This post is an elaborate compilation of how to cook 3 different types of pork ribs in the oven! Before jumping to the cooking process, here’s an idea on various types of pork ribs and how to pick good quality ribs from the market.
1. Types of Pork Ribs
The 4 types of pork ribs are-
- Spare Ribs come from the lower belly portion or the pig. It’s a large & fatty rib. Compared to the rest of the 3 ribs, spare ribs are the least meaty. That said it is super delicious for its fat content.
- Baby/Loin Back Ribs is got from high on the pigs back around the loin area. It’s meaty, lean & has minimal cartilage. As goes for the bone, it’s the exact one which is also present in the pork rib chops (with bone), but it doesn’t contain the remaining loin muscle.
- Country Style Ribs are extracted from the upper shoulder portion (on the loin’s end). It beats the other rib variety in the meat & bone ratio.
- St. Louis Style Ribs shares the same rib cage as that of spare ribs. It’s a fatty rib, less meaty yet tastes great when prepped and cooked appropriately.
2. How to Choose Good Ribs
- Meat Density Matters- Opt for ribs with a good amount of meat on the bone which has minimal surface fat. Do not choose ‘shiners’ as the bare bone often falls off while cooking.
- It is advantageous to purchase pork ribs from wholesale warehouses as it’s cheaper and the rib contains more meat on the bone unlike butcher shops and supermarkets.
- Avoid frozen ribs as the fresh ones taste better. When picking look for the following key hints:
- Any discoloration or dry edges in the ribs is a sure sign of freezer burn and must be avoided.
- Little meat liquid in the package is normal; too much meat liquid is not good. Excessive meat liquid shows long storage duration, wrong storing temperature, and frozen meat, hence best avoided.
- Strong long-lasting odor (beyond 10 minutes) released after opening the rib package indicates spoiled pork rib.
3. How To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven
3.1. Things you’ll need
- 2 pounds pork spare ribs
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons salt
- ½ Tablespoons cayenne pepper powder
- A cup of beer
- 1/3 cup of barbeque sauce
- 2½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons garlic (peeled & minced)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
3.2. How long to cook baby back ribs in the oven
Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes; Cook Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
3.3. Cooking Process
Step 1: Place a large aluminum foil sheet on a baking tray and put the spare rib on it.
Step 2: Prepare the dry rub by mixing the brown sugar with salt and cayenne pepper powder. Put half of the dry rub mixture on the top of the rib and massage all over. Flip the rib, add the remaining half mixture and coat the second side as well. Wrap the rib entirely with the foil sheet and let it marinade on the kitchen top for an hour.
Step 3: Set the oven for preheating at 230°F for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Heat a pot on the stove, add the beer, and let it come to a boil. Next, add the minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, barbeque sauce, & black pepper powder. Stir well and let the sauce simmer for 6-7 minutes until thick.
Step 5: Now, make a small opening at one end of the foil-wrapped marinated rib. Pour the entire sauce carefully through the opening and seal the foil again.
Step 6: Place the baking tray gently into the preheated oven and let it bake for 2 hours.
Step 7: Take the tray out of the oven, open an end, & drain the sauce in a pot. Place the pot in the stove and let the sauce cook until it intensifies. Turn off the stove.
Step 8: Now, unseal the spare rib. Brush the thick sauce on top of the rib coating it nicely. Put the tray back in the oven (rib should be uncovered this time) to broil for 5-10 minutes. Once the sauce turns dark brownish, take the rib out of the oven and serve.
- Marinating the pork spare ribs with the dry rub should not be skipped as it helps infuse the flavors into the meat. You may also leave the foil-wrapped marinated rib in the fridge overnight or for 7-8 hours.
- For additional flavor, you can add steak sauce into the sauce mixture.
4. How To Cook Baby Back Ribs In The Oven
4.1. How to Remove the Membrane?
The membrane is the tough, slippery & chewy white thing stuck on the bottom of the baby back rib. To remove this membrane, loosen a little portion at one end using a butter knife. Then grab it with a paper towel (so that it doesn’t slip off) and peel it off all the way to the end.
4.2. Things you’ll need
- 1 slab of baby back rib (1.5 pounds)
- For Spice Rub- ½ Tbsp brown sugar, ½ Tbsp chili powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, a pinch of black pepper powder, ½ teaspoon lemon juice, and salt to taste.
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- For Sauce- 2 Tbsp tomato sauce, ¼ cup hot Sriracha sauce, and ¼ cup Barbeque sauce.
- 1-2 teaspoons Salt & Pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4.3. How long to cook baby back ribs in the oven
It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to cook baby back ribs in the oven.
4.4. Cooking Process
Step 1: Set the oven for preheating at 275°F.
Step 2: Rinse the membrane-removed baby back rib and pat dry.
Step 3: Put the rib on a foil paper. Mix the dry rub ingredients in a bowl and coat both sides of the rib with the spice rub. Spread the sliced onion and minced garlic on top of the rib. Wrap the rib with the foil paper nicely.
Step 4: You may choose to leave the rib overnight (for 7-8 hours) or bake right away.
Step 5: Place the tray in the oven and bake for 2 – 2.5 hours.
Step 6: Once done baking, unwrap the foil paper. Get rid of the onions, garlic, and liquid. Brush the olive oil on the rib and shower salt & pepper all over as per taste.
Step 7: In a bowl, mix the tomato sauce, sriracha sauce & barbeque sauce. Brush it on the rib as well.
Finish off by broiling the rib in the oven at medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes.
5. How to Cook Country Style Ribs in the Oven Fast
5.1. Things you’ll need
- 1.5 pounds country-style ribs with bone
- Salt & black pepper powder (as per taste)
- 1 Tbsp Creole Cajun seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 4 Tbsp fresh thyme (minced)
- 3 Tbsp fresh rosemary (minced)
- 1 large-sized onion (sliced)
5.2. How long to cook country style ribs in the oven
It takes 90-95 minutes (1.5 hours) to cook country style ribs in the oven.
5.3. Cooking Process
Step 1: Set the oven for preheating at 350°F.
Step 2: Rub salt and pepper powder on both sides on the rib pieces.
Step 3: In a bowl mix the Creole Cajun seasoning, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, minced thyme (2 Tbsp), & minced rosemary (½ Tbsp). Coat the rib pieces with this mixture. Keep aside.
Step 4: Take a roasting oven dish. Layer the onion slices at the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle the minced thyme (2 Tbsp) & minced rosemary (½ Tbsp) on the onions.
Step 5: Put the coated rib pieces on top of the onions & aromatic herbs in the roasting oven dish. (*Do not overlap). Cover the dish with aluminum sheet.
Step 6: Place the dish in the oven to bake for 60 minutes. Then, take the dish out of the oven, remove the aluminum sheet and bake for 30 more minutes uncovered.
Take out of the oven and serve with steamed green beans and mashed potatoes.
Now that you have a step by step guide on how to cook 3 types of pork ribs in the oven, do try them and relish a delectable home-made meal.