The Best Oven-Baked Ribs

My husband, Brian-With-An-I, loves him some ribs. I mean really loves them. In fact, if it was a showdown, he might even choose ribs over his beloved sweet and sour chicken (gasp!). And heaven knows, he loves sweet and sour chicken practically more than our firstborn child.

For Father’s Day, then, it seemed to make sense that I attempt making ribs. For the first time. Ever. I know. Shameful. But I wasn’t going to go with just any ol’ recipe and hope for the best. Scary! Thankfully, my friend, Kim, mother of this delicious summer corn salad, came through with her famous oven-baked ribs. I knew they would be stellar.

And oh diggity, were they ever. Tender, falling off the bone, and so flavorful – you can’t even begin to appreciate the flavor in these ribs, thanks to the dry rub and subsequent “marinating” time. The thing I was most pleased about was that these ribs were easy as all get out to make. I can’t believe I have never made them before! And neither can Brian. He has requested them for every upcoming meal this century to make up for lost time.

What To ServeLayered Mexican Cornbread Salad or Cornbread with Fluffy Honey Butter
Corn on the Cob or Summer Corn Salad
Fresh Fruit

One Year Ago: Grilled Chicken Fajita Fettuccine
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle
Three Years Ago: Aunt Alecia’s Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Oven-Baked Ribs

Yield: Makes 2 slabs ribs

The Best Oven-Baked Ribs

Note: when working with baby back ribs, the silver skin will need to be removed. Here is a great visual tutorial to help simplify the process (it’s not hard, I promise!). Also, take note that the ribs need to be refrigerated with the rub prior to cooking for 8 to 48 hours so plan ahead!


  • 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs, silver skin removed
  • Dry Rub:
  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt (Morton’s brand – other brands may vary in strength)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 cups BBQ sauce (I love this homemade version)


  1. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil or a double layer of regular tin foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side of the ribs generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil and refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight and up to 48 hours.
  2. When ready to bake the ribs, preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  3. Place the ribs (still in the foil packets) on a foil lined baking sheet and bake the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours-3 hours or until tender when picked up with tongs. The meat will come easily off of the bone!
  4. Remove ribs from foil and place on another foil lined baking sheet. Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce and broil until charred and bubbly. Alternately, you can grill the ribs at this point, if you like, but sometimes they are falling off the bone and are so tender that it is a little difficult. Cut the ribs into individual portions (2-3 ribs per person). Serve with additional BBQ sauce, if desired.

Recipe Source: from my friend, Kim in MD

75 Responses to Oven-Baked Ribs

  1. Stacey says:

    Has anyone made this recipe using spare ribs?

  2. Willis Vanderberg says:

    For all you folks who have trouble with the ribs not being done in the time mentioned, check the weight of your slab. If it weighs more three pounds you will need more time.
    Baby back ribs and back ribs are not the same size. I have made this recipe so many times and it always turns out the most delicious, moist,great tasting ribs.

  3. Jason says:

    Made these ribs and they were the tastiest ribs I’ve ever made! Sticking them under the broiler and allowing the sauce to caramelize and slightly burn makes the ribs comparable had they come off the grill!

  4. Claudia says:

    I made these for the first time last night, and for company too! I have such confidence in your recipes that I know I could make anything on your site, and it will turn out fantastic. The ribs were glorious!

  5. Carols_got_cakes says:

    I have made these ribs about 4 times since first making them for Super Bowl 2014 they are the best!!!! Moist tender delicious ribs every time. When people see me getting they off the grill I am attacked!! I add the bar b que sauce to the heavy duty foil and put them on the grill in the open foil and still manage to get a char on them without loosing any! Once again thank you Mel will post on ig later!

  6. Sophi says:

    Hi dear Mel,

    I have been using your recipe for the last couple of years and it is just awesome. Thank you for being so sweet and generous in sharing it. I have a question, I have friends coming over next week and they don’t eat pork. Have you tried it yet with beef ribs? If not, or if so, do you have any suggestions regarding using beef (as I have never made beef ribs before). Now I know I could google another recipe but I thought why mess with looking around when I have found an amazing cook in YOU. 🙂 Thanks a bunch in advance.

