How to Slow Cook Pork Ribs in the Oven

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Being able to make slow-cooked pork ribs without a grill means this summertime barbecue staple can be a meal at any time of the year. An oven works well for a large rack of pork ribs if you keep the temperature low and plan on cooking the ribs slowly for most of the day. Oven roasting works well with both baby back and spare ribs. Experiment with different marinades, rubs and sauces to find your favorite flavor combination.

Things You'll Need

  • Shallow dish
  • Marinade or spice rub
  • Foil
  • Rimmed baking pan
  • Cooking rack
  • Meat thermometer

Step 1

Mix a marinade or rub in a large, shallow dish. Brown sugar, paprika, mustard powder and pepper all complement the flavor of the pork when used for a rub. Make a marinade by combining liquids such as Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, spiced mustard with dry ingredients such as brown sugar or pepper. Mix the ingredients to taste. Reserve some marinade for later basting, if you wish.

Step 2

Lay the pork ribs in the rub or marinade mixture. Rub the dry seasonings into both sides of the meat, and then remove the ribs and wrap them in foil. For a marinade, coat both sides of the meat with the liquid, and then cover the container. Refrigerate the ribs for up to 24 hours before cooking.

Step 3

Preheat the oven broiler on high. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and place a cooking rack inside. Arrange the ribs on top the rack in a single layer with the meat side of the ribs facing up.

Step 4

Broil the ribs on high for about 5 minutes or until the ribs begin to brown. You can skip broiling, but the ribs brown more evenly if they are broiled before slow cooking.

Step 5

Remove the pan from the oven after broiling and set the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit to cook the ribs in 4 1/2 hours, or set the oven to 325 F for a 3-hour cooking time. Baby back ribs usually need one hour less of cooking time compared to spare ribs. The lower the temperature, the more tender the finished ribs.

Step 6

Cook the ribs for 2 hours at 275 F or 1 1/2 hours at 325 F.

Step 7

Cover the ribs with aluminum foil and place them back in the oven for the remainder of the cooking time.

Step 8

Baste the ribs with barbecue sauce or the reserved marinade 30 minutes before they are finished cooking. Replace the foil after basting.

Step 9

Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the ribs, so it doesn't contact bone, at the end of the cooking time. The ribs are done if they have reached an internal temperature of 145 F. Remove the ribs from the oven and leave them covered in foil for 10 minutes to allow the meat to rest.

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