No grill or smoker? No problem! These BBQ Pork Spare Ribs are baked in the oven, until tender and falling off the bone. This is the easiest way to make spare ribs, and they’re shockingly delicious given how simple they are to prepare! Pair with a side of Homemade Cornbread and Coleslaw and you’ve got an incredible meal.

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

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.

I grill meat every day, and have made my share of outdoor recipes like Grilled Ribeye, Smoked Pork Butt, and Grilled Chicken Breast, but sometimes it’s more convenient to make something in the oven because it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or what the weather is like outside.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Perfectly glazed sauce with no burning – We will cook the spareribs partially covered and then partially uncovered so that the meat is perfectly cooked and the sauce firms up just enough without burning.

Truly tender meat – The meat will be the perfect amount of tender. Juicy and properly cooked, but not falling apart and disintegrated.

3 Ingredients – All you need here is spare ribs, salt, and barbecue sauce. Use your favorite storebought sauce or make your own BBQ Sauce from scratch. As long as you’re using a delicious barbecue sauce, these will have great flavor, and be nicely tender.

Simply baked in one pan in the oven – These pork ribs are very straightforward to pull off. We will cook them the entire time in a tray in the oven.

No fancy equipment needed – I originally published this method in 2011, back when I didn’t have a grill or any fancy meat-cooking equipment. Nothing special is needed to make them. They’re very easy.

For this recipe, we will be using st. louis style spare ribs. While you can use other pork ribs (further commentary is at the end of the post), these are the most meaty ribs of all.

They are also the most pleasing to eat, in terms of not having noticeably gristly bits or connective tissue.

Step by Step Guide:

As an overview, the process for how to cook spare ribs in the oven is incredibly simple:

  1. Season the meat with salt.
  2. Cut racks into individual ribs.
  3. Baste ribs with sauce, and bake while covered.
  4. Baste two more times, and cook uncovered, with a higher temperature for the final hour.

Season the Meat with Salt

Remove the ribs from the packaging, and pat dry with paper towel if the meat is excessively wet.

Season each rack of spare ribs with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, concentrating most of it to the meaty side of the racks:

Two Racks of Pork Spare Ribs Being Seasoned with Salt

If you wish to add extra ingredients here, like black pepper, Sazon Seasoning, or a dry rub, you may do that now as well, but it’s not necessary. Most barbecue sauces have a lot of ingredients and flavor.

If you do decide to do spices here, choose a spice rub that focuses on staples like garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder or paprika. This Pork Rub is perfect. Or if you go Carolina style with your selected barbecue sauce, you could add some extra dry mustard.

Cut Meat Into Individual Pieces

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

Cutting Spare Rib Racks into Individual Ribs

Add Sauce

Place the pork spare 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.

Coat Well

Toss every one of the bone ribs in the sauce until evenly coated:

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


Arrange the bbq spare ribs on the rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, placing them meaty side up:

BBQ Coated Spare Ribs In Single Layer on Sheet Pan

Cover the pan with heavy-duty foil, crimping the edges of the foil tightly. 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 in an oven set to 300 degrees F, then remove the aluminum foil. The oven-baked ribs 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.

Baste with more sauce

Take half the remaining barbecue sauce and baste the ribs:

Spareribs - Basted in BBQ Sauce with Silicone Brush

Increase the oven temperature to 350F, then continue baking them 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 layer of sauce.

So baste the spare 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 from the sweet sauce:

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.

By being patient and using slow cooking in the oven, the exterior is caramelized and glazed, but not scorched. This is essential for sauces that use a lot of dark brown sugar, molasses, or other sweeteners.

The spare ribs are now ready to be plated, and served with your favorite sides.

Great Side Dishes That Pair Well

These are barbecue ribs made in the oven, so this is a great recipe for pairing with classic bbq sides like Red Potato Salad, Corn and Avocado Bean Salad, Coleslaw, Cornbread, and Drop Biscuits.

If you want more neutral sides, you can try Homemade French Fries or Crispy Smashed Potatoes.

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

For a different flavor profile, these Sticky Chinese Spareribs are another one of my favorite rib recipes. Enjoy!

Recipe FAQ and Tips

Can you use other kinds of ribs?

Yes, any kind of pork variety will work here for your selected rack of ribs. St. Louis style is my preferred because they are nicely cleaned up with the breastbone and cartilage removed, and they are uniform in shape. You may also use baby back or country style ribs, and cooking time should be similar. Baby backs may be done 30 minutes earlier, but go by tenderness.

How do you store leftover spare ribs?

Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze leftover spare ribs?

Yes, keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.

How do you reheat pork ribs?

I prefer to reheat in a 300F oven, wrapped in foil, for about 20 minutes, until warmed through. You can also microwave them, but it’s always tricky to get even heating when you have meat on the bone. If the ribs are frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge first, or defrost in the microwave.

Can you double the recipe?

Yes, just make sure the pieces are cooking in a single layer on the pan. If you use two pans and have multiple racks in your oven, it should work great, and no additional cooking time is needed.

Is there an advantage to using homemade barbecue sauce?

I think so, but the convenience factor of storebought is sometimes hard to resist. Because the glaze cooks so much on the meat, it may not be as noticeable in the end as when you’re dipping in homemade bbq sauce, so don’t sweat it if you’re picking up a bottle from the store.

How do I make the ribs taste smoky?

Even though these are made in the oven, you can use a bbq sauce that has liquid smoke in it, or you can use a spice rub that includes something like ground chipotle, which is smoked jalapeno peppers. This naturally adds a smoky flavor as well.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. Or, follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!

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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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


  • Preheat oven to 300F.
  • Remove the ribs from the packaging and pat them dry with paper towel if the meat is excessively wet. Then 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 well, until each piece is evenly coated with the sauce. Then place the ribs all meaty side up.
  • Cover the pan 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!


*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.
Other Rib Types: You may use any pork rib here, including baby back and country style. Cook time should be similar.
Storing leftovers: Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Reheating: Reheat in a 300F oven, wrapped in foil, for about 20 minutes, until warmed through. You can also microwave them, but it’s always tricky to get even heating when you have meat on the bone. If the ribs are frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge first.
Doubling: You may scale the recipe as desired, just make sure the ribs are cooking in a single layer on the pan. You can make as many as you have multiple racks in your oven, and no additional cooking time is needed.


Calories: 651kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 71g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g, Monounsaturated Fat: 26g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 242mg, Sodium: 1894mg, Potassium: 929mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 191IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 74mg, 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.