How To Slow Cook Ribs In The Oven


Ribs are a crowd-pleasing meal that is perfect for any occasion, from family dinners to barbecues. Slow-cooking ribs in the oven is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to cook them. The key to perfect tender and juicy ribs is low and slow cooking. In this article, we will take you through how to slow cook ribs in the oven to perfection.

Choosing the Right Ribs

Before you start cooking, it is important to choose the right ribs. There are two types of ribs, baby back ribs and spare ribs. Baby back ribs are shorter and leaner, while spare ribs are bigger and have more fat.

When it comes to slow cooking, baby back ribs are the best choice as they cook more quickly and have less fat to render. However, if you prefer a meatier cut, then spare ribs are the way to go.

Preparing the Ribs

Once you have chosen the right ribs, it’s time to prepare them. Begin by removing the tough membrane on the back of the ribs. This will make the ribs more tender after cooking and allow the spices to penetrate the meat.

To remove the membrane, slide a knife or your fingers under the membrane on the bone side of the ribs and lift it up. Grab the membrane with a paper towel and pull it off in one piece.

Next, season the ribs with your favorite rub or marinade. You can use a store-bought rub or make your own by combining spices such as smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and brown sugar. Coat both sides of the ribs generously with the seasoning.

If you have time, let the ribs marinate in the seasoning for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the flavor to penetrate the meat and make the ribs even more delicious.

Searing the Ribs

Searing the ribs before slow cooking is optional but highly recommended. Searing the surface of the meat not only adds flavor but also creates a beautiful crust that traps in the juices and keeps the meat tender.

To sear the ribs, preheat a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the ribs and cook for two to three minutes on each side until browned.

Slow Cooking the Ribs

Now it’s time to slow cook the ribs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 225°F (107°C) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Place the ribs on the baking sheet, bone side down, and cover them tightly with foil. This will create a steamy environment that will cook the ribs slowly and keep them moist.

Bake the ribs in the oven for three to four hours. The cooking time will depend on the size of the ribs and how tender you like them. After the first three hours, check the ribs by inserting a fork between the bones. If the meat easily pulls away from the bone, the ribs are ready.

Finishing the Ribs

Once the ribs are cooked, it’s time to finish them off. Remove the foil and brush the ribs generously with your favorite barbecue sauce or glaze. Return the ribs to the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the sauce is caramelized.

Alternatively, you can finish the ribs off on the grill for added flavor and texture. Simply transfer the ribs to the grill and cook over medium-high heat for five to seven minutes on each side, brushing them with the sauce or glaze in the last few minutes.


Learning how to slow cook ribs in the oven is an essential skill for every home cook. With a little bit of preparation and patience, you can create succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs that will wow your guests and family. Remember to choose the right type of ribs, remove the membrane, season them well, and sear them before slow cooking. And don’t forget to finish them off with a brush of sauce or glaze for that barbecue flavor. Happy cooking!

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How To Slow Cook Ribs In The Oven – FAQ

What temperature should I set my oven to?

Set your oven to 250°F (120°C) for slow cooking ribs.

How long should I cook ribs in the oven?

Cook the ribs for 3 to 4 hours at 250°F (120°C) for tender, juicy ribs.

Do I need to wrap the ribs in foil?

Wrapping the ribs in foil can help to keep them moist and tender. However, it is not necessary and some people prefer to cook their ribs without wrapping them.

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