[FULL GUIDE] How Long To Bake Spare Ribs In Oven

Spare ribs are a popular and delicious choice for a hearty meal, and baking them in the oven is a convenient and effective way to cook them. Achieving tender, flavorful spare ribs requires careful preparation and cooking techniques. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the nuanced process of baking spare ribs in the oven, from choosing the right ribs to properly preparing and cooking them.

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven

The average cooking time for spare ribs in the oven is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours at 275°F (135°C). However, this can vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, as well as personal preferences for texture and tenderness. It’s important to emphasize that while time can serve as a rough guideline, the best way to determine the doneness of spare ribs is by using a meat thermometer. A temperature reading of 190-203°F (88-95°C) indicates that the ribs are perfectly cooked.

Choosing Spare Ribs

When it comes to baking spare ribs in the oven, selecting the right type of ribs is crucial. There are two main categories of spare ribs: St. Louis style and baby back. St. Louis style spare ribs are cut from the belly area of the hog after the belly is removed. They are typically meatier and contain more fat, which contributes to their rich flavor and tenderness. Baby back ribs, on the other hand, are smaller and leaner, taken from the top of the ribcage between the spine and the spare ribs. They are known for being more tender and quicker to cook compared to St. Louis style ribs.

Choose the type of spare ribs based on your preference for meatiness, tenderness, and cooking time. Additionally, when purchasing spare ribs, look for cuts that have a good balance of meat and fat, as this will contribute to the ribs’ flavor and tenderness during the baking process.

Preparing Spare Ribs

Properly preparing spare ribs before baking is essential for achieving the desired texture and flavor. The following steps are crucial for preparing spare ribs for baking in the oven:

Trimming And Removing The Membrane

Start by trimming excess fat from the ribs, as this can prevent them from becoming overly greasy during the cooking process. Then, locate the membrane on the bone side of the ribs and remove it. The membrane can inhibit the absorption of flavors and tenderness during cooking, so it’s important to carefully peel it off using a knife or your fingers.

Seasoning The Ribs

Seasoning the spare ribs is a crucial step to infuse them with flavor. Use a dry rub or liquid marinade to coat the ribs thoroughly. Consider using a mix of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices or herbs for a well-rounded flavor profile. Let the seasoned ribs sit for at least 30 minutes or preferably overnight in the refrigerator to allow the flavors to permeate the meat.

Flavorful Additions

For those desiring extra flavor, consider adding a barbecue or glaze sauce to the ribs before baking. This can be applied after the initial seasoning and can consist of various combinations of sweet, savory, or spicy ingredients to personalize the taste of the spare ribs.

Oven Temperature For Cooking Spare Ribs

Maintaining the appropriate oven temperature is crucial for achieving tender and flavorful spare ribs. A lower cooking temperature and longer cooking duration are ideal for ensuring that the meat becomes tender and juicy without becoming tough or dry.

Preheating The Oven

Begin by preheating the oven to 275°F (135°C). This lower and slower cooking approach is known to yield excellent results for spare ribs, allowing the meat to cook gradually and reach the desired tenderness while retaining its juices.

Cooking Time

As mentioned earlier, the average cooking time for spare ribs in the oven is around 2.5 to 3 hours at 275°F (135°C). However, it’s important to note that the exact time can vary based on the size and thickness of the ribs, as well as differences in individual ovens. Factors such as altitude and humidity can also impact cooking time, so it’s essential to use the guideline as a starting point and rely on a meat thermometer to determine the ribs’ doneness accurately.

Checking Doneness

To ensure the spare ribs are thoroughly cooked, use a meat thermometer and insert it into the thickest part of the meat, being careful to avoid touching the bone. The ribs are considered done when the internal temperature reaches 190-203°F (88-95°C). At this point, the meat will be tender and should easily pull away from the bone.

Baking spare ribs in the oven can be a rewarding culinary experience when approached with the right techniques and attention to detail. Choosing the appropriate type of spare ribs, properly preparing them, and cooking them at the correct temperature and duration are all essential factors in achieving delectable, tender spare ribs. By following the guidance provided in this comprehensive guide, you can confidently embark on the journey of creating perfectly baked spare ribs that are sure to impress your family and guests with their rich flavors and irresistible tenderness.

Oven Cooking Time For Cooking Spare Ribs

Spare ribs are a popular choice for barbecue lovers, and while grilling is often the preferred cooking method, baking spare ribs in the oven can yield equally delicious and tender meat. Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or simply looking to whip up a mouthwatering meal, knowing the right cooking time is essential to achieving perfectly cooked spare ribs.

