/120°C and place an oven rack in the middle of your oven.
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs: use your fingers to get underneath the membrane and loosen it along one side, then pull it off. (It may come off in more than one piece.)
- Season the ribs with salt and black pepper.
- Make the spice rub: in a small bowl, mix all of the spice rub ingredients together until they’re well combined.
- Gently rub the spice mix all over the ribs, making sure to completely cover the ribs in the spices.
- Make a pouch for the ribs: place two layers of aluminum foil down, and place the ribs (meat side up) on the foil, then pull the edges of the foil up around the ribs to wrap them. The pouch needs to be sealed well so that it will keep in the moisture. Let the ribs sit, refrigerated, in the spice rub for 1 – 12 hours, or bake them immediately.
- Place the foil pouch on a baking sheet or baking dish and cook for 2½ – 3 hours, or more depending on the size of your racks of ribs. Turn the oven off and allow the ribs to rest until they’re cool enough to handle without oven mitts.
- Open one corner of the foil pouch and pour the accumulated juices from the ribs into a large measuring cup or a bowl, and set aside. Keep the ribs wrapped in foil and return them to the warm oven while you make the BBQ sauce.
- Make the BBQ sauce: add the reserved rib juices and all of the sauce ingredients to a medium-sized sauce pot over medium low heat. Simmer the sauce, stirring frequently, until it’s thick (about 20 minutes).
- Remove the ribs from the oven and open the foil pouch. Turn the oven to broil. Brush the ribs with a good layer of sauce and broil them until the top is caramelized and the sauce is set (about 5 – 10 minutes).
- Allow the ribs to cool slightly before cutting them into individual ribs or sections. Serve with extra sauce.