Oven Baked Beef Ribs Recipe in a Step-by-Step Guide

October 24, 2022

When well-seasoned and baked at a low temperature, beef ribs are tender and juicy. The flavor of the marinade and the barbecue sauce stand out in every bite.

When we were young, my siblings and I never failed to make beef ribs at every family gathering. To tell the truth, we almost always varied the recipe somewhat, often with an unpredictable result. In all cases, they turned out delicious. So, having mastered the art of making baked beef in the oven over the years, I've decided to replicate what I've learned. 

In this article, I'll show you the step-by-step process of making oven-baked beef ribs. The baked beef ribs recipe is something I learned over the years but garnished with some ideas of what I picked up from top chefs. Are you set?

Baked Beef Ribs

How to Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven?

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 pieces of beef ribs (back ribs or the one cut in the middle)
  • A good seasoning, suitable for beef ribs recipe
  • Barbecue sauce
beef ribs with sauce

Tools 

  • Oven 
  • Meat platter 
  • Aluminum foil
  • Knife 
  • Fork
  • Serving plate 

Preparation 

Step 1: Get the right beef ribs

There are no specific beef ribs type I use. In fact, I like trying something new each time. You should choose beef short ribs if you want a cut of ribs with a lot of meat and fat. By the way, beef short ribs are the lower area at the end of the cow's breastbones.

Meanwhile, you may also choose beef back ribs which are trimmed off from the outside of the back bones. There are a lot of spinal bones here. That's why the meat is lean. However, the part where the bones are cut really add a lot of flavor to the meat.

Step 2: Remove the membrane 

First, if you've ever observed beef ribs, you'll see that a thick membrane covers the ribs. I always remove them. Otherwise, it becomes hard and elastic and you can't eat it.

Slip your fingers under the membrane and pull it out little by little. You can also use a knife to separate it from the flesh. Once removed, get rid of it.

Tips for the lazy ones

You can ask the butcher to remove the membranes for you. However, I enjoy doing all the bits of it. After all, preparing and cooking beef ribs is fun. 

Step 3: Choose the seasoning for your ribs

It is possible to rub them with a mixture of spices before letting them soak up the flavors overnight in the refrigerator. However, you can skip this step and cover your ribs with barbecue sauce while cooking. 

I know some chefs who claim that the flavor of ribs is enhanced if left to sit overnight in the seasoning. Of course, this works well. However, some people prefer not to spice and salt the beef first. 

Regardless of the options you choose, you will have very tender oven-baked ribs on the inside and crispiness on the outside.

If you choose to use a spice blend, I advise you to do this in advance so you will have time to marinate them. Simply rub both sides of the ribs with your chosen spice mix, wrap in a foil, and place in the fridge overnight.

You can make your own seasoning using the following ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • 1½ teaspoons of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
a couple making dinner

How to Cook Ribs in the Oven?

Now that we've done the overnight marinating, let's move on to the next step.

Step 1: Preheat your oven

Again, to get the beef nicely done, the idea is to cook the ribs gently over low heat in the oven. Preheat to 225 ° Fahrenheit or 110°C.

Step 2: Wrap your ribs in a foil made of aluminum

Cover them with several layers of foil, ensuring the juice cannot escape. As for me, I like to place the ribs on a baking sheet so as not to mess up the bottom of my oven.

It would be best if you wrapped them so you can check the cooking by cracking the foil on top.

However, if you have to open the ribs completely during cooking, you will lose a lot of the precious cooking juices. Then your oven will be a mess, and the cleaning will take longer.

Step 3: Begin cooking

Ensure that you place the flesh side down in your oven as I always advise when preparing pork ribs in the oven. Cover them when you're done. Let the beef ribs cook for up to three hours without opening or touching them. The juice will take advantage of this to flow out but will remain in the foil with the meat, and they will become both tender and succulent.

Make sure the oven temperature remains stable at 225 degrees. If your oven tends to heat too much or too little, adjust the setting while cooking.

Step 4: Check the cooking 

After three hours of cooking, carefully crack open the top of the foil and stick a fork into the flesh. If the meat separates easily from the bones, your ribs are DONE! If not, close the aluminum foil, put the ribs back in the oven for another half hour, and check again.

Adding BBQ Sauce 

Step 1: Take the oven-baked beef ribs out

Once they are tender, and the rib bones are starting to fall apart, take them out of the oven to prepare them for the barbecue sauce. This is the stage where I like to perfect the cooking, to ensure the meat has a crispy brown appearance.

Step 2: Open the aluminum packets to apply barbecue sauce

Earlier, I talked about applying beef rubs before cooking. So, if you have opted for a seasoning beforehand, adding this sauce is unnecessary. In either case, your ribs will have a tasty flavor. If you choose this option, cover the top side of your ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce.

If you don't have your favorite BBQ sauce, you can quickly prepare your own barbecue sauce by mixing and simmering ingredients such as Ketchup, water, brown sugar, molasses or honey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, chilli powder, mustard powder, and sweet paprika.

For more information on how to prepare a barbecue sauce for your oven-baked ribs, I'll throw in a quick recipe below. 

Step 3: Place them under the oven's broiler 

Place your ribs under the broiler of your oven. Then let them cook for 10 minutes at high temperature until the upper part of the ribs becomes brown and crispy.

baked beef on a board

Step 4: Remove your ribs from the oven 

Remove the ribs from the heat and let them cool for a while.

Step 5: Serve the ribs

Barbecued ribs go perfectly with potato salad, macaroni salad, and a little extra BBQ sauce.

Related Reading

BBQ sauce recipe for beef ribs

If you want to do BBQs well, you need to learn how the sauce is made. The good thing is that you can also prepare it at home.

There are many versions from the US. In each city, you will find a different sauce both in consistency and flavor – from Piedmont dip to Carolina Gold and Alabama white.

Today, I will show you the original spicy recipe from the Kansas City/Midwest area. This is a hot pepper sauce that's done in a simple three-step procedure.

You can do some changes to make it sweeter or less spicy according to your tastes. Now let's see how to prepare the homemade BBQ sauce. I'm sure that after checking the recipe out, you won't buy the commercial one anymore.

Ingredients

  • 300 g Ketchup
  • 150 g water
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses (you can replace it with honey)
  • 2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons mustard powder (you can replace it with mustard in a jar)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika

Preparation

  1. In a saucepan, pour the mustard, chilli and paprika. Add the water slowly, stirring to create a creamy and homogeneous mixture. Add the ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and sugar.
  2. Put the pan on the stove and cook the sauce for 15 minutes over low heat. Add the honey and continue cooking for another 15 minutes.
  3. The sauce will become quite thick and viscous. Remove from the heat, let it cool and apply it on your recipes.

Tips

If you're like me and do a lot of cooking, you can also put the excess sauce in a glass jar. You can freeze it in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Conclusion

Forget the preconceived idea that beef ribs are difficult to prepare. Indeed, it's not so difficult to make juicy and delicious baked beef ribs that melts to perfection in your kitchen or garden. 

The trick I use to get the best from the beef is to cook them gently at a low temperature. This gives the meat time to tenderize. You can then put them over a flame or under your oven's broiler to give them a brown crispy appearance. 

I split the recipe into three parts – the preparation, the cooking, and the finishing process under the broiler after adding the barbecue sauce.

If you have time, marinate the ribs overnight in a broth, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and olive oil. The sauce is also important. To make the whole dish a completely homemade one, mix the BBQ sauce ingredients and simmer in a small saucepan for 30 minutes before use. 

Finally, you could accompany this delicious dish with a glass of good red wine.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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