The cooking time for spare ribs in the oven can vary depending on several factors, such as the thickness of the ribs, the temperature at which they are cooked, and personal preferences regarding desired tenderness. On average, spare ribs cooked in the oven will take approximately 2 to 3 hours. However, it’s important to note that this is just a guideline, and slight adjustments may be necessary depending on your specific circumstances.

How To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven

To ensure delicious and perfectly cooked spare ribs, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Prepare the ribs: Before cooking, it’s crucial to properly prepare the spare ribs. Start by removing the thin membrane on the bone side, as this can prevent seasonings from penetrating the meat and hinder the texture. Gently lift the membrane from one corner of the ribs using a knife or your fingers and peel it off completely.

  2. Season the ribs: Seasoning the spare ribs is an essential step to infuse them with flavor. Create a dry rub by combining a variety of spices, such as paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and any other herbs or seasonings of your choice. Massage the dry rub onto both sides of the ribs, ensuring an even coating.

  3. Let them marinate (optional): For an extra burst of flavor, you can let the seasoned spare ribs marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Simply place the ribs in a sealed plastic bag or container and allow the flavors to meld together.

  4. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 275°F (135°C) or 300°F (150°C) for a quicker cooking time.

  5. Prepare the baking tray: Line a baking tray with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. If desired, place a wire rack on top of the foil-lined tray to elevate the ribs, allowing the heat to circulate more evenly.

  6. Arrange the ribs: Lay the seasoned spare ribs on the baking tray, bone side down. Make sure they are not overcrowded to ensure even cooking.

  7. Bake low and slow: Place the tray with the ribs in the preheated oven and let them cook for approximately 2 to 3 hours, or until they reach the desired level of tenderness. It’s crucial to cook the spare ribs at a low temperature to allow them to become tender while preventing them from drying out.

  8. Baste (optional): If you prefer your spare ribs to be glazed or sticky, you can apply a barbecue sauce or marinade of your choice to the ribs after they have cooked for about 1 hour. Baste them generously and continue baking until they are fully cooked.

  9. Check for doneness: To ensure that the spare ribs are fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. The internal temperature should reach at least 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption.

  10. Rest before serving: Once the spare ribs are cooked to perfection, remove them from the oven and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meat.

  11. Serve and enjoy: Finally, slice the spare ribs into individual portions and serve them alongside your favorite side dishes or barbecue accompaniments. Whether you choose to serve them dry or sauced, these oven-baked spare ribs are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

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Cooking Techniques

While the basic baking technique outlined above is suitable for most spare ribs, there are several variations you can try to enhance the flavor and texture of your meat. Here are a few cooking techniques to consider:

Low And Slow Cooking

As mentioned earlier, baking spare ribs at a low temperature for an extended period is key to achieving tender and juicy meat. This cooking method allows the collagen in the ribs to break down slowly, resulting in a more tender and flavorful outcome.

Wrapping In Foil

One technique to keep your spare ribs moist and tender is to wrap them in aluminum foil during the cooking process. This method, known as the "Texas crutch," helps to retain moisture and prevent the ribs from drying out. After seasoning the ribs and placing them on the baking tray, tightly wrap them in foil, creating a sealed packet. Bake the ribs in the foil for approximately 2 hours, then unwrap them and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes to allow the exterior to crisp up slightly.

Two-Stage Cooking

For a unique flavor profile, you can try a two-stage cooking method. Start by baking the seasoned spare ribs in the oven at a low temperature, around 275°F (135°C), for the majority of the cooking time to tenderize the meat. Then, finish them off on a preheated grill or under the broiler for a few minutes to add a charred and smoky flavor. This two-stage cooking technique is a great way to achieve the best of both worlds – tender oven-cooked ribs with a hint of smokiness.

Steaming The Ribs

An alternative approach to baking is to steam the spare ribs before transferring them to the oven. This technique helps to break down the tough connective tissues and render out excess fat, resulting in a tender and less greasy final product. To steam the ribs, place them on a wire rack in a baking tray and add some water to the bottom of the tray, ensuring it doesn’t touch the meat. Cover the tray tightly with foil and bake the ribs in a preheated oven at 275°F (135°C) for approximately 3 hours. Once steamed, you can proceed with the baking process to achieve the desired level of crispness.

Do I Need To Use Foil?

The use of aluminum foil is optional when baking spare ribs in the oven. While it can help to simplify the cleanup process by preventing drippings from sticking to the baking tray, it is not necessary for cooking the ribs. If you prefer a slightly crispy exterior or a caramelized glaze, you can choose to forgo the foil and bake the ribs directly on the tray or on a wire rack. However, it’s important to note that without the foil, you might need to clean the tray more thoroughly afterwards.

