In this easy recipe, beef back ribs are slowly baked in the oven, and they come out tender and flavorful.
The oven pretty much does the work for you. All you need is a few hours of your time, and basting the ribs occasionally.
This recipe is super easy to make and the ribs come out so tender. Whenever I spot these ribs at Whole Foods, I immediately buy them. My entire family enjoys this dish.
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:
- Apple cider vinegar: I love the flavor of this vinegar and use it in many of my recipes.
- Hot pepper sauce: It doesn't make the ribs spicy. It merely adds an interesting layer of flavor.
- Beef back ribs: I usually get them at Whole Foods, but they are available in many supermarkets too.
- Olive oil spray: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
- Spices: I use smoked salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. The smoked salt adds a nice smoky flavor to the dish.
- You can vary this recipe by trying different spice combinations. In addition to the spices mentioned above, I sometimes like to add a generous pinch of cayenne pepper to make the ribs spicy. Sometimes I also add dried thyme and/or dried cumin - just ½ teaspoon of each.
- You can substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar for the apple cider vinegar. I don't recommend using distilled white vinegar. It's too acidic.
Beef Back Ribs Instructions
Cooking these delicious ribs is surprisingly easy. Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- You start by placing the ribs on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray them with oil and sprinkle them with spices. Bake them for one hour in a 250°F oven. (Photos 1-3).
- Meanwhile, mix apple cider vinegar and hot pepper sauce and divide the mixture between three small bowls. (Photo 4).
- After the first hour, baste the ribs with a third of the vinegar-hot sauce marinade.
- Continue baking the ribs for three more hours, basting them with the marinade two more times, and washing the basting brush with hot soapy water after each use. (Photo 5).
- At this point, after four hours in the oven, the ribs are fully cooked and tender. But I like to reduce the oven temperature to 200°F and keep them in the warm oven for one more hour, for extra tender meat with a wonderfully caramelized exterior. (Photo 6).
If the slab of ribs you purchase comes already separated into individual ribs, as shown in the video, they will cook more quickly, so you can bake them for a total of just four hours instead of five.
These ribs are what's left after the butcher cuts the ribeye roast off the bones.
Since butchers want to maximize profit, they cut as much meat as they can. So there's not much meat left on top of the bones, but there are big chunks of delicious fatty meat between the bones.
These ribs are tough and should be cooked low and slow. When cooked properly, they become tender, succulent, and very flavorful. The fatty meat falls off the bones.
So don't try to cook them quickly! Much like other tough meats, such as chuck roast (see this pot roast recipe), brisket (check out my easy oven brisket recipe), or oven-baked spareribs, making this recipe takes time and patience.
My favorite way to cook them is in the oven. I bake them in a slow oven using smoked salt and smoked paprika to give them a smoky flavor.
Even though this recipe takes a few hours, it's an easy recipe, perfect for when you're home anyway, and can baste the ribs once in a while.
I use a marinade of vinegar and hot sauce to help tenderize and caramelize the meat and give it some extra flavor.
However, I simply brush the marinade on the ribs while they bake. I don't marinate them before cooking.
Traditional sides served with ribs are often starchy. But I like to serve these rich, meaty ribs with vegetables to balance them out. So I often serve them with one of the following sides:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power.
Like many slow-cooked meats, the leftovers are excellent - almost as good as the freshly prepared dish.
More Rib Recipes
Beef Back Ribs Recipe
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce Such as Frank's RedHot
- 2 racks beef back ribs 2 pounds each
- Olive oil spray
- 2 teaspoons smoked salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil (for easy cleanup).
- In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar and hot sauce. Set aside.
- If you wish, remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs. Use a blunt knife, sliding it gently between the membrane and the bones. Work the knife around to loosen the membrane, then use a paper towel to grab it and pull it away from the bones.
- Place the ribs on the prepared baking sheet, bone side down. (Use two baking sheets if they don't fit in one). Spray the tops of the ribs with olive oil and sprinkle them with smoked salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Bake the ribs, uncovered, for 1 hour.
- Remix the apple cider vinegar marinade, then pour it into three small bowls, dividing it evenly. Baste the tops of the ribs with ⅓ of the marinade.
- Return the ribs to the oven and bake them for three more hours, uncovered, basting the top with ⅓ of the marinade every hour. Rinse the basting brush after each basting with hot, soapy water, then dry it.
- After 4 hours of baking, the ribs should be nicely browned and very tender. At this point, you can serve them. But to make them even better, reduce the oven to 200°F and keep them in the oven for one more hour. This will ensure extra tender ribs with a crispy, caramelized exterior.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, cut them into six portions, and serve.
- If the slab of ribs you purchase is separated into individual ribs, as shown in the video, they will cook more quickly, so you can bake them for a total of just four hours instead of five.
- You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, at 50% power. Like many slow-cooked meats, the leftovers are excellent - almost as good as the freshly prepared dish.
Add Your Own Notes
Nutrition per Serving
I send out a weekly newsletter with a recipe and tips. Want these recipes in your inbox? Subscribe today! You can unsubscribe at any time.