Are you craving some juicy, tender pork ribs but don’t have access to a grill?
No worries! Cooking ribs in the oven is a simple and delicious alternative. However, it can be tricky to determine the perfect cooking time and temperature for your specific type of ribs.
Should you cover them in foil or leave them uncovered? How long should you cook them for?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about cooking pork ribs in the oven, from ideal temperatures to approximate baking times.
So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
How Long Do I Cook Pork Ribs In The Oven?
The cooking time for pork ribs in the oven depends on several factors, including the type of ribs, their size, and whether they are covered or uncovered.
For baby back ribs, which require delicate treatment to avoid becoming overcooked and tough, it’s best to cook them at lower temperatures. If left uncovered, they should be cooked at no higher than 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. If wrapped in foil, you can push the oven temperature as high as 375 degrees and cook for upwards of 1.5 hours.
Larger, fattier ribs need to be cooked longer than baby backs. For example, if you’re cooking country-style ribs that are bone-in and cut 1-inch thick, they should be cooked for around 20-30 minutes in the oven. For spare ribs, you should bake them for about 2.5 hours at 350 degrees if they are uncovered. If wrapped in foil, they can go for up to 3 hours at 300°F degrees.
Great big beef dino ribs need even longer in the oven and it’s best to keep them covered so they don’t dry out. In general, it’s best to bake them at 325 degrees for around 4 hours.
Preparing Your Ribs For The Oven
Before you start cooking your pork ribs in the oven, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by rinsing the ribs under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels. Next, remove the silver skin, which is the shiny, white membrane that sits on top of the bones. Leaving the membrane on can make the ribs tough and chewy once cooked, and it can also prevent the dry rub from getting onto the meat.
To remove the silver skin, start by piercing it with a paring knife and running the knife as far under the membrane as you can to start loosening it away from the ribs. Once you’re able to get the tip of your knife under the membrane, you should be able to easily pull it off the ribs. If you’re having trouble removing it, use your paring knife to help loosen things up.
Once you’ve removed the silver skin, it’s time to season your ribs. You can use a dry rub or a marinade to add flavor to your meat. If using a dry rub, mix together brown sugar, chili powder, seasoning salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Rub the seasoning all over the meat side of the ribs.
After seasoning your ribs, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake your ribs at 300°F for 2-3 hours for truly tender meat. When they’re done cooking, remove them from the oven and brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce. Broil them at 475°F for 3-4 minutes to crisp up the top if desired.
By properly preparing your pork ribs for the oven and cooking them at the right temperature and time, you’ll have delicious fall-off-the-bone ribs that are sure to impress your guests or satisfy your cravings.
Seasoning Your Pork Ribs
Before you cook your pork ribs in the oven, it’s important to season them properly. One popular method is to use a dry rub, which involves mixing different spices together and then rubbing them onto the ribs without any wet ingredients. This gives the ribs a deliciously caramelized exterior when they cook.
To make a simple dry rub for your pork ribs, mix together brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub the mixture into the pork ribs and let them marinate overnight for best results. This rub is perfect if you prefer a milder flavor.
If you want to add more flavor to your dry rub, consider adding some herbs such as thyme and rosemary to give it an earthier taste. You can also experiment with different spice combinations to find your perfect blend.
When applying the dry rub, make sure to coat the entire surface of the ribs evenly. Use your hands to massage the rub into the meat, making sure it adheres well.
Once your pork ribs are seasoned and ready to go, place them in the oven according to their size and type. Remember to adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly for best results. With a perfectly seasoned dry rub and proper cooking techniques, you’ll have deliciously tender and flavorful pork ribs in no time!
Choosing The Right Temperature
Choosing the right temperature for cooking pork ribs in the oven is crucial to achieving the perfect texture and flavor. While low and slow cooking is often preferred, it’s important to note that higher temperatures can also be used with caution.
For baby back ribs, a temperature of 300 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended if left uncovered. This allows for a gentle, slow cook that will result in tender and juicy meat. If you prefer to wrap your baby back ribs in foil, you can increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and still achieve great results.
Larger, fattier ribs such as spare ribs require a longer cooking time and higher heat. If cooking them uncovered, it’s recommended to bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 2.5 hours. However, if you prefer to wrap them in foil, they can be cooked at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 3 hours.
For great big beef dino ribs, it’s best to keep them covered in the oven to prevent drying out. A temperature of 325 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for these larger cuts of meat, and they should be cooked for around 4 hours.
It’s important to note that while higher temperatures can accelerate cooking time, it’s essential to check the internal temperature of the meat regularly to avoid overcooking and drying out the ribs. Ultimately, choosing the right temperature for your pork ribs will depend on the cut of meat and your personal preference for texture and flavor.
Foil Or No Foil: Which Is Best?
One of the main debates when it comes to cooking pork ribs in the oven is whether or not to use foil. Foil can be helpful in keeping the moisture in and preventing the meat from drying out, but it can also prevent a nice charred exterior from developing.
For baby back ribs, it’s best to wrap them in foil for the first hour of cooking at a lower temperature, around 300-325 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help them cook evenly and stay moist. After the first hour, you can remove the foil and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes at a higher temperature to develop a nice crust.
For larger, fattier ribs like spare ribs, it’s best to leave them uncovered so that they can develop a nice crust on the outside. If you’re worried about them drying out, you can baste them every 30 minutes or so with a mixture of barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar.
Ultimately, whether or not to use foil is a matter of personal preference. If you like your ribs to have a nice crust on the outside and don’t mind sacrificing some moisture, then skip the foil. If you prefer your ribs to be fall-off-the-bone tender and don’t mind sacrificing some crustiness, then wrap them in foil for part of the cooking time.
Checking For Doneness
To ensure that your pork ribs are cooked to perfection, it’s important to check for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. The ideal internal temperature for pork ribs is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. However, taking an accurate temperature reading can be challenging due to the thin layers of meat and bones in the ribs.
To get an accurate reading, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding any bones. It’s best to take several readings from different parts of the rack to ensure that the temperature is consistent throughout. If you’re using a digital thermometer, make sure it’s calibrated correctly before taking any readings.
Another way to check for doneness is by using the bend test. Pick up the rack of ribs with a pair of tongs and give it a gentle shake. If the meat starts to crack or break apart, it’s overcooked. If it bends slightly but doesn’t break, it’s perfectly cooked. If it feels too stiff or rigid, it needs more time in the oven.
You can also use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Insert a toothpick into the thickest part of the meat and if it slides in easily without resistance, it’s done. If there is still some resistance, it needs more time in the oven.
Remember that cooking times can vary depending on the size and type of ribs you’re cooking, as well as your oven temperature and altitude. It’s always best to rely on a combination of temperature readings and visual cues like the bend test and toothpick test to ensure that your pork ribs are cooked to perfection.