These BBQ Pork Spare Ribs are baked in the oven, until tender and falling off the bone. This is the easiest way to make ribs, and they’re so delicious!

These oven ribs give grilled ribs and smoked ribs a serious run for their money. 

And I say that as someone who LOVES grilling and using the smoker.

Spare Ribs - Made in the Oven with BBQ Sauce and Plated on Wooden Board         

This recipe is particularly wonderful because it’s so easy and convenient to make.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like outside, because it’s all done in the oven, at one temperature.

I originally published this method in 2011, back when I didn’t have a grill or any fancy meat-cooking equipment.

Now I do my fair share of grilling and smoking ribs, but I often come back to the ease of these ribs.

As long as you’re using a delicious barbecue sauce, the ribs will have great flavor, and be nicely tender.

How to Make Pork Spare Ribs in the Oven:

Season two racks of St. Louis Style Spare Ribs with 2 tsp of salt, concentrating most of it to the meaty side of the racks:

Two Racks of Pork Spare Ribs Being Seasoned with Salt

Cut the racks into individual ribs by cutting in between the bones:

Cutting Spare Rib Racks into Individual Ribs

Place the ribs on a rimmed half sheet pan and drizzle with about 1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce:

Pouring BBQ Sauce on Spare Ribs Before Going In Oven

If you’ve got 20 minutes to spare, my homemade bbq sauce recipe is incredibly flavorful with smoky, sweet, and spicy notes. But sometimes I use store-bought to make prep easier.

Toss the ribs in the sauce until evenly coated:

Tossing the Pork Spare Ribs in Barbecue Sauce Before Glazing In Oven

Arrange the ribs on the pan, placing them meaty side up:

BBQ Coated Spare Ribs In Single Layer on Sheet Pan

Cover the pan *very* tightly with aluminum foil. You really want to create a seal here:

Oven Ribs Baked in Aluminum Foil - Wrapping Tightly on the Edges

Bake the spare ribs for 1 hour and 45 minutes, then remove the foil. They will look like this:

Pork Spare Ribs Cooked for 3 Hours in the Oven with Juices On Side

It is normal for them to look fairly unglazed at this point.

Take half the remaining barbecue sauce and baste the ribs:

Spareribs - Basted in BBQ Sauce with Silicone Brush

Bake the ribs uncovered for 30 minutes, and they will look like this:

Oven Baked Spare Ribs Caramelized and Glazed on Sheet Pan

They’re starting to get some caramelization on the edges, but they need another basting.

So baste the ribs with the remaining barbecue sauce, about 1/3 cup:

Brushing Spare Ribs With More Storebought Barbecue Sauce

Another 20-30 minutes in the oven, and finally, they should have a wonderful glaze to them:

Baked Spare Ribs with BBQ Sauce Glazed All Over

I really like when they’re not wet or too saucy, but more like “sticky” and glazed.

CornbreadColeslawCorn and Avocado Bean Salad, and Red Potato Salad are all great sides to serve with these ribs.

The spare ribs are now ready to be plated.

BBQ Pork Spare Ribs - On a Wooden Platter with Cup of BBQ Sauce on Side

Enjoy!

Spare Ribs Plated on Wooden Board

Oven BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

Pork spare Ribs are basted in BBQ sauce and baked for several hours, until tender and falling off the bone.
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Ingredients

For the Spareribs:

  • 4 to 5 lbs st. louis-style pork spare ribs* (2 racks)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 18 oz bbq sauce 1.75 cups, either storebought or homemade

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Season the ribs with the salt, concentrating most of the salt to the meaty side (and not the bony side).
  • Slice in between the bones to cut the racks into individual ribs.
  • Place the ribs on a rimmed half sheet pan, and pour 2/3 of the barbecue sauce on top (which should be about 1 cup of sauce). Toss the ribs well, until evenly coated with the sauce. Then place them all meaty side up.
  • Cover the ribs very tightly with foil, and cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and baste the ribs with half of the remaining barbecue sauce, about 1/3 cup. Increase the oven temp to 350F and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  • Baste the ribs with the remaining barbecue sauce and bake for another 20-30** minutes, until the barbecue sauce is caramelized. They should no longer be saucy and wet, but sort of sticky and glazed. Enjoy!

Notes

*The St. Louis Style Spare Ribs I purchase from the butcher are ready to go, without the membrane. If yours have a membrane, simply pull it off with your fingers, and discard.
**Barbecue sauces with higher concentrations of sugar will burn faster, so keep your eye on them.

Nutrition

Calories: 984kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 71g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Cholesterol: 242mg, Sodium: 1894mg, Potassium: 929mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 191IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in October 2019. Originally published May 2011.