Even without a smoker you can still enjoy fall off the bone tender ribs at home. Use this easy recipe for how to cook ribs in the oven and enjoy ribs any time!
Ribs are one of those things that people don’t often realize can be easily made at home. And if they do think about it, it seems too difficult or unattainable. Let me tell you though, learning how to cook ribs in the oven will totally change your barbecue game. It’s surprisingly simple to do and in just a few hours you have restaurant quality ribs at home!
How To Remove The Membrane From the Ribs
To truly get “falling off the bone tender” ribs, you need to address the membrane.
The membrane is the thin layer of silver skin running along the backside of the ribs that helps hold them together. If left on, it causes the rub or sauce from flavoring the meat and can makes the ribs curl during cooking. Also, if nothing is done with the membrane, it becomes tough when cooked. This prevents the tender ribs you’re going for and instead makes them chewy.
There are specialty tools for removing the membrane, but any long and blunt utensil will do well enough. I like to use my finger or the rounded end of a rubber spatula. The membrane lifts a surprising amount off of the ribs, so a lot of different utensils can work.
The thing to avoid is a knife. If you lift the knife during the initial insertion it can cut the membrane and make it difficult to remove. Once it breaks into smaller pieces it often feels like you’re chasing them around the ribs. However, if you get the entire membrane lifted at once, it removes with one quick motion.
With the ribs lying in front of you horizontally, find the edge of the membrane between the first and second rib. Stick your finger all the way through from the bottom to top. Gently life your hand up until the membrane breaks away from the bones. Grab the membrane and pull it from one side of the rack of ribs to the other to remove it.
Do I Have To Remove The Membrane?
If you are struggling to remove the membrane, or you just don’t want to, you can score it instead. Simply run a sharp knife on a diagonal every 1-2 inches. Repeat going the opposite direction so a crisscross pattern is formed.
Scoring won’t completely cure the chewiness of the oven baked ribs. However, breaking up the membrane keeps the ribs from curling. It also makes it more tender than if you had left it intact.
What Kind Of Ribs Should I Make?
This oven baked ribs recipe uses baby back ribs because they are more tender than spare ribs. Plus, the smaller size of baby back ribs cooks faster.
This method works well on both types, but spare ribs tend to be larger and more tough. With extra time slow cooking in the oven (about 1-2 hours longer) you achieve the same result and get melt in your mouth tender ribs.
How To Make Oven Baked Ribs Even Better
The best trick for getting fall off the bone tender ribs is time. You want to cook them low and slow to get the meat juicy and delectable. To help get even better flavor out of this oven baked ribs recipe, try one of these tips below.
- Crazy Good Dry Rub. This dry rub has a brown sugar foundation, but adds in dry mustard and coriander for a bright, smoky flavor.
- Super Flavorful Homemade BBQ Sauce. This sauce has a super complex flavor without a lot of work. With a little black coffee and a little sweet heat, this Kansas City style sauce will bake your barbecue ribs phenomenal.
- Roasted Strawberry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce. If you want a new and original flavor, this barbecue sauce is for you. It roasts some of the sauce ingredients before simmering to get a naturally sweet sauce.
How To Cook Ribs In The Oven Without Making A Mess
Don’t be afraid to use extra aluminum foil to get a tight seal around the oven baked ribs. If it isn’t tight enough, the juices will leak out of the foil and onto your baking sheet. Not only is it a difficult mess to clean, but it is likely to make your oven baked ribs dry out. They need those juices to stay in the foil to provide moisture.
For the best success, I recommend overlapping three layers of aluminum foil instead of one. Once overlapped, fold the layers together (don’t scrunch or crimp them) so it becomes one large sheet. Place the ribs meat side down in the middle and bring the sides up and around it. This makes it less likely to leak because the folds are lifted up away from the pooled juices.
Easy, Melt In Your Mouth Oven Baked Ribs Recipe
One of the great things about oven baked ribs is that you have a lot of creative control over the flavor. As a result, the recipe is fairly vague and focuses more on the technique of how to cook ribs in the oven. Feel free to use any of my bbq sauce or dry rub recipes, or try something of your own. You can even change up the types of liquid smoke you use for alternative flavors! (Although hickory is probably the most common.)
Use this grocery list to help simplify shopping. Everything is listed in standard grocery store amounts. If no size is specified, even the smallest package will provide more than enough.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Happy Cooking! 🙂
How To Cook Amazing Ribs In The Oven
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Remove the membrane from the bony side of the ribs and pat the ribs dry with a paper towel.
- Season both sides of the ribs with salt and pepper the coat it with the dry rub. Don't forget to get around the edges of the rack of ribs as well.
- Fold together three sheets of aluminum foil to make one large sheet. Place the ribs meat side down in the middle and wrap it in the foil. Fold or crimp the edges to create a tight seal. *If adding the liquid smoke, lightly place drops on the aluminum foil around the ribs before sealing it shut.
- Bake for 2 - 2 ½ hours or until the meat shrinks away from the edges of the bone.* Remove from the oven and turn the broiler on medium.
- Open the aluminum foil and brush the oven baked ribs with half of the barbecue sauce. Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce begins to brown and is bubbly. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Cut the ribs into 2-3 rib portions and serve.