Tender Babyback Ribs- in the oven!

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I planned on having this post up this morning but got sidetracked by so many lines of tornadoes that I eventually just gave up and took shelter with the kids. We’re currently in between a few lines and have a little bit of calm before the weather kicks up again and I got to thinking about how awful it would be if I died and never got to give you this recipe – yes, I really do think like that.

In fact, I need to live a few more decades at least so I can have time to bring you all of the recipes I want to share. I’m always worried about feeding people.

My mother is especially used to this when it comes to me. A few hours ago during the middle of a major tornado we exchanged the following text messages:

Mama: Funnel cloud a mile from your house.

Me: We’re in office. Kids under desks eating their packed lunches.

Mama: Only you would pack lunches for tornadoes…lol

~shrugs~ Well they didn’t go hungry now did they? ~winks and grins~

Okay so I wanted you to have this recipe in case I up and die in a tornado today or later this evening. If I do, feel free to make ribs in my honor. Don’t worry about coming to my funeral or anything, I won’t be there anyway. In the meantime, stay safe everyone and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Bring on Da Ribs!

I’ve always loved ribs but growing up my Dad was the one who made them. He’d spend hours outside around a hot grill or smoker, basting and fussing with them until perfection was reached. They sure were good. But I’m on my own now and Daddy lives an hour away. When a rib craving hits I’m not about to stand over a hot grill for hours on end. Instead, I make them the easy way and am just as happy with the results.

Now there are countless ways to make ribs and there is never a shortage of folks to tell you that their way is the only right way to do things but  the way I see it, your kitchen = your rules. So today I’m gonna show you how to cheat at ribs – No grill, no sweat, and fall off the bone juicy results.

To start with you just need some ribs and bbq sauce.

Look for ribs that say “back” in them, either babyback or pork loin back or something of the like. This is referring to where they come from and means they will have a lot more meat on them and less bone. Spare ribs have more bone and less meat.

You can use any bbq sauce you like so go with your personal favorites here.

I’m using some of my Old Number 5 bbq sauce. I developed that recipe myself so of course, it’s my favorite! (the recipe is one of the ones exclusive to my cookbook).

Guess what? The recipe is now online! Click here to see how to make it.

I canned a little over a dozen pints of it a few days ago to have on hand and you know why I’m showing you this picture, don’t you? That’s right! If my house blows down in the tornadoes, I want y’all to dig through the rubble and see if you can find any of this still intact. If you do, take it home and make ribs!

It’s so fun and easy to make your own bbq sauce and even can it. If you’ve never done this give it a shot sometime!

Now the trick is to remove that white membrane on the back of the ribs because that will help them be all nice and tender when they cook and when eatin’ time comes :). The way I do this is slice into it with a sharp knife and then grab it and pull it off as best I can.

This is me removing a good bit of it.

There is still some left but at least I got the main layer off. Sometimes I have better luck than others but as long as you get the majority of it you’ll be fine.

Just think: Cave men made ribs. They can’t be that complex to prepare.

Now you’ll notice that I have the rack of ribs laying on a pan I’ve lined with foil, this is important because we are fixing to baste them and seal them up all nice and tight.

Baste both sides of them using half of your bbq sauce- we’ll use the other half after they cook a while.

There we go, all ready!

Now seal that up really well. Don’t be skimpy on the foil here!

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours.

Remove from oven and open foil.

Baste generously with the rest of your sauce on just the top.

Return to oven, leaving the foil opened like this, for another hour or until that sauce is nice and thick.

Oh goodness, this smells so good- Gotta love some sticky bones!


My husband, who normally does not care for ribs, ate three helpings of these!

And of course here is the bean salad recipe if anyone would like to make that. 

More tornadoes are coming through so I’d better go see if I can dig up my pink sponge rollers and fluffy bathrobe in case any news crews show up later!

Tender Babyback Ribs
  • 1 Rack Pork Back Ribs
  • 1 Jar or Bottle BBQ Sauce
  1. Using a knife, slice into the membrane on the back of the ribs (the white part) and use your hand to pull it off. Place entire rack of ribs in center of foil and brush with bbq sauce on both sides. Wrap well in foil to seal and place on baking sheet.
  2. Bake in 300 degree oven for two hours. Remove from oven and open foil. Baste top with remaining bbq sauce and place back in oven, with foil still open, for an hour, or until sauce is nice and thick.

