This easy Oven Baked Ribs recipe is the simplest way to achieve tender, fall-off-the-bone, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth pork ribs! The method is basically "set it and forget it" without the messy cleanup of grilling. Low and slow oven cooking with a slathering of barbecue sauce is the key.
Use your barbecue sauce of choice, but I like my Simple BBQ Sauce recipe made without ketchup. We can enjoy our ribs without the addition of processed sugars or other unfamiliar ingredients.
Two Ingredients for Slow Oven Ribs
- Pork side ribs - I was able to easily spread out 3 pounds (about 1.4 kg) in a single layer in my roasting pan. I could have fit in a little more. Feel free to cook more or less at one time, as long as the meat can be arranged in one layer. Adjust the amount of barbecue sauce accordingly.
- Barbecue sauce - I use my own Simple BBQ Sauce, but use whatever kind of sauce you prefer. Slather it on generously!
How to Bake Low and Slow Ribs
Some ribs come with a membrane (peritoneum) that needs to be removed. Chef Billy Parisi explains how to do this. If your ribs still have it attached, slice through it at an end bone, grab the end of the membrane with a paper towel, and gently pull it away.
Spread out a rack of pork ribs flat on the bottom of a roasting pan that will allow you to arrange the meat in a single layer. Brush it generously with barbecue sauce.
Cover the pan and bake in a 250°F (121°C) for about 3 ½ hours.
When the meat is tender, and falling off the bone, remove the lid. You're looking for the meat to be pulled away from the bone, exposing more bone than before. Place the ribs under the broiler or on a grill for 5 to 10 minutes to caramelize the sauce. Watch them closely at this point. The time will vary depending on how close they are to the heat source.
Cut into chunks, a few ribs in each, and serve warm.
Recipe FAQ's and Tips
Yes, cover the ribs for low and slow cooking so they don't dry out. Covering them also helps to hold the heat in and maintain an even temperature all around the meat.
You could wrap ribs in foil if your roasting pan doesn't have a lid. I don't find the foil necessary when I use a lid for oven baked ribs.
Three pounds (1.4 kg) pork side ribs cook to a nice tender, fall-off-the-bone stage in about 3 ½ hours at 250°F (121°C).
What to Serve with Oven Baked Ribs
Oven Baked Ribs
- Roasting Pan
- 3 pounds pork side ribs
- ½ cup BBQ Sauce or barbecue sauce of choice
- Preheat oven to 250°F (121°C).
- Spread out the rack of ribs in a single layer in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Slather on half of the barbecue sauce. Cover and bake until the meat is tender and falling off the bone (195°F/90°C), about 3½ hours.
- Remove the lid. Add more barbecue sauce and, optionally, broil or grill for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how close the meat is to the heat source, to caramelize the sauce.
- Because of the low baking temperature for these ribs, they're rather forgiving if you leave them in a little longer than planned.
- If you take them out of the oven a little earlier, your meat will likely be cooked but perhaps not as tender and falling off the bone as it could be.
- Reheat leftovers in a covered dish with some extra sauce for about half an hour at a low temperature (300°F/150°C).