Easy Oven Baked Spare Ribs
Not just easy, but fall of the bone easy!
Some might have the impression that ribs are one of those dishes that should be left to the “pit masters” — it’s just not true. Baking ribs in the oven is seriously easy. All you need is time — 95% of the recipe time is sitting back and relaxing waiting while the ribs bake. Let’s do this!
We bake the ribs before adding any sauce, then when they are baked, we brush on our favorite barbecue sauce. You can use the barbecue sauce suggested in the recipe below (it’s so simple to make) or use your favorite homemade or store-bought sauce.
For the most tender ribs, we remove the thin membrane covering the rack. It can be a bit tough when cooked and since we really love ribs that literally fall of the bone, the membrane has to go.
How To Remove The Membrane
To remove it, use a knife to gently slide under the membrane then using your fingers pull the membrane away from the bones. If slippery or difficult to remove, use a kitchen towel to take hold of it and pull.
You might actually find that the butcher has already removed the membrane. Less work for you! If you prefer your ribs to have a little bite/chewiness then you might prefer the membrane left on. It’s all up to you!
2 to 2 1/2 pounds baby back pork ribs
Salt and black pepper
SWEET AND SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup ketchup, try our homemade ketchup recipe
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (suggestion Sriracha)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and ground pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (135C).
If the ribs still have the thin membrane covering the back of the rack, remove it. See how in the notes section below.
Season both sides of the ribs with a generous amount of salt and pepper then place, meat-side up, into a large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. (It may be necessary to cut the ribs in half in order for them to fit into the pan).
Cover the pan or baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil, and then bake until the meat falls easily from the bones, 3 to 4 hours.
MAKE BARBECUE SAUCE
While the ribs bake, make the barbecue sauce. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Add the ketchup, hot chili sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Stir to combine, season with salt then cook for 2 minutes. Set aside in preparation for the ribs to finish roasting.
Remove the ribs from the oven, discard the aluminum foil and generously brush both sides with barbecue sauce.
Optional: Move an oven rack near to the top of the oven. Turn broiler to high and broil the ribs for 3-4 minutes, just until the barbecue sauce begins to caramelize. (Keep a close eye on the ribs while they broil so they the sauce does not burn.)