These dry rub baked ribs coated in a homemade dry rub are far from ordinary! Not only are they full of flavor from the homemade dry rub, but they are also bone tender. This easy recipe is perfect to make for a barbecue, a party, or even a special holiday!
You can't have a barbecue without finger-lickin' good ribs! These dry rub baked ribs are the most flavorful ribs you will ever taste. No barbecue sauce is even needed because they are packed with seasonings, spice, brown sugar, and zesty citric acid.
Easy oven baked ribs are the best to make because they require such little work for such an incredible result. You simply rub them, marinate them, and bake. Before you know it you have the most intensely flavorful, tender ribs! Next time you are looking for a recipe for a barbecue or celebration, try these dry rub baked ribs!
ribs: You will need 2 racks of baby back ribs. I get mine at Costco but you can also get them at whatever local grocery store you have.
mustard: Just 4 tablespoons of classic yellow mustard act as a binder for the dry rub mixture to stick to the rib meat.
brown sugar: Light brown sugar is an important component of the dry rub recipe. It balances out the salt and heat from the spice blend. It also adds an element of caramelization to the exterior of the ribs.
seasonings: The spice mix in the dry rub mixture consists of kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, ground dry mustard, cinnamon, celery salt, and cayenne pepper. Making your own dry rub really makes a huge difference in dry rubbed ribs!
citric acid: I use Lemi Shine's 100% food-grade citric acid in this recipe to add an acidic tang that will not be altered by cooking. This recipe calls for 1 ½ teaspoon of citric acid. To learn more about citric acid, check out this page. To purchase this kitchen staple for your home, check it out on Amazon.
Try my other recipes using citric acid! You must make my lemon cranberry bars, cranberry sauce with pears, and apple hand pies with puff pastry. The citric acid adds a zesty flavor similar to lemon zest but doesn't impart any additional juice. A staple to have in every kitchen!
variations & substitutions 📖
Add your favorite seasonings to the dry rub! The best part about making a homemade spice rub is that you can make it your own. Try adding chili powder or cumin for a Mexican flare, old bay for a southern style, or even curry for an Indian twist.
If you can't find baby back ribs, you can also use spare ribs. Spare ribs are larger, meatier, and contain more bone than baby back ribs. I find baby back ribs to be the most tender ribs.
You can also use olive oil to bind the dry rub to the meat. Olive oil will also do the job of sticking the rib rub to the meat.
tips & tricks 👩🏻🍳
To ensure juicy tender meat, make sure the ribs are wrapped in aluminum foil and the aluminum foil has no rips or leaks. The aluminum foil makes sure all the juices stay with the meat. If there is a leak or a hole, the juices will release from the ribs and create dry lackluster ribs.
Be patient! I know that isn't exactly a tip but it is crucial to allow ribs the proper cooking time at a low temperature. I promise if you cook low and slow you will have the best ribs every single time!
step by step instructions 🔪
Step 1 - Remove the membrane. Remove the silver skin membrane from the ribs. The rib membrane adds a layer of fat that doesn't allow the flavor to properly penetrate the meat on the underside of the ribs. I do this by carefully grabbing the thin membrane with a paper towel and gently pulling it to remove it. Repeat this on both racks of ribs.
Step 2 - Make the dry rub mixture. In a small bowl, add all of the spices, seasonings, brown sugar, and citric acid. Mix with a spoon until evenly combined.
Step 3 - Rub the ribs in mustard. Rub the ribs in the mustard on both sides of the ribs. Be sure to do both the meat side and the back of the ribs to adhere the dry rub to the meat.
Step 4 - Press dry rub into the meat. Then add the dry rub all over the rack of ribs. Press the rub into the meat while adding it.
Step 5 - Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours. They can marinate up to overnight. A great way to save time is to marinate them the day before so the next day all you have to do is bake and eat!
Step 6 - Bake covered & uncovered. When ready to bake the ribs, preheat the oven to 300F. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and place the wrapped ribs on a large baking sheet. Place the ribs curved side down, meaning the meaty side touching the pan. Bake for 2 hours. Then increase the heat to 500F and bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes and then enjoy!
serving suggestions 🍽
Serve these dry rub oven baked ribs by themselves on a serving platter or alongside your favorite barbecue sauce for dipping.
To complete your BBQ meal, add some of my favorite side dishes like Lawry's creamed corn, fried chicken mac and cheese, and french onion fries. Potato salad is another classic side dish to serve with BBQ ribs!
storage & reheating ⏲️
To store, wrap ribs in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Then place in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
It is best to freeze the ribs as a whole rack. Be sure they have cooled before freezing. Wrap the ribs tightly in a double layer of aluminum foil. Place in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To reheat, place the ribs in a baking dish covered with aluminum foil. Be sure that the aluminum foil is tight to avoid dry ribs. Bake ribs at 250F for 30 minutes.
It depends on your personal preference. Dry rub ribs allow the meat to be the star of the show, as even a simple dry rub greatly enhances the flavor of the meat. Saucy ribs put more of a focus on the barbecue sauce. If you have a favorite BBQ sauce or homemade BBQ sauce that you love, then maybe go with wet ribs. Whereas if flavorful ribs are more your vibe, then go with dry rubbed ribs. My favorite way to enjoy ribs is dry rubbed ribs with BBQ sauce on the side... the best of both worlds!
The best way to ensure you have moist, juicy ribs is by baking them, covered at low heat. Avoid high heat when making ribs. The cooking process should be low and slow for moist oven-baked ribs. Do not bake above 300F for the first 2 hours of baking your ribs. Also ensure when baking they are fully covered in tin foil with no leaks or holes in the foil.
A good sign that your ribs are overcooked is if they fall off the bone. Overcooked ribs will be mushy. A good idea for cooking ribs is to start at 2 hours at 275 degrees F and check them after that. Perfectly cooked delicious ribs will be 200 degrees internal temperature.
Let the dry rub sit on the meat for at least an hour before cooking to penetrate the meat with flavor. However you can leave dry-rubbed ribs marinating up to overnight. This gives this rub plenty of time to infuse the meat with flavor.
other meat recipes
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