Beef ribs are melt in your mouth, finger licking good 'Winner Winner Beef Dinner'. Massaged with a homemade dry rub before being baked for 3 ½ hours, basted in barbecue sauce and grilled they are worth the time. Follow my tips and tricks to master the recipe from the get go and your oven baked beef back ribs will be the talk of the town!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Simple ingredients: you will be able to get each of the ingredients needed to make these oven-baked ribs at your local grocery store. If you can't find the beef ribs, head to the butcher and ask them if they have some (please and thanks 😁).
- Easy: shrouded in mystery with the oven, grill, air fryer and BBQ all presenting ways to cook ribs they are actually super easy to do. This recipe is not quick and easy but it is very simple to do, albeit needing some time.
- Taste and texture: I could use every adjective in the world to describe these oven-baked beef ribs!! Yet, I will summarise with only a few...juicy, tender and simple irresistible 🥰!
- Alternative protein: it can be really easy to roast a chicken (the Air Fryer Whole Chicken being a great example). But you get bored eating the same thing every night! Stepping out of the comfort zone of 'same, same', allows you to learn and enjoy other proteins that you might find insanely delicious!
- Weekend cooking: weekends allow us plenty of time than we don't have when doing the Monday to Friday 9 to 5pm to get our dinners done. Having more time up your sleeve means you can indulge in recipes that require longer cook times.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the beef ribs recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Salt and pepper: we use a little bit of kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning in the dry rub combination. (Aussies, kosher salt is cooking salt 😉👍).
- Garlic powder: a fantastic pantry staple to have on hand in the cupboard whenever you need it.
- Onion powder: a perfect pairing with the garlic powder. These dried spices are convenient and fuss free to use.
- Paprika: a vibrantly coloured yet subtle spice, this is made from dried and ground peppers (capsicums).
- Cayenne pepper: is a dried spice made from capsicum which does have a little heat to it. With this ingredient, it can be handy to keep in mind that a little goes a long way!
- Mustard powder: soft and smooth, this is a great ingredient to use for dry rubs. It adds flavor but doesn't overwhelm and it blends in nicely with the other ingredients.
- Apple cider vinegar: we use a combination of 3 liquids to create a moist cooking environment for the ribs. This is a vinegar made from fermented apple juice that you will find with the other vinegars in the supermarket. It has a sweet aroma and pale golden colour.
- Worcestershire sauce: known for giving a little oomph to recipes. You will find this with the sauces in the supermarket. It is a very versatile sauce known for adding a depth of flavor to recipes.
- Water: the 3rd cooking liquid for the ribs. Room temperature tap water is totally fine to use.
- Beef ribs: the ribs being used for this recipe are beef back ribs. They are longer (size wise) than beef short ribs. If you cannot find them at your local supermarket, you can get them from your butcher. They have plenty of meat and the connective tissue breaks down with the long cooking time (so good). We need 2 full racks which the photo above gives you an idea about what to look for.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making my recipes. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the baked beef ribs. We start by gathering the ingredients to make the dry rub.
- Gather dry rub ingredients and whisk together (Photo 1)
- Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs (Photo 2)
- Massage dry rub into ribs (Photo 3)
- Flip and do the other side (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Beef Ribs
We start the recipe by making the dry rub. To do so, add the mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to a glass jug and use a mini whisk to combine. Then set aside.
Remove the ribs from their packaging and rinse them under the tap. Place them onto a chopping board and use paper towel to pat dry.
Working one rack at a time flip the ribs face down so that the side with the membrane is facing up at you. Fold a piece of paper towel into a square and then grab the membrane from one of the corners. Pull this up and off the ribs and discard.
Then sprinkle some of the dry rub onto the ribs, use your fingers to massage this into the meat. Then flip the ribs to the other side and repeat.
Cover a baking tray with tin foil and spray a little oil on it.
- Gather cooking liquids (Photo 5)
- Combine (Photo 6)
- Place ribs onto baking tray and pour in cooking liquids (Photo 7)
- Cover and bake initially for 1 hour (Photo 8)
Next, gather the worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and water. Add these to a jug and whisk to combine.
Then place one rack into the middle of the baking tray and pour in half of the cooking liquids. Cover the tray with aluminium foil and place them into a preheated oven.
Bake the ribs for one hour, then remove and top up the liquids with water. (Really important note, the liquids do not cover the ribs, they sit under them, touching yes, not submerging). Cover with foil again and return to the oven.
- Top with water (Photo 9)
- Gather barbecue sauce ingredients (Photo 10)
- Stir to combine (Photo 11)
- Baste then grill for 10 mins x 2 (Photo 11)
As the ribs cook, the cooking liquids can evaporate. So each hour, we want to use oven mits to remove the baking tray and place it on a heat proof surface and then add more water to the baking tray. It will be around ⅓ cup per tray that you are adding. During this time, you will see how the long bone becomes exposed throughout the cook time.
