Tender Oven-Baked Ribs

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Delicious Ribs From The Oven

Ribs are one of my guilty pleasures. Low and slow is the way to go with ribs. While ribs from a smoker are incredible; it’s possible to make great tasting ribs right in your oven. Enjoy these oven baked ribs any time of the year.

Oven ribs aren’t quick – these are going to cook for 3 hours. The long cooking time at a lower temperature will help melt and gelatinize the collagens giving your ribs that tenderness and juiciness of great ribs.

I like these with just a dry rub, but feel free to add BBQ sauce that last half hour of cooking if you want saucy ribs.

piles of spices for the dry rub
Dry rub spices for oven baked ribs.

Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

1 rack of spare ribs 4-5 pounds
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons powdered garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Raw ribs on a rack

Make the dry rub: In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne.
Place the ribs on a rack placed in a sheet pan.
Sprinkle each side of the ribs with 1 teaspoon of the liquid smoke and rub into the ribs.
Sprinkle half of the dry rub on each side of the ribs and rub into the ribs.
Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 minutes, and up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300º F.
Place ribs, uncovered, in oven and cook for 2.5 – 3 hours.
If you want to use a BBQ sauce, baste the ribs with the BBQ sauce the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Seasoned ribs on a rack

Tips and Notes

I use liquid smoke to add a smoky flavor. Not all are made the same. I recommend Wright’s liquid smoke as it only contains water and smoke concentrate. I usually use the Hickory, but Mesquite and Applewood are good also.

I use kosher salt. If you substitute table salt you need to cut the amount of salt in half. So only use 1 tablespoon instead of 2.

I cook these uncovered in the oven. Covering them with foil decreases the cook time to about 2 hours, but your ribs will steam instead of cooking in dry heat. Uncovered your ribs will develop a bit of crispness that I really like.

I like my ribs with just the dry rub, which I make without sugar. The sugar free dry rub makes this suitable for paleo, keto, and other low carb diets.

If you want sauce on your ribs, brush BBQ sauce on during the last 30 minutes. Use your favorite – they all work. Most BBQ sauces have sugar which will thicken and caramelize your sauce on the ribs. Serve extra sauce on the side.

Don’t be tempted to use fresh garlic. I’ve tried for years to use fresh garlic: grated, pressed, pounded into a paste with oil; fresh garlic always burns and turns black and bitter. Stick with the powdered garlic.

I also leave the membrane on the back of the ribs. These ribs come out tender and the membrane helps hold them together.

The longer you can let the ribs chill in the refrigerator after you put on the dry rub the better. The salt and spices will penetrate into the meat, but if you’re pressed for time go ahead and pop them into the oven.

Bon appetit!

Cooked ribs on a rack

You may also like our Chinese Roast Ribs

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Heavy Duty Sheet Pan

This is one of the most versatile things I use in my kitchen. It gets used for just about everything, with the rack it’s a roasting pan. The rack works as a cooling rack too. I put this pan to a lot of uses.

Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Sheet Pan and Rack

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Wright’s Liquid Smoke

This is my preferred brand of liquid smoke. It only contains smoke and water. A little goes a long way. I love the hickory, but try the mesquite and applewood versions too.

Wrights Liquid Smoke

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