Tender BBQ Ribs made in the oven topped with homemade BBQ sauce

Baked BBQ Ribs are a great way to enjoy ribs when it’s too cold to grill.  It is also a great meal to make on the weekend!  It starts with marinating baby back ribs with a homemade spice rub, then slow cooking it until it’s tender.  It’s then finished with a sweet and tangy homemade BBQ Sauce that’s broiled until it’s thick and sticky.

Baked BBQ ribs can be paired with Potato Salad, Rice and Peas, Baked Mac and Cheese or Scalloped Potatoes.  Serve with a side salad or vegetables to round out the perfect meal!   I know what you’re thinking – what about the char-grilled smoke flavor?  Adding liquid smoke can somewhat mimic that flavor of cooking on an open flame. 

Succulent BBQ Ribs made in the oven with a homemade BBQ sauce.

Tips and Tricks for making BBQ Ribs in the oven

  • For extra flavor, try adding a small amount of liquid smoke to your dry rub or marinade.
  • Wrap the baby back ribs in foil to lock in moisture and enhance tenderness.
  • Let the ribs rest for a few minutes after cooking to allow the juices to redistribute for maximum flavor.

Selecting the Perfect Ribs

First things first, let’s talk about choosing the right ribs for your oven style bbq ribs. When shopping, opt for high-quality baby back ribs. Look for ribs with meat that is pink and well-marbled with fat, as this will ensure tenderness and flavor. Additionally, check that the bones are straight and not curved, as this indicates the ribs are of good quality.

Juicy bbq ribs made in the oven

Preparing the Baby Back Ribs

Once you’ve got your baby back ribs, it’s time to prep them for cooking. Start by removing the thin membrane from the back of the ribs. This will allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat and ensure tender ribs. Next, season the ribs generously with your favorite dry rub. Whether you prefer a sweet and smoky rub or a spicy blend, make sure to coat the ribs evenly for maximum flavor.

Spice Rub

  • brown sugar
  • salt
  • granulated garlic
  • granulated onion
  • mustard powder
  • paprika
  • chili powder

Cooking BBQ Ribs in the Oven

While traditional BBQ is cooked low and slow over a charcoal or wood fire, you can achieve equally delicious results in the oven by making baked BBQ ribs. Preheat your oven to a low temperature (around 325°F) and place the baby back ribs on a baking sheet, bone side down. Wrap in foil and then cook them low and slow for 1.5 hours until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.

Making the Perfect BBQ Sauce

No baked BBQ ribs are complete without a delicious BBQ sauce to tie everything together. While store-bought sauces are convenient, making your own allows you to customize the flavor to your liking.

BBQ Sauce Ingredients

  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Granulated Garlic
  • Granulated onion
  • Water
  • Salt to taste

Start with a Solid Base: Every great BBQ sauce begins with a solid foundation. Opt for a base of ketchup or tomato sauce for a classic flavor profile. Alternatively, you can use a combination of tomato paste and broth for a richer, more concentrated base. Whatever you choose, make sure it provides a balanced canvas for the rest of your ingredients to shine.

Choosing a sweetener: One of the key elements of BBQ sauce is its sweetness. Brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, or molasses are all excellent choices for adding depth and complexity to your sauce. Experiment with different sweeteners to find the perfect balance of sweetness and richness for your taste buds.

Add a Tangy Twist: To balance out the sweetness of your sauce, it’s essential to incorporate a tangy element. Vinegar is a classic choice, with apple cider vinegar offering a mild, fruity acidity, while white vinegar provides a sharper, more pronounced tang. For extra depth of flavor, consider adding Worcestershire sauce, mustard, or citrus juice to your sauce.

Spice Things Up: No BBQ sauce is complete without a kick of spice. Customize the heat level to your preference by adding ingredients like chili powder, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or crushed red pepper flakes. Don’t forget to balance the heat with other spices like garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, or cumin for a well-rounded flavor profile.

Simmer to thicken: Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to bring them together into a harmonious sauce. Simmer the sauce over low heat to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken to your desired consistency. Be patient and give it time to develop its full potential, stirring occasionally to prevent burning or sticking.

Taste and Adjust: The beauty of homemade BBQ sauce is its versatility. Taste your sauce as it simmers and adjust the seasoning to suit your preferences. Add more sweetness, tang, or heat as needed until you achieve the perfect balance of flavors. Remember, you’re the boss of your sauce, so don’t be afraid to get creative and make it your own.

BBQ Ribs made in the oven topped with homemade BBQ sauce.

BBQ and Grilled Recipes to try

Get the Recipe Baked BBQ Ribs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 slab baby back ribs, about 2 1/2-3 lbs
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/4 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt to taste


  • Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  • Prepare the Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the rack of ribs and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Make the Spice Rub: In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, ground mustard powder, paprika, and chili powder.
  • Season the Ribs: Rub the spice mixture all over the ribs, covering them evenly on both sides.
  • Cook the Ribs: Place the seasoned ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet, bone side down. Cover the ribs tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Prepare the BBQ Sauce: While the ribs are cooking, make the BBQ sauce. In a saucepan, combine the ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, granulated garlic, granulated onion, water, and salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and let it cook for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Finish cooking the Ribs: After 1 1/2 hours, remove the foil from the ribs and increase the oven temperature to 400°F (204°C). Brush the ribs generously with the prepared BBQ sauce on both sides.
  • Broil the Ribs: Return the ribs to the oven and cook at 400 for about 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce is caramelized and bubbling.
  • Serve: Once the ribs are cooked to your liking and the sauce is caramelized, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Serve any extra BBQ sauce on the side for dipping.
Author: Jehan Powell