    • Mel says:

      Sophi – I haven’t tried it with beef ribs but because the resting/baking time is long, I actually think there’s a good chance the same recipe/method for the pork ribs could work fine with beef. Good luck if you try it!

  7. J Alexander says:

    Hi Mel, I tried your recipe and the ribs were absolutely delicious! But like most cooks that have a passion for cooking, you find a recipe and you add your own little twist to it. Well what I did was I baked it slow covered in foil and when done and tender, I removed the foil…turned the oven to BROIL and let it char and brown just a little bit! It was delicious!! I baked them a few weeks ago and my girlfriend has asked me bake her some more at least 4 times now lol! But thanks for the recipe, I really appreciate it!

  8. RibsKing101 says:

    Just a reply to J. Alexanders question., I have prepared over 2000 Ribs, Baby Backs, Full Pork Ribs, Stacked Ribs in Smoker, Country Style Ribs and Beef Ribs as well, Baked right ribs will always have at least an inch or more of juice in the baking dish after preparation. As long as your make your Marinade and let it sit in the Fridge which I always let it sit for at least 24 hours, they will be simply delicious if you bake them slow, turn them over half way through and I even debone mine after 3 hours, then turn over and bake meaty side up for 1 more hour. make your belly happy, happy, happy……please follow Mels Recipe and you wont fail and ..(DO NOT BOIL YOUR RIBS) Big NO NO..

  9. J Alexander says:

    Woops! I see I made a typo…I meant to ask “is this direction not needed for this recipe?


  10. J Alexander says:

    This recipe looks very simple yet delicious, but I do have one concern/question. I’ve always heard that it’s always best to add water to the bottom of the pan or inside the foil to keep the ribs from drying out. Is this not direction not needed for this recipe? After reviewing all of the comments on the page it seems like everyone has been pretty pleased with the recipe after trying it so I’m anxious to try it for my family, I just have that one concern…

    I look forward to your reply.. 🙂

  11. Sandra Dennison says:

    Is there anything that would substitute for Old Bay Seasoning as you cannot purchase it in Toronto where I live.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sandra – I googled and found a homemade substitution:
      1 tablespoon ground bay leaves
      2 1/2 teaspoons celery salt
      1 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
      1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
      3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
      1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
      1/2 teaspoon paprika
      1/2 teaspoon red pepper
      1/4 teaspoon ground mace
      1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

  12. Kelly says:

    just a follow up…we just had them and they were AWESOME! especially with the homemade bbq sauce!! this recipe is definitely a keeper for this household!

  13. Kelly says:

    I’m making these ribs tonight for dinner! I can’t wait to try them! I put the rub on them yesterday and by the time I get them in the oven this afternoon it will be 24 hours. I even made the homemade bbq sauce yesterday to use with them! I doubt I will ever buy bbq sauce again. So YUMMY! I love your recipes!

  14. Sherry says:

    This is the second time I am making the ribs. I love the taste and especially the sauce; however, the ribs are never tender after 3 hours. I’ve been increasing the temperature after 3 hours and baking for another hour. I can’t figure out why the temperature isn’t hot enough in my oven – yes, everything else bakes fine so I don’t know why the ribs are not tender. Help!

  15. supershwa says:

    Nice recipe – getting started on these soon.

    For those interested in a DIY Old Bay recipe try one I found here:

  16. Catherine says:

    I made these tonight – amazing! They were so, so tender and absolutely delicious! Another home-run for Mel!

  17. Jesse T says:

    Mel I was planing to make these ribs but was planing to cook 4 full racks of ribs. How much longer in the over would you recommend so that they would cook all the way through but still be just as tender. Thank you for your input and help.

  18. Scott brown says:

    Great rib recipient Mel. I use a little bit of mustard when applying the rub and then top it off by sprinkling on liquid smoke.

  19. Cristy says:

    These are the best ribs ever!….i’ve done other receives but this one took the first place!… They’re tender, juicy, and full of flavor. I really recommend you to try them!

  20. Deb B says:

    Made these tonight for visiting family, and they were a hit!! Will definately make again and again. Made three slabs in my roaster oven in the garage (I don’t like to use my oven in the summer either!).

