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Feb 18, 2009 01:39 PM

Pork Ribs in the oven

Ok let me get this out of the way. I was raised in Texas and I have been an avid Q smoker for about 15 years, and I am well aware off the religious zeal people get about parboiling, etc. I know how to smoke ribs low and slow the "correct" way - according to the NBBQA, etc. So lets not go there, thats not what this is about.

I just moved into a new house and do not yet have any outdoor cooking devices as of yet. I want to make amazing ribs completely indoors. I am thinking just a standard dry rub, with a slurry of liquid smoke and maybe mustard, garlic, oil. Bake at lowest heat, mine is wont go as low as I would like - i think 325 is lowest - I would prefer at most 250. I like the fat rendering action of spares, but think baby backs might be better suited to be more tender in the shorter time with the higher temp.

Should I put them in foil with beer for a braise initially? Maybe Broil for the first or last 15 minutes to get a nice crust?

I am not necessarily looking to reproduce pit Q flavor (cant be done), just the best rib that can be made with no fire. :-)

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. foil w/ white wine (or beer if that's what you want)

    250 for 2.5 hrs

    broil at the end

    details here:

    5 Replies
    1. re: jaykayen

      Seems like 2.5 hours at 250 would not be long enough. I smoke at 250 and it typically takes at least 4 hours for them to be hand pullable. I suppose I could follow the same recipe and just cook until desired doneness.

      1. re: ZeTerroir


        With due respect to (jaykayen)I would agree @ 250* 2.5 hours is insufficient time to make tender ribs, or at the very least, not my preferred method. However, checking the link, two things stick out. One the recipe is using Baby Backs not Belly Spare Ribs which are commonly a little tougher. Second, the recipe call for the Baby Backs to be braised in the liquid wrapped foil. The braising liquid is then drained into a sauce pot and reduced to form thicker syrupy mixture for glazing the ribs ,which does sound great, but with Spare Ribs it may take longer for best results.

        1. re: ZeTerroir

          You know, I've done the recipe before. And it worked really well. The hundreds of comments are extremely positive, and it gets a positive response on CH, as well. YMMV.

          Smoking takes longer because the convection fluid is air. Seems to me that a foil braise should take less time because the convection fluid is liquid.

          Even though 2.5 hrs might not be long enough for you, I doubt you would do a 4 hr braise... but, anyway, glad it worked out for you.

          1. re: jaykayen

            You may be right. Like I said I did 3 hours, half at 250 and half at 325, with 25 minute glaze broil and they were perfect. But they may have been perfect just following the recipe as well. :-)

        2. re: jaykayen

          Foil and beer is how I do mine. Don't get a crust first. 250 or the lowest for about 2 1/2 hours and then I remove the foil and bake just another 20 minutes and then broil at the end if necessary for a crust. A lot of times, baste a little honey or some sauce or just the liquid to make a crust. Hard when cooking in a grill. I fine that helps.

          Depends on how many ribs. 2 1/2 at 250 is low, I make mine at 325 for a small batch and then the extra 20 minutes without foil so a little over 3 hours. Also depends on how thick. Mine were baby back ribs, but I like mine tender.

          I add 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar to the beer, garlic, bay leaf and 1 large onion cut in chunks. Just add some nice flavor. Also I add hickory chips right to the beer next to the ribs. Add a smokiness which works great.

          I make these for my catering company and never had complaints although I usually finish on the grill. However, sometimes weather in FL doesn't agree in the summer, so I have finished in the oven when necessary.

        3. Cooking Baby Backs would require less time and baking at 325* would not be a problem to produce tender ribs in about two hours time. You can wrap them in foil or not.....I have seen many recipes though where it is suggested you wrap them in foil if you are cooking for a shorter amount of time, with sauce or not. I prefer to slow roast/bake any type of rib most of the time, but I have friends who claim it can be done in as little as 90 minutes, coming out tender and tasty.

          The problem with a dry rub and then introducing liquid is that most of the spices will come off. Using the following recipe, even steam will make the spices disappear, but I would still suggest you consider it given your dilemma. Once I purchased a box of Danish Baby Back Ribs, which weigh out individually to about half the size and weight of Pork St Louis Style Ribs. The suggested method for cooking was to take a large hotel pan with about an inch of water in it, place a wire rack above the water line, place seasoned ribs on the rack and cover tightly with foil, then place on the middle rack of the oven and cook at @275 for 1-1.5 hours, remove and re-season to taste and/or apply any sauce and continue cooking for another 30 minutes on another sheet pan, with grilling or broiling optional to produce a crust if preferred. I took these directions and did the same with St. Louis Ribs another time...but cooking an additional 30-45 minutes and the ribs were tender when finished.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourunder


            i followed Alton's recipe with a few variations. I removed the membrane on the concave side as I always do, and I altered the temperature a bit. I went with about and hour and a half at 250, then and an hour and a half at 325. Reduced the braise liquid to a glaze, applied to top, then broiled for about 15 minutes. Perfection. Falling of the bone, crisp sweet savory crust, everything was right.

            Not pit ribs - entirely another manifestation, but certainly worth a try to anyone looking for an indoor rib alternative,

          2. I really like that Alton recipe when I don't want to spend hours at the smoker. When the weather isn't too bad, I cook the ribs in the oven and then smoke them for 20 minutes or so on the grill outside.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bear

              Just had to add my two cents.

              I needed to take a few racks of ribs for a camping party but didn't have a lot of time to get them ready and was working in the morning before we left. So, the night before, I removed the membranes from the four racks of ribs, rubbed them down with a dry spice rub, wrapped each in foil and placed two racks each on a cookie sheet and placed in the oven. I think I set the oven temp for 175 or 200 and left them overnight. Not sure the total time but believe it was around eight hours. The next morning I check them and they were cooked through and tender. I let them cool a bit while I got ready for work, then placed them, still in the foil, but drained of the grease in large plastic bags and into my fridge. They went into the cooler when we hit the road and at the campsite I grilled them with sauce over an open fire on a rack until hot and a bit crispy. People raved and they were gone in about 15 minutes! I would definitely do them this way again, especially when I am stressed for time.

              1. re: jodymaryk

                Sounds great. There's nothing like the depth of flavors and the complexity of slow-smoked meats, but it's not always feasible to spend hours at the smoker. The grill can add just a bit of fire-kissed goodness to oven-cooked ribs and take them from just "okay" to good.

                When I'm in a hurry, I like to to the foil/oven method, and then soak some soaked wood chips and use indirect heat in the smoker for a few minutes to give a bit of smoke taste. Then brush on sauce and put them briefly over the fire to lightly char the sauce. I know this won't work for purists, but it allows us to eat ribs more often than we would otherwise.

                I do have to do the full smoking method every once in a while, though. All that love really puts the pork over the top.