How Long to Cook Ribs in the Oven
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Learn how long to cook ribs in the oven at 350 or any other temperature to get tender and juicy results. We cover how long to bake back ribs as well as spare ribs and country-style ribs, as they all cook up a bit differently.
Pork ribs are delicious and fairly easy to cook in the oven. Plus, many of us have out favorite recipes.
Say goodbye to undercooked and overcooked ribs!
Types of Ribs
There are three main types of pork ribs. Here’s how they stack up and how quickly they cook:
- Back Ribs: These smaller, fatter ribs come from the upper loin and cook relatively quickly. They weigh in at 1-2 pounds per rack and may be called short ribs, loin ribs or baby back ribs.
- Spare Ribs: These longer, leaner ribs come from the belly behind the shoulder. They weight 2-4 pounds per rack and cook more slowly as a result. You may see them called side ribs, or St Louis style ribs when trimmed of cartilage, breastbone and the skirt to create a rectangular rack.
- Country Style Ribs: These rib steaks come from the shoulder end of the loin and cook faster than the rest. They may be boneless or with some shoulder blade as shown here. You may see them called shoulder steaks or blade chops.
How Long Do You Cook Ribs in the Oven
How long you cook ribs in the oven depends mainly on the oven temperature as well as the type of pork ribs. Here’s a chart of approximate baking times:
|Oven Temp||Back Ribs||Spare Ribs||Country Style Ribs*|
|225°F||5 hours||6 hours||3-4 hours|
|250°F||4 hours||5 hours||2-3 hours|
|300°F||2 1/2 hours||3 1/2 hours||40-60 minutes|
|350°F||2 hours||2 1/2 hours||20-30 minutes|
|400°F||1 hour||1 1/2 hours||15-20 minutes|
|450°F||45 minutes||1 hour||12-15 minutes|
* For bone-in ribs cut 1-inch thick.
Removing the ribs from the refrigerator an hour ahead of time will speed up cooking slightly by promoting more even heat distribution. In addition, using your oven’s convection or forced air feature can accelerate cooking by up to 30%.
Given all these factors, it’s always best to check doneness rather than rely on cooking time alone!
When Are Ribs Done?
Ribs are usually done when the bones stick out a ½-inch from the meat. However, that’s not 100% dependable since they’ll also do that when overcooked! The best method is still to insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest section without touching the bone:
- Back ribs and spare ribs should be cooked to 185-200°F, which is when the collagen has fully broken down into gelatin.
- Country-style ribs are ready at a lower temperature of 145-160°F depending on your preference for pork doneness.
The USDA says ribs are safe to eat at 145°F. At the same time, the collagen and connective tissue does not start breaking down until 165°F so most people keep cooking ribs longer to get them nice and juicy.
How to Bake Ribs
Remove the membrane: Before preparing the ribs, you want to remove the silverskin membrane from the underside, as it’s tough and blocks the seasonings from penetrating into the meat. Slide a sharp knife underneath to start separating it. Then grip it with a piece of paper towel and rip the rest of it off.
Preparing the ribs: Rub the ribs all over with the seasonings. Then place them meat side down (fat side up) in a single layer in a rectangular baking pan or sheet pan lined with parchment (I prefer a broiler pan or roasting pan with a rack to let the fat drip away.)
Baking the ribs: Place the ribs in a preheated oven. If you want to sauce your ribs, simply remove the ribs from the oven 30-60 minutes before they’re done and brush with sauce. Put them back to the oven until they’re done.
Resting: Once the ribs are done, let them rest covered with foil for 5-10 minutes before serving. This important step allows the juices can retreat back into the meat, so they’re nice and tender.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long to cook short ribs in the oven at 350?
Back ribs take approximately 2 hours at 350.
How long to cook country-style ribs in the oven at 350?
It depends on how thickly they are cut. For 1-inch thick ribs, they’ll need about an hour and a half.
Can you overcook ribs?
Yes, ribs will dry out when overcooked, becoming tough and chewy. You can reduce the risk of overcooked ribs by choosing to bake them at lower temperatures, which cook more slowly and are more forgiving.
Should I wrap ribs in foil?
Wrapping ribs in foil produces moister meat with slightly faster cooking, although they won’t form a crispy crust on the outside. Recipes such as 3-2-1 Ribs start by baking the ribs uncovered and wrap them for the later stages of cooking.
More How Long to Bake Guides
View all cooking basics
How Long to Cook Ribs in Oven at 350
- 3 pounds pork ribs, back ribs, side ribs or country-style ribs
- Spice rub
- BBQ sauce
- Optional: Remove the ribs from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 350°F, placing the oven rack in the middle position. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Peel off the silverskin membrane from the underside of the ribs, using a paring knife if needed to help detach it from the ribs.
- Place the ribs meat side down in the prepare pan and place in the oven. Bake for one hour.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Flip the ribs so the meat side is facing up. Then brush sauce all over the meat.
- Cover the ribs tightly with aluminum foil and place them back in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes more before starting to check doneness. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the ribs, and remove from the oven once it reads 180-195°F (see note).
- Let the ribs rest in the pan covered with foil for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- While the USDA states that ribs are safe to eat at 145°F, they may be less tender than you would like so it’s best to keep continue cooking longer when possible.
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