If you are a seasonal meat lover, it’s possible that you are already planning the kind of meat dishes to try out during summer. One exceptional meat dish that wins their spot in summer is the Baby Back Ribs (also called Pork Back Ribs). At the moment, you have enough time to learn how to cook baby back ribs in oven, grill, and slow cooker.
Baby back ribs is one dish your family and guests will find difficult to refuse if you get it right. It takes a lot of patience and deliberate effort to get this done no matter the method you use but it’s a worthy cause. However, the recipes described here will focus on cooking baby back ribs in the oven.
Table of Contents
How To Know Baby Back Ribs
Did you wonder what kind of meat this is when you first heard the name? Not to worry, this is only a type of pork. They’re hewn from the rib part of pigs that is close to their loin. They are very soft and come off easily from the bone when they are well cooked.
You’ll find this meat cut in racks that weigh between 3 pounds and 4 pounds covering approximately 13 ribs. This quantity is likely to serve an average of 3 regular persons. Baby back ribs are lean, soft and gotten from top area. They are also fairly pricey.
Preparing Your Baby Back Ribs for the Oven
The first process in preparing your baby back ribs is to learn the requirements of the recipe you choose. Cooking pork back ribs takes quite some time so you may have to start the preparation a day ahead or early in the day. There are some general things you will have to do irrespective of the recipe you choose. Here they are.
Remove the Membrane
Honestly, you may differ on this one because the ribs membrane is entirely edible. It’s a thin layer that lines the inner part of the raw rib. The downside of this layer is that it is not absorbent, so it’ll prevent the meat from absorbing enough juice to tenderize.
It takes a bit of skill to remove the membrane from the rib. Loosen the ends of the membrane carefully with a sharp-edged knife, enough to grip firmly between your thumb and first finger. Then pull the lining out of the rib. If it’s too slippery, use a kitchen towel to hold it and pull.
It’s possible to engage the services of the butcher when you buy the meat.
Season Your Baby Back Ribs
You can season your ribs with a marinade or with dry rub. Often this will depend on the recipe that you choose. Most recipes will require you to season the rib and allow the seasoning to sit in an entire night or for long hours.
How Long Will the Ribs Take to Cook?
It takes an average of four hours for baby back ribs to cook thoroughly depending on the instruction you use and the cooking method. It can take longer than four hours depending on the quantity of the meat and the size.
Give yourself enough cooking time if you have to serve guests at dinner. You don’t want to keep your guests starving when they arrive.
Here are 3 easy to follow methods of cooking baby back ribs in the oven you will love totally.
Method 1: Baby Back Ribs Oven Barbeque
How do you think barbeque from the oven will taste? Not so great?
Not with this barbeque recipe. You’ll be back in your kitchen after a few days for more because these tastes so good, you won’t believe it.
You need an aluminum foil to wrap your ribs in before placing them to slow-cook in your oven. The purpose of the foil is to hold in the steam while they cook. After slow cooking the meat, you then broil to achieve a crusty back. If you have leftover ribs that you want to reheat, all you have to do is put it back in a wrap and heat in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 1.5 hours.
What You Need
For Your Barbeque Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dark molasses
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup minced sweet onion
- 1 medium seeded and minced jalapeno chile
- 1 can tomato filter (10.75 ounces)
- ¾ cup vinegar (apple cider)
- ½ cup sugar (dark brown)
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
For Your Baby Back Ribs
- 2 pieces of baby back ribs – bone-in (2.5 – 3 pound)
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard (2 parts)
- ¼ cup loose sugar (light brown)
- 1 tbsp dry mustard
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp powdered garlic
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp chili pepper
For the Oven
- Aluminum foil
Preparing the Sauce for Barbeque
In a mid-sized saucepan, heat up oil with your stovetop set to medium-high. Next put in your onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook the mixture for 8 minutes while stirring frequently. Stop when it is a little brown on the sides.
Add your tomato filter, stirring. While still stirring, add your vinegar, molasses, sugar, ketchup, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Lower the heat so that it is medium-low and continue cooking. Stir intermittently so that the sauce does not burn or stick to your pan.
After an hour, the sauce would be thick enough to take down. As a rule of thumb, the quantity left should fill about 2 regular cups. Take it down and allow to cool for 30 mins. At room temperature, put it in the refrigerator until you need it.
Your barbeque sauce is ready.
Preparing Your Baby Back Ribs
Inside a medium-sized bowl, mix together garlic powder, black pepper, dry mustard, onion powder, chili powder, brown sugar, and salt. Keep the mixture.
Peel off the membrane covering the ribs and brush them thoroughly with Dijon mustard making sure that every side is covered. Then rub in your mixture gently until they are evenly spread.
Put the ribs in your wrap and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours.
Set your oven to preheat up to 275 degrees F while the ribs thaw in the wrap.
Cover a baking sheet with foil and set a rack on it. Place the ribs on the rack, wrapped and put to bake in the oven for 2.5 hours (or till tenderized). Remove the ribs from the foil and dispose of the drippings and foil.
