Introduction: Quick & Easy Baby Back Ribs Recipe

Craving ribs, but don't have three hours or a bbq grill on hand?  Try this quick and easy recipe for baby back ribs, and you'll be chowing down in no time!

You don't have to sacrifice tenderness, juiciness, or rich, complex flavors just because you don't have a smoker, grill, or hours to spend slow-roasting these ribs.  By kicking up the heat and using both a dry rub and a sauce, you can have all the impact of slow cooked ribs with half the effort in half the time.

Step 1: Ingredients

This recipe and cooking time is for one 1 pound slab of baby back ribs.  Cooking time may vary for other varieties of ribs!  Of course you should make your own rub and sauce, but using something pre-packaged is part of what makes this so quick and easy.  Adding liquid smoke to the sauce (or finding one with it) will add that smoky quality you'll be missing from not cooking in the great outdoors.  

For this recipe you'll need:
  • 1lb ribs
  • dry rub
  • bbq sauce
I personally prefer Salt Lick Original Dry Rub which is cayenne pepper based.  
To make your own, combine 2 parts salt to one part ground black pepper, and one part cayenne. 

A bbq sauce with tomatoes in it is going to burn, and I like the charred quality this gives the recipe.  If you do not, avoid using any tomato-based bbq sauce!  My current personal fave is 1849 BBQ sauce, which pushes me to the limit of the heat I can take.   
It combines tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, brown sugar, water, molasses, liquid smoke, garlic, onion, lemon juice, salt, and chili pepper.   I think the amount of chili pepper is what's key to the initial smack of heat you get when you dig into these ribs.

Step 2: Rub

Preheat your oven to 400F(200C).

Rinse and pat dry your ribs.  Get them as close to room temp as you can before cooking.

Rub both sides of the ribs with the dry rub.  You can also substitute simple salt and pepper if you'd prefer!

Lay ribs fat-side up on a sheet of aluminum foil and seal shut.

Bake for one hour.

Step 3: Sauce

After one hour, remove the ribs from the oven.

Open the foil, and sauce both sides of the ribs.

Leave the foil open and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Brush with the sauce one last time before serving if you like!  

Now how easy was that!!


Sawdust Patty made it! (author)2011-09-21

Sounds fantastic! But I must be adding wrong. Step 2 says to bake for one hour apply sauce and return to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. Where did the other hour and 45 minutes go?

scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2011-09-21

That's right! The other hour and forty five disappear! This recipe takes half the time of traditional three-hour recipes!

jcsartwell made it! (author)jcsartwell2015-11-02

Directly in the oven after wrapping? Or also placed on a pan?

ChrisB304 made it! (author)ChrisB3042016-01-24

this was so good last night! I did the first part right on the oven rack then moved the open foil onto a baking sheet for the final 15. when you open them after the first hour the juices are amazing and mix nicely to immediately warm the bbq sauce so no need to pre-warm.

I had one longer full rack and cut it in half and did two packages, which allowed for different rub/sauce combos. Of course I doofed and got the hot rub with the mild sauce... anyway the little one left more for us. :p next time!

Sick_Nixon made it! (author)2013-01-16

Hi, I just felt obligated to write here, your receipe was incredible. there was a ridiculous deal for an outrageous amount of ribs at the grocery, so I was gonna go for it but then remembered I had never cooked ribs before. All I knew is that it had to cook for a few hours (which I didn't have). So I googled how to cook ribs fast and there was your instructable , second result I think. I bought me some dry rub and B.B.Q. sauce.......... and voila!!!! your receipe was so simple. and it worked out great . I didn't think I'd get a result THAT close to grilling. so anyways. thank you and great receipe/instructable.

scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2013-01-17

That's so awesome! Thank you for sharing your experience, you totally made my day!

surfdork made it! (author)2012-08-13

What an amazing recipie, big thanks!
Baby backack ribs can be a steal, I paid $2.99lb at Costco today and will feast tonight.
Where did the 3 hours come from? IMHO dreamberry's comment should be moved down or edited. I almost did not try this due to the 3 hour comment. Heck in 3 hours I'll be watching bad TV after filling myself with ribs.