So tell me in the comments section below, who does the grilling at your house?

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  1. Kristina says


    Normally we do ribs in the crockpot but I decided I wanted to try them in the oven. I had always seen it done on the cooking shows but had never actually taken notes on how to do it. I got on Google this afternoon and typed in “baby back ribs in oven” and your blog post popped up! They’re in the oven right now and I can’t wait to see how they turn out! I’ve bookmarked your page and subscribed.

    Thanks for such a simple recipe

    • Lucy's Caretaker says

      I grew up doing ribs in the oven. I thought that was how everyone did i it. LOL, Imagine my suprise. Ok, to get on with it. My dad always used a super sharp paring knife and simply scored a fine criss-cross pattern on the back through the white membrane. The rub or sauce -whatever he wanted to use this week, would seep through the membrane and the membrane would shrivel up to almost nothing, easier that trying to peel that tough stuff off. We finished off with a 5-10 minute stint under the broiler to put a nice glaze on the ribs. That’s a good time to pop a sheet of garlic bread in the oven. ummmmm!!!!!

  2. Jim says

    Such an easy and wonderful method. I’ve always preferred a dry rub over BBQ sauce, so I tweaked the instructions a bit and it came out absolutely delightful.

    Same as above, but first coat with olive oil, add as much dry rub as you can get to stick. Wrap in saran-wrap and refrigerate overnight. Same temp and times, and I did add some BBQ sauce 2 hours in, on top of the rub, then left the foil open for the last hour.

    The dry rub really permeates the meat without making them too soft, which I found was the case when cooking them the first two hours in BBQ sauce. This leaves them a little firmer and drier, yet the meat still falls off the bone. Please try it and let me know what you think.

    Thanks again, your method made better-than-restaraunt quality ribs achievable in just a few short hours.

    • Jim says

      Forgot one quick tip! Let then rest for 10 minutes when they’re done, then toss them on a hot grill for about 90 seconds each side. Caramelizes the sauce, makes them look great too. Good luck!

      • Frank Dawkins says

        I found your extra tip of putting the oven-baked ribs on the grill for a brief period to caramelize the bbq sauce and give the ribs a nice glaze to be right on. I followed the recipe pretty much as given, except that I put the ribs on the grill for a few minutes on each side, and the glaze was nice.

        I do take exception that pork back ribs and baby back ribs can be cooked using this same recipe. Baby back rib racks generally are much lighter, around 2 lbs, and can be grilled directly over coals and will be cooked through evenly without burning the outside of the ribs. Pork back ribs are a heavier cut generally, the rack I just cooked was 3.63 lbs., so baking them in the oven for 3 hours was totally appropriate. I would hate to think how overcooked a true rack of baby back ribs would be from being in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours. Conversely, if you tried to “grill” a nearly 4 lb. rack of pork back ribs directly over a hot bed of coals, you’d have undercooked pork with a burned exterior. If I were just using a grill/smoker, and no oven, I’d use indirect heat (charcoal w/hardwood chunks of your choice) at 250 degrees to cook true pork back ribs for about 3-3 1/2 hours, depending on the weight of the rib rack.

  3. Pat Blankenship says

    Hey Christy, Thank you so much for sharing your information on cooking baby back ribs. Im not experienced in cooking on the grill and I have been wanting to try to cook ribs in the oven. I have them in the oven right now and Im excited to see how they turn out. Thanks again, Pat B

  4. Jeri says

    Hey Christy, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading your page. You are so funny I think you could do stand up lol!!! I am going to try your recipe this evening, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your humor and personal touch in your page. You remind me of a friend of mine from SC and I hear your voice with a Southern drawl to it and it makes me feel at home and comfortable. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with all those Tornados, I’m know they are long gone, but I also know there will be more. Be safe, I know the ribs will be amazing, I will try to remember to check back in to let you know, but no promises. I’m a one armed paper hanger around here when the kids are home, lol. Thank you again!!

