These easy Oven Baked Ribs come together with a homemade spice rub and lots of sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Cooked long and slow, they turn out unbelievably tender and make enough to feed a crowd! 

The Best Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

There’s nothing like a tender and juicy rib slathered in sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. If you’ve never done it before, cooking a whole rack of ribs can be a little intimidating. But, what if I told you that making ribs was easier than you may think? Especially when you skip the grill and make these oven baked pork ribs instead. 

I know what you’re thinking – ‘you can’t get really good ribs in an oven!” But trust me on this, you most definitely can! This oven baked ribs recipe requires just a few minutes of prep time, simple ingredients, and a bit of patience. The oven does all the hard work, cooking the ribs low and slow, until they are perfectly tender.

In just a few hours, you’ll have fall-apart tender ribs perfect for game day or a family dinner. Pair them with your favorite side dishes for a restaurant-worthy meal from the comfort of your own home! 

More Delicious Pork Recipes

Baby Back Vs. Spare Ribs

The primary difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs is their size. As you might guess, baby back ribs are smaller than their spare rib counterparts.

Baby back ribs have a steeper curve and contain slightly leaner, more tender meat. They come from the upper rib cage and attach to the spare ribs on one side and the backbone on the other. They typically weigh about 2 pounds and cook faster than spare ribs, making them great for baked recipes. 

Spare ribs, on the other hand, are large, meaty, and significantly fattier than other rib varieties. A rack of spare ribs weighs about 2 ½ to 3 pounds and contains a decent amount of marbled fat, extra bones, and tissue not found in baby back ribs. As a result, they’re commonly used for barbecues and dishes that require long, slow cooking methods to break down the fat and create tender, juicy meat. 

oven baked ribs ingredients

Ingredients

Ribs: you’ll need 3 to 3 ½ pounds of baby back or spare ribs. I personally prefer baby back ribs but go with your favorite or whatever you can find!

Barbecue Sauce: any barbecue sauce that you like will work for this recipe! 

Brown Sugar: this helps sweeten the rib spice rub which gives the ribs all of their flavor.

Seasonings: onion powder, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt, pepper, oregano, paprika, celery seed, and cayenne pepper create a savory spice rub with just a hint of heat for the best ribs you’ll ever taste! 

Helpful Kitchen Tools

rib spice rub

How to Make This Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

Step One: Before you begin, preheat your oven to 275 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  

Step Two: Remove any membrane from the back of the ribs. This will look like a thin, white film. Then, season the ribs on both sides with the spice rub. Use your fingertips to press the mixture into the meat to make sure it sticks! 

Step Three: Next, wrap the ribs tightly with foil, meat side up. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 2 to 3 ½ hours or until the ribs are tender and a sharp knife can easily pierce the meat. 

Step Four: Remove the cooked ribs from the foil, and place them back on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then, set your oven to high broil. 

Step Five: Liberally brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, covering them completely. Then, place them back in the oven. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce begins to bubble and caramelize. Be careful not to let them burn! 

dry rub on raw ribs

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook baby back ribs in an oven?

The exact cooking time will vary depending on your oven and the size of your ribs. However, on average it takes anywhere from 2 to 3 ½ hours for ribs to bake completely. You know they’re done when they reach an internal temperature between 190 and 200 degrees. 

Can I cook the ribs at a higher temperature? 

You can cook ribs at a temperature up to 300 degrees. Honestly, though, I wouldn’t recommend increasing the heat. The higher it gets, the more likely the ribs will become tough and dry. The goal here is low and slow.

Should ribs be covered in the oven? 

Yes! You can bake ribs without covering them, but they’re likely to dry out. Wrapping them with foil helps lock in moisture, creating the tender, juicy results we’re looking to achieve. 

barbecue sauce being spread on ribs

Can I Make These Ribs in a Slow Cooker?

I haven’t tested this oven baked baby back ribs recipe in the slow cooker yet, but it should work! To begin, season the ribs as usual. 

Then, add them to the slow cooker with the barbecue sauce and about a cup or so of liquid like broth or apple juice. 

Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours. Then, baste the ribs with barbecue sauce, and place them under a high broil just until lightly charred in appearance. 

What to Serve with Ribs

I love to serve these oven baked baby back ribs with steamed veggies, but feel free to mix and match your favorite sides. For example, more great pairings include: 

How to Store and Reheat

Store leftover ribs in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Freeze cooled ribs by wrapping them in aluminum foil and transferring them to a sealable bag or freezer-safe container. They will stay fresh for up to 3 months. 

Reheat thawed ribs in the oven at 350 degrees. I recommend adding more barbecue sauce and wrapping them in foil to prevent them from drying out! 

baked ribs on platter

More Delicious BBQ Recipes

I hope you give these Oven Baked Ribs a try! They’re an easy protein source that can feed a crowd. If you do give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews and ratings help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you trust and love.

Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by: Eat Love Eat

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baked ribs on platter

Oven Baked Ribs

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  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These easy Oven Baked Ribs come together with a homemade spice rub and lots of sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Cooked long and slow, they turn out unbelievably tender and make enough to feed a crowd! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 33 1/2 pound rack of baby back ribs
  • 1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce

Spice Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Prep the ribs: Remove any membrane from the back of the ribs. Then season the ribs on both sides with all of the spice rub. Using your fingertips to press the rub into the ribs so that it sticks.
  3. Wrap the ribs tightly with foil, meat side up, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the ribs for 2 to 3 1/2 hours or until the ribs are tender and a sharp knife can easily pierce the meat.
  4. Once the ribs are fully cooked, remove them from the foil and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Turn your oven to high broil.
  5. Liberally brush the ribs with barbecue sauce until covered. Then, place the ribs in the oven and broil on high for 3-4 minutes until the sauce begins to bubble and caramelize. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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