Next gather the ingredients to make the barbecue sauce. Add them to a jug and whisk to combine.
Remove the cooked ribs from the oven and place the tray on a heatproof surface. Then pull the aluminium foil off and discard. The ribs will look like this at this point.
You can now also change the oven setting to grill at 200°C 392°F6.
Next, place a silicon mat onto a wire rack above an oven tray. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the cooked ribs from the baking tray to the silicon mat. Then repeat for the other rack.
Take a basting brush and liberally coat the top side of the ribs with the homemade bbq sauce. Then repeat for the other rack.
Place the ribs back into the oven on the top shelf and grill them for 10 minutes.
Then use oven mits to remove them, place them on a heatproof surface and repeat the basting with sauce process. The ribs will look like this (don't hold back on the sauce 😉👍). Then grill for a further 10 minutes.
Once grilled, you can remove the ribs from the oven, place the tray on a heatproof surface and let them rest for a minute or so before using a knife to cut them into individual ribs.
Now you are ready to serve the them!! (The best bit right 😉👌).
🍽 Serving Suggestions
The sauce I like to pair these bbq beef ribs with is the Horseradish Yogurt Sauce. It has a bit of tang about it and offers a different flavored sauce to the one we used to grill the ribs.
You can see the sauce I am talking about in the photo above. I add a little parsley to it when I am making it for texture. You can also give the ribs a drizzle of worcestershire sauce for serving. This idea is also shown in the photos above and below.
A glass of pinot noir will be the perfect match or pinot gris if you love a chilled glass of white wine with your ribs.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftover ribs (if you have any 😂) on a plate in the fridge with cling wrap or in a sealed, airtight container. They can be refrigerated for 2 days and need to be reheated before being consumed.
How to Freeze
You can freeze the raw ribs then take them out of the freezer and allow to fully thaw before using (24 hours in the fridge should do the trick). I don't recommend freezing leftovers of the recipe however, as it takes away from the finger licking good experience in devouring them fresh from the oven. Pasta you can freeze, ribs, nah, just eat them!
How to Reheat
Reheat leftover ribs in the microwave (on a plate with cling wrap) for 2 minutes or in the oven on a silicon mat on a baking rack for 5 to 10 mins, till heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can omit the cayenne pepper if you don't want any 'heat' in the recipe.
- Or you can increase it to a full tablespoon if you want a little more heat in the recipe.
- If you want to add brown sugar to the dry rub you can (1 tablespoon will keep the ratios consistent).
- You can simply use store bought barbecue sauce if you wish to or your favorite bbq sauce.
- You can add a dried herb such as parsley or oregano if you would like to (1 teaspoon is plenty).
- You can use this dry rub and sauce combination for other ribs such as pork ribs or chicken spare ribs.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- The mustard powder is the most likely of the dry ingredients to have lumps. If you noticed these, whisk them out when combining the dry rub.
- Try and keep any liquids or moisture away from the dry rub as you want this to be 'dry' when massaging it into the ribs. Rinse your hands and dry them from 1 side to the next and 1 rack to the next.
- If you are finding the membrane hard to pull off use a butter knife to lift the corner of it.
- As the ribs cook, the top of the bone will start to stick out as the meat shrinks to expose the rib bone. So don't be worried if the store bought ribs don't look like you expect them too - they will in time.
- If you want to use only water instead of the Worcestershire sauce and apple cider vinegar as the cooking liquid you can.
- I spray both layers of aluminium foil with cooking spray, ie the base layer and the layer on top of the ribs.
- You can replace the top layer of the aluminum foil as needed when topping up the water in the base of the baking tray.
- The ribs are covered with foil when they are being cooked, however, they do not get covered with foil when they are being grilled.
- When you are basting the sauce onto the ribs, do the top surface of the ribs facing up at you, the tops of the ribs where the bones stick out (not underside) and the sides of the ribs.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What are the two types of beef ribs?
The 2 types of beef ribs are beef back ribs and beef short ribs.
Are beef ribs like steak?
Beef ribs are not the same as steak. As they often get cooked for 3 to 4 hours, the meat is a lot more tender and juicy than steak is.
Are beef ribs hard to cook?
Beef ribs are easy to cook. But they take a long time. This confuses people into thinking that they are hard to cook. Once they are in the oven, it is pretty much hands off whilst they cook.
Do you remove membrane from beef ribs?
