How to Cook Ribs in the Oven Without Foil

Smoked Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs
Ribs covered in barbecue sauce. (Image: bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images)

Aluminum foil isn't necessary to cook ribs in the oven, but you do need a slow, gentle oven temperature. Roasting the ribs at temperatures above 300 degrees Fahrenheit will dry them out. Start with some savory seasonings and end with a basting of smoke-infused butter. The entire process from start to finish takes less than 2 hours.

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Make a rub for the ribs by combining salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, chipotle chili powder, brown sugar -- or any other seasonings you prefer -- in a bowl.

Step 2

Place the ribs bone-side down on a rack on a baking sheet or roasting pan. Rub the seasonings thoroughly into the meat. Bake the ribs in the pan on the middle oven rack until they are golden-brown, and the meat has shrunken from the bones by about 1/4 inch. Baby back ribs typically need approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours to cook, while spare ribs and beef ribs need about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of baking time, depending on the number of ribs.

Step 3

Baste the ribs with a mixture of liquid smoke and melted butter, or sprinkle them with mesquite seasoning. They won't have quite the same flavor as ribs smoked over a fire, but they'll taste pretty close.

Step 4

Heat the oven to broil. Slather the ribs with barbecue sauce if you like and place them under the broiler for 5 minutes for a sizzling, crisp finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Seasonings

  • Baby back, spare ribs or beef ribs

  • Rack

  • Baking or roasting pan

  • Liquid smoke

  • Salted butter

  • Barbecue sauce

Tip

The center of a rack of ribs generally doesn't cook as quickly as the ends. Stick a toothpick in between the middle ribs. The meat should feel soft and pliable. If not, cook the ribs for 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Warning

Cook ribs to 120 F for rare.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.