Easy oven ribs with a dry rub

This ain’t your mama’s oven recipe. We’re ditching the dry, overcooked disappointments of yesteryear and diving into a world of moist, flavorful magic. It’s a symphony of textures – the smoky char of the rub, the slight caramelization on the edges, the yielding tenderness of the meat. And the taste? A chorus of spices singing in perfect harmony, a smoky-sweet melody that lingers on your palate long after the last bite.

So, ditch the takeout menus and fire up your oven, because rib night is about to get real. This recipe is your passport to backyard barbecue bliss, minus the charcoal dust and singed eyebrows. We’ll walk you through every step, from crafting the aromatic dry rub to achieving that fall-off-the-bone perfection, all in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Ingredients for dry rub for pork ribs in oven

Dry Rub ingredients in a bowl

Brown sugar: When combined with paprika or smoked paprika, brown sugar undergoes a magical transformation. The sugars react with the smoky components, creating a deeper, even smokier flavor that mimics the deliciousness of traditional grilling without the need for actual smoke.

White sugar: While minimal, white sugar can contribute to moisture retention in the ribs during cooking. It draws moisture from the surface to the exterior, creating a slightly sticky layer that helps trap moisture and prevent your ribs from drying out.

Smoked paprika: Not everyone has access to a smoker, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have smoky ribs. Smoked paprika is your secret weapon, injecting that irresistible smokiness without the need for fancy equipment. Just sprinkle it on, and your oven becomes a smoker in disguise, crafting fall-off-the-bone ribs with depth and character.

Salt: Salt isn’t just about making things salty. It elevates and balances the other flavors in your rub, drawing out the sweetness, spice, and smokiness of your chosen ingredients. Imagine a symphony where the salt acts as the conductor, harmonizing all the different notes into a cohesive melody.

Black pepper: In a well-crafted dry rub, black pepper plays the role of the harmony agent. It tames the sweetness of brown sugar or paprika, rounds out the smokiness of paprika or cayenne, and elevates the savory notes of garlic or onion powder. It’s the conductor of the flavor orchestra, making sure all the ingredients sing in perfect unison.

Granulated garlic: Granulated garlic helps retain moisture during oven cooking, leading to succulent, tender ribs. Its hygroscopic nature attracts and holds onto water, preventing the meat from drying out and ensuring that each bite is juicy and flavorful.

Mustard powder: Mustard powder packs a punch of savory, slightly pungent flavor that complements the smokiness and sweetness of other typical rub ingredients like brown sugar, paprika, and chili powder. It adds depth and complexity, preventing your ribs from tasting one-dimensional.

Cayenne pepper: Cayenne isn’t just about heat; it packs a complex punch of fruity, earthy, and slightly floral notes. These layers of flavor mingle with the other spices in your rub, creating a richer, more well-rounded taste that complements the savory pork beautifully.

Dry rub in a bowl

The magic rib dust is ready! Get ready to transform your ribs from “meh” to “marvelous” with this incredible dry rub. Just imagine the smoky paprika, the sweet brown sugar, and the sassy cayenne pepper, all conspiring to create a flavor explosion in your taste buds. It’s like giving your ribs a high five with deliciousness!

Raw ribs, membrane removed and dried on a tray

Okay, let’s get those ribs ready for some rib-tacular fun! First things first, let’s ditch that tough membrane on the back of the rack. Just peel it off like a sticker – easy peasy! Then, give your ribs a quick splash and dash under cold water, like a mini shower party for pork. And finally, grab some paper towels and pat them dry, because nobody likes soggy ribs (unless you’re a soggy rib monster, then more power to you!). Now they’re prepped and primed for some serious seasoning and cooking magic!

Ribs seasoned with dry rub and butter on a tray.

Time to get this rib party started! First things first, give those beauties a generous sprinkle of our secret-weapon dry rub (or your personal fave, no judgment here!). Then, let’s add a little butter love – just a few pats will work wonders in keeping things juicy and flavorful. Now, for the secret to ultimate rib-tastic cleanup: wrap those bad boys up snugly in some heavy-duty aluminum foil. Trust me, your future self will thank you for this easy hack!

Pop your prepped ribs into the oven, heated to a cozy 350 degrees! 

Alright, rib fans, let’s talk fall-apart deliciousness! You’ve got your oven sizzling hot, and your ribs snugly wrapped in foil, and now comes the juicy decision: firm bite or melt-in-your-mouth magic?

If you’re dreaming of ribs practically dissolving on your tongue, leave those ribs wrapped up tight for the whole cooking time. The steamy foil bath will keep things moist and tender, but hold their shape for a satisfying chew.

