Fall off the Bone BBQ Ribs are tender, tasty, and easily baked in the oven! It doesn't get any simpler or more delicious than that. The secret is in the dry rub and low and slow cooking method.
Using the Oven Method
I'm not here to start a fight, but I think these barbecue ribs are the best I've ever eaten. Some pit masters might argue with me for various reasons, but I'd be down for a bake off.
I know there are ribs that are smoked for hours in large smoking devices, and I love those too. But, if you don't have a smoker, this oven recipe is for you!
Here's the deal. I like my ribs to be so tender that they pull away from the bone the minute they come out of the oven. Some people like their ribs to be chewy, but that's a real turn off for me. So, if you're into fork-tender meat, stick around for my recipe.
Making The Dry Rub
This BBQ Dry Rub is the base for all things barbecue. I use it on any type of pork and find it to be the perfect blend. It's a great tenderizer for pork tenderloin, Boston butt roast, or ribs of any style.
Dry Rub Ingredients
- steak seasoning (ad)
- burger seasoning (ad)
- jerk seasoning (ad)
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- brown sugar
The first three ingredients can be found in most supermarkets in smaller quantities, but I provided affiliate links so you can see the products.
Why This Rub is Best
Onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika adds a nice base, while the brown sugar gives this rub a sweetness that balances the salty heat. If you can't find these seasonings in the store, there's a good chance you have spices in your cabinet you could use as substitutions.
This is my favorite dry rub recipe, but I'm a firm believer in using what you have, so get creative and make up a batch! As long as you add brown sugar to the mix, a little heat and a good amount of salt & pepper, life will be good.
Preparing the Pork
Once you have the dry rub mixed together, it's time to prepare the meat. Some people like to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, and you can do that if you have a lot of strength and fortitude. I have never been able to easily make this happen, so I just leave the membrane on.
It's time to have some fun! Get in there and slather the dry rub on both sides of the meat with your hands. You should have enough rub to be very generous with your portions. For this recipe, I used 4 lbs. of Baby Back Pork Ribs which is plenty to feed 4 to 6 hungry people.
Wrap the meat in aluminum foil, making sure there are no holes where the juices can escape. Place the rack on a sheet pan (meat side up) and pop it into a 350 degree oven.
How to Bake Ribs in the Oven
I like to start off by cooking the meat at 350 degrees for 2 hours, then lower the temperature of the oven to 275 and cook for an additional 2 hours. This method allows the pork to reach the proper internal temperature and break down the tough layer, resulting in a fork-tender piece of meat.
Whatever you do, don't take the ribs out of the oven for 4 hours. It will be tempting to open them up and take a look, but resist this urge by all means necessary. It's all about the low and slow method.
When you take the ribs out of the oven and open the aluminum foil, there will be some black char on the bottom. Don't worry, that's what you're looking for. Now, it's time to add the crowning glory...the sauce.
What Type of BBQ Sauce Should I Use?
Do you want the simple process, or the time consuming one? If you're like me and have waited all day to eat, just pour some of your favorite barbecue sauce (ad) over the top and allow the heat of the meat to melt the sauce. It's that simple.
If you want to be a real grill master, take the ribs out of the aluminum foil, place on a grilling rack, and broil in the oven for a few minutes until the sauce is sticky.
To me, this step is difficult because when you pick up the ribs they usually fall apart. So, I just slather the top with sauce and they turn out amazing.
The hardest part will be trying to decide what type of sauce you want to use. In the Carolinas where I live, there's a big controversy on which BBQ sauce is best. My good friend Diana sells Koss Sauce. It's my new favorite sauce for all types of dishes like Cheesy Meatball Sliders and Pulled Pork BBQ.
If you're from Eastern North Carolina, you love a vinegar based sauce, while Western North Carolinians favor a tomato based sweet sauce. I guess you can tell by the photos which side I'm on!
It's time to eat them ribs baby!
The method I use starts the meat off at a higher temp (350 degrees for 2 hours) and then reduces the temperature to 275 degrees for 2 more hours. Some folks like to cook their ribs in the oven at 275 degrees for the entire 4 hours. I find that starting out at 350 degrees for 2 hours works best.
Wrapping the meat with aluminum foil keeps them from drying out during the baking process. I keep the foil on the entire time the ribs are roasting which produces excellent results.
If you've cooked ribs before and they turned out tough, most likely they weren't cooked long enough. Cooking them quickly at a high temperature is not the way to go. Low and slow is the best method and yields perfect results every time.
What to Serve with BBQ Ribs
If you need some really good sides to go along with those ribs, I've got you covered!
- Red Skin Potato Salad
- Calico Baked Beans
- Vidalia Onion Casserole
- Stovetop Mac & Cheese
- Honey-Mustard Brussels Sprouts
- The Best Squash Casserole
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