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Tender, Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs Recipe

Vespa's recipes have appeared in "Midwest Living" and "Taste of Home". She belongs to Cook's Recipe Testers for "Cook's Illustrated".

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs

Recipe for BBQ Ribs Baked in the Oven

According to a 2007 poll conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, 77% of all U.S. households own a grill or smoker. But what if you're among the 23% who doesn't own a grill? Are you doomed to a bleak existence, void of the comfort of homemade barbecue ribs?

Imagine you're a Midwesterner transplanted in Phoenix and barbecue restaurants are far and few between. Are you out of luck? Or visualize another scenario: It's the dead of winter. Tree limbs, heavy with ice, look like actors bowing during an encore. You can't imagine braving the cold, let alone trudging through the snowdrifts that separate you from your barbecue grill. But you can't stop thinking about tender, saucy, melt-in-your-mouth ribs.

Take heart! Although barbecuing is synonymous with grilling in the United States, the original definition of "barbecue" was to slow-cook meat over an indirect heat source, such as in a pit heated with charcoal or wood. This method was developed to tenderize tough cuts of meat. Although your Master Griller may beg to differ, it's not sacrilege to roast ribs in the oven. Any time of year, almost anywhere you live, you can enjoy a finger-licking barbecue feast.

The first challenge: find an irresistible barbecue sauce. Please check out Top Five Regional BBQ Sauce Recipes and make your selection before proceeding with the recipe.

Oven-Baked BBQ Ribs

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

3 hours

3 hours 30 min

6 servings


  • 4 pounds pork or beef spareribs or country-style pork ribs
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup paprika, smoked if available
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, chipotle if available
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne (optional)
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce


  1. Combine sugars and spices.
  2. Pour rub on both sides of ribs. Wrap ribs in aluminum foil, in a single layer, and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. You should have two foil packets.
  3. The next day, remove ribs from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 350˚F.
  4. Open foil packets and pour about one cup of barbecue sauce over each slab of ribs. Carefully re-seal foil packets. Place ribs on two baking sheets and slide into preheated oven, on oven racks in the highest position.
  5. After ribs have baked for an hour, flip them over.
  6. After ribs have baked another hour, open foil packets. Pour another cup of barbecue sauce over each slab of ribs and return them to the oven, uncovered.
  7. Bake ribs for one more hour, basting every 20 minutes with more barbecue sauce if so desired.
  8. Serve ribs with extra sauce on the side.

© 2012 Vespa Woolf


Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 11, 2012:

There's always more to write about BBQ! It's a fascinating subject and each region has its own BBQ methods and sauce styles. Here in Peru there is definitely no BBQ, so I've learned to make it at home. I agree, 100+ is way too hot to BBQ outside. I hope you enjoy the recipe and thank you for taking the time to comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on September 11, 2012:

Tammyswallow, some of the best BBQ is from the South and I agree, off the bone is delicious. I wrote a hub on 5 different BBQ sauces from the various regions of the US. Of course, the Carolinas and Texas are included. Thank you for coming by!

Valerie Washington from Tempe, Arizona on September 11, 2012:

You beat me, you beat me!!!LOL. I'm working on my BBQ recipe for a hub too...hahaha....and you're right, there are hardly any good BBQ restaurants out here in the Phoenix area and the ones that are good are wayyyyyyy overpriced. I'm from Michigan originally and my fiancée is from Mississippi, so we know a thing or two about BBQ. It's much too hot out here most days (100+ degrees) to BBQ outside, so the oven is definitely the way to go! Great hub! Voted up and pinned to Pinterest!!

Tammy from North Carolina on September 11, 2012:

This is gorgeous and it looks delicious. I LOVE ribs. I live in Southern, USA and here barbeque is popular. The meat is taken off the bone and dressed. I just prefer to eat them this way. Fabulous photos!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2012:

Daisydayz, my hubby is also a BBQ rib lover. Thank you for your comment!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2012:

PegCole17, thank you for coming over. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe and hope you enjoy it!

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on June 04, 2012:

Oh these sound yummy, know the hubby would love them!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on June 04, 2012:

This sounds wonderful and the way you've described the process makes me want to do the next batch of ribs in the oven. So much easier than standing out in the sun over a hot grill! Thanks for the recipe and mouth watering pictures.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2012:

Skye2day, nice to meet a fellow BBQ lover. Thank you for coming by and for linking!

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 04, 2012:

Oh Yummy. Thank you for posting this. Love the BarBQue but the oven works fine as well. I have bookmarked and linked out. I love checking our the wonderful hubber cooks tips and recipes. My kind of cooking easy. Love n hugs Cheers to you.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2012:

Peggy W, thank you for the share and for your kind words. Sometimes it's just not worth braving the weather when the same job can be done in the kitchen!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on June 04, 2012:

Viking305, it's always nice to hear from you. Enjoy the BBQ sauce!

L M Reid from Ireland on June 04, 2012:

Ahh Beef spare ribs from the BBQ, what could be tastier. I like your sauce recipe and I am going to make it next time for my ribs.

Shared and voted 5 stars

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 03, 2012:

I love your wording..."Or visualize another scenario: it's the dead of winter. Tree limbs, heavy with ice, look like actors bowing during an encore." Very descriptive way of describing why an oven roasting method of preparing barbecued ribs might be a better option. Sounds delicious! Voted useful and SHARING.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 28, 2012:

Thanks for your comment, Mhatter99!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on May 28, 2012:

i'm there!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 26, 2012:

LetitiaFT, I'm so glad you can use the recipe. We're in the same situation...apartment dwelling ex-pats with no BBQ sauce...and this recipe satisfies my craving for ribs. Enjoy!

LetitiaFT from Paris via California on May 26, 2012:

This looks like just the BBQ recipe I've been looking for as an apartment dwelling expat in a city where decent bottled barbecue sauce is hard to come by. Looking forward to trying it!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on May 08, 2012:

Thank you, Dolores Monet, for your comment and enjoy the delicious ribs!

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on May 08, 2012:

Sounds delish! I am going to oven bake some ribs tommorow! Thanks for the tip!

Carrie L Cronkite from Maine on April 28, 2012:

This sounds so delicious, a must try! I bet the meat just falls off of the bone. Great recipe!

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2012:

Thanks for your vote of confidence alocsin!

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on April 22, 2012:

Wow, this is great -- the cumin, cayenne and chili should add an interesting flavor. Voting this Up and Useful.

Vespa Woolf (author) from Peru, South America on April 22, 2012:

Thank you for commenting, jenubouka. I love baking ribs in the oven and my husband loves eating them!

jenubouka on April 22, 2012:

Awesome recipe Vespa! Slow and low cooking is the way to go, your ribs look so good.

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