But if you’re the “gotta wrestle my meat” type, ditch the foil after one hour! Let the last bit of cooking happen uncovered, so the edges get a chance to caramelize and the flavors intensify. Get ready for those bones practically begging to be released!

No matter your preference, remember, there’s no wrong way to love ribs. So fire up that oven, grab your favorite sauce, and get ready for a finger-lickin’ good time!

Partially cooked ribs on a tray ready for sauce.

Ah, behold your beautiful rib masterpiece! Look at that glistening glaze, the smoky char peeking through, and the edges begging to be dipped in sauce. One hour covered and 30 minutes uncovered worked their magic, leaving you with ribs practically singing about their tenderness. But hold your horses, barbecue buddy, because the grand finale is about to begin!

It’s sauce time! Grab your favorite concoction, be it a sweet and sticky classic, a fiery Carolina-style mustard sauce, or a tangy Memphis rub, and let’s paint these ribs with flavor. Get creative, layer on the goodness, and remember, there’s no such thing as too much sauce when it comes to ribs.

Think of it like giving your taste buds a warm hug with every bite. Soon, you’ll have a rack of ribs so good, they’ll have you belting out your own barbecue anthem. So stay tuned, because the next step involves slathering, basting, and turning those bad boys into sticky, saucy perfection!

Partially cooked ribs with sauce on a tray

Now that you’ve slathered them in your favorite BBQ sauce, give them a cozy homecoming back in the oven for 20-30 minutes. This magical step transforms the sauce into a sticky, glazed masterpiece, with a hint of golden brown edges that beg to be devoured. Think of it as giving your ribs a sun-kissed tan that promises an explosion of flavor with every bite. Stay tuned, because the grand finale is almost here, and it involves finger-lickin’ good ribs that practically sing your praises!

Cooked slab of ribs on a baking tray

Picture this: a symphony of smoky-sweet ribs glistening with caramelized sauce, piled high on a platter like culinary royalty. That, my friends, is the glorious sight that greeted us after pulling these beauties out of the oven. They weren’t alone, of course. Coleslaw, fresh and crunchy, stood ready to cut through the richness, while baked beans simmered like molten gold, ready to add a touch of sweet smokiness. And to soak up every glorious drop? Homemade rustic bread, crusty and warm, waiting to be ripped and dipped with unabashed glee.

It was a feast for the senses, a celebration of ribs that had reached peak deliciousness. The aroma alone could stop traffic, a heady mix of spices, smoke, and sweet, sticky sauce. And the first bite? Pure bliss, every flavor layer singing in perfect harmony. We devoured them like kings and queens, reveling in the messy, finger-lickin’ goodness.

So there you have it, folks, the rib journey from humble rack to saucy, smoky nirvana. Now go forth, fire up your ovens, and create your very own rib masterpiece. Trust me, the rewards are beyond words!

Cooked cut up ribs on a baking tray. This is a Pin for Pinterest

I’m so glad you enjoyed this delicious oven-baked rib recipe. Sharing it with your friends on Pinterest is a fantastic way to spread the barbecue love and inspire some lip-smacking feasts.

Cooked slab of ribs on a baking tray

Easy oven ribs with a dry rub

Forget the flame, embrace flavor! These oven ribs bathed in homemade rub are juicy, smoky, and ready to rock your taste buds. No grill mess, just pure rib magic.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ribs
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 441kcal
Author: James Strange


  • 1 rack Baby back ribs
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons White sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 Cup BBQ sauce


Prepare the rub

  • To a bowl add brown sugar, white sugar, smoked paprika, salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper.
    2 Tablespoons Brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons White sugar, 1 teaspoon Smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon Black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon Mustard powder, 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • Stir to combine and set aside.


  • Remove the membrane from the ribs, wash the ribs, and pat them dry.
    1 rack Baby back ribs
  • Season the ribs with dry rub and top with butter
    2 Tablespoons Butter
  • Wrap the ribs with heavy-duty aluminum foil, and place them onto a baking tray.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • Place the wrapped ribs into the oven
  • Cook the ribs at 350F for 1 hour and remove the ribs. Open the aluminum foil to expose the top of the ribs. Return to the oven. (if wanting very tender ribs skip this step)
  • After 30 minutes remove the ribs from the oven and brush on BBQ sauce.
    1/4 Cup BBQ sauce
  • Return the ribs to the oven and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove the ribs from the oven and serve.


Calories: 441kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 1130mg | Potassium: 423mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
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