These country-style ribs are so meaty and tender! The fat melts into them as they cook, then beautifully browns under the broiler.
It's a truly easy recipe - the oven does all the work! So sit back, relax, and await your fabulous meal.
Season a fatty cut of meat, bake until tender, then briefly broil. Easy! This is the technique I use when making oven brisket, and I use the same approach when making country-style ribs. It's one of my favorite cuts at Costco, second only to their pork belly.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Boneless country-style pork ribs: I usually get them at Costco.
- Smoked salt: It's important to use smoked salt in this recipe and not regular salt. The smoky flavor dramatically enhances the flavor of the ribs.
- Spices: I use black pepper, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and cayenne pepper. Like smoked salt, smoked paprika is significantly better in this recipe than regular paprika.
Use Shoulder Ribs
It's important to use ribs from the pork shoulder, not the loin, in this recipe.
The pork shoulder is a well-marbled and flavorful cut. Its marbling makes it rich and juicy. It should be cooked low and slow to break down tough connective tissue. I use it when making pork roast and slow cooker carnitas.
Pork loin is a leaner and more tender cut from the back of the animal. It has less marbling and fat. It's suitable for quick cooking and should not be overcooked, or it will become dry.
Since we're cooking the ribs low and slow in this recipe, it's important to use pork shoulder ribs. Ribs cut from the loin will dry out during prolonged cooking.
The best way to vary this recipe is to experiment with different spices. Good options that I tried and liked include onion powder, chili powder, and ground cumin. I like to add ½ teaspoon of each.
Country-Style Ribs Instructions
Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps for making this recipe:
Your first step is to arrange the ribs in a rimmed baking dish.
Next, mix the spices and sprinkle them on top of the ribs.
Cover the pan tightly with foil.
Bake the ribs for two hours in a 325°F oven.
This is what the ribs look like after two hours in the oven. They are fully cooked at this point. But now, we want to brown them:
Transfer the ribs to a broiler-safe pan. Turn them so the fat side is on top (you want to expose the fat to the broiler element), and baste them with the pan liquids.
Broil them briefly to brown the fat, keeping a close eye on them while under the broiler.
Serve immediately. Look how gorgeous they are when they are ready!
- There's no need to grease the baking dish. The ribs will release plenty of fat as they cook.
- The ribs are fully cooked after 2 hours in a low oven, but please don't skip the step of broiling them. It's best to turn the ribs on their side or turn them over so that the fatty parts are exposed to the heating element.
- You can discard the pan juices, but I like to strain them into a glass jar and refrigerate them until the fat separates. I then remove the layer of fat, and I have a rich, tasty broth that I can either reheat and drink or use as a basis for sauces and gravies.
These gorgeous slabs of meat, with beautiful fat marbling throughout, don't come from the rib area. They come from the pork shoulder near the loin.
They are meatier than other rib cuts and contain no rib bones. I see that as a plus. While bones add flavor and juiciness to meat, they make eating more difficult.
Some recipes instruct you to boil or steam ribs to tenderize them, which might be a good idea if you plan to grill them.
But I bake them in the oven. Slow-cooking them in a low oven achieves excellent results with much less effort. So there's no need for boiling or steaming.
If you try to simply grill them, they will come out tough. They come from a part of the animal that needs to be cooked low and slow.
That's why I like slow-cooking them in a low oven. They come out wonderfully tender when cooked this way.
Since this is a fatty cut of meat, a little goes a long way. Six ounces of cooked ribs per person is plenty.
As for sides, I like to serve these ribs with a simple side dish such as a salad or a steamed veggie. So, I often serve them with one of the following:
Like all slow-cooked meats, the leftovers are excellent. You can keep them in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave at 50% power.
More Pork Recipes
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- 3 pounds country-style pork ribs (about 8 ribs)*
- 2 teaspoons smoked salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Arrange the ribs in a single layer in an ungreased 9 X 13-inch rimmed baking dish.
- Mix the dry rub ingredients and sprinkle the rub on top of the ribs.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with heavy-duty foil (or a double layer of regular foil), and bake until the ribs are very tender, for about 2 hours.
- With a slotted spatula, remove the cooked ribs to a broiler-safe, foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Flip or place them on their side to expose the fat to the broiler element. The goal is to brown the fat.
- Switch the oven to broil on high (500°F) and set an oven rack 6 inches below the broiler element (not directly below). Baste the ribs with the pan juices, then broil them until the fat is browned, 3-4 minutes.
- Baste the ribs one more time with the pan juices and serve.