Wondering how long to cook ribs in the oven for a finger-licking dinner? This step-by-step guide shows you how to bake ribs to get tender, mouth-watering results the easy way. Get ready for the best ribs ever!
I’ll let you in on a secret: baking is a fabulous way to cook ribs! Yes, smoking and grilling are great, but more complicated. Baked ribs allow you to get delicious results in nothing compares to you can get juicy barbecue ribs in your own kitchen with no fancy equipment required.
With this guide, you’ll get fall-off-the-bone tender meat with maximum flavor. These tips will give you mouthwatering results with baby back ribs, spare ribs or even beef ribs at 350 and other oven temperatures.
Ingredients for Baked Ribs
Types of Ribs
There are lots of different types of ribs, so it can be helpful to know what you’re dealing with:
- Back Ribs: These smaller, fatter ribs come from the upper loin and weigh 1 to 2 pounds per rack. You might see them called baby back ribs, short ribs or loin ribs.
- Spare Ribs: These longer ribs come from the belly behind the shoulder, weighing 2 to 4 pounds per rack depending on the trimming. Also called side ribs.
- St Louis Ribs: These are spare ribs trimmed of cartilage, breastbone and the skirt to create an attractive rectangular rack. Cooking is identical to spare ribs.
- Country Style Ribs: These rib steaks come from the shoulder end of the loin and may be boneless or bone-in. You may see them called shoulder steaks or blade chops.
- Beef Ribs: The main types are short ribs and back ribs, which cook similarly and weight 3 to 5 pounds per rack.
Best Temperature for Ribs
Should you cook ribs low and slow or at high heat? The answer is a low oven temp like 275°F allows tough connective tissues to break down gradually, moisture to be retained and flavors to develop.
Should I Wrap Ribs in Foil?
There is no right or wrong answer here, as it comes down to personal preferences. However, you should only wrap ribs when baking at 325°F and below, as it doesn’t work well at higher temperatures.
Wrapping ribs in foil will keep them very moist during baking as the ribs end up steaming gently inside the foil. In the grilling world, this is called the Texas Crutch. The main downside is the ribs won’t have a crust on the outside. If you wrap the ribs, it’s best to remove the foil halfway through baking to avoid getting mushy ribs from over-steaming.
Not wrapping allows a beautiful crust to form on the outside thanks to the oven’s air circulation. The ribs will be tender, but not as fall-off-the-bone tender as when wrapped. This is my personal preference, as I love crispy ribs!
How Long Do You Cook Ribs in the Oven?
We’ve cooked ribs in the oven hundreds of times using various oven temperatures. Here is a summary of our findings:
For faster cooking, you can turn on your oven’s convection or forced air feature to save up to 25% of the total time. In addition, you can use the following times as a guide for other ribs:
- Country Style Ribs: These ribs are leaner and cook faster than other pork ribs. Bake times vary depending on whether they’re boneless or bone-in, and how thickly they are cut. For 1-inch country-style ribs, they’ll need one hour at 300°F, 45 minutes at 350°F, or 20 minutes at 400°F.
- Beef Ribs: Beef short ribs and back ribs take 6 to 8 hours at 250°F or 5 to 6 hours at 275°F. I also sometimes bake them for 3 1/2 hours at 300°F when I’m in more of a hurry.
What Temp Are Ribs Done?
The best way to check doneness is to use an instant-read thermometer to measure the internal temperature. Carefully slide the probe in the thickest section, taking care not to touch a bone. Then compare against the following done temperatures:
- Back Ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 190 to 200°F, which is when the collagen has fully broken down into gelatin for fall-off-the-bone ribs.
- Spare Ribs and St Louis Ribs are also done at 190 to 200°F.
- Country-style Ribs are done at 165 to 170°F.
- Beef Ribs are done at 195 to 203°F at which point they’ll be ultra-tender.
Note that these temperatures are all higher than the USDA safe temperature of 145°F, at which point the ribs will still be chewy.
Other Ways to Check Ribs Are Done
Ribs are done when they are very tender, meaning a knife tip or skewer will slide into the meat with little or no resistance. Another sign is the meat will have pulled back to expose a 1/2-inch or more of bone along the edges.
Serving Ideas for Ribs
Ribs go with so many sides it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. Here are some of my favorite side dishes:
- Starches: mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes, scalloped potatoes, smothered potatoes, steamed rice, cauliflower rice, mac and cheese, baked potatoes
- Vegetables: corn on the cob, baked beans, broccoli, eggplant, bok choy and more
- Salads: crisp green salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, potato salad, caesar salad and more
- Breads: cornbread, garlic bread, dinner rolls
If you haven’t already sauced the ribs during baking, then try putting out some BBQ sauce for dipping.
Can you overcook ribs?
There are several ways ribs can be overcooked. They can steam for too long and develop a mushy texture when wrapped. Alternatively, they can bake for too long and become dry and chewy. When you’re baking ribs at higher temperatures, they can even char and burn.
How long does it take to cook ribs at 350 in the oven?
Baby back ribs will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook at 350°F, while spare ribs will take 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check doneness by measuring internal temp of 190 to 200°F rather than relying on time alone.
How long to cook country-style ribs in the oven at 350?
Country style ribs only need 30 to 45 minutes at 350°F, depending on whether they’re boneless or bone-in and also how thickly they’re cut. They are done when the internal temp reaches 165°F.
Is 400 too high for ribs?
Baking ribs at 400°F is a good option for cooking ribs faster. The ribs will be done in about an hour to an hour an a half, coming out crispy on the outside with a slightly chewier texture.
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