Introduction: Melt in Your Mouth Ribs

Picture of Melt in Your Mouth Ribs

I'm a modest person, there are many things I don't share on Instructables because I don't think it's perfect and thus it's not good enough to post. I'm my own worst critic.

That being said, I'm a Texan and I used to work for a BBQ pit to help pay for college. I have never had ribs (made by a person or a restaurant) that are as good as these. The secret is keeping the moisture in the meat. When you're done they shouldn't be difficult to cut because they're so tender and falling apart.

As a Texan I prefer dry rub over southern style sauces. I feel like the meat should have enough flavor it doesn't need a sauce, it should be savory and have a little bite to it without being overly hot. Some of this is because if it's just hot without flavor it seems like you don't know how to flavor the meat. The other part is my husband can't even handle too much pepper. (Sorry honey, I love you!) So let's make the best ribs you'll ever have. ;)

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

I place a couple of dishcloths on the counter to keep the cutting board from sliding while I'm working with the ribs. You'll need a roll of aluminum foil, a large cutting surface to work on and a good knife. The ingredients are easy! Mayonnaise (NOT miracle whip), Cajun seasoning and babyback ribs. It's easier to cook them on a baking/cookie sheet if you have one but mine bit the dust last week so I used a roasting pan I had on hand. You can make these on the grill if you have one, but I made them in the oven for this recipe.

Step 2: Dry and Trim

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Preheat your oven to 300°F (149°C). Dry off the blood from the ribs and trim the fatty tissue off of the end. This is pretty easy to do, it just is a little tedious because it may come off in pieces. Take your time so you don't accidentally cut off the meat. That's the good part!

Step 3: Score the Membrane

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The membrane attached to the rib bones acts as a moisture barrier and stops it (and the flavors from the rub) from getting through to the meat. I've seen people cut it off but it's a giant pain in the butt and completely unnecessary. I just score it in a crosshatch pattern with my cutting knife. A couple of good passes for each line is good enough, you just have to get through the membrane.

Step 4: Tenderize the Meat

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Nobody likes tough bbq, and if you tenderize the meat with your knife then it gives the seasoning and mayo a place to soak in more thoroughly. Take your knife and stab the top of the ribs all the way across until they're perforated. You're just going through the top, don't stab so hard that you cut all the way through the meat.

Step 5: Moisturize

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The way you get fall of the bone tender ribs is make sure they retain their moisture. You could only wrap them, but using mayo adds a lot of extra moisture and is the secret to why they're so tender! Make a line of mayo across the ribs and massage it into the meat until it covers (this includes the sides!). If you're like me and you hate the feeling of raw meat, this will be the most disgusting thing you've ever felt. Just grit your teeth and bear it.

Step 6: Rub

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The Cajun seasoning is the perfect dry rub: tangy, savory and a little bit spicy. It soaks into the meat and tastes amazing! Take your seasoning and shake it back and forth to cover the ribs in a light layer. Make sure you get the top, bottom, and all of the sides!

Step 7: Wrap

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You want to wrap the ribs completely in foil to trap the moisture in while they're cooking. Lay them out and fold over the ends then fold over the sides. Pull another sheet over where those sides are together to cover the gap they create and flip them over. Fold again the same way and place them bottom side down on your baking sheet then place in the oven. You want them bottom (bone) down to begin with so the moisture will rise and permeate through the membrane.

Step 8: Cook and Flip (a.k.a. Wait Forever)

Picture of Cook and Flip (a.k.a. Wait Forever)

Place your wrapped ribs bottom side down on your baking sheet and place in the oven. Set the timer for 1.5 hours. When the timer goes off, flip them over to their top side and put them in for another 1.5 hours.

Step 9: Cut and Serve

Picture of Cut and Serve

Be careful removing the foil! It's full of extremely hot steam and juices from the ribs. You can easily burn yourself if you put your hand over the opening in the foil. Gingerly remove it and let the ribs rest for 10 minutes. They will be so tender you could pull them apart so you will also need care in cutting them apart. Take your knife and follow slowly along the bone as your guide. Serve and enjoy!


briscaF1 (author)2017-11-25

This is a great recipe and our "go to" ribs method after trying others that just didn't work.

We normally use BBQ or jerk rub but next time will try Chinese five spice.

Thank you for this.

Swansong (author)briscaF12017-11-27

Awesome, I'm glad they worked out for you. :) Five spice sounds yummy, you'll have to tell us how it turns out!

dan adams (author)2017-08-21

Whoa this looks delicious! Can't wait to try it. Great use of gifs too!

