This Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs recipe shows you how to slow cook ribs in oven. These easy oven baked ribs with brown sugar are fall-off-the bone delicious. You will love this easy oven baked country style pork ribs recipe with an option for brown sugar BBQ ribs on the grill, too!
Table of contents
- Slow Cook Ribs in Oven
- How to Cook Spare Ribs in the Oven
- Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs
- Easy Oven Baked Ribs
- BBQ Sauce Recipe for Ribs
- Ingredient Recommendations and Substitutions
- How to Make the Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
- How to Cook Spare Ribs in the Oven
- Smoked Ribs vs. BBQ Ribs on the Grill
- How to Properly Cook Ribs on the Grill
- How to Make Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs in the Oven Then Grill
Slow Cook Ribs in Oven
Our family is a rib family. We love ribs. This Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs recipe is our favorite, and the one we make most often.
These brown sugar BBQ ribs take moments to prepare and a couple hours to bake.
Worth every second.
This slow cook ribs in oven method is key to delicious, fall-off-the bone ribs, every time. I urge you to try this easy oven baked country style pork ribs recipe at least once. Really. You’ll thank me.
For this recipe, your ribs must slow cook and I prefer to do it in my oven. After you try this recipe, I think you’ll feel the exact same way about slow cook ribs in oven.
How to Cook the Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
Oven Barbecue Country Style Ribs
Getting Started with Country Style Pork Ribs in Oven
As with any ribs recipe, I recommend that you remove the membrane on the bottom of the rack. This is really easy to do. If you get nervous about butchering your meat, you don’t need to worry about this step.
The membrane is a thick stretchy substance that lines the back of the rack of ribs. It’s not edible, but it won’t harm the ribs. It just comes out very tough and is not fun to deal with when you are eating.
Removing the membrane before you cook is easy and it helps get better results from the grill when you cook the underside of the rack.
You can even have the butcher remove the membrane for you at the store, but if you do it on your own, all you will need is a paper towel and a knife. I used a paring knife, but a table knife will do.
Slide the knife under the membrane to separate it from the ribs on one end of the rack. Grab the removed flap of the membrane with a paper towel and pull. You can use the knife blade to help you loosen the rest of the membrane as you go.
Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs
To make these amazing brown sugar bbq ribs you have to decide which kind of pork ribs you want to buy.
Below is a quick overview, and if you’re interested you can find more detailed information here.
Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs, also known as loin back ribs or most commonly just plain old back ribs. These are the most common pork ribs available and are reasonably priced.
They are found high up on the back of a pig and are the same bone found in bone-in pork rib chops. The big difference is they don’t have the rest of the loin muscle attached.
Baby back ribs are quite lean, very meaty and contain a little cartilage.
They are called baby back ribs not because they’re from a baby pig, but because they are smaller in size compared to other ribs.
Each baby back rib rack averages 10 to 13 curved ribs that are three to six inches long and weigh about one-and-a-half to two pounds, which feeds about two people.
A good rack of back ribs will have about half an inch of meat on the top of the bone with more meat in between and underneath the bones
All you need to do is trim excess fat and peel the membrane from the bottom of the rack if you want to have tender and flavorful ribs.
Season with your favorite rub and cook in a smoker or oven. These ribs are super versatile and almost guaranteed to turn out beautifully, every time.
Pork spareribs or side ribs are found much lower in the pig (nearer or under the belly), are quite large, extremely fatty and—all things considered—the least amount of meat.
These are the bones you take off before getting to the bacon hidden underneath.
Pork spareribs can be super flavorful after trimming some fat, adding a spice rub and cooking for a long period of time. Once some of the fat melts away you will end up with a tender, melt in your mouth, juicy rib.
If you want to get a perfectly cooked rack of spare ribs, be sure to make the fat as even as possible. Trim extra so that you have a nice even distribution of meat and fat on each bone.
Your goal is to have it look like a perfect rectangle,or as close as possible.