Set the unwrapped ribs back on the rack and drizzle each with half cup barbeque sauce. Place them back in the oven, then cook for another 30 mins.
Checking for doneness: You can check for doneness manually or with a thermometer.
For manual checking, take the ribs out of the oven and unwrap them. Use prongs to pick a part of the meat. If it comes off easily and is tender, then the ribs are ready.
With a thermometer, insert the probe and check the internal temperature. The temperature for well-done meat is 170 degrees F.
Bring to Broil
Remove the cooked ribs and drizzle with barbeque sauce again while heating up your oven to 500 degrees F. Place the ribs in the center rack and broil for 3 mins or till the sauce caramelizes. Take them out and allow to cool. Dish with what is left of your barbeque sauce.
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Video: Cooking Baby Back Ribs in the Oven
Watch this video to learn how to cook pork back ribs in oven
Method 2: Dry-rubbed Baby Back Ribs
If you are used to preparing barbequed pork ribs, then it may be time for a change. This wonderful dry rub oven cooked ribs recipe is worth every trouble you’ll put into the process. What’s more? The recipe is very simple to gather and saves you a lot of trouble.
You still need to have your aluminum foil when you cook, to lock in moisture.
What You Need
- 6 rinds of diced garlic
- Any dry rub you choose (you can make your own mixture)
- Fresh black pepper (ground)
- Baby back ribs (1 rack)
Prepare the Ribs
Place your pork ribs on the cooking table and pull out the membrane lining the back. Smear the garlic round the ribs so that it covers every side. Rub the seasoning through gently with the black pepper. Make sure every side is properly covered.
Put the ribs on your aluminum foil and wrap it up properly. Allow it to sit for 30 mins.
Prepare Your Oven
Set your oven to heat at 350 degrees F. Cover the baking tray with aluminum foil to collect drizzle from the cooking meat. Now keep the ribs on the tray and place in the heated oven.
The ribs will cook for approximately 2hr 30min, but you have to check it intermittently after 2 hours for doneness. Insert your thermometer (if you are using one) or open the foil and pick some part with your prongs. If it comes off easily, it’s ready.
When it’s ready, open the foil on the upper part and raise the temperature of your oven so that the meat can broil. Let the broiling happen for 5 mins or until the ribs are caramelized. Keep an eye on the ribs to ensure they broil without burning.
When they are well broiled, take them out of your oven then allow to cool down. Slice to your desired size and serve.
Making Your Own Dry Rub Mixture: If you prefer homemade rubs, you can make your own with this recipe.
- Brown sugar (a quarter cup)
- Kosher salt (2 tsp)
- Smoked paprika (2 tsp)
- Garlic powder (1 tsp)
- Black pepper (2 tsp)
- Ground mustard (1 tsp)
- Celery salt (1/2 tsp)
- Onion powder (1 tsp)
- Cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp)
- Cinnamon (1/2 tsp)
Except if you’re cooking more than 3 racks of baby back ribs and you like a lot of seasoning, this mixture will last more than one cooking. Store the leftover in an airtight container.
Method 3: Rub and Barbeque
Not everyone making pork back ribs has a family or a lot of guests, and that’s totally fine. So, if you want this awesome dish for yourself or for two, don’t be disheartened. This recipe will help you make a yummy dish of baby back ribs for you and your special friend.
The recipe is very simple and easy to get. You can choose to prepare your own barbeque sauce and rub, or you can buy from the store. Both will work, depending on your taste. Just remember to get your foil ready before you start your cooking.
What You Need
- Baby back ribs (1 piece)
- Rub (1 tbsp)
- Barbeque sauce (2 tbsp)
How to Make Your Baby Back Ribs
Prepare the Ribs
Start by taking off the membrane from the ribs so that the meat can drink in enough juice for taste and tenderness. If you have fat attached to any part of the ribs (very unlikely), cut it off.
Next spread your rub on every part of the ribs and gently rub it in. Make sure it gets to every side. Wrap your seasoned baby back ribs thoroughly with your foil and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 2hrs at least.
Prepare the Oven
Set your oven to heat at 300 degrees F.
While the oven is heating, cover your baking tray with aluminum foil to protect it from the grease dripping from the cooking ribs and put a rack over it. Place the baby back ribs on the rack.
It’s okay to cook the ribs straight from the refrigerator but that will take additional time in the oven. You can also let it thaw slightly but avoid letting it become muggy.
Let the ribs cook in the oven for 2 hours then check to see the degree of doneness. Use an insert or a prong to check if it is done to your taste.
When you are satisfied, open the wrap on the ribs and bring out your baking tray. Remove the foil from the tray with the drippings. Drizzle the ribs with your barbeque sauce thoroughly, place back the ribs and broil for 25 mins at 350 degrees F. Keep an eye so it doesn’t burn.