AnthonyT124 made it! (author)2017-01-27

Making the ribs now with the info on google lets see how it works and tastes

karpolu made it! (author)2015-07-07

Can this recipe be used with spare ribs?

djack2112 made it! (author)djack21122017-01-19

You bet! After using this on baby-backs initially, I moved on to other ribs, just to see how they would fair with this quick/fast method. You won't be disappointed.

djack2112 made it! (author)2017-01-19

Amazing! I was skeptical as usual with a quick/fast method of cooking ribs, whether it is in the oven, grilling, or smoking them. I just didn't think it was possible to get the ribs to a quality end result by using a quick/fast approach.. I'm familiar with any, and all BBQing methods, and yes most recipes call for a lengthy amount of time when cooking ribs, but this recipe won me over with a landslide. THIS is how I cook all of my ribs now. Awesome recipe!

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karpolu made it! (author)2016-11-26

This is my #1 recipe for baby back ribs.

Traceee made it! (author)2016-11-12

Don't forget to remove the membrane off the ribs, (thin skin like layer on the bone side) Use a knife to lift part of the membrane up on one end, then use a paper towel to grab the membrane because it's slippery. Pull it back and peel off, usually comes off in two tries. This allows the meat to absorb the rub for better flavor. Enjoy!

Suzy531 made it! (author)2016-09-05

The ABSOLUTE best rib recipe ever! So easy, especially for anyone who might be nervous about cooking something scary like ribs. Thank you!

NathanG76 made it! (author)2016-08-08

Spot on. Top notch quick ribs recipe. Was a little skeptical on the times initially, but have to say it was very nice and tender with a good flavour.

KellyH123 made it! (author)2016-06-17

I make them this way all of the time and they are delicious and so much faster. Love this recipe!

jimkata2000 made it! (author)2016-06-10

Hi, my wife asked me to cook the ribs since she was working late. Never made ribs, or much of anything that wasn't pre-prepared, and found this recipe. Like how it was shorter (1 hour 20 min) vs 3hrs of of others and it worked great. The ribs were tender and tasty. Wife was impressed, which is always a good thing, so thank you so much for posting.

sgarland4 made it! (author)2016-05-11

This was the best thing I have ever cooked. Thank you!

sgarland4 made it! (author)2016-05-11

This was the best thing I have ever cooked. Thank you!

SuzieQ1 made it! (author)2016-04-22

Making this as I type it. Was down to my last bit of foil but managed to wrap and seal it. It's 30 minutes into the first hour bake and smells amazing. I didn't have rub, so I did the 2:1:1 combo you suggested. Can't wait to sauce them in 30 mins.

SarahL116 made it! (author)2016-04-03

I use this recipe every time I need to cook ribs quickly!! Comes out great every time! Thank you!

JohnnyZ6 made it! (author)2016-03-08

i was lacking the foil to wrap around and time was a factor so i put the ribs on a shallow baking sheet and and a cake pan over it to be the dome,it worked perfectly and the recipe was everything i already had...good eats thanx

ussscamp made it! (author)ussscamp2016-03-24

I am trying to find out how much the cooking time varies with amounts larger than the one pound shown. By the time you eliminate bone weight that is not much meat.

jcsartwell made it! (author)2015-11-02

This may be a terrible question, but once ribs are wrapped in foil, do they go directly onto the oven rack with a drip pan beneath just in case? Or do they get wrapped in foil and placed onto a pan?

BiancaW3 made it! (author)2015-11-01

Do you think I could use this recipe with Country Style Ribs? Would that work or would the ribs be tough?

eblair4 made it! (author)2015-10-18

Pork seasoning and pork season are two of the best things in life.

You can have chicken any time, the more free range the better!

Almostthere made it! (author)2015-09-05

Thank you SO much! These came out terrific, even for a novice like me. My guy loved it, and I can confidentally show up any in laws with this! Thank you for this wonderful recipe, you have helped so many of us!

butrcup74 made it! (author)2015-05-21

We bought ribs with NO idea that they were suppose to cook for soooo long. Who has time for that?!?! Can't wait to try this tonight.

butrcup74 made it! (author)butrcup742015-05-25 turned out amazing! So easy and soooo delicious. I think it made my boyfriend fall in love with me all over again.

lilmisskendramarie made it! (author)2015-05-09

Sorry this is my firat time cooking this , but i have 3lbs now how long would that have to cook in the oven?

Joeyhoney made it! (author)2015-05-03

This is a fabulous recipe and is now one of my keepers! I made it this evening for the first time!!! Yum!!! Thank you for sharing!

girluphigh made it! (author)2015-03-20

Great recipe!

enessl made it! (author)2015-03-07

I've probably made this twenty times now using different rubs and sauces and the ribs are always awesome. Thanks for sharing this.

vanessa.quake made it! (author)2015-02-26

Hey there! I'm giving this a go on the weekend in a massive cookup and was looking for some advice.

