These deliciously tender slow-roasted ribs are cooked to perfection and will have you grabbing for more! All it takes are baby-back ribs, your favorite bbq sauce, and a bit of patience!
Perfectly cooked, fall-off-the-bone ribs, slathered in your favorite barbecue sauce.
It's one of the dishes you automatically think of with summer gatherings.
But seriously, these ribs are so good, they cannot and should not be limited to summer!
Only 2 core ingredients are needed for this recipe...ribs and your favorite barbecue sauce. You can't get any simpler than that!
And then it just takes a bit of patience on your part because what makes these ribs so amazing is that they're roasted looow and sloooow.
I use baby back ribs because they are usually more tender and meatier than regular ribs. They are often sold as full racks, which might have anywhere from 10-15 ribs.
If you can accommodate a full rack in your oven, you can go ahead and leave them as is. I prefer to cut them into half-racks, just so they are easier to handle and they can fit in my roasting pan better.
After you remove the ribs from their packaging, you may notice various bits of "debris" or gunk on them, as shown below.
You don't want these bits of gunk to ruin your eating experience! I give the ribs a rinse under cool water, rubbing over all the surfaces with my fingers, including the bone ends, to remove any debris, marrow, or bone fragments from when the ribs were cut. My mom actually taught me this step when she was teaching me about cooking a recipe that used spareribs, and it is definitely worth this extra step!
Once the ribs are cleaned off and rinsed and patted dry with paper towels, lay them down on a foil-lined pan and start slathering them with barbecue sauce. This is the easy part because all you need is your favorite sauce, whether homemade or bought! You can use a basting brush, but I just use my hands to slather the ribs all over, and then set them on the pan with the curved side down.
Cover the pan with foil and let the ribs slow roast for 3 hours.
The Finger-Licking Coat
To reach the 3 hour mark with these slow-roasted ribs require a bit of patience, but hold tight! Once the timer goes, they're not done yet! You need to spread on another slather of barbecue sauce to give them that finger-licking touch!
Once the ribs are given a new coat of sauce, set the ribs curved side UP on the roasting pan and place them back in the oven at a higher temperature for 10 minutes to caramelize that sauce.
And voila! You've got delicious finger-licking slow-roasted ribs, ready to devour!
These are perfectly cooked "fall-off-the-bone" ribs...which, by the way, does not mean that the meat falls off just from picking up a rib. It means the meat pulls away easily and cleanly once bitten off, which is just what you want. They are perfectly tender, no gnawing off the bone required.
I've been making ribs this way for years, but I used to wrap each section of ribs in heavy duty foil so it was like a packet. I realized that this was unnecessary, not only because it's incredible fiddly when trying to remove the ribs after they're cooked, but it's a huge waste of foil. And not only would I use foil for wrapping, I would also have to use foil to line the pan in case any of them leaked.
Placing all the racks in a foil-covered pan works just as well and is way simpler and not as messy...and who can argue with that?
Serve them for a crowd at a summer gathering, or just serve them to your family one night for dinner. I like serving them with a salad dressed with my Creamy Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing or my Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette. A side of Crispy Roasted Smashed Potatoes is also a welcome partner! Wherever you serve them, and whatever you serve them with, everyone will rave about how good these slow-roasted ribs are...finger-licking good! 🙂
Finger-Licking Slow-Roasted Ribs
- 2 full racks baby back pork ribs, approximately 2 kg (4 lbs.)
- 2-3 cups Barbecue sauce, divided
- Preheat oven 250 deg F (130C).
- Cut rib racks in half, if desired.
- Rinse rib racks under cool water, rubbing off any debris, marrow, or bone fragments. Pat dry with paper towels.
- Coat ribs well with barbecue sauce and place curved side down on a roasting pan lined with heavy-duty foil.
- Cover the pan with foil and roast for 3 hours.
- Remove pan from the oven and discard the foil cover. Increase oven temperature to 425 deg F (218C).
- Completely coat the ribs with more barbecue sauce and set the ribs curved side up.
- Bake uncovered for 10-15 minutes, until sauce is caramelized and sizzling.
- Leave the ribs as full-racks, cut them into half-racks, or cut them into smaller serving size portions of 3-4 ribs per rack.
- Some people remove the thin membrane on the inside curve of the ribs before cooking, but it is not necessary. I have always eaten ribs with the membrane on and when the ribs are slow-roasted like in this recipe, they are not tough. Whether you remove the membrane or not is up to personal preference.
- Marinate the ribs in the barbecue sauce for a few hours before baking, if possible. However, roasting them right away will still render very tasty ribs.
- The 2 cups of barbecue sauce is approximate. You may use less or more depending on how much you need to coat the ribs twice.
- I have not tried cooking these ribs on the grill, and I presume you could wrap them in foil packets to do so. However, I am not sure about the timing.