  21. Jessica says:

    Can you use boneless porkloin back ribs in this recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Jessica – I don’t know because I’ve never tried it. I don’t think they would turn out quite the same thought and I’d definitely recommend using the ribs called for in the recipe.

  22. Theresa Orison says:

    I made these for a pot luck dinner and everyone loved them, most compliments I have ever gotten. Thanks for the great recipes!

  23. Madeline Williams says:

    What a wonderful and easy recipe! I’m new to cooking and made these last week for my family. My husband is STILL talking about how good they were. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Brenton says:

    Here’s a hint, if you want to get the BBQ-smoke smell: Put them on the grill for 15-20 minutes PRIOR to putting them in the oven; you’ll get a good dose of charcoal smell, (provided that you’re using a charcoal grill), and THEN transfer them to the oven. Best of both worlds, and they won’t fall apart, as they would if you try to transfer them from the oven to the grill.

  25. DOROTHY KRAFT says:



  26. Jen says:

    So, I cut the recipe in half because I was only going to use one slab….. (Dinner for 2) I baked the ribs for about 2 hours and 40min. Then… I used about a cup of the the sweet baby rays reg bbq sauce and then baked for another 25 min at 350 degrees.(don’t have broiler) OMG….I just finished eating dinner with my boyfriend and we thought it was so TASTY! Even though these weren’t grill they were so goodddd. I am so THANKFUL that you posted this recipe up, these are the BEST TASTING ribs ever! I think next time I’m going to use the homemade bbq sauce you noted. 5 STARS!

  27. Jen says:

    Hi I am very excited about making this tommarow! I am planning on cutting the recipe in half and was wondering if I only have a slab of baby back ribs would this change the baking time?

  28. Kay says:

    You may substitute celery salt for the old bay in a pinch since that’s mostly what old bay is. This is extremely close to Alton Brown’s recipe for rib rub, you can find his complete recipe which includes the “mop” here:

  29. Erik says:

    Tried this recipe last night after reading the rave reviews. Went to Costco but couldn’t find baby back ribs so I purchased pork loin ribs. The smallest packet had three 18 inch slabs. Ugh!! I better not mess this up…I thought to myself. Didn’t have paprika or onion or but every good Marylander has Old Bay Seasoning. I added a few extra pinches. Placed 2 slabs in the oven at 4p. Peeled back the foil at 630p and broiled them for with Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce (also found at Costco). This was my very first time preparing ribs, I did not rub in the seasoning, or wait 24 hours. I may have made other inadvertent mistakes along the way but the ribs were savory, falling off the bone and melting in your mouth. We ate like pigs (pun intended). Can’t wait to try it again. Next time I’ll follow the directions more closely.

  30. Gen says:

    Ribs are not my favorite but I had some friends who were coming over for dinner who loves it and so I looked up your ever trusty website and found this recipe. It was the very first time I ever cooked spareribs so I needed a fool proof recipe. You’re my go to Mel and so I tried this one. I just ommitted the old bay seasoning coz I didnt have it on hand otherwise I followed the exact recipe. The only concern is that I followed the baking time and temperature but it was still not done so I increased the temp to 400 F and cooked it for an additional hour. Maybe it had something to do with the size of the ribs? Still when it was done, it was so tender and with the right touch of sweetness and tanginess. The spices gave alot of flavor which blended well and were not overpowering. Let me tell you I am now a convert and will be making these again. Everyone was exclaiming how delicious it was. What a BIG HIT! 🙂 Thank you Mel! 🙂

  31. Erik says:

    DELISH! I literally JUST made these and devoured them 5 minutes ago… my fiancé said they were the best ribs he’s ever had; he can’t stop going on about how great they were and how well they went together with sunday football! Before baking, I generously seasoned both sides of the baby back rib rack with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder and baked, covered, at 225º for 3.5 hrs. Then (in the interest of time) I finished them off with a store bought honey bbq sauce for 30 more minutes, uncovered. They weren’t kidding when they said the meat would be falling off the bone!