Bring it out when it’s crispy crusty and allow to cool on the rack. Serve the way you want it. And if you have any leftovers you want to eat later, just wrap it up in a foil and toss in the oven for about an hour.
What Dish to Serve with Your Baby Back Ribs
You may be at a loss of what dish to serve with your yummy meal of oven cooked ribs. Here’s a list of dishes that will pally with your nice BBQ.
A meal of beans, if made right is a great accompaniment for baby back ribs. There are many recipes of beans but here is a special one for beans salad. It involves 4 beans species and you can tweak it the way it suits you.
What you need
- Green beans – ½ lb.
- Yellow wax beans – ½ lb.
- Garbanzo beans – 1 can of 15 oz
- Edamame or Soybeans – 1 cup
- Red onions – small
- Canola oil – ½ cup
- White wine vinegar – ¼ cup
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Dijon mustard – 1 full tsp
- Kosher salt
Dice the yellow wax and green beans in pieces of 1.5 inch each. Remove the water from your garbanzo beans and rinse it while you let the soybeans thaw if it is frozen. Slice your onions.
Boil water in a big pot and throw in your yellow wax and green beans. Cook for 5 mins or till they are slightly tender then bring it down and remove from the water. Use normal-temperature water to rinse and mix with other beans – garbanzo and soy. Add the onions as well.
Add your vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar and oil together in a bowl and beat properly. Put pepper and salt to your taste and combine very well. Drizzle this mixture over your beans to season them and mix thoroughly. Let the seasoning sit in for at least 2 hours.
Serve this delicacy with your BBQ ribs and savor the goodness!
This dish of potato salad is the perfect dish for your family’s special dinner or that hang out with your friends. Together with your oven-cooked pork ribs, you will leave everyone hungry for more.
What You Need
- Red-skinned potatoes – 2 lb.
- Salt – to taste
- Dijon Mustard – 1 tbsp
- Mayonnaise – ½ cup
- Minced shallot – ¼ cup
- Diced Celery – ¾ cup
- Hard-boiled eggs (diced) – 3 large
- A mixture of fresh parsley, scallions, and tarragon (chopped) – a little more than ¼ cup
- Fresh black pepper (ground)
What to Do
Wash your potatoes and dice them in tiny cubes. You can also boil the potatoes slightly before you cut. Next, put your potatoes in a sizeable saucepan, add some water and salt. Bring to boil on the stovetop until the potatoes are very soft.
When cooking your potatoes, make sure to set the heat at medium-high for a moderate simmer. You don’t want the water to dry up and your potatoes are still uncooked neither do you want to spend the whole year cooking a few balls of potatoes.
When the potatoes are well cooked, remove the water and use normal-temperature water to rinse. Now, put the potatoes in a big bowl and stir in your mustard and mayonnaise. Add in your celery, eggs, shallots and parsley mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with your ready baby back ribs and have a yummy mealtime.
If you have any leftovers, it’s not a bother. Save them in a tightly closed box and store in your refrigerator. If you store them well, they can easily stay 5 days so that you have something good to fall back on.
Here is another great recipe to accompany your tasty meal of baby back ribs. This recipe will serve a group of 10 fairly hungry people. You’ll need your oven to make this.
What You Need
- Butter (unsalted) – 1 stick
- Half-and-half – 2 cups
- Multi-use flour – 3 tbsp
- Cornmeal – 3 tbsp
- Baking powder – 3 tsp
- Kosher salt – 1.5 tsp
- Garlic salt – 0.5 tsp
- Cayenne pepper – ¼ tsp
- Eggs – 6 big ones
- Cheddar cheese (shredded) – 1 cup
- Corn kernels – 5 cups
- Sliced (green area) Scallions – 2 mid-sized
What to Do
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, placing the rack at the center. Butter your baking pan and set it aside.
Put your flour in a bowl and incorporate salt, baking powder, garlic, pepper, cornmeal. Whisk them together. Put your eggs in another bowl and beat. Add your half-and-half, cheese, and butter in the eggs and whisk.
Next, pour the mixture of flour in the egg bowl and combine them thoroughly till you have a smooth mix. Fold in your corn and pour the resultant batter into the buttered baking pan. Put your baking pan in the oven and allow to bake.
Your pudding is ready when it is slightly brown at the ends. Also, if you insert a knife in the pudding it’ll come out without a stain. This should take about 40 minutes. Bring it out and allow to cool.
Top the pudding with scallions with it’s cool and serve with your favorite baby back ribs. Pudding is best served warm.
If you have any leftover pudding, put it away in a tightly closed box and store in your refrigerator. Well stored pudding will last 3 days.
Now that you are well-armed
You are ready to begin your summer and winter is just about to roll away. Good thing is you can even try out these dishes right away – who says you have to wait for summer. Plus, practice gets you perfect so that you can confidently plan that party or get together.
If you are a foodie and you love to explore, go ahead and put a few tweaks to those recipes. It can’t go so bad, can it? Share your discoveries in the comment sections – it helps others learn as well.