Go Back
5 from 2 votes
Ribs lined up on a white plate, drizzled with BBQ sauce
Oven Ribs with BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs 10 mins

The perfect summer dinner that can cook in under 3 hours! Figure about 1/4-1/2 of a rack per person, depending on sides and general level of hunger. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, BBQ
Keyword: BBQ Ribs, Gluten Free, MSG Free
Author: The Dizzy Cook, inspired by Smitten Kitchen
  • 4-5 lb rack of ribs, either baby back or St Louis spare ribs *see notes in post
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar OR maple syrup OR honey *see notes in post if using honey
  • 2 tbsp paprika of choice - I used 1 tbsp smoked and 1 tbsp regular
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder *can add 1/2 tbsp more if you like it spicy
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1-2 tsp white vinegar (for sauce)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. *side note* sometimes there's a silver skin/membrane on the back of ribs, if you cut that off and trim some of the fat, the rub will permeate the meat better and the ribs will cook more evenly. I've made it both ways and it didn't bother me, but some serious rib people swear by this technique.
    Cut a large, long piece (the length of your rib rack plus a few inches) of tin foil. Place the ribs, meaty side down. Combine your spice mixture together with brown sugar (if using honey, wait to apply the honey till after you've put the spice mixture on the rack). Pat half the mixture all over the rib rack, coating it as best you can. Carefully flip the rib rack so the meaty side is up and apply the other half of the mixture. 

  2. Fold your tin foil inward on all sides to seal the meat as best you can. Cut another piece of tin foil and apply it on the top of the rack, sealing it underneath the rack. Make sure there are no holes, otherwise all the good juices will leak out! 

    A rack of ribs wrapped in foil
  3. Place on a baking sheet with a wire rack over it, if possible. Cook in the oven at 300 degrees for 2.5 to 3 hours. Baby back ribs should cook a little faster than St Louis style. If you're not ready to serve, turn the heat down to 175 and keep them warm till ready. 

  4. Remove the rack from the oven and CAREFULLY remove the tin foil from the top (it will be hot!). Then slide the ribs out from the lower foil packet with all the juices and place on a cutting board. One with a little "moat" works best, since it will be juicy. Take the juices in the foil and put them into a small saucepan. 

  5. Heat the juices, along with the 1-2 teaspoons of white vinegar, over medium high heat until boiling. Bring the heat down so you have a low simmer and allow the sauce to thicken a bit, about 5-7 minutes. 

  6. Apply as much of the sauce as you'd like to the ribs and enjoy!

Recipe Notes
  • Both St. Louis and baby back ribs will work for this recipe.
  • If you'd like to substitute honey for the brown sugar, make sure you evenly drizzle on top of the rack after you have applied the spices. Honey will not coat the meat well if it's any bit cold.