  32. Amanda says:

    I did not care for these at all. I was disappointed after a week of craving ribs! 1. They were not “falling off the bone” tender (or especially tender at all) even after 3 hours of bake time. And 2. the chili powder was overwhelming, even with bbq sauce on top. This may work as a jumping off point for other ribs, but I will not be making these as is again :/

  33. Mel says:

    Hadassah – sure, I’d give that method a try. I think it would work fine where you don’t have a broiler or a grill.

  34. Hadassah says:

    I don’t have a broiler OR a grill…do you know if it would work to just put the bbq sauce on for the last 30 mins of bake time? Another recipe I found online for ribs done in the oven suggested something along those lines. Thanks in advance!

  35. Natasha says:

    ok. so i made these tonight for supper, minus the bay seasoning (cause i dont have that stuff nor do i even know what it is) and they are un-fucking-believable. The rub smells so good when its in the oven and then when i took them out they were the most tender pieces of meat i have EVER cooked. SOOOOOOOOOOO happy I found this recipe, will be cooking them like this from now on! DELICIOUS!!!!

  36. John Kelley says:

    I’m a southern boy, raised on the Chesapeake bay so I keep old bay handy in my lunch box. If you are up north you may find a pinch of wye river seasoning hiding in your spice rack. It should do just as well

  37. Steph says:

    Mel, you never let me down. My grocery store had a great sale on ribs recently and I stocked up and have been on the lookout for a great recipe. I thought I looked here and didn’t find one (it must have been a moment of confusion or something), so after sifting through the recipes that Google found for me– and not really getting excited about any of them, I turned to Pinterest. I searched for ribs, and seriously, 95% of the pins were for this recipe.

    And oh gracious me I’m thankful I found it. SO delicious, and pretty much as easy as crockpot cooking. My mister said that he’s grateful I’m not the kind to take advantage, because after a meal like that, he would have said yes to anything I asked. I will be making this again and again and again.

    Thanks for your wonderful blog, and good luck with your upcoming bundle of joy.

  38. gina says:

    After reading Kim’s post more thoroughly, I think I will try it b/c it sounds very tasty.

  39. Mel says:

    Brad – I’ve never tried it with that cut of meat so I’m not sure how they would hold up but it’s always worth a try if you don’t mind taking risks in the kitchen. Let me know if you try it!

  40. Brad says:

    Could you use country style ribs for this recipe as well?

  41. Gina says:

    The rib rub that Kim in MD posted. I don’t buy Old Bay often so I don’t always have it on hand. Soooo the rib rub Kim posted could come in handy if I like it. Thanx a bunch for replying.

  42. Heidy says:

    LOVE! These are awesome! My husband and I enjoyed every bite!

  43. Mel says:

    Gina – I’m not sure I know what rib rub you are talking about – was it in this post?

  44. Gina says:

    If you don’t mind could you tell me what kinda ribs I should use for the other rib rub you posted? Thanx

  45. Gina says:

    These ribs turned out great. Tender and flavorful. Will be making again. Thanx for this very tasty recipe.

  46. Gina says:

    Just seasoned a slab of baby backs with the dry rub and put in the fridge. Will be having ribs tomorrow for dinner. I’ll post my results asap.

  47. I’d been wanting to try this recipe, but knew my hubby wouldn’t be crazy about the idea of not grilling the ribs. Well, the next time we were planning on grilling ribs we got a thunder storm. Your oven baked ribs to the rescue! Hubby gave them the thumbs up!

  48. Nathalie says:

    I made this rib for Sunday lunch and they were really good! I will defenitely use this rub for future rib recipes, although they were delicious mine did not fall off the bone, I think it could be since they should of been cooked longer, although I did cook around 2.5 – 3 hours they were a bit bigger than average and I wonder if that’s the reason, either way they were delicious!

  49. Jen says:

    So we just finished eating this for dinner and oh. my. word. Simply heavenly. Better than any restaurant ribs my husband and I have tried (and we love ribs so we’ve tried a lot)!

    Also, I had to make a couple small changes to the recipe. One, bone-in country style ribs were what was on sale, so that’s what I bought. They worked like a charm. Two, being over 100 degrees today I didn’t want my oven on all afternoon, so I wrapped it in foil like the recipe said and stuck it in my crockpot on low for about 5 hours. I then broiled it in the oven. Third, I didn’t have any Old Bay seasoning so I tossed in some Lawry’s seasoning salt instead.

