Looking for a mouthwatering barbecue ribs recipe without the need for a grill? Look no further than our St. Louis Ribs Recipe. These delicious ribs are tender, flavorful, and perfectly oven-baked. Whether you're a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, our easy-to-follow pork ribs recipe will guarantee you lip-smacking ribs.
Once you learn how easy it is to make St. Louis-style ribs with ingredients that can be found right at home, you won't want to stop making them. You you definitely appreciate how little hands on time there is to making this easy recipe for ribs. They really are fuss-free and delicious.
St. Louis Style Ribs vs. Baby Back Ribs
On the diagram section 5, closer to the belly of the pig, is where the spare ribs are cut from. St. Louis Ribs are cut from the spare ribs section. The rib tips and end of the ribs are cut off to make the St Louis-style spare ribs into more of a rectangle. The much larger loin is section 4. This is where baby back ribs are cut from.
Most home cooks are more familiar with cooking baby back ribs, so I wanted to give you an idea of some key differences between the two rib cuts.
Cut and Size: St. Louis style ribs are larger and meatier, cut from the spare ribs after removing the rib tips, while baby back ribs are smaller and leaner, taken from the top of the rib cage.
Flavor and Texture: St. Louis style ribs boast a rich and robust flavor with a slightly fattier and chewier texture, while baby back ribs offer a milder taste and a tender, more delicate texture.
Cooking Time: The cooking process for each cut is similar. However, oven-bake St. Louis ribs require a longer cooking time due to their larger size and higher fat content, whereas baby back ribs cook relatively faster, thanks to their smaller size and leaner meat.
- St. Louis Style pork ribs : These meaty ribs are perfect for this recipe, providing a good balance of lean meat and fat for juicy and tender results.
- Brown sugar: Adds sweetness and aids in the formation of a delicious caramelized crust on the ribs.
- Kosher salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the ribs and helps to tenderize the meat.
- Granulated garlic: Adds a rich and savory taste to the ribs. I like to use granulated because it adds more texture and airiness to the rub.
- Onion powder: Contributes to the savory flavor profile of the dish.
- Dried oregano: Offers a fragrant and herbaceous note to the ribs.
- Freshly ground black pepper: Adds a mild heat and depth of flavor to the ribs.
- Chili powder: Provides a subtle spicy kick to the dish.
- Mustard powder: Adds a tangy and slightly pungent flavor to the ribs.
- Cayenne pepper (optional): If you prefer a spicier version, you can add a hint of cayenne pepper for some extra heat.
- Butter: Placing butter cubes on top of the ribs helps to keep them moist and infuses them with a rich and buttery flavor.
- Barbecue sauce: The final touch to this recipe, the barbecue sauce brings a sweet and tangy flavor that complements the savory ribs perfectly.
Exact measurements for these ingredients is in the recipe card below.
- Garlic powder can be used instead of the garlic granules in the spice rub. Cut the quantity of powder by half the granulated amount.
- Replace the simple rub ingredients with a ready made favorite dry rub that you love or try my Kansas City-style rib rub or our Montreal-style rib rub.
- Our barbecue sauce recipe is always a hit if you like homemade BBQ sauce or use your favorite BBQ sauce.
- If you prefer a smokier flavor, you can use a smoky barbecue sauce or add a small amount of liquid smoke to the barbecue sauce before brushing it onto the ribs.
How To Make Ribs
- Begin by preheating your oven to 300 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
- Use a paper towel to pat dry the St. Louis ribs. This helps the seasoning adhere better and promotes a crispy exterior. Place the ribs meat side up in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, kosher salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, dried oregano, black pepper, chili powder, dry mustard powder, and optional cayenne pepper. Mix well to create a dry rub.
- Apply the spice mixture all over the ribs, ensuring every part is coated, including the side of the ribs. Gently pat the seasoning into the meat for better flavor distribution.
- Scatter the small cubes of butter over the back of the ribs. The butter will melt during cooking, keeping the ribs tender and juicy.
- Cover the ribs with another sheet of foil, sealing the edges tightly to create an enclosed cooking environment. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 2 and a half hours, or until the ribs are fork-tender.
- Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (260°C). Remove the top foil cover from the ribs.
- Brush the ribs generously with barbecue sauce using a basting brush. This adds a flavorful glaze to the ribs.
- Return the baking sheet with the sauced ribs to the hot oven. Broil for about 5 minutes, or until the ribs are nicely caramelized. Keep a close eye to avoid burning.
- Take the ribs out of the oven and let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and enhances the tenderness of the meat.
- Check doneness: The USDA recommends an internal temperature for pork ribs of 140 degrees Fahrenheit in order to be safe to eat. Ideally, as most BBQ enthusiasts and professionals agree, the ribs need to reach an internal temperature between 190 degrees and 205 degrees to be be juicy ribs and tender enough to eat.
- Remove the silver skin: Make sure to remove this thin membrane from the underside of the ribs. This can be done by sliding a sharp knife under the tough membrane and slowly peeling it off. The membrane is tough and removing it helps the flavors penetrate the meat and results in more tender ribs.
- Rest: Allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in more tender and succulent meat.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- If you have any leftovers, allow the ribs to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to 3 to 4 days.
- To reheat the ribs, preheat the oven to 300°F and place the ribs on a baking sheet. Cover the ribs with aluminum foil to prevent them from drying out and bake for about 15 minutes or until heated through.
- Fully cooked St Louis-Style ribs can be sealed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 6 months. Make sure to label the container with the date you put them in the freezer.
- Remember to discard any leftover barbecue sauce that has been used for brushing the ribs, as it may have come into contact with raw meat and can pose a food safety risk if reused. Serve the reheated ribs with fresh barbecue sauce for the best flavor.
St. Louis–Style Ribs
- 3 pounds. St. Louis Style pork ribs
- 2 tablespoons. brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons. kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- 4 tablespoons. butter cut into smaller cubes
- 1-½ cups barbecue sauce
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Using a paper towel, pat the ribs dry and place them on top of the prepared baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, kosher salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, chili powder, mustard powder, and cayenne (if using).
- Rub the mixture all over ribs until well coated. Using a spoon or knife, scatter the butter cubes over the ribs.
- Cover the ribs with a separate sheet of foil and tightly crimp the edges of the bottom and top foil. Bake 2-½ hours or until fork tender.
- Remove the ribs from the oven. Increase oven temperature to 500°F.
- Carefully remove the top foil cover. Brush the ribs all over with BBQ sauce. Do not cover.
- When the oven is hot, return the baking sheet with ribs to the oven. Broil 5 minutes or until the ribs are nicely caramelized.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.