  5. Dianna says

    I was VERY doubtful that this recipe was going to turn out well since no seasonings were used. However, the ribs came out………….GREAT!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe how tender and flavorful they were. I was convinced after 1 1/2 went and the smell of the BBQ sauce radiated throughout the house. I will definitely use this recipe onward. The only small change I will make in the future is purchasing a really good brand of BBQ sauce instead of the low cost kind. Thank you. thank you, thank you <3

  6. Carl Kunkle says

    I did your recipe for tender ribs about a month ago and was pleasantly surprised when I went to cut them and they fell off the bone! I put dry rub on them and the bbq sauce and they were absolutely perfect! I’m doing them again today! Thank you!

  7. Olia Polivoda says

    Hi Christy!! Thank you so much for such an easy recipe! I am a newly wed and still in the stages of “trying” to impress hubby in the kitchen haha! He could not believe that i made those ribs without a grill! Thank you again so much!:)

  8. says

    I used this recipe with A1 and a Honey BBQ sauce, and it tuned out pretty well.

    It tasted great, but the short ribs we got were very fatty, and you can’t just cut it out, it’s spread throughout as well as in chunks. I definitely wouldn’t advise the beef kind of short-ribs.

  9. Lucy says

    I always thought ribs were hard to make. These were as good as ribs that I ever had including restaurants. I made these today and they were tender and cooked just right without much effort. Thank You.

  10. Gina says

    This is an easy and delicious recipe! Someone may have already suggested this addition. I place sliced onions (about 1/4 inch thick) under the slabs of ribs. They add a nice flavor and go great as a side.

  11. Jon says

    These ribs came out better than I could have expected. I had two racks of baby backs and applied dry rub to one rack while the other had BBQ sauce. After two hours I applied BBQ sauce to the dry rub rack, and dry rub to the BBQ rack. Then I cooked them open-foil for the last hour. They were fantastic! I will definitely use this recipe again. My wife, children, and I all thank you for your idea Christy! Much better than tending to a grill.

  12. Maddy says

    I live in an apartment and with winter dragging on, I was desperate for some BBQ Ribs.
    After an hour and half,everyone was asking who was BBQING!
    Best taste, quick and easy.
    I hesitated because everyone talks about vinegar n marinating,etc.
    I don’t have that kind of time. By the time I was done cleaning and giving my little guy a bath, dinner is served! You have great talent and your hilarious!

  13. Janice Cangelosi says

    Christy, tried your receipe for ribs and was alittle leary as to how they would turn out—but they were really GREAT and will be making them that way from now on. Thanks for the best bbq rib receipt ever!!!

  14. Patty says

    I plan on cooking these ribs this weekend. I found, what sounds like a real yummy dry rub. I plan on applying the dry rub, and putting them in the fridge over night. I will then cook the ribs according to your recipe. What are your thoughts on using both a dry rub and sauce? Also, I will be cooking 6 racks; will the cooking time be the same?

  15. Annette W in MD says

    Here it is April 29, 2014. That’s 3 years and 2 days after you posted this on a day that Alabama was being hit by tornadoes. Yesterday and today your great state has been besieged with tornadoes once again. I hope that you and yours are safe and I will offer up a prayer asking for Gods protection and love to all in Bama while I am preparing these tasty ribs for dinner. Take care

  16. britt says

    Love the article. Will say I changed one step. After two hours, I opened up the foil. Basted heavily and transferred them to the BBQ pit. Cooked for about an hour more on the pit at 300 degrees. Awesome. Think I will start all my meat in the oven first.

  17. Danny says

    Christy, the easiest way to remove the membrain or “silverskin” from the back of ribs or other meats is to pick at a corner until you have enough to get between your finger and thumb. Now, use an old towel or a paper towel to grab the skin and pull. So much easier than using bare fingers.

  18. Anne says

    I’ve been doing it this way for many years — except I throw them on the grill for a couple minutes on each side, just to get those grill marks…..then wrap them and put them in the oven for hours. This is so great when you’re having company for dinner and you don’t want to be in the kitchen cooking while everyone is having fun. Make some potato salad and some baked beans ahead of time and you’re done.

  19. Frank Howerton says

    That’s the same receipt that I use and have never had a failure. Here in Kansas City it,s OK to get sauce all over your fingers but we only wipe our mouths not our fingers, we lick our fingers.

  20. Jo Thomas says

    Danny is so right when he recommends using a paper towel to grasp the silver skin with. I would add start at the narrow or small end of the rib and peel toward the large/big end. For some reason the skin remains intact and is easier to peel in this direction.

