Mouthwatering Ribs: How Long to Cook Ribs in the Oven at 350°F
Cooking ribs in the oven is a fantastic way to achieve tender, flavorful, and succulent meat without the need for outdoor grilling or a smoker. Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner in the world of rib preparation, knowing how long to cook ribs in the oven at 350°F is essential for a delicious result. In this guide, we’ll take you through the steps to perfect oven-baked ribs.
1. Ingredients and Equipment
Before you begin, gather the necessary ingredients and equipment:
- Rack(s) of ribs (baby back or spare ribs)
- Dry rub or seasoning of your choice
- Barbecue sauce (optional, for glazing)
- Baking sheet or roasting pan
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking thermometer
2. Preparing the Ribs
Rinse and Pat Dry: Start by rinsing the ribs under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels. This helps remove any bone fragments and ensures the rub adheres properly.
Remove the Membrane (Optional): On the bone side of the ribs, you may find a thin membrane. Removing it can help the seasonings penetrate the meat better. Use a butter knife or your fingers to loosen a corner of the membrane, then grip it with a paper towel and pull it off in one piece.
Season the Ribs: Generously season the ribs with your chosen dry rub or seasoning. This can be a store-bought mix or a homemade blend of herbs and spices. Make sure to rub the seasoning evenly on both sides of the ribs.
3. Preheat the Oven
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). It’s important to have a fully preheated oven to ensure even cooking.
4. Wrapping the Ribs
Place the seasoned ribs on a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. If the ribs are too long for one piece of foil, you can use two overlapping pieces to create a larger cooking surface.
5. Slow Baking Method
To achieve tender and juicy ribs, you’ll use a slow-baking method. Wrap the ribs tightly in the foil, creating a sealed packet. Ensure there are no gaps for steam to escape. This will help the ribs cook in their juices, enhancing flavor and tenderness.
6. Cooking Time
The cooking time for ribs at 350°F depends on the type of ribs and their thickness:
- Baby Back Ribs: Bake for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours.
- Spare Ribs: Bake for about 3 to 3.5 hours.
Check for doneness by using a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the ribs should reach around 190-203°F (88-95°C). When the meat easily pulls away from the bone, it’s a sign that your ribs are perfectly cooked.
7. Optional Glazing
For a final touch of flavor, you can glaze the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce during the last 15-30 minutes of cooking. Simply open the foil packet, brush on the sauce, and return the ribs to the oven to caramelize the sauce.
8. Resting and Serving
Once your ribs are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest, still wrapped in foil, for about 10-15 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful rib.
After resting, unwrap the ribs, slice them between the bones, and serve with your favorite side dishes.
Cooking ribs in the oven at 350°F is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy this classic barbecue favorite. With patience and a few simple steps, you’ll savor tender, flavorful ribs that are sure to impress your family and guests.