    Seriously, these were AMAZING. Thanks for another great recipe Mel!

  50. P.S. Last night we enjoyed the sweet and sour chicken and tomorrow I’ll be making your PB chocolate chip cookies. Yum, excited to try the cookies. Thanks for the recipes!

  51. Will this cooking method (all the foil) work for other kids of ribs, like country style pork ribs? Love to make them for my hunny.

    • Mel says:

      Alicia – I don’t know since I’ve never tried it with country style ribs. I think your best bet would be to search for a BBQ’d country style rib recipe, mostly because I don’t know how the fattiness of the country style ribs would work here. Good luck!

  52. Deborah says:

    Now I have a serious craving for ribs!!

  53. These ribs look amazing. I think I will make ribs for dinner one night this week. 🙂

  54. Kira says:

    Looks like we need to have a dinner party at house with these! YUM!

  55. marisa says:

    I never knew to take that skin off! Now I’m embarrassed thinking of my family trying to get around it. So glad I found this recipe. I usually just slab some BBQ sauce on and call it a day. Gonna try this rub for sure!

  56. […] The Best Oven-Baked Ribs 2 tablespoons kosher salt (Morton's brand – other brands may vary in strength) 1 tablespoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning Is there a substitute So you don't boil your ribs to get out the fat first. Is this not really greasy? 5 Kim in MD July 18, 2011 at 04:42 pm. Oh, Melanie! I have dying to find out how these worked out for you! […]

  57. These sound great! I have some ribs in my freezer and one keeps falling out and almost landing on my foot so I really need to make space in my freezer and make these! I love that this incorporates Old Bay in the rub – yum! This is a great recipe and I might finish these off on the grill like Cat suggests.

  58. Mrs. Jen B says:

    Mmmm! I’m not a huge fan of ribs but I have to say these ribs look amazing. Maybe because my dad used to always burn them when I was growing up…could have caused psychological damage.

  59. The one time I attempted to make ribs they came out dry and burnt! If you declare these so easy and tasty I know I must attempt them again, this time with your recipe!

  60. Kim in MD says:

    Ooops…I was so excited that I forgot to proof read my comment! I meant to say I have been dying to find out how these worked out for you! 🙂

    Also, if you really want to finish these off on the grill, just cut back the cooking time a little bit.

    Cat- the ribs are not greasy at all. The slow roasting process melts the fat off! Also, if you are unable to find Old Bay seasoning (very popular seasoning here in Maryland) here is another rib rub recipe that I love to use-

    Rib Rub

    3 Tbsp. brown sugar
    1 ½ Tbsp. Paprika (or smoked paprika)
    1 ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt
    1 ½ Tbsp fresh ground pepper
    1 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp. cayenne pepper

    Combine well. Store in airtight container for up to six months. (Enough for four pounds of ribs, but can be easily doubled or tripled.)

    • Mel says:

      Kim – thanks for helping answer the questions! Cat, I think Kim’s comment is the best info. I didn’t think the ribs were greasy and any excess fat drips into the bottom of the foil and you can lift the ribs out and avoid the grease.

  61. Kim in MD says:

    Oh, Melanie! I have dying to find out how these worked out for you! I am so thrilled that Brian loved them…you know how men feel about ribs! Thanks for the shout out-once again I feel like your father-in-law. I’m FAMOUS! 😉

  62. Cat Peters says:

    What is Old Bay seasoning? I don’t believe we have it here. Is there a substitute?
    So you don’t boil your ribs to get out the fat first. Is this not really greasy?

  63. Loy says:

    I make oven-barbecued ribs often and will have to try this rub. I am always on the look out for a new one. Your recipes are always great. I was recently given the Happy 101 Award, and I am passing it on to you. You may pick it up here:
    Have a great day.

  64. peachkins says:

    This looks fantastic!

  65. StephenC says:

    I’ve had my eyes open for a bargain on ribs. As soon as I find one I will make them. Your method is very much what I’ve done over the years. If the pork gets tender enough you could put ketchup and mustard on them and go to town with or without a bib.

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