How Long Should You Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven for Perfectly Tender Results?

Beef ribs are a delicious, finger-licking treat that can be the star of any barbecue or holiday table. When cooked properly, beef ribs become fall-off-the-bone tender with a caramelized exterior. While grilling or smoking beef ribs may seem intimidating for beginners, the oven provides an easy, foolproof cooking method. But how long should you cook beef ribs in the oven?

Factors That Determine Beef Rib Cooking Time

Several factors impact total cooking time for oven-baked beef ribs:

  • Cut of Rib – Short ribs cook faster than back ribs or beef plate ribs. Short ribs may only need 4-5 hours while plate ribs can take 6-8 hours.

  • Meat Thickness – The thicker the rib meat, the longer the cook time. Thin-cut ribs may only require 4 hours while thick-cut can need 8+ hours.

  • Bone vs Boneless – Boneless ribs cook faster than ribs with bones. Bones insulate heat and elongate cooking time.

  • Oven Temperature – Lower oven temps (200-250°F) result in slower cooking but increased tenderness. Higher temps (300-350°F) speed cooking.

  • Desired Tenderness – The longer you cook ribs, the more tender they become. Adjust time based on preference.

Recommended Oven Temperatures and Cook Times

Taking these factors into account, here are general guidelines for oven cooking times and temperatures for beef ribs:

  • 250°F – Cook for 7-8 hours. Best for maximum tenderness. Good for larger cuts.

  • 275°F – Cook for 5-6 hours. Allows tenderizing while avoiding overcooking.

  • 300°F – Cook for 4-5 hours. Quicker cooking while still tenderizing. Better for thinner ribs.

  • 325-350°F – Cook for 3-4 hours. Best for boneless or thinly cut ribs you want tender but not fall-off-the-bone.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Oven-Baked Beef Ribs

Follow these simple steps for foolproof oven-baked beef ribs every time:

1. Prepare the Ribs

  • Choose your preferred rib cut, bone-in or boneless. Look for evenly cut ribs with a good ratio of meat to bone/cartilage.

  • Carefully remove the thin membrane or “silver skin” from the bone side of the ribs. This inedible skin can cause ribs to curl during cooking.

  • Pat ribs dry, then season liberally with your favorite rub or spices like salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, etc.

2. Allow Rib Seasonings to Permeate

  • Arrange seasoned ribs in a single layer on a sheet pan or baking dish.

  • Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes up to 1 hour. This allows seasonings and spices to fully penetrate the meat.

3. Prepare Your Cooking Surface

  • Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Be sure to line it enough to fully wrap ribs later.

  • For easiest cleanup, you can place ribs directly on the foil. Or place a wire cooling rack inside the foil-lined pan to allow air circulation.

4. Calculate Cook Time and Preheat Oven

  • Estimate required cook time based on cut, thickness, bone vs boneless, and desired tenderness.

  • Preheat your oven to the temperature you prefer – 250°F for maximum tenderness or up to 350°F for quicker cooking.

5. Cook Ribs Slow and Low

  • Place seasoned ribs meat-side up in a single layer on pan/rack. Don’t overcrowd.

  • Wrap pan tightly with aluminum foil, sealing edges to lock in moisture.

  • Cook for estimated time, checking tenderness periodically by poking ribs with a fork.

  • For additional tenderness, add 1⁄2 cup broth/water to the foil packet.

6. Allow Ribs to Rest Before Serving

  • Carefully remove ribs from oven, reserving juices from the pan.

  • Allow ribs to rest 15-30 minutes before unwrapping. This allows juices to reabsorb for maximum flavor.

  • Slice ribs between bones and serve with pan juices for dipping.

7. Finish with BBQ Sauce (Optional)

  • For added flavor, brush ribs with barbecue sauce during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

  • You can also serve extra sauce on the side for dipping.

Cooking Tips for Perfect Oven-Baked Beef Ribs

  • Cook ribs low and slow – aim for 225-250°F for best shredding tenderness.

  • Let ribs sit at room temperature after seasoning – this helps spices permeate meat.

  • Remove silver skin membrane from back of ribs – stops ribs curling during cooking.

  • Cook ribs in a foil packet – seals in moisture and allows ribs to braise in their juices.

  • Check doneness with a fork test – ribs should be tender enough to easily pierce all over.

  • Let ribs rest before serving – allows juices to re-absorb for increased tenderness and flavor.

  • Add liquid to the foil packet – broth or water helps ribs braise for extra moisture.

  • Finish with BBQ sauce – for the last 10-15 mins or serve sauce on the side.

Signs Your Beef Ribs are Done Cooking

It can be tricky to know exactly when your oven-cooked beef ribs are done to perfection. Watch for these cues:

  • Meat has visibly shrunk back from the ends of the bones by 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 inch.

  • Meat has contracted and begun to split between the bones.

  • A fork slides cleanly through meat without resistance.

  • Meat has pulled back from the ends of the rib bones.

  • An instant read thermometer reads ~195-205°F when inserted into thickest meat.

Let Your Oven Do the Work

Cooking beef ribs seems intimidating but the oven does all the work for you. Just season the ribs, set the right oven temp, and let them slow cook to fall-off-the-bone perfection. With the right prep and these timing guidelines, you’ll turn out mouthwatering oven-baked beef ribs every time.

Oven Baked BBQ Beef Ribs Recipe – How to Make Ribs in the Oven


How long to cook ribs in oven at 350?

Larger, fattier ribs need to be cooked longer than baby backs. Shoot for around 2 hours at 350 degrees if the ribs are uncovered, as in our Barbecued Pork Ribs. If wrapped in foil, the ribs can go for up to 3 hours at 300°F degrees, or crank the oven up to 400 degrees for a briefer baking time—1.5 to 2 hours.

What temp should you cook beef ribs to?

Temperature for Beef Ribs Once your beautiful ribs are seasoned and slow smoking, it’s time to finish it up and bring it all together. Smoke the ribs to an internal temperature of 203 degrees F, and this is where a good meat thermometer is absolutely crucial.

Can you overcook beef ribs in the oven?

What longer cooking times do to beef ribs. You would think that longer cooking times would simply mean more tender, succulent beef. Sadly, this is simply not the case. Cooking any kind of meat for too long will usually leave it dry, tough, and utterly unappealing.

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