Oven-Baked Beef Ribs [Easy BBQ Ribs]

Oven-baked beef ribs slow-cooked in the oven for incredible results. Marinated with liquid smoke, spice rub, and braised in BBQ sauce to provide tender yet succulent meat.

oven baked beef ribs recipe

Oven baking short ribs is one of the easiest ways to prepare them, needing minimal prep and a few hours in the oven. Cooked until perfectly tender, these beef ribs are coated in spices and barbecue sauce to ensure each mouthful is better than the last.

While barbecue smoking meat may reign supreme, this recipe will show you how to achieve equally delicious results in the oven. Marinated, foil-tented, and cooked at a low 250°F (121°C), this meat is as juicy and tender as any other beef rib recipe.

oven baked beef ribs recipe

What are Chuck Short Ribs?

Chuck short ribs come from the top of the cow, also known as the chuck area. They almost always consist of the first four or five rib bones of its rib cage, and are popular for their high meat and fat content.

This makes them well-suited to absorbing a flavorful marinade and perfect for slow roasting or smoking. Their distinct beef flavor makes them popular in Korean cuisine and goes well with gochujang sauce.

Chuck vs. Beef Back Ribs

Beef chuck ribs are a type of short rib that comes from the beef stomach, while beef back ribs come from higher up on the steer. Chuck ribs are very meaty and marbled with fat, while back ribs are leaner and have less meat because most of the meat stays on the rib roast. Back ribs have a more intense, meaty flavor and are better for barbecue, while chuck ribs are fattier.

Meat Prep

Before you throw your beef in the oven, you will need to prepare the rib rack by trimming and seasoning it. Here’s the best way to prepare your meat.

Fat & Membrane Trimming

Prepare the ribs by trimming away any excess fat or sinew, as well as the tough membrane attached to one side of the rib rack. It’s important to remove the membrane because it will make the ribs rubbery and difficult to chew.

Spice Rub

To take the flavor of this recipe to the next level, I use my favorite spice rub blend to coat the meat in before cooking. The ingredients are:

  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

To make it, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork to break down any lumps and ensure that the blend is mixed as evenly as possible. Then, apply a thin coating of the rub across all sides of the beef ribs.

Does Cooking Ribs Longer Make Them More Tender?

Ribs do get tender the longer that they cook. Cooking ribs tenderizes the meat and makes it softer. It also affects the texture by melting the collagen, which bastes the meat and makes it juicier and tastier. However, you should be careful not to overcook the ribs as overcooked ribs are dry and tough instead of tender and moist.

How Do You Fix Tough Beef Ribs?

Oftentimes, the problem with tough ribs is that they are too dry, so the way to fix the texture and flavor is to add more moisture to the ribs. Basting the ribs in a sauce made out of barbecue sauce and apple cider vinegar, then wrapping them in foil and baking them low and slow, steams the ribs and gives them more moisture.

Overcooking ribs or cooking them too fast on a high temperature is often what causes the toughness, so a proper cooking method goes a long way to salvaging the texture.

Do You Bake Beef Ribs with Bone Side up or Down?

When you bake beef ribs, put the bone side up and the meat side down. As the beef ribs bake, the fat and collagen around the bone will melt. If the bone side is up, then the fat will melt down into the meat and tenderize it. If you bake beef ribs the other way around, all of that juicy goodness will just pool on the tray and go away.

What Temperature Do Ribs Fall Off the Bone?

While cooking beef ribs for longer helps them tenderize, the secret to getting the meat to fall off the bone is to hit the right, precise temperature. Between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit, the collagen and fat melt around the bone, which helps tenderize the meat. The ribs technically cook through at a lower temperature but heating them further helps get the texture right.

Why Wrap Ribs in Foil for Cooking in the Oven?

Many recipes recommend wrapping ribs in foil for a few different reasons. Wrapping the ribs helps the meat stay tender because it prevents it from overcooking. Fat and collagen break down at a higher temperature than the meat, and you don’t want your meat to dry out while waiting for the rest of the rib to cook.

Wrapping the ribs in foil is also practical because it prevents the juices from going everywhere in the oven, making for easier clean-up. It also increases the cooking speed by trapping steam and moisture in the ribs. This popular technique is called the “Texas Crutch” because it makes barbecuing easier.

What is Liquid Smoke?

Liquid smoke is exactly how it sounds: Wood-burning smoke condensed into liquid form. It has all of the smoky, ashy flavor that you get from a wood-burning barbecue in a bottle, making it an asset for getting barbecue flavor into oven-baked goods. 

To use liquid smoke with oven-baked beef ribs, rub the dried, raw ribs in it before cooking, then add the marinade to seal the flavor. Adding liquid smoke at this step seals in the smoky flavor you can’t get in an oven otherwise.

Serving Ideas

These oven-baked back ribs are delicious on their own but you can also serve them with barbecue or homemade teriyaki sauce. If served as an entrée, a side dish of mashed potatoes, fries, or white rice is the ideal accompaniment.

To take the flavor of these oven-baked beef ribs to another level, try adding a dash of orange juice to your tented foil. The acidity will cook into the meat while it’s in the oven, adding more sweetness while also tenderizing the beef.

oven baked beef ribs recipe
oven baked beef ribs recipe

Oven-Baked Beef Ribs

Beef chuck short ribs slow-cooked in the oven for incredible results. Marinated with liquid smoke, spice rub, and braised in BBQ sauce to provide tender yet succulent meat.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs beef chuck short ribs rinsed and dried
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce

Spice rub

  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • ¼ cup ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt

Garnish

  • sesame seeds
  • parsley finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Arrange the beef ribs in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
  • Sprinkle liquid smoke and olive oil on ribs. Massage in well.
  • Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and break down any lumps of sugar with a fork.
  • Cover ribs in foil and leave in the refrigerator for two hours
  • Preheat oven to 250°F (120°C). Remove ribs from refrigerator and tent in foil. Ensure all openings are sealed to stop heat or steam from escaping.
  • Cook in the oven for 3 hours
  • Remove ribs from oven and open foil. Brush BBQ sauce over ribs
  • We’re going to bake these in the oven at 250°F (120°C) for about 3 ½ hours.
  • Broil on low until sauce is sticky
  • Remove beef from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. The meat should be tender and you should be able to glide a butter knife in easily.