Saucy, fall-off-the-bone tender baked BBQ baby back ribs are coated with an amazing rub, then slathered with sticky BBQ sauce! It doesn’t have to be summertime to enjoy these incredible barbecue ribs!
My baked BBQ baby back ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and coated in a finger-licking delicious sauce!
It may be winter, but BBQ ribs are perfect for any time of year! I make these ribs in the oven, baking them in a foil packet so they’re amazingly tender and juicy. Then, the ribs get a reverse sear in the oven after being drenched in sticky BBQ sauce!
My secret weapon is just a little liquid smoke, so the ribs taste like they’ve spent all day in your smoker!
These ribs are decadently delicious, but they’re so easy to prepare! The oven and foil packet do all the work in this awesome recipe, so you have amazing ribs on your table in just about 3 hours! That’s about half the time it takes to make ribs on a smoker!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
So Easy! No matter your experience level with making ribs, you’ll be able to easily make this saucy rib recipe! It really couldn’t be easier to make these ribs!
Fall-Apart Tender! Baking the ribs in a foil packet makes them super moist. The meat falls right off the bone!
Super Saucy! The best part of eating ribs is all the sticky sauce! These ribs have no shortage of sweet, savory sauce that’s caramelized and ultra-delicious.
Flavorful baked BBQ baby back ribs are so simple to make! This recipe has just 4 simple ingredients!
- 1 Rack Baby Back Ribs – You want the ribs to be completely defrosted or use a fresh slab. Baby back ribs are my preference because they’re always so tender!
- ¼ Cup Pork Rub – You can make my simple pork rub recipe, which is full of sweet & savory spices. If you’re in a hurry, buy your favorite store-bought brand.
- 1 Cup Barbecue Sauce – Use your preferred brand here! I love to use a sweet honey or brown sugar barbecue sauce, so the ribs are extra sticky and delicious!
- 2 Teaspoons Liquid Smoke – Since we aren’t grilling these ribs, using liquid smoke will infuse the ribs with a ton of delicious smoky flavor!
Want to try a different kind of baked BBQ rib recipe? Try my delicious baked beef back ribs! They’re super delicious and have an amazing beefy flavor that’s simply irresistible.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
A grill isn’t needed to make tender, moist, and delicious ribs! The oven does all the work for you, leaving you with tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Prep The Ribs (Remove Membrane)
- Prep. You want to start by preheating your oven to 250°F (120°C). Then, rinse and pat your baby back ribs dry using paper towels. (Optional) For the most tender ribs, remove the silverskin membrane on the bone side of the ribs. Use a butter knife to slide under the membrane and lift, pulling the sheet of membrane off the underside of the ribs.
Season & Bake
- Make foil packet. Prepare enough aluminum foil to make a pouch around the baby back ribs, then place the ribs meat side up and season, using about half of the amount of the pork rub (2 tablespoons). Then, flip, and use the rest of the pork rub to season the bone side. Leave the ribs with the meat side facing downward and then seal the aluminum foil securely.
- Bake the ribs. Place the sealed pouch with the ribs onto a baking sheet and place it into your preheated oven. Make sure the seam is facing upwards, so the juices do not drip onto your oven. Then, cook for 2 hours, or until the ribs are tender and completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 400°F (205°C).
- Add BBQ sauce. Allow the ribs to cool enough that you can handle the pouch of aluminum foil and open carefully to prevent steam burns. Then, discard any fat juices then flip the ribs meat side up. Next, combine 2 teaspoons of liquid smoke with 1 cup of BBQ sauce and liberally brush onto the baby back ribs, covering all sides. Leave the foil open and ribs facing upward, then return to the oven.
- Finish and serve. Bake at 400°F (205°C) for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, reapplying more sauce if desired. Remove from the oven when done. Then cut into individual ribs and serve.
I love to serve tender, sticky baked BBQ baby back ribs southern-style with creamy mac-and-cheese and a delicious veggie, like sautéed green beans or collard greens. Even better, serve with a side of my delicious jalapeño cornbread. Enjoy!
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
- If you wish, you can make these incredible ribs in the smoker or on the grill! This rib recipe will work for any charcoal, gas, or pellet grill or smoker. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions and make sure to allow adequate time to smoke!
- Increasing the temperature at the end of cooking not only helps to caramelize the BBQ sauce, but it also creates a reverse sear! This helps the meat to brown a little more and gives the sauce that amazing, sticky, finger-licking taste that everyone loves.
- I recommend making a homemade pork rub to season the ribs! Not only are homemade rubs typically more flavorful—you can control how much sodium & sugar you’re putting in the rub!
🥡 Storing & Reheating
These tender ribs are so finger-lickin’ good, you probably won’t have leftovers! If you do happen to have some, you can store them in an airtight container or wrap the ribs with more aluminum foil. The ribs will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days.
You can also freeze these ribs to enjoy them later! Double wrap them in a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store them for up to 3 months! I highly recommend wrapping the ribs as well as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Reheating Baby Back Ribs
Reheating these amazing, saucy ribs in the oven is my preferred method of reheating! You’ll want to wrap the leftover or defrosted ribs in foil (if not already) and bake in a preheated 225° F (107° C) for 15-20 mins or until hot and sizzling.
You can apply more sauce if needed! This method will keep the ribs moist and juicy.
🐖 Side Dishes For Pork Ribs
If you’d like, give the ribs extra smoky flavor by finishing them on the grill! While your ribs cook for the first 2 hours in the oven, light your grill according to your manufacturer’s instructions. Then, when the first two hours are up, apply the sauce and transfer the ribs to your grill to finish cooking. They’ll be perfectly caramelized and extra delicious!
Sure! If you’re not a fan of the thick, sweet, tomato-based BBQ sauces, that’s totally fine! Try basting the ribs with a North Carolina-style vinegar sauce, or you can even coat them with a South Carolina-style gold mustard-based BBQ sauce! Or leave the seasoned ribs as-is for a more Memphis-style dry rub style rib! The type of BBQ sauce you wind up using in this recipe is completely up to you and will be delicious no matter what!
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Baked BBQ Baby Back Ribs
- 1 rack baby back ribs
- ¼ cup pork rub (see recipe or use your favorite brand)
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C). Rinse and pat your baby back ribs dry using paper towels.1 rack baby back ribs
- (Optional) For the most tender ribs, remove the silverskin (membrane) on the bone side of the ribs. Use a butter knife to slide under the membrane and lift, pulling the sheet of the membrane off the fat layer on the underside of the ribs.
- Prepare enough aluminum foil to make a pouch around the baby back ribs, then place the ribs meat side up and season, then flip and season the bone side. Leave the ribs with the meat side facing downward then seal the aluminum foil securely.¼ cup pork rub
- Place the sealed pouch with the ribs onto a baking sheet and place it into your preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours, or until tender and completely cooked through. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (205°C).
- Allow the ribs to cool slightly so that you can handle the 'pouch' of aluminum foil. Open carefully to prevent steam burns. Discard any fat juices then flip the ribs meat side up.
- Combine the liquid smoke with the BBQ sauce then brush onto the baby back ribs, covering all sides. Leave the foil open and the ribs with the meat facing upward, then return to the oven once it reaches 400°F (205°C).1 cup barbecue sauce, 2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Cook for an additional 30-45 minutes, reapplying more sauce if desired. Remove from the oven when done, cut into individual ribs, and serve.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!