I'm cooking multiple things in the oven. Is it possible to do steps 1 and 2 first, and then leave the ribs out for about an hr while I cook something else in the oven and then finish off step 3 so that I can serve the ribs while they are still hot?

author made it! (author)2015-02-16

Thanks for posting this. I tried it a month ago and thought it was pretty good. Just trying it again now and realize the reason it probably wasn't perfect is I didn't notice no sauce/marinade was supposed to go on till after the first hour. What a 'duh' moment. I've made the mistake again today, but next time I think they'll be less charred, and awesome. :)

master.jedi.78 made it! (author)2015-02-16

Works like a charm! Since we're snowed in right now, this works out great!

mcgatorb8 made it! (author)2015-02-13

I pride my self on my grilling awesomeness. Weather does not normaly stop me. Tonight it did. 5 degrees with 30mph winds. Family was craving babybacks and I didn't want to disappoint. Came across this gem of a way to cook them in the oven. The end result was some incredible ribs. Tender and moist. My family perfered this over the grill. Feelings hurt but can't blame them.....I think I perfered them this way too. Thank you!

joy.demers made it! (author)2015-02-10

I didn't have all day to make ribs like I usually do, so I looked up how to make ribs fast. This recipe totally blew me away with how it turned out! My family loved the ribs and I loved how quick and easy they were to make. Thank you sooo much for this recipe!

dan.pierpont made it! (author)2015-01-28

This recipe absolutely rules. I made the best most tender ribs I have ever made And in half the time. I modifed it slightly by cooking the last 15 min on the grill instead of the oven. It gave a nice smokey flavor and auper tender. I could never get the ribs tender enough with my previous recipes but this knocked it out of the park. ribs used to be relegated to a weekend activity but with this recipe i can now manage any night. Thanks a ton

michelleporter made it! (author)2014-12-11

The ribs were amazing. I didn't expect it. I didn't have any cayenne pepper so I ground up crushed red pepper instead and used Sweet Baby Rays bbq sauce. Amazing. Thank you so much. I work full time and I'm in school full time. 3 1/2 hours is just too long.

MayBritt247 made it! (author)2014-11-27

Turns out amazing every time!

Wolfbird made it! (author)2013-05-02

I don't think I'll ever make ribs the long way again. This method is /awesome/!

aolivar made it! (author)2013-03-04

how about i cooked my baby back ribs today (oven in 1hr) then i keep it in the chiller/freezer with a very good sealer, then after 2 or 3days i decided to serve it then i put it back again in the oven with the sauce. is this ok or a bad idea.?
can grill the baby back ribs instead of putting it back again in the oven to cook.
thank you for the answer.. :)

paganwonder made it! (author)2013-01-29

speaking as a hardcore BBQ'er this flies in the face of my closely held beliefs about cooking ribs...but with less and less time on my hands I believe this may be an acceptable substitute for time...thanks for sharing!

scoochmaroo made it! (author)scoochmaroo2013-01-29

Haha, high praise!

paganwonder made it! (author)2013-01-29

speaking as a hardcore BBQ'er this flies in the face of my closely held beliefs about cooking ribs...but with less and less time on my hands I believe this may be an acceptable substitute for time...thanks for sharing!

dreamberry made it! (author)2011-09-20

Wow! 3 hours! My ribs usually take 8 hours! 3 hours sounds almost like fast food! I also have a lasagna recipe that is not done till the Next Day! Maybe we could do a "Recipes that take an inordinate amount of time" thing. It could swing both ways, fast or slow, post your fastest or slowest recipes. Easy 20 hour brisket anyone?

80$man made it! (author)80$man2011-10-11

Agreed, I made crème Brule on Friday, and then had to wait 3 hours for it to set in the fridge. Every time you open the fridge door the sweet smell hits you in the face. It was all too much for me, after 45 minutes I took two servings, added the brown sugar, hit it with the blow torch, and devoured them both... Happily we made 4 extra servings for those kinds of occurrences... :P

Ninzerbean made it! (author)2011-09-20

Thank you so much - that 3 hours wait time always put me off before now.

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Bio: Former Living & Food editor here at Instructables, now running! Follow me @sousvidely
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