How to cook baby back ribs in the oven (Easy and quick)

No smoker no problem! You don’t have to own a smoker or a grill to make delicious baby back ribs. This fool proof method takes about 2 hours and results in tender, juicy, ribs with a beautiful char on the outside.

I’ve tried a few different methods and I honestly believe this is the best way to achieve delicious bbq ribs, right inside your own home. 

baby back ribs
Photos for this recipe are from Erin Hungsberg (IG: erin_hungsberg)

Why this recipe works.

This recipe works because of the method I use in which the ribs are cut individually before they are cooked.

Normally I would smoke a rack of ribs whole but separating them allows for even cooking and more seasoning to stick to the meat.  Plus the separated ribs have a better crust on the outside.

oven baked baby back ribs

The ribs are baked on high heat, sauced, then broiled to get the outside caramelized and crispy. Looks and texture wise they are like any rib you would get off the smoker and is my favorite way to make ribs in the oven.

I’ve tried different methods such wrapping them in aluminum foil with vinegar, slow cooker ribs, and just about every other method. Trust me this is the best and easiest way to make them without a smoker.

Ingredients you will need for this recipe. 

Baby back ribs

Olive oil 

Bbq seasoning 

Bbq Sauce

Honey 

Baby back ribs vs Spare ribs. 

Baby back ribs are cut from the top of the rib cage and are generally meatier than spare ribs. Spare ribs are cut from the bottom of the rib cage and have more intramuscular fat running through them.

You will also notice that baby back ribs have a very curved bone while the spare ribs are a lot more straight. 

Can I use liquid smoke on my ribs? 

Please don’t! Liquid smoke tastes very artificial and does not imitate anything close to real smoked bbq. In my opinion I would avoid it or use very little.  

How to make oven baked baby back ribs. 

Preparation

Inspect the baby back ribs for any bone fragments or pieces of fat that need to be trimmed off. 

I personally don’t think you need to remove the membrane off the back of your ribs. Some people swear by it but I really don’t think it makes a difference.

If you decide to remove the membrane, flip the ribs over, insert a butter knife under the membrane and lift up and away to remove. You can also grab the membrane with a paper towel to avoid it slipping between your fingers. 

Cut your baby backs into individual ribs by running your knife in-between each bone. Sometimes the bones run a little crooked so flipping to the back of the ribs is helpful so you know where how the bones are going. 

Cut up baby back ribs

Seasoning.

Place the cut ribs into a large bowl and coat them with olive oil as a binder. Then toss them with an all purpose bbq seasoning or dry rub.

If you want to make your own bbq seasoning at home I have a great recipe that includes kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika and brown sugar. 

Baking.

Place your ribs onto a wire rack meat side up on top of a baking sheet and place them in your oven at 400°F. After 45 minutes, flip your ribs and cook for another 45 minutes.

Seasoned baby back ribs

By now the internal temperature of the ribs should be around 175-185°F.  If they are not, continue cooking and flipping your ribs until they reach that internal temperature range. Then it’s time to sauce them. 

Saucing.

Use your favorite bbq sauce and brush that onto each rib. Then drizzle each rib with honey, flip your ribs and repeat the process. 

Oven baked ribs

Broiling.

Turn your broiler to high and place your ribs on the center rack being careful not to place the ribs too close. We don’t want them to burn but what we are looking for is a nice carmalization of the sauce onto the ribs. 

The sauce should be nice and bubbly and the edges of the ribs should start to brown and crisp up. The sauce will tack up on the rib and they will look like they’ve been on the smoker all day!

Let the ribs cook under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes, then flip and place them back into the oven to finish broiling on the other side. 

The final results.

What you should have are sticky, caramelized ribs that look very similar to what you would get if you smoked them the traditional way. They should be juicy in the middle and bite through tender ribs. I’m telling you for oven baked, these are the best bbq ribs I’ve ever had!

Oven baked ribs

Looking for more pork recipes?

How to cook a spiral ham with glaze

Smoked jalapeno poppers pigs in a blanket 

Candied bacon crackers recipe 

Smoked Pig shots with (With maple bourbon glaze)

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How to cook baby back ribs in the oven (Easy and quick)

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons bbq seasoning (Store bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup of bbq sauce 
  • 4 tablespoons of honey 

Instructions

  1. Trim up any excess fat and bone fragments from your rack of baby back ribs. 
  2. Remove membrane from the back of the ribs (optional) then cut between each bone to cut ribs individually. 
  3. Place ribs in a bowl, coat with olive oil and add bbq seasoning. Toss or mix well together to combine. 
  4. Place ribs on a wire rack and on a baking tray and cook for about an hour an a half at 400°F or until the internal temperature of the ribs reach between 175-185°F. Make sure to flip the ribs half way through so they cook evenly on both sides. 
  5. Remove ribs from oven and brush on bbq sauce and drizzle honey on both sides. Then broil the ribs for a few minutes on each side. * Check the ribs often during this process to make sure they don’t burn. You may need to flip a few times or move the ribs down to a lower rack. *
  6. Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 200°F they are done and should be bite through tender. Allow the ribs to cool down for a few minutes before eating. 
  • Author: Jordan Hanger
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours

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4 Comments

  1. This recipe is absolutely 💯! The homemade bbq seasoning is perfect. Finally, a quick and easy recipe for ribs in the oven that actually rival my smoked ribs…just ask my kids!! Bravo ninjacue!!






  2. Ninjacue nailed it with this one! The ribs were all that and more. I don’t own a smoker and I’m always looking for different ways to make ribs. This recipe was just what I was looking for AND it was super easy! Tender and juicy.






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