Baking spare ribs in the oven is a convenient and delicious alternative to grilling, especially when outdoor cooking is not possible or preferable. By following the proper cooking techniques, such as seasoning the ribs, cooking them at a low temperature, and utilizing various optional methods like wrapping in foil or steaming, you can ensure tender and flavorful spare ribs every time. Remember, the cooking time may vary depending on your personal preferences and circumstances, so it’s crucial to monitor the internal temperature of the meat and adjust cooking times accordingly. So, fire up your oven, prepare those spare ribs, and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering meal that will please even the most discerning barbecue aficionados.

Cooking Times For Frozen Spare Ribs

Spare ribs are a delicious and savory treat that can be enjoyed by everyone. They are a popular choice for barbecues and parties, but did you know that you can also bake spare ribs in the oven? Baking spare ribs in the oven is a great option when you don’t have access to a grill or simply prefer to cook indoors.

If you’re using frozen spare ribs, it’s important to factor in the additional cooking time required. When cooking frozen spare ribs in the oven, it’s recommended to add an additional 50% to the cooking time. For example, if a recipe calls for cooking fresh spare ribs for 1 hour, you should cook frozen spare ribs for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.

The reason behind this additional cooking time is that frozen meat takes longer to reach the desired internal temperature. By increasing the cooking time, you ensure that the spare ribs are cooked thoroughly and reach the safe temperature.

Adjusting Oven Temperature For Cooking Spare Ribs

Oven temperature plays a crucial role in determining the final outcome of your spare ribs. The recommended oven temperature for baking spare ribs is 275°F (135°C). This low and slow cooking method allows the meat to become tender and juicy, while also developing a flavorful crust.

However, it’s important to note that individual ovens may have variations in temperature accuracy. To ensure that your spare ribs cook evenly and avoid any undercooking or overcooking, it’s a good practice to use an oven thermometer. This will help you accurately monitor the temperature inside your oven and make any necessary adjustments.

If your oven tends to run hot, you can reduce the temperature by 25°F (15°C). Similarly, if your oven runs cooler, you may need to increase the temperature by the same amount. This will help you achieve the desired doneness of the spare ribs.

Adjusting Oven Cook Times For Cooking Spare Ribs

The recommended cook time for spare ribs in the oven is approximately 2.5 to 3 hours. However, cook times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, as well as the desired level of tenderness.

To get an accurate cook time, it’s crucial to consider the following factors:

  1. Rib Thickness: Thicker spare ribs will require more time to cook compared to thinner ones. If your spare ribs are particularly thick, you may need to increase the cooking time by 15-30 minutes.

  2. Rack Placement: The placement of the ribs on the oven rack can also impact the cook time. If you place the ribs closer to the heat source (closer to the top of the oven), they will cook faster. Alternatively, placing them in the lower part of the oven will result in a longer cook time. It’s essential to find the right balance based on your desired level of tenderness.

  3. Meat Tenderness Preference: The desired level of tenderness varies from person to person. Some prefer fall-off-the-bone ribs, while others prefer a bit of chewiness. Keep in mind that the longer you cook the ribs, the more tender they will become. It’s best to keep an eye on the ribs and check for doneness periodically to ensure you achieve your preferred level of tenderness.


Undercooking spare ribs can lead to potential health risks as they may not reach the proper internal temperature required to kill any bacteria present in the meat. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your spare ribs are cooked thoroughly to not only enhance the flavor but also ensure food safety.

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The safe minimum internal temperature for pork, including spare ribs, is 145°F (63°C). To determine the internal temperature accurately, it’s recommended to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, without touching the bone, to get an accurate reading.

If you’re using a meat thermometer, take the ribs out of the oven once they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). This ensures that the meat is safe to eat and still retains its juiciness.

Baking spare ribs in the oven is a fantastic alternative to grilling, allowing you to enjoy tender and flavorful ribs all year round. By following the recommended cooking times and adjusting them based on factors such as rib thickness and oven temperature, you can ensure that your spare ribs turn out perfectly cooked every time.

Remember to take into account the additional cooking time required for frozen spare ribs and to regularly check for doneness using a meat thermometer. By cooking your spare ribs thoroughly, you not only enhance their flavor but also ensure their safety. So, get ready to taste the mouthwatering deliciousness of perfectly baked spare ribs straight from your oven!


If you’re a fan of meat, spare ribs will definitely be on your list of favorites. They are juicy, tender, meaty and can be cooked in several different ways. Even though you can grill or smoke them, baking spare ribs in the oven is one of the easiest and most convenient methods. However, the question is how long to bake spare ribs in oven.

Before we get into the details of how long to bake spare ribs in oven, it’s essential to understand the risks of overcooking. If spare ribs are overcooked, they can become tough, dry, and chewy, making them unpleasant to eat. They can also lose their flavor and nutritional value. So, it’s crucial to monitor the cooking process and remove them from the oven at the right time.

