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. Adam says

    Ms. Jordan:

    First and foremost: GREAT RIBS!! Thank you for the recipe. I’ve never made ribs in the oven, but I think I will going forward.

    Second: Have you ever considered making an app (iPhone, Android, and Windows) to complement your website? Having that on a tablet while in the kitchen would be great!! I’m a software engineer and would love to discuss with you the possibilities for this. Feel free to email me any time about that.

  2. linda says

    Funny how you posted this some time ago and its 4/8/15 first time I have ever visited your site and looked for baby back ribs in oven because its been raining for days and tornado warnings everywhere. Thank you for a wonderfully easy way to make super ribs. Obviously no chance of BBQing any time soon. Thanks again!

  3. Deeli says

    Thought I would ask again how many pounds of baby backs … Where I purchase meat doesn’t sell them in packages like you show here and you can’t see how many pounds are in your package photo :-( I looked online to see how many pounds a rack weigh and the answers I found are wildly different :-(

    • says

      This recipe is very versatile. I would get enough for four people to start with. It’s not going to make a difference if you have one each or two or even three. Just grab a bottle or two of Bbq sauce and dive in. :). This isn’t a persnickety recipe where you need exacts. You’ll be fine. Promise! Do try to get a rack of ribs though, not cut apart. The rack is the only measurement you need.

      • Deeli says

        Thank you !! In my lifetime have cooked just about everything, including full course French, Greek and Japanese meals, but have never cooked a simple rack of ribs :-o Go figure – – LOL!! ;-)

        • says

          That’s awesome!! It’s fun to still be able to find firsts, isn’t it? I’m doing a lot of that this week. Taking the week off from blogging to play around the house and try out some skills I’ve always wanted to learn. Let me know how you like them!

  4. Angela Regan says

    I made pork baby back ribs like this today and was so disappointed in the results. The ribs seemed done but were not falling apart tender like I expected them to be.

    I’ve used this recipe once before, but I mistakenly bought beef back ribs instead of pork ribs, they turned out really tender.

    I cooked two racks of ribs today, same as before, wrapped them well and laid them side by side on a pan.

    The only difference was the type of ribs used…….


  5. Charles Connel says

    My family thoroughly enjoyed the ribs. The meat just fell off the bones. A very simple recipe with fantastic results. I’m going to bake them again today.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Mary Ann says

    I made the barbeque ribs about 3 weeks ago. (I used boneless short ribs). They were delicious! My husband said that they were the best and most tender ribs he has ever eaten…including restaurant ribs! So, he made a request last night for me to make them again today! Thank you for this great recipe!

  7. Tom Howard says

    Thank you so much for the information about that membrane. I have been disappointed every time from 1975 until tonight with how tough home-cooked baby back ribs were. I removed that membrane the way you suggested and I had ambrosia!


  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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