Yes. Place the ribs onto a chopping board with the membrane (grey looking silver skin) side up. Fold a piece of paper towel into a square and then use it to grib the membrane from one corner and pull it back and off the ribs.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Dinners that take a long time to cook can still be considered easy recipes as they don't require hands on for their full cooking time.
I like to give you a variety of options for dinner so that you plenty of options up your sleeve to use as needed. Here are some ideas for you to try:
- Mexican Ribs
- Pulled Lamb (Slow Cooker Recipe)
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Kottbullar (Swedish Meatballs)
- Dutch Oven Pulled Pork
- Oven Baked Pork Ribs
- Mexican Beef Soup (Caldo De Res)
- Panko Pork Chops
- Marinated Lamb Ribs
- Chicken Chorizo Paella
It is time to get our beef ribs on my friend! You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot.
Beef Ribs (Baked Then Grilled)
- 2 tbs mustard powder Note 1
- 1 tbs garlic powder Note 2
- 1 tbs onion powder Note 3
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 kg/ 3 pounds beef back ribs Note 4
- ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce Note 5
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup water (plus extra for topping up) Note 6
- spray oil for the aluminium foil
- 1 cup/250ml barbecue sauce Note 7
- ¼ ml/60 ml honey
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- Preheat the oven: preheat the oven to 180°C / 350-375°F / Gas Mark 4-5.
- Dry rub: add the mustard powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to a jug and use a mini whisk to combine. Then set aside.
- Beef ribs: remove the ribs from the packet, rinse them and pat them dry with paper towel. Then working one rack at a time flip the ribs so that the membrane (silver skin) faces you. Fold a piece of paper towel into a square and use this to grip one corner of the membrane. Pull it up and off then discard. Repeat for the 2nd rack.
- Rub into ribs: Working one rack at a time sprinkle the dry rub onto the ribs and use your fingers to massage in. Then flip and do the other side. Repeat for the 2nd rack.
- Baking dish: line 2 baking trays with aluminium foil and lightly spray the foil with oil. Then place the dry rub coated rib rack into one oiled tray each.
- Cooking liquids: pour half of the cooking liquids into the 1st tray and the other half into the 2nd tray. Cover each tray with a layer of tightly pulled aluminium foil.
- Oven bake: place each tray into the preheated oven for an initial 1 hour period, once the hour is up, use oven mits to remove the tray and place it onto a heatproof surface. Pull the foil off and then top up the liquid in the base of the tray with water. Place the foil back on the tray and then return the trays to the oven. Repeat the top up with water each hour (You will do this 3 times, the ribs bake for 3 hours and 30 minutes).
- Grill/broil: use oven mits to remove the cooked ribs from the oven and place on a heatproof surface. Change the oven setting to grill at 200°C 392°F6. Use kitchen tongs to transfer each rack to a silicon baking mat on an oven rack and tray. Use the pastry brush to coat each rack with barbecue sauce. Place the tray into the oven on the top shelf. Grill the ribs for 10 mins. Then remove, repeat the basting process followed by a further 10 mins grill time (Grill time total: 20 minutes).
- Serve and enjoy: use oven mits to remove the baking tray from the oven and place on a heat proof surface. Let the ribs rest for 2 to 3 minutes before using tongs to transfer them to a chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut them into individual ribs. Place the cut ribs onto to a serving plate. Provide Horseradish Yogurt Sauce (optional) for serving.
- Note 1 - Mustard powder: whisk out any lumps of this when you are making the dry rub.
- Note 2 - Garlic powder: this can dry out if left in the pantry for too long (even when still in date). Check it or purchase a fresh bottle for the recipe. Once it dries out, there is no use trying to poke it to get it to turn soft again.
- Note 3 - Onion powder: similar to the garlic powder as I mention above, this powder can dry out and 'set' if the bottle has been opened but not used for a while. A fresh bottle may be needed for the recipe.
- Note 4 - Beef back ribs: from the butcher if you cannot find them at your local supermarket. Or if the ones you see at the meat section are already marinated. We want plain raw beef ribs.
- Note 5- Worcestershire sauce: known for giving a little oomph to recipes, this ingredient is full of flavour! This is a condiment that will be easy to get your hands on in the sauces section of the supermarket.
- Note 6 - Water: as the ribs cook, the cooking liquids evaporate. So each hour, we want to remove the ribs and top the tray up with tap water. Not to cover the ribs, moreso that there is a layer of water underneath the ribs. You will do this topping up 3 times whilst the ribs are cooking.
- Note 7 - BBQ sauce: store bought is total fine! Smokey BBQ, spicy BBQ, whichever is your favourite. Opt for a no or low sugar version if you wish to.
- Serving Size: 1.5 kg (3 pounds) will be enough for 4 people. If you want to feed a crowd, double or triple the batch 😊.