When Things Go Wrong

There are a few common mistakes that people make while baking spare ribs in the oven, leading to dry and tough ribs. One of the most common mistakes is not seasoning the ribs enough. Spare ribs should be generously seasoned with spices, salt, and pepper before being placed in the oven. Another mistake is setting the oven to a temperature that’s too high. A high temperature can cook the ribs too quickly and lead to dryness. You should also avoid over-basting the ribs during cooking as this can wash away the spices and flavorings and lead to a soggy crust.

Tips For Cooking Spare Ribs In Oven

If you want to achieve perfectly cooked spare ribs, there are certain tips that you need to follow. Here are some tips for cooking spare ribs in the oven.

Choose The Right Cut Of Meat

The first step to making perfectly cooked spare ribs is to choose the right cut of meat. Spare ribs are made up of a variety of muscles that run in different directions, which means they can be tough if not cooked the right way. When purchasing spare ribs, look for meat that has a good ratio of fat to meat, which will help keep the meat juicy during cooking.

Remove The Membrane

Before seasoning your ribs, it’s important to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is the thin, translucent layer that covers the bony side of the ribs. Removing the membrane allows the seasoning to penetrate the meat evenly, and it also ensures that the ribs cook evenly and are easier to eat.

Season Generously

To get the best flavor from your spare ribs, season them generously with spices, salt, and pepper. Additionally, you can use dry rubs or marinades to add more flavor. You can also add dry herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or oregano to the seasoning mix.

Choose The Right Temperature And Bake Time

The temperature and bake time are crucial factors in cooking tender spare ribs in the oven. The ideal temperature for baking spare ribs in the oven is 275-300°F. Baking at a low temperature allows the ribs to cook slowly, which results in a tender and juicy texture.

The cooking time depends on the size of the ribs. It’s approximately 2 to 2.5 hours for a rack of spare ribs. However, if you’re cooking multiple racks at once, you will require a slightly longer cooking time. If you have a meat thermometer, you can use it to make sure the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure that it’s fully cooked.

Properly Wrap The Ribs

The next step is to wrap the ribs properly to keep the heat and moisture inside. Use heavy-duty aluminum foil and wrap the ribs tightly. If the meat is too big for one sheet, add a second sheet to create a larger wrap. Place the wrapped ribs back on the baking sheet, and place them in the oven. It’s best to use a baking tray with sides that are at least 3/4 inch high in case of leaks.

Unwrap And Baste

Halfway through the cooking time, remove the foil to expose the top of the ribs and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Brush the ribs generously with the sauce, making sure to cover all of the meat. This will add flavor and moisture to the ribs and create a nice crust.

Finish With A Glaze

For a perfect finish, remove the ribs from the oven a few minutes early and brush with a glaze. This can be a blend of honey, soy sauce, oil and dijon mustard. The finishing glaze adds a glossy finish and some sweetness to the ribs.


Cooking spare ribs may sound complicated, but it’s actually an easy process that requires a few simple steps. Now that you know how long to bake spare ribs in the oven, as well as the tips and tricks to get the perfect result, it’s time to get cooking! Take your time to prepare the ribs, season them generously, and wrap them properly. Remember to keep an eye on them, and check the temperature to ensure you don’t overcook or undercook them. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can make the perfect spare ribs that will be juicy, tender, and finger-licking delicious.


How Long Do You Bake Spare Ribs In The Oven?

The cooking time for spare ribs in the oven will depend on several factors such as the oven temperature, rib size, and desired doneness. In general, spare ribs typically take 2-3 hours to bake in the oven at 350°F.

How Do I Know When Spare Ribs Are Done Baking In The Oven?

The best way to determine if spare ribs are done baking is by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the ribs should reach 145°F for safe consumption. Additionally, the meat should pull away from the bone easily and have a beautiful golden brown color with crispy edges.

Can I Bake Spare Ribs At A Higher Temperature For A Shorter Amount Of Time?

While it is possible to bake spare ribs at a higher temperature, it is not recommended. Cooking at a higher temperature can cause the ribs to become dry and tough. It is best to stick to the recommended temperature and cooking time for optimal results.

Should I Cover Spare Ribs With Foil While Baking In The Oven?

Yes, it is important to cover the ribs with foil while baking in the oven. This helps to keep the moisture in and prevent the ribs from drying out. You can remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of baking for a crispy glaze on the ribs.

How Can I Make Spare Ribs More Tender In The Oven?

To make spare ribs more tender in the oven, you can try marinating them overnight in a mixture of your choice (such as apple cider vinegar and brown sugar) or using a slow cooking method. Another tip is to baste the ribs with a liquid (such as BBQ sauce or stock) during the baking process to keep them moist.