An easy recipe for tender, flavorful oven beef back ribs. It's not a quick recipe, but it's truly easy, and the result is so very flavorful!
I really like ribs! There's something almost primal about eating tender, flavorful meat right off the bone. I guess they unleash the cavewoman in me. 🙂
This beef ribs recipe is super easy to make (though not quick), and they come out so tender. Whenever I spot them at Whole Foods, I immediately buy them. We all really enjoy this dish.
What are beef back ribs?
They 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 super delicious, fatty meat between the bones.
The ingredients you'll need
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: You can also use white wine vinegar.
Hot pepper sauce: It doesn't really make the dish spicy. It merely adds an interesting layer of flavor.
Beef back ribs: I usually get them at Whole Foods. I don't know if they're available in most supermarkets.
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: Smoked salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
How to cook beef back ribs?
This meat is tough and needs to be cooked low and slow. When cooked properly, the ribs are 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.
But this doesn't mean that making this recipe is difficult. On the contrary, this is an easy recipe, perfect for when you're home anyway and can baste the ribs once in a while.
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.
I also use a marinade of vinegar and hot sauce to help tenderize and caramelize the meat and give it some extra flavor.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. You start by placing the ribs on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spray them with the oil and sprinkle with the spices. Bake them for 1 hour in a 250°F oven.
2. Meanwhile, mix the apple cider vinegar and the hot pepper sauce and divide the mixture between three small bowls.
3. After the first hour, baste the ribs with a third of the vinegar-hot sauce marinade.
4. Continue baking them for three more hours, basting with the marinade two more times, and washing the basting brush with hot soapy water after each use.
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.
What side dishes go with them?
Traditional sides served with ribs are often starchy. But I like to serve this rich, meaty dish with vegetables to balance it out. So I often serve them with one of the following sides:
What about leftovers?
We actually never have any leftovers when I make this beef ribs recipe. They're so good, we gobble them all up!
But if you do have leftovers, they should keep in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them in the microwave, covered, on 50% power.
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Oven Beef Back Ribs
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
- 2 racks beef back ribs, 2 lb. 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 degrees 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 the hot sauce. Set aside.
- If you wish, remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs. Here's how.
- 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.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar marinade again, 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 (make sure you rinse the basting brush after each basting with hot soapy water).
- 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 degrees F, and keep them in the oven for one more hour. This will ensure extra tender beef with a crispy, caramelized exterior.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, cut into six portions and serve.