Swansong (author)dan adams2017-08-22

I appreciate it, I hope you enjoy them!

Kumar SambhavP (author)2017-05-25


Swansong (author)Kumar SambhavP2017-05-29

Thanks ^.^


Thank you :)

tejasRamanuj (author)2017-05-03


Swansong (author)tejasRamanuj2017-05-03

Thanks :)

chefspenser (author)2017-05-01

I tried this over the weekend...maybe I used too much mayo because they were a bit soggy. Might try without the mayo as a second starting base and go from there. I'm thinking possibly poking a few small hols for the las 30 minutes on the third trial, if #2 is too wet. All in all, they ere delicious and thank you for the post!thi

Swansong (author)chefspenser2017-05-03

It sounds like you may have used too much mayo, it doesn't take a lot. Just enough to coat and stick the rub to it. I hope the next batch comes out better. :)

Feeble (author)2017-05-01

Really good!

This is, by far, the easiest recipe for good ribs that i found so far. Definitely something to put in my map with favourite recipes. I made them and they were great. A little too crispy, but that's because i didn't wrap them well enough and they started to leak.

Also, no dirty oven, no dirty dishes (almost).... Great recipe.

Swansong (author)Feeble2017-05-01

I love the easy cleanup too! Glad you enjoyed them :)

JoyC52 made it! (author)2017-04-29

These were the easiest and most "falling off the bone" ribs I've ever made. The rib bones just slid out of the meat. Now, I made a mistake and put a little too much of my own creole/Cajun dry rub on the ribs, but they were still delicious. Next time I'll know to use less, but I'll be using this technique from now on. Thanks! PS I used ordinary ribs, not baby back .

Swansong (author)JoyC522017-05-01

They look good! I'm glad you like them :)

ReaA6 (author)2017-04-29

My ribs are always fall off the bone, seasoned or not. The secret is in the meat. Buy the best grade meat you can afford, but even the cheapest will come out de-lish if cooked this way. This is only one method I use. But if you want that " off the grill flavo ", this is it! Braise the ribs on the lowest range top temp that you can after first bringing to a boil and immediately turning down to lowest temp. Cover and braise for half an hour, turn, braise another half hour. Take off heat, leave covered, and let rest for 15 minutes, ( forgot to say tilt the lid slightly so they don't ' steam '. Take out and place on platter to cool completly. These an be made hours in advance but do not refridgrrate. When ready to serve, throw on HOT grill, ( with or without sauce ) to get grill marks. After the first stage of braising, be very careful handling as they will start falling off the bone soon after.

Swansong (author)ReaA62017-05-01

Sounds good :)

watford (author)2017-04-26

My wife makes this in a similar same but instead of wrapping them in foil she just sits them in the pan with foil sealing the top of it while adding lemon juice and water to the bottom. A friend showed it to us many years ago. He said using a slow cooker makes it even more tender and juicy but doing it the way she does as I mentioned it basically falls off the bone anyway. I think she uses butter instead of mayo. I know for sure that she doesn't use mayo. Is there any reason you prefer mayo to butter?

Swansong (author)watford2017-04-26

Honestly, I haven't tried it with butter. Mayo was the way I was taught at the pit so it's how I got started. I'd be worried about the butter adding a lot of salt to the flavor with this rub though, it's already really salty. It would probably be yummy with other seasonings. ^.^

ReaA6 (author)Swansong2017-04-29

the answer is simple. Use UNSALTED butter. ?

watford (author)Swansong2017-04-26

She only uses unsalted butter and she doesn't use a mix of spices. She always mixes her own spices and I couldn't even begin to imagine what it is she uses for this. She's always been good with spices in my opinion.

TerryC111 (author)2017-04-25

I'm confused. In step 2 you say pre-heat oven to 300 degrees, then in step 8 you show oven set to 130 degrees. I'm used to "low & slow" so 130 degrees for 3 hours seems right to cook the ribs. Which is it?

Swansong (author)TerryC1112017-04-26

Sorry about the confusion. ^.^; The timer and the temperature use the same screen. It's 300 degrees for three hours, that's low and slow. The timer is set to one and a half hours, then you flip them and set it to one and a half hours again.

TerryC111 (author)Swansong2017-04-26


Thank you so much for the instructable. DaveD11, from your post set me straight. I’m going to try this method & I’ll let you know. I’m sure they will be delicious!



heavyweather (author)2017-04-25

That's exactly how I used to do it (on the grill and in the oven). To save energy I switched to the pressure cooker though. You can either cook them in BBQ sauce or steam cook them in foil just like you do. Will only take 30-40min to reach fall apart state. The hardest thing is getting it out of the pot with the bones.

