No need to fire up the grill! This Oven-Baked Baby Back Ribs recipe has all the flavor, no charcoal necessary.
My mom Noni’s baked baby back ribs are legendary, not only in our house but in friends’ homes across the country. She’s been perfecting her technique for decades, and the result is tender, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs that deliver maximum flavor with minimum fuss. Best of all, her DIY foil packet makes cleanup a breeze. So click your tongs, and let’s get started!
What’s the Best Rib Seasoning?
This is my tried and true rub for tender, flavorful baby back ribs. However you choose to season your ribs, the basic rib rubs involves a seasoned salt, garlic, brown sugar and pepper. You can customize it with fun additions, like coffee grounds, smoked paprika, and even celery salt. The goal is a balanced blend of savory, sweet and smoky flavors.
My ultimate blend stars Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, pepper and brown sugar. This mix guarantees a perfectly salty, yet sweetly caramelized crust on your ribs that will really sing once you baste it with tangy barbecue sauce.
How Long to Bake Baby Back Ribs
Slow and low is the name of the game for baking baby back ribs. You’ll start your bake at 200°F for the 5 hours, covering the ribs in tin foil to lock in moisture and to make sure they don’t dry out.
After five hours, you’ll remove the foil cover, check that the ribs have reached an internal temperature of 190 – 200°F and baste with your barbecue sauce. Broiling is the next step in your path to baby back rib greatness, and 3 minutes is all you’ll need to achieve those crispy edges.
How to Make Tender Baby Back Ribs
Using your oven almost guarantees you’re going to be digging into some of the best baby back ribs. The even temperature of your oven is way easier to maintain than a grill’s, making sure there is no dry meat on your watch. Another pro tip? Remove the clear membrane on the back of the ribs prior to seasoning and baking for some seriously tender, fall-apart ribs.
Do I Have to Use Liquid Smoke?
Absolutely not! I like the subtle smokiness and flavor that liquid smoke imparts in the ribs, which mimics the cooked-over-a-flame flavor, but if you aren’t a fan of it, simply omit it from the recipe.Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
- 2 slabs baby back ribs
- 2 Tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup liquid smoke
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups homemade or store-bought barbecue sauce
- Preheat the oven to 200°F. (See Kelly’s Notes.) Arrange two large pieces of foil on a baking sheet so that it hangs off on all sides.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, garlic powder, pepper and brown sugar. Sprinkle the ribs on both sides with the spice rub.
- Place the rib slabs side-by-side on the foil then gather the foil up and over the ribs to make a secure foil packet. Pour the liquid smoke and water into the bottom. Place one more piece of foil on top and press together the edges to seal the foil packet.
- Bake the ribs for 5 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and remove the top piece of foil. The ribs are done cooking when they have reached an internal temperature of 190 – 200°F.
- Change the oven to broil.
- Brush the ribs generously with barbecue sauce then broil them until the edges just begin to crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, brush them one more time with barbecue sauce, then serve.
- To speed up the cooking time, the ribs can also be baked at 300°F for 3 hours.
- Depending on the size of your slabs, feel free to increase the quantity of seasonings and spices.
- For the most tender, fall-apart ribs, remove the clear membrane on the back of the ribs prior to seasoning and baking them.
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