These baby back ribs are seasoned with a homemade dry rub and then baked in the oven till they are tender and fall off the bone. Slather these ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and finish them on the grill for juicy, tender, fall off the bone ribs.
Types of pork ribs
There are different types/styles of pork ribs you can buy. The most common to BBQ are: baby back ribs and spareribs. Baby back ribs come from the part where the ribs meet the back of the pig, are lean, and short (hence the baby in the name).
Although short, they have a lot of meat on all sides of the bone and are so tender. Spareribs come from the lower ribs and are typically cut into St. Louis style. They are more fatty, which people like for flavor purposes. I prefer baby back and used them in this recipe.
Prepping the ribs
Before seasoning the ribs, there is some prep work to be done. There is a thick membrane on the back of the ribs that needs to be removed prior to seasoning and cooking. If you don’t remove it, it will be hard and chewy once cooked. The easiest way to do this, is to ask the butcher to do it for you when buying the meat. If you want to do it yourself, follow the steps below.
Removing membrane steps
- Place the ribs so the curve back is facing up. Using a sharp knife, on one end of the rack, slice under the membrane but above the bone.
- Using your fingers, pinch and pull so the membrane begins to lift.
- Because the membrane can be slippery, use a paper towel to grip the membrane.
- Peel back the entire membrane across the rack of ribs. Discard.
The membrane doesn’t always come off at once and some areas may be more stubborn to get off.
Everyone has their favorite way to season ribs. There’s dry rubs, wet rub, marinades, etc. Making your own dry rub is so easy to do at home. I use: brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne, smoked salt, and kosher salt.
Using a spoon, mix the seasonings together. The brown sugar can clump, so use a spoon to smooth it out. The dry rub ingredients is enough for 4 racks of ribs. Whatever is left over I just put in a jar, so it’s ready to go next time I need to dry rub some ribs.
Rubbing the ribs
As a base, I slather yellow mustard on first and brush it all over the ribs. Using the yellow mustard not only helps the rub stick to the ribs, but the vinegar helps tenderize the rib meat. Sprinkle some of the rub over the ribs, using your fingers, massage into the rack. Flip over and repeat.
After you have rubbed both sides of the ribs, wrap them in foil. TIP: Be gentle so you do not tear the foil, if there is a tear the liquid will leak and leave you with dried out ribs. I wrap an extra piece on the middle to really make sure they are sealed. Place the two racks in the fridge for 2 hours to marinate.
Oven baked ribs
What makes these baby back ribs fall-off-the-bone, is the low and slow cook time in the oven. I cook them on 275F for 2 ½ hours. The juices being locked in, give you tender juicy ribs. After the 2 ½ hours, remove from the oven and use a thermometer to check the temperature. Ribs are technically done at 145F, but for tender juicy ribs the temperature should be 190-200F.
Finish the ribs on the grill
To get that delicious char on the ribs, I finish them on the grill. Once you remove them from the oven, brush your favorite BBQ sauce on the top. On a medium heated grill (350F), place the ribs top side down [the side you slathered the BBQ with]. While that side chars, brush more BBQ sauce on the ribs. Char the ribs for about 10 minutes total, flipping halfway through and adding BBQ sauce as needed.
Since the ribs will be SO tender coming out of the oven, they may split when grilling. I use two sets of tongs, one on each side, to flip them and help them from falling apart.
The best way to cut baby back ribs is curved side up. This allows you to see the bones and make even slices. Use a good sharp knife to do so. Serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.
These slow cooked oven ribs are literally fall off the bone. I hope you enjoy these juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone dry rubbed ribs!
Looking for more grilling recipes?
- Marinated Steak Skewers with Chimichurri
- The Best Grilled Chicken Marinade
- Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers
- Marinated Flank Steak
- Grilled Corn and Halloumi Salad
- Jerk Chicken Skewers
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- 2 racks baby back ribs, membrane removed [see note #1]
- 4 tbsp yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp smoked sea salt
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- BBQ sauce of choice
- See note #1 on removing membrane from baby back ribs.
- In a bowl, add all of the spices. Mix with a spoon until combined. Use the back of the spoon to press out any large clumps.
- Tear two sheets of aluminum foil, long enough to pass the sides of each rack of ribs. Place one rack, curved side up, per foil. Using a brush, spread 1 tbsp of yellow mustard on each rack. Sprinkle a ¼ of the dry rub on the rack and using your fingers, spread. Flip the racks over and repeat mustard and dry rubbing.
- Once the ribs have been rubbed, carefully wrap the aluminum foil closed. I add an extra sheet of foil around the center, to ensure the ribs are fully sealed. [See note #3]
- Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 275F. Remove ribs from refrigerator, place on baking sheet (curved side down) and bake for 2 ½ hours. If you see liquid start coming out onto the baking pan, carefully wrap with more foil.
- Preheat grill to 350F. After the ribs have baked low and slow in the oven for 2 ½ hours, remove from the oven. Carefully open the foil. Using a meat thermometer, take the temperature in between the bones. Pork is technically done at 145F, but you want the temperature at 190F-200F for tender juicy ribs.
- Using your favorite BBQ sauce, brush the top of the ribs with the sauce. Since the ribs will be so tender, they may fall apart transferring to the grill. Use two sets of tongs (one on each side) to help them stay together when flipping. Place the ribs sauced side down, onto the grill. While that side chars, brush BBQ sauce on the side facing up. Grill for about 5 minutes per side, until ribs get charred grill marks. Remove from grill.
- To slice, place the ribs curved side up, so you can see the bones. Slice in between bones and serve with additional BBQ sauce.
- Ask a butcher to remove the membrane when buying the ribs. If removing it yourself: Place the ribs so the curve back is facing up. Using a sharp knife, on one end of the rack, slice under the membrane but above the bone. Using your fingers, pinch and pull so the membrane begins to lift. Because the membrane can be slippery, use a paper towel to grip the membrane and peel back to remove, discard. The membrane doesn’t always come off at once and some areas may be more stubborn to get off.
- Dry rub makes enough for 2 racks of ribs. Double ingredients for 4 racks of ribs. If you have leftover rub, you can store in a sealed jar for later use.
- Make sure there are no holes or tears in the foil. Any punctures or rips will let liquid out and you'll end up with dried out ribs.
- Favorite BBQ sauce to use: Lillie's Q Smokey BBQ sauce
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 132mgSodium: 3043mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 38g
*Note: Nutrition information is an estimate. Values vary based on different brands and ingredients*