I somehow doubt that Mayo is needed. When hot the meat will lose all the fat anyways. Have you tried it without?

Swansong (author)heavyweather2017-04-26

theboz1419 is correct. :) It does a great job of moisturizing the meat and helps the seasoning stay on and soak in. I've done it without but they come out drier and less flavorful. You could use mustard or other things, as they mentioned, but I prefer mayo because it doesn't affect the taste of the seasonings like mustard would. I don't like either very much so I use the one that's less noticeable. ^.^

theboz1419 (author)heavyweather2017-04-26

You are correct the mayo or most use either mustard or even an oil(egg and oil = mayo). Why its used? It is not for flavor in itself, but it keeps the rub on the meat and if done correctly, it makes a good bark.

I prefer mustard and always do them on the smoker, using a 321 method, and a Texas crutch, which is after 3 hours of smoke and they no longer need smoke, I wrap them in foil, with worch, brown sugar, apple juice, and butter. Wrapping them in foil(texas crutch) helps to tenderwise them.

TMorgan69 (author)2017-04-25

In step 7, when you state bottom (bone) down, does that mean the membrane side is facing downward?

Swansong (author)TMorgan692017-04-26

Yep :)

jinxislonely (author)2017-04-25

This looks delicious! I totally have to try these, thank you for this!

Swansong (author)jinxislonely2017-04-26

Thank you ^.^

TerryC111 (author)2017-04-25

Swansong, I re-read my question and it may have come across as harsh. That was not my intent. I really think that you did a fine job of explaining and I am going to try this method. Thanks for the instructable.

DaveD17 (author)TerryC1112017-04-25

I believe that the 130 number is for 1 hour and 30 min.

PhillipJ11 (author)2017-04-25

THAT!!! Looks delicious!

Did you use pork or lamb?

Swansong (author)PhillipJ112017-04-25

Thank you. :) These are pork ribs. I've never tried it with lamb before but that could be interesting to try!

PhillipJ11 (author)Swansong2017-04-25

I like using Lemon juice, melted butter and coarse salt on lamb ribs. Leave it to marianade for a day or three and then slow barbeque on a low heat. The fat should drip out slowly then you know the heat is correct.Takes about 3 hours for a big rib.

chefspenser (author)2017-04-25

Are these baby back ribs? Can't tell from the photo other than they are Smithfield which are great ribsters! Thanks for the post!

Swansong (author)chefspenser2017-04-25

They are! :) I like these, they're really meaty.

chefspenser (author)Swansong2017-04-25

This Saturday, here we come....will let you know!!

nardly (author)2017-04-25

I'll have to try this one. But instead of mayo I use mustard. Helps to hold the spices on and helps build a crust. Have you ever tried Slap Your Mama seasoning?

Swansong (author)nardly2017-04-25

Nope, I haven't tried it before. My husband can't handle any level of spicy at all (much to our nephews' chagrin). We keep separate bottles of extremely hot sauce and chili oil on hand for him so he can add it to his own stuff, lol.

Bonzadog (author)2017-04-25

I'll give this a try - but a modified version.

I do not use pre-made spices to I'll need to search in duckduckgo for the spices needed in the Cajun mixture and I am not that happy with Mayo.

Swansong (author)Bonzadog2017-04-25

Honestly, I despise mayo, but you can't taste it at all. It just adds some moisture to the meat and the rest melts off. ^.^ If it tasted like mayonnaise I wouldn't eat it, lol.

Pierre333 (author)2017-04-25

Brilliant and so well illustrated instructable!

Swansong (author)Pierre3332017-04-25

Thank you ^.^

jmanc2 (author)2017-04-25

I have been using a dry rub then cooking in a slow cooker on low for 6 hours but this looks fantastic! Going to try it tonight!!!

Swansong (author)jmanc22017-04-25

Good luck! Let me know how it goes :)

david3d (author)2017-04-25

Looks Great! I think I will try this in the smoker for the first half uncovered, then wrap and cook for the second. btw, whats a Rennie?

Swansong (author)david3d2017-04-25

Sounds good :) I used to make them on the grill before we moved but I don't have one anymore. Let me know how they turn out! Rennie is what people call medieval re-enactors (like the SCA).

About This Instructable




Bio: My name is Christa and I'm a Community Manager for Instructables. I'm interested in history so I'm a Rennie. I've been ... More »
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