St. Louis Style Ribs
St. Louis-style ribs are from the same part of the rib cage as spareribs. They are flatter, have more meat on top, and more fat and cartilage that makes them taste INCREDIBLE when cooked long and slow.
Each rack weighs at least two-and-a-half pounds, usually a little more, and will feed three to four people on average.
I strongly urge you to ask your butcher to do all the difficult preparing so all you’re left to do is season and cook the ribs. You will be so glad you did.
The St. Louis cut is merely a pork spare rib trimmed to resemble a square.
Country Style Pork Ribs
Country style ribs are not technically ribs at all. They are found towards the upper shoulder end of the loin, the boston butt, similar to back ribs and are sold with or without bones.
As a matter of fact, they contain no rib bones, but instead contain parts of the shoulder blade instead.
I know that the thought of boneless ribs seems kind of strange but after the first few bites you get over the fact they are boneless. You just enjoy how delicious they taste.
These ribs are sold as slabs or individual servings.
Country style pork ribs have the highest meat to bone ratio of all of the pork ribs.
Again, get your butcher to remove the membrane and clean your ribs up. You will be so happy you asked! Really.
These country style pork ribs need to be cooked at a low temperature for a long period of time and are the BEST!
Ingredients in Easy Oven Baked Ribs
- 2 racks of pork ribs
- barbecue sauce, store bought or homemade
Dry Rub for Pork Ribs in Oven
- chili powder
- brown sugar
- smoked sea salt or sea salt
- cayenne pepper or pepper
BBQ Sauce Recipe for Ribs—SO EASY!
Of course, you can always use store-bought barbecue sauce to make this or any recipe. I used to use it all the time. But if I have time I always try to make homemade for my easy oven baked country style pork ribs recipe..
This easy oven baked ribs with brown sugar recipe allows for your own personal spin, either by using your favorite barbecue sauce or by making your own. Homemade barbecue sauce can add a lot to the intense flavor of these grilled ribs.
That’s because the ingredients you use will be more purposeful and lacking additives. Store-bought sauces, good as they are, use ingredients that can mute an otherwise robust and vibrant sauce.
Just like house-made sauces always taste better, a good homemade barbecue sauce recipe will serve you well in enhancing your already perfect slow cook ribs in oven (or grilled ribs!).
For these slow oven baked country style pork ribs though. I took a shortcut with one of my go-to store-bought choices, Sweet Baby Ray’s. Depending on the type of sauce you want to use, Sweet Baby Rays can deliver the best flavor in off-the-shelf barbecue sauce.
It’s more like a St. Louis-style barbecue sauce than a bold Texas sauce, but there are also several other flavors besides the original.
Another ingredient with some breathing room is the beer. You can use any beer you prefer, but I recommend a good pilsner. If you don’t like beer, you don’t need to use beer at all.
Richer Flavor for the Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
In fact, you can get an even richer flavor by substituting your favorite hard cider. For non-alcoholic alternatives, consider apple juice, lemon-lime soda. You can even just use plain water if you would rather not use your beverages as ingredients.
If it makes the difference between having your ribs now or taking an additional trip to the store, you don’t have to sweat this step. However, you will get the best results using either beer or cider.
I love being in control of the taste and every flavor that is added to it.
This sweet and spicy barbecue sauce recipe takes minutes to prepare and makes about two cups total, which is perfect for this recipe.
The barbecue sauce will last in your fridge for up to three days in an airtight container.
Start by using one-and-a-half cups of ketchup and then add the rest of the ingredients. Then see if you think it needs more.
Homemade BBQ Sauce for Ribs Ingredients
- 1 ½ to 2 cups ketchup
- ⅓ to ½ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- salt to taste
- pepper or cayenne to taste
Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and decide if you want to add any of the options listed below. The first time you make this easy barbecue sauce recipe I encourage you to make the basic recipe first.
Taste as you go and add ingredients that interest you or you have on hand. Try a little and add some more if needed.
The next time you make it you will know exactly the way you like it or you can keep trying different combinations.
