How Long to Cook Beef Ribs for Perfectly Tender Results

Beef ribs can make for an incredibly flavorful, tender and juicy main dish when cooked properly. But exactly how long do you need to cook beef ribs to achieve fall-off-the-bone perfection? Let’s break down optimal oven and grill times for these meaty ribs.

Oven Baked Beef Ribs

For oven-baked beef back ribs or short ribs, the ideal cooking time is:

  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
    • Prep Time: 10 minutes
    • Cook Time: 4 hours
    • Marinate Time: 2 hours

This allows time for seasoning and marinating before cooking low and slow in the oven. Here are more details:

  • Marinate: Season the ribs generously with spices and let sit for 2 hours. This allows the flavors to sink in.

  • Cook: Bake at a low 250°F oven for 4 full hours. This extended time makes the ribs incredibly tender.

  • Rest: Let ribs sit for 10 minutes before serving.

You can tell the ribs are done when the meat pulls cleanly off the bones. If needed, cook for even longer than 4 hours until fork tender.

Grilled Beef Ribs

For ribs cooked on the grill, the times are shorter since the heat is more direct:

  • Back Ribs: Grill for 2-3 hours at medium heat.

  • Short Ribs: Grill for 1 1/2 – 2 hours at medium heat.

Cook times vary based on thickness of ribs and grill temperature. Ribs are done when you can twist them and the meat starts to tear away from the bone.

Oven vs Grill: Which is Better?

Both cooking methods have their merits when making beef ribs:

Oven Pros

  • Very hands off method. Just season, set and forget.

  • Delivers very tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

  • Allows you to cook a large batch evenly.

Grill Pros

  • Adds nice charred flavor from the grill.

  • Still achieves decent tenderness in less time.

  • Works well for smaller portions.

For ultimate ease and fork-tender results, the oven is likely the better choice. But grilling imparts extra smoky depth. Choose based on your time, ribs and preferences.

Tips for Perfectly Cooked Beef Ribs

Follow these tips no matter which cooking method you use:

  • Remove membrane – This silvery lining can make ribs tougher. Peel it off the back before seasoning.

  • Season generously – A good dry rub is key for flavor. Apply spice mix liberally before cooking.

  • Cook low and slow – Whether oven or grill, low gentle heat makes ribs tender. Be patient.

  • Check for doneness – Meat should tear easily from the bones when ready. Use a meat thermometer to confirm.

  • Broil with sauce – Brush ribs with sauce in the last 5-10 minutes to caramelize.

  • Let rest before serving – Waiting 10 minutes allows juices to settle for juicier meat.

When cooked properly, beef ribs are fall-apart tender with each bite. Now let’s look at specific tips for oven and grill cooking methods.

Oven Baked Beef Rib Tips

  • Cook at 250°F – This low temp gently breaks down connective tissue over time.

  • Cover with foil – Keeping ribs covered ensures they braise in their juices for tenderness.

  • Use a roasting pan – A deep pan catches all the flavorful drippings.

  • Flip halfway – Rotate ribs once during baking so they cook evenly.

  • Check for doneness – Use a fork or thermometer to test when ribs are ready.

  • Add sauce at end – Brush on sauce in last 15 minutes to caramelize but avoid burning.

Grilled Beef Rib Tips

  • Use indirect heat – Cook ribs off to the side, not over direct flames to prevent charring.

  • Flip only once – Turn ribs just one time so you don’t lose moisture.

  • Mop with sauce – Regularly brush ribs with sauce to keep moist.

  • Move to direct heat – In last 10 minutes move ribs over flames to char edges.

  • Slice for serving – Cut between bones into individual ribs before serving.

  • Watch carefully – Since grilling is quicker, keep a close eye on doneness.

Whether roasted low and slow in the oven or fired up on the grill, following these tips will deliver you amazing beef ribs every time. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for cooking since beef ribs need time to become fork tender.

Now that you know how long to cook beef ribs, here are estimated times for different rib sizes:

Cooking Times for Different Rib Sizes

Back Ribs

  • Individual ribs (1-2 lbs): 1 1/2 – 2 hours
  • Half slab (3 lbs): 2 1/2 – 3 hours
  • Full slab (5-7 lbs): 4-5 hours

Short Ribs

  • Individual ribs (1-2 lbs): 1 – 1 1/2 hours
  • Rack (3-4 lbs): 2 – 3 hours
  • Full rack (5-7 lbs): 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 hours

The times above are general guidelines for oven roasting at 250°F. Always rely on textures and temperatures rather than just times. Grill times may be 30 minutes to 1 hour less.

How Long to Cook Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs

Beef back ribs generally take slightly longer to become tender since they have a bit more connective tissue. Short ribs tend to cook a little faster. For example:

  • Back ribs: 4-5 hours
  • Short ribs: 3-4 hours

Cook times also depend on the size of the ribs. Heftier ribs will need more time regardless of the cut. Use the times above as a starting point.

Can You Overcook Beef Ribs?

It is possible to overcook beef ribs if left baking or grilling for too long. Signs of overcooking include:

  • Meat drying out and becoming tough

  • Bones completely falling out of meat

  • Ribs sticking firmly to the pan

  • Burnt, blackened exterior

Taste and texture are the best indicators of doneness. Pull ribs immediately once tender and not before sauce charring happens.

Now that you know exactly how long to cook beef ribs to perfection, it’s time to fire up the oven or grill and enjoy some incredibly tender, finger-licking ribs. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for the low, gentle cooking process. The investment of time is well worth it for those succulent, fall-off-the-bone results. Happy rib cooking!

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


How long do beef ribs take?

Good bbq takes time and this will be no different. For an average 3 bone rack of smoked beef ribs, you’re looking at a cook time of anywhere between 6-8 hours. All you have to have to do during this time is just make sure the smoker temperature stays in the 250-275 range.

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.

How long to grill beef ribs at 350?

Grilling Beef Back Ribs Cook them the fast way from 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees. Either way is delicious if seasoned correctly.

How long does it take to cook beef ribs at 250?

Set the smoker for 235-250 degrees Fahrenheit. I use pecan or oak wood when smoking beef back ribs. Smoke the ribs for about 3 hours and you can spray with some apple juice during the this time to keep the ribs moist.

Leave a Comment