  21. Rosemary says

    I was looking for a rib recipe last year and found your website. The ribs were great (even my daughter likes them and she is picky) and I love Southern Plate. Finally recipes that are easy and taste good. I tell everybody about it. By the way the ribs taste good cold too. I just ate the leftovers today.

  22. Bev says

    While I have been cooking for many, many years, I had never had ribs turn out well in the oven…
    until now. Thank you for this delicious way to cook them Christy. I will never make them any other way.

  23. Norman says

    Grilling? Well, I reckon this caveman does the grillin’. and I am highly qualified (and will remain so as long as my cave woman doesn’t find out I get my ideas from Christy! LOL

  24. Miki Manibog says

    I generally don’t like ribs but I tried this recipe and my whole family LOVES it including myself. When we went to visit my in laws I made 6 racks and they were all gone that night and people were asking if there were any left the next morning. Great recipe and I will continue to use it and share it.

  25. Shari says

    My youngest daughter loves ribs, so I usually make them once or twice during the summer. I haven’t made them yet this summer, but I am making them for her today before she heads back to college. This is the best recipe ever! I have used it many times. Everyone who has these tells me they are the best ribs they have eaten. Thank you for sharing! I want to try your barbeque sauce sometime, too.

  26. Tiffany says

    I did a search for doing ribs in the oven, came across this post and oh my goodness my family loves this. I do have a suggestion on the membrane removal – using the handle of a standard spoon (one you eat with normally, not one you use to serve stuff with) helps get up under the membrane and I can usually get it off with one pull. Mind you that’s also when I’ve let the ribs sit out of the fridge for at least 15 minutes but still in their packaging so they’re not super cold.

    That said… that’s the only thing different I do with the ribs. I salt, pepper and garlic powder them, coat them good with BBQ sauce, bake them for 2 hours, slather more sauce, bake for another hour and they’re phenomenal. Your recipe is great. Thank you for sharing it.

  27. Penny says

    Hi! I found you via Pinterest. I brought home some baby back ribs, and had no idea what to do with them. Typed in baby back ribs into the Pinterest search, and came upon your post. The picture is what drew me in! Then, I read some comments, and took a chance. They were delicious! Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll definately be making them again!

  28. Dizel says

    I have tried ribs many ways but I have to say hands down this is the best method…..i made 2 racks…..and my 14 year old son(6ft 2) ate a whole rack alone and said this was the best ribs ever……i did make my own sauce thoy from a old family recipe…..Thank you Christy you have done it again……y lcbo after what I have made from your recipes have been a hit and 8 didn’t change them at all…

  29. Angela Regan says

    I made these for supper, they turned out great, even though I mistakenly bought beef back ribs instead of pork back ribs, gonna share this recipe with friends and family.
    Next time, I’m going to buy pork ribs and would like to try your homemade BBQ sauce. If I want to make just enough sauce for 2 racks of ribs, would I divide your recipe in half or thirds?


    • says

      I am so glad you liked them Angela!! I always make a full batch and store the extra in the refrigerator, so I am not 100% certain. I would half it and if there is a little left you can always put it in a jar in the fridge and will know next time if you need to third it. Hope that helps.

  30. Wendy Dennis says

    Hi Christy,

    I will be making your “tornado” recipe just outside of Boston during our 2/15/15 blizzard! Given the replies, I am confident that we will be enjoying some tasty ribs later today. Thank you for this technique for cooking ribs in the oven, and also to those who posted the rub and other pre-seasoning tips that I just might try, as well as the “finish in the broiler” idea, and ways to deal with the membrane. My husband routinely grills in the winter in all kinds of weather, but not today! Thank you again for enabling us to have a lovely taste of summer on a stormy winter day.

  31. Suzanne F. says

    Thank you for this recipe. This is the third time that I have made them and my family loves them like this. Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your help. I have been learning how to cook for the last couple of years and this is now one of the great dishes I can rely on. I also love the comment, even cave men cooked ribs, because it gave me hope that I might get it right!


  1. […] Southern Plate offered an easier cooking method with the promise of tenderness. I laid the ribs on a large wooden cutting board and followed the directions on removing the white membrane (never knew that was the key!). Then I brushed on honey bbq sauce on both sides and wrapped the whole thing in foil. When the oven beeped at 300 degrees, I slid in the pan and let it slow-cook for 2 hours. […]

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