I like starting with the one-and-a-half cups of ketchup and if you add too much of anything, you can always dilute the flavor by adding in an extra quarter cup or half cup of ketchup.
Don’t be afraid to try a different ingredient. I think you just might be glad you did.
In case you are curious, I always add a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and about a quarter cup of mustard, whichever kind I find first. We love the sauce with both mustards.
A few drops of liquid smoke, a little garlic and onion powder and that is it for us. My son on the other hand, who loves heat, adds minced chipotles or diced jalapeños.
Never both chiles together. Always one or the other.
My husband and I can no longer tolerate a lot of heat, unfortunately, but my son sure can!
Ingredient Recommendations and Substitutions for the Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 to 4 tablespoons mustard, yellow or Dijon
- Up to 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 to 4 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 to 4 teaspoons chili powder
- Up to 4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 to 4 teaspoons minced chipotle chile in adobo
- 1 to 2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 to 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
How to Make the Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.
Add brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, hickory smoke salt and crushed red pepper flakes in a medium sized bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.
Now to peel off the tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs. I start at one end of the rack and I scrape on one of the bones at or near the end.
As the skin lifts I shove my finger underneath. As the skin lifts up more you pull it towards the other end of the rack. Almost like pulling off a band aid, very, very slowly.
Throw the membrane away.
I find it easier to cut my rib racks in half to cook them. It is up to you.
Next, I use heavy duty tin foil if I have it, but if not I just double up. Tear enough tin foil to wrap each rack, almost like a loose present. To give you an idea about the size of the tinfoil pieces you should be tearing, I will explain.
What Size to Tear Tin Foil
The rib section will be placed in the middle of each piece of tinfoil. Both edges or ends of the tinfoil will be brought together above the rack and crimped and rolled tightly, sealing all of the edges.
The sealed edge should be facing up. The idea is to leave some air or space above the rack. You do not want the tinfoil tightly wrapped around each section of ribs.
I tear all of the tinfoil first, before applying the rub. I find it too messy otherwise.
If I am using heavy duty foil, only one piece per rack and if not tear two pieces per rack.
If your work surface is big enough, lay out each piece of tin foil individually and place each rack or half rack on each piece of tinfoil.
Apply rub to the ribs on both sides.
Lay ribs on one or two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
Divide extra rub amongst the ribs.
Wrap each of them up, place on your prepared baking sheet and into your oven.
How to Cook Spare Ribs in the Oven
Check the ribs at about two hours to see if the rib meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.
You may need up to 30 minutes longer, depending on the amount of meat on your ribs.
Remove from the oven, remove tin foil and place back on the baking sheet, meaty side up.
Set your oven temperature to broil.
Brush on your favorite barbecue sauce, homemade or store bought.
Place in the oven for two to four minutes.
You will notice tiny bubbles on the rib surface as the sauce caramelizes and hardens.
If you have time, remove from the oven and brush more barbecue sauce on the meaty side. Broil until the sauce is bubbly again, another couple of minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Easy Oven Baked BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe Oven Then Grill
Nothing says summer like firing up the grill. One of my favorite things to cook on the barbie is a nice juicy rack of ribs. My choice is baby back ribs because they are the most tender and the leanest.
What can I say, I have expensive taste! Grilled ribs are distinct from other ways you can prepare ribs. Though they get compared to smoked ribs there is a huge difference in both the flavor of the ribs and the preparation.
One of the things I love about barbecuing a rack of ribs on the grill is that it doesn’t take too long, but I’ll get more into the pros and cons of grilling a little bit later.
This recipe has some specific ingredients and some general ones that let you be creative or use your favorites. Read on for more about my personal recommendations for ingredients like BBQ sauce and beer that are more open-ended in the recipe below.
If you have always wanted to cook ribs on the grill but feel a little bit intimidated, fear not. I’ll walk you through the details so that you get the finest bbq ribs you can make, from pulling off that pesky membrane to how to handle those fragile little dainties when you try to flip them on the grill.
