Learn how to cook beef ribs in the oven to enjoy the most amazing, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth baked beef ribs.
Truly fall-off-the-bone baked beef ribs in the oven covered with an awesome and sticky BBQ sauce; these juicy ribs are soooo goooood! They are slow-cooked in the oven until they become a sticky mess, something you cannot resist. You have to try them!
The best about this recipe?
- First, flavorful meat and unique texture: Delicious, tender, melty, sticky, sweet, and savory.
- Just a few ingredients: Actually, just the beef short ribs and the BBQ sauce. The spices are great but more or less optional, and we won’t be counting one tablespoon of oil and some water.
- Hands-off, fool-proof beef rib recipe: Rub the meat and assemble the dish; the oven will take care of the rest. The ribs will need to spend a long time in the oven, but there’s nothing you can do for them during this time except remove the foil and flip them after 3 ½ hours.
Beef short ribs:
- About 4 lbs/ 1.8 – 2 kg meaty bones. Choose the meatiest ones you can get, as they will shrink slightly during cooking.
- Short ribs are my favorite cut when it comes to slow cooking. The slow cooking breaks down the meat’s connective tissues, making it incredibly juicy and tender.
- They are usually sold cut into individual pieces; some are rectangular, some a bit square; it all depends on the thickness of the bone.
- If you can only get them in one piece (rack), don’t stress about it, it’s super easy to cut the individual pieces. Just take a sturdy, sharp knife and cut between the bones.
- Brown sugar, smoked and sweet paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, fine sea salt or Kosher salt, and ground black pepper.
- This rub is excellent; I usually make a double batch and keep the rest in a jar for the next occasion. It’s perfect for beef, but trust me, if I’m cooking some chicken thighs and this dry rub is available, I don’t hesitate for one second; I put it on everything.
- However, rest assured that another dry rub of your choice will also be great. Just make sure it is a mixture you like.
- And if all you have is salt and pepper, that will work too.
- Your favorite BBQ sauce brand and a little water. You can always use homemade barbecue sauce, and I am sure it would be delicious, but that’s an extra step I am rarely willing to take.
How to bake beef ribs?
This is a 3-step recipe.
- Oven temperature: 300°F/150°C
Step 1: Season: Mix the spices in a small bowl, coat the ribs with vegetable or olive oil, and season them thoroughly with the rub (1).
Step 2: Bake covered. Pour BBQ sauce and water (2) into a medium roasting pan that would fit the beef ribs in a single layer without too much space between them (3). Place ribs on top and turn them a couple of times through the sauce. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 3 ½ hours (4).
Step 3: Bake uncovered. Remove the foil. Turn the bbq beef ribs on the other side (they will probably fall off the bone already, so do it gently) and spoon some sauce over the oven-baked beef ribs. Bake for another 30 minutes until the top of the ribs is darker, slightly caramelized, and sticky (5).
If you bought a ribs rack, there would be silver skin on their back. Please remove it or ask the butcher to do it for you. Unlike the other connective tissues, the silver skin will not break down during cooking; it will become tough and chewy, diminishing the pleasure of eating these baked beef ribs.
Pre-cut ribs don’t have silver skin on them; at least, I’ve never had any.
If there is much excess fat on the oven-baked ribs, I always remove it; I am not keen on eating it. Some pieces might be fattier than others.
Other cooking options
Stovetop: Simmer the beef ribs in the sauce on low heat and tightly covered for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat falls off the bone. Gently stir the sauce 3-4 times in between and turn the ribs halfway. I use a large Dutch oven for cooking tender beef ribs on the stove.
Slow cooker: Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours or until very tender. Finish in the oven for 30 minutes at 300°F/150°C or broil for a few minutes to help the surface caramelize slightly
Refrigerate leftovers (including sauce) in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge and reheat before serving.
Reheat in the oven. Place the ribs and sauce back in a small baking dish, cover with foil and reheat at 360°F/ 180°C until hot (about 15-20 minutes).
How to serve?
Mashed potatoes or creamy polenta are always my first choices; I could not say what I love best. However, you can serve the baked beef ribs with boiled potatoes, pasta, or spätzle. Try them with Cast-Iron Cornbread, Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, or Creamed Celeriac.
And how about grilled, baked, or boiled corn on the cob or pickled vegetables on the side? A hearty German Cabbage Salad or Coleslaw or White Cabbage Salad, Simple Roasted Whole Carrots, Roasted Whole Cauliflower, The Best Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, or French-Style Green Beans are all great dishes for the baked beef short ribs with BBQ sauce.
More slow-cooked meat recipes
How to Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven
- Roasting pan
- 4 lbs beef short ribs meaty bones, 1.2 – 2 kg, Note 1
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Dry rub (Note 2):
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper to taste
- 1 ½ tablespoons fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 ½ cups BBQ sauce Note 3
- ½ cup water
- Season: Mix the spices in a small bowl. Place the ribs in a large bowl and coat them with the oil. Sprinkle the spice mixture on top and season rub the beef ribs all over.
- Assemble the dish: Mix the BBQ sauce and the water in a baking dish that would fit the ribs in a single layer without too much space between them (they will shrink during baking). Place the ribs on top and turn them a couple of times through the sauce. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
- Bake covered for 3 ½ hours at 300°F/150°C.
- Bake uncovered: Remove the foil. Turn the ribs in the sauce (they will fall off the bone already, so do it gently) and spoon some sauce over the ribs. Bake for another 30 minutes until the top of the ribs is darker, slightly caramelized, and sticky.
- Beef short ribs are usually sold pre-cut in individual meaty pieces. If you can only get a rack or ribs, ensure you remove the silver skin and then cut the rack between the bones into single ribs using a sharp, sturdy knife.
- You can replace the homemade rub with your favorite store-bought dry rub for ribs/ beef. Just salt and pepper are fine as well.
- Your favorite BBQ sauce brand.