Smoked Ribs vs. BBQ Ribs on the Grill
There is a smokiness that comes with barbecue that leads to comparisons to smoking. Sometimes the two even get confused.
It’s true that barbecuing ribs on the grill does impart some smoke flavor that you could not duplicate in an oven or broiler.
On the other hand, those other methods can assist in getting that char that we all associate with excellent barbecue. The key difference between cooking ribs on the grill vs. in a smoker is that direct heat from the grill creates such sweet caramelization in that blackened crust you can’t achieve in a smoker.
The ribs still come out tender when you cook them on the grill, but not fall off the bone tender. That means you can stick a fork in them rather easily, but they won’t give you too much trouble on the grill. If you make grilled meats too soft, that can be messy.
In addition to the similar smokey flavor and the unique char, cooking ribs on the grill has one other advantage: time. Ribs take forever to smoke if you want to get it right. Cooking ribs on the grill uses more heat and cooks the meat faster. Much faster.
How to Properly Cook Ribs on the Grill
Be very careful turning the ribs on the grill. Try not to move them too much. As they cook, they will become very tender.
You don’t want them to fall off the bone tender as you do with other recipes because the meat could slip through the grill and be lost forever! Use great care when handling the ribs to flip them over so the rack doesn’t fall apart on you.
If you make more ribs than you need and want to store leftovers, keep them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to five days. When you reheat them, let them come back up to room temperature while you preheat the grill.
Heat the grill to high and then reduce heat to medium just before you add the ribs. For best results, add barbecue sauce or a little water before reheating and wrap loosely in foil.
How to Make Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs in the Oven Then Grill
Depending on how tender you want your brown sugar BBQ ribs, start checking them at the three hour total mark.
A fork should easily pierce the meat of the ribs. You do not want them to totally fall off the bone though because they will fall apart on the grill.
Heat your grill on high and let it get very hot. Place the ribs meat side up onto the grill. Baste with the BBQ sauce. Flip them over and let them char and caramelize. Baste the other side with BBQ sauce. You do not want to leave them on too long, Twenty minutes max because they may dry out.
Once the one side is caramelized and lightly charred, turn it over again and let the bottom caramelize and char.
Cut the slab into individual ribs and serve, or serve as is!
The Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs and Other Ribs Recipes
The Ultimate Oven Barbequed Ribs
The Ultimate Oven Barbecued Ribs
- rimmed baking sheet
- 2 racks pork ribs
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed packed
- 1 tblsp paprika
- 1-2 tblsp garlic powder
- 1-2 tblsp onion powder
- 1 tsp hickory smoke salt or sea salt or seasoned salt
- 1 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes optional, more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional, to taste
- 2 cups barbecue sauce approximately
- tinfoil heavy duty, if possible
Easy Barbecue Sauce Recipe for Ribs
- 1 ½ -2 cups ketchup
- ⅓ -½ cup molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- salt to taste
- pepper or cayenne to taste
Barbecue Sauce Options
- ¼ -½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2-4 tablespoons mustard, yellow or Dijon
- 2-4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2-4 teaspoons onion powder
- 2-4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2-4 teaspoons chili powder
- 2-4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2-4 teaspoons chipotle chile in adobo, minced
- 1-2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, and minced
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
Easy Barbecue Sauce for Ribs
- Yes, you can use store bought barbecue sauce to make this recipe. I used to do that myself. Now, I always try and make homemade.
- This barbecue sauce recipe takes minutes to prepare and makes about 2 cups total. Perfect for this recipe.
- The barbecue sauce will last in your fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Start by using 1 ½ cups ketchup, add the rest of the ingredients and see if you think it needs more.
- Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl and decide if you want to add any of the options listed below. The first time you make this easy barbecue sauce recipe I encourage you to make the basic recipe first.
- Taste as you go and add ingredients that interest you or you have on hand. Try a little and add some more if needed.
- The next time you make it you will know exactly the way you like it or you can keep trying different combinations.
- I like starting with the 1 ½ cups of ketchup and if you add too much of anything you can always dilute the flavor by adding in the extra ¼ - ½ cup of ketchup.
- Don't be afraid to try a different ingredient. I think you just might be glad you did.
- In case you are curious, I always add a couple tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, about ¼ cup of mustard, whichever kind I find first. We love the sauce with both mustards.A few drops of liquid smoke, a little garlic and onion powder and that is it for us.
- My son on the other hand who loves heat, adds minced chipotles or diced jalapeños too. Never both chiles together. Always one or the other.
Making Your Ribs
- Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil and set aside.
Dry Rib Rub
- Add brown sugar, paprika, powders, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne in a medium sized bowl.
- Stir to combine and set aside.
Getting Your Ribs Ready
- Rinse the ribs well making sure there are no bone shards. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
- Now to peel off the tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs. If desired, remove the membrane from the underside of the bones by using a pairing knife to gently pry the membrane up so you can get ahold of it. Using a paper towel then grab the membrane and pull it off. I start at one end of the rack and I scrape on one of the bones at or near the end. As the skin lifts I shove my finger underneath. As the skin lifts up more you pull it towards the other end of the rack. Almost like pulling off a band aid, very, very slowly. Throw the membrane away.
- I find it easier to cut my rib racks in half to cook them. It is up to you.
- Next, I use heavy duty tinfoil if I have it, but if not I just double up. Tear enough tinfoil to wrap each rack, almost like a loose present.
- To give you an idea about the size of the tinfoil pieces you should be tearing I will explain. The rib section will be placed in the middle of each piece of tinfoil. Both edges or ends of the tinfoil will be brought together above the rack and crimped and rolled tightly, sealing all of the edges. The sealed edge should be facing up. The idea is to leave some air or space above the rack. You do not want the tinfoil tightly wrapped around each section of ribs. I rip all of the tinfoil first, before applying the rub. I find it too messy otherwise. If I am using heavy duty foil only one piece per rack and if not tear 2 pieces per rack. The other alternative is to place a piece of foil underneath and another piece of foil on top, crimp the edges of the two pieces of foil all around the ribs so it forms a package. Same amazing final result.
- If your work surface is big enough lay out each piece of tinfoil individually and place each rack or half rack on each piece of tinfoil.
- Apply rub to the ribs on both sides.
- Rub until ribs are totally covered.
- Lay ribs on one or two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.
- Divide extra rub amongst the ribs. Use every bit of the rib rub.
- Wrap each of them up and place on your prepared rimmed baking sheet.
- Place the ribs in the oven and pour ½ of the beer directly onto the sheet tray.
- Bake for an hour and a half and add the other half of the beer onto the sheet tray. Depending on how tender you want your ribs, check them at about 3 hours to see if the rib meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone. You may need up to 30 minutes longer. A fork should easily pierce the meat of the ribs. You do not want them to totally fall off the bone though because they will fall apart on the grill or when flipping them over for the broiler too!
- Remove from oven, remove tin foil and place back on the baking sheet, meaty side up.
- Don't they look wonderful!
- Set your oven temperature to broil.
- Brush on homemade or your favorite barbecue sauce.
- Place in oven for 2-4 minutes. You will notice tiny bubbles on the rib surface as the sauce caramelizes and hardens. This is a good thing and what you're looking for.
- You can remove your ribs at this point and serve or put some more barbecue sauce on top and broil again. I always do.
- Once sauce on the rib surface is bubbly again, remove from oven.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Heat your grill on high, scrub and then oil your grates for ten minutes so it heats up and gets very hot.
- Place the ribs meat side up onto the grill. Baste with the bbq sauce.
- Flip them over and let them char and caramelized. Baste the other side with bbq sauce.
- You do not want to leave them on too long, 20 minutes maximum because they could dry out. Once the one side is caramelized and lightly charred turn it over again and let the other side caramelize and char.
- Cut the slab of ribs into individual ribs, if desired.
- Serve immediately!
- Enjoy every bite!
Brown Sugar BBQ Ribs