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Last Updated on June 7, 2022

Whip up these delicious oven baked pork spare ribs for fall off the bone BBQ that everyone will say is the best ribs recipe ever. This great recipe is one of my all-time favorite comfort food recipes for any time of the year.

plate of oven baked pork spare ribs on a plate

We don’t have a grill. No joke, seriously, every grill we have ever owned has turned into a rust pit after winter so when it comes to whipping up pork spare ribs, I have to turn to the oven.

I have two dietary issues to deal with also. Mr. Bejelly does not do well with cooked tomato products, and he will have a bought of heartburn if he eats them. 

We also are really trying to phase out all sugar in our diet as this helps reduce and often eliminate any bouts of heartburn. 

I have yet to find a barbecue sauce that is tomato free and sugar-free, so I invented a spice rub for ribs.

How to prepare Pork Spare Ribs

First gather all your ingredients and tools:

  • pork ribs or pork spareribs
  • baking sheet/roasting pan
  • aluminum foil
  • spice rub/dry rub
  • paper towels
  • bbq sauce (see my peach bbq sauce recipe here)

How to remove the membrane from ribs:

To find the membrane, find the meaty side and then flip them over. You will see a thin, somewhat translucent layer of white tissue which you want to remove on the bottom.

The first step is to pull up a corner of the membrane at one edge of the slab of ribs. You can slide the point of a blunt knife underneath to get it started, but often you can just pull it up using your fingers. The membrane is the only part of the ribs you should be able to easily separate from the ribs.

Once you have it detached from one end, simply get a good grip and peel it away from the baby back ribs or pork spare ribs. You can use a paper towel to help get a hold of the membrane since it can be slippery. Continue to pull away from where you started, and it should come off the ribs in one whole piece.

More Ideas on ways to prepare your Pork Spare Ribs:

Marinate:

  • You can marinate your pork spare ribs prior to baking. Marinating can be as simple as using broth or creating a simple marinate. One of the most popular marinated is a combination of coca cola and brown sugar.

Precook in your Instant Pot

I recently started precooking my pork spare ribs in my Instant Pot to cut down on the oven cook time and make them fall of the bone deliciousness.

  1. Place your ribs in an Instant Pot with 1 cup (0.24 l) of broth.
  2. Close the lid and press the Manual button and set to 45 minutes.
  3. Let the ribs natural release and then coat with the spice rub.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the ribs on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. When the ribs are done, slather in BBQ sauce and devour.
Photo of spices on a plate to create a dry rub for ribs.

I did swab it down in my Peach BBQ Sauce  so be sure to check it out.

What you’ll need for this Recipe:

How long to cook spare ribs in oven at 350 with foil?

It typically takes 3 to 3.5 hours to cook until the ribs fall off the bone.

How to Make This Oven Baked Pork Spare Ribs Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with a spoon until well blended.

Lightly apply this rub to both sides of your rack until it is well coated. There will be some rub left over which I typically don’t apply to the ribs. You can if you would like but it is a strong flavor.

Next take two sheets of aluminum foil and cover the ribs in a sealed packet. Place the ribs in your oven to bake for 3 – 3.25 hours.

The side of the ribs should be falling off the bone by the time they are done. 

If you like this Dry Rub For Ribs recipe, you’ll love:

Cowboy Burgers

Copycat Hormel Chili

Hamburger Steak with Brown Gravy

Did you make and love this recipe?  Give your review below.

Pork Spare Ribs
Yield: 4

Pork Spare Ribs

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes

The best dry rub for your pork spare ribs that is sugar-free and can be made in your oven.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix with a spoon until well blended.
  3. Lightly apply this rub to both sides of your rack until it is well coated. There will be some rub left over which I typically don't apply to the ribs. You can if you would like but it is a strong flavor.
  4. Next take two sheets of aluminum foil and sandwich the ribs Place them in your oven to bake for 3 – 3.25 hours.
  5. The meat should be falling off the bone by the time they are done. 

Notes

Precook in your Instant Pot

I recently started precooking my pork spare ribs in my Instant Pot to cut down on the oven cook time and make them fall of the bone deliciousness.

  1. Place your ribs in an Instant Pot with 1 cup (0.24 l) of broth.
  2. Close the lid and press the Manual button and set to 45 minutes.
  3. Let the ribs natural release and then coat with the spice rub.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the ribs on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. When the ribs are done, slather in BBQ sauce and devour.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 806mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

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48 Comments

  1. Looks great but I wouldn’t mess it up at the end by putting sauce on it. I’m more of a meat, dry rub, heat/smoke, done kind of rib guy. I usually sear mine on the grill & then smoke for an hour or so and then finish in the oven for a couple of more hours but when its as hot as it is here right now (100+) I probably won’t use the oven at all. The cocoa sounds like a nice touch. A couple of tbs of instant coffee works too.

  2. Here I come to save your day…sort of: NoMato products http://www.nomato.com/

    They have a ketchup, a “tomato” sauce, and a BBQ sauce with no tomato in them. I too am allergic to tomatoes, and this is what I use myself.

  3. I’ve been making my own version of this recipe for years. However, I use a black enamel roasting pan (the kind that comes with most ovens). I line the pan with heavy-duty foil for easy cleanup, then flop in a rack of ribs and season as desired. You can also add onions, quartered turnips, carrots, asparagus, parsnips, etc. for a complete meal. Add about 3/4’s cup of water to the pan and cover tightly with another sheet of foil. Bake at 325 degrees for about 3-1/2 hours, or until meat is fork tender and falling off the bones. Uncover and bake at 375 degrees for another 15 minutes to brown the meat.

    We think ribs fixed this way are much better than grilled. Another advantage: If you have to be gone for a while, this dish can be prepared a few hours in advance with the oven set on Delayed Start.

  4. I tried these for the family Sunday dinner. There were ‘yumm’ noises around the room and very little conversation during the meal. We will be making them again, thank you so much for this different-from-our-usual take on ribs. PS..I live with a bunch that would have been disappointed if I hadn’t done this, so, with all due respect to your recipe we did add an ingredient: smoked paprika, about 1 teaspoon.

  5. Sorry, but this recipe has too much cacao for me and my wife; it overpowered all the other flavors. I’ll try a variation with 1 tsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder next time.

  6. If you do happen to have a grill, I would lightly rub ribs in olive oil, apply the rub liberally, and let sit over night. Add charcoal to the grill and light according to directions… while the coals are getting hot, place the grate for the grill on the rack so it is very hot. Place the ribs on the rack and let the ribs brown on both sides….. then slow coke them for 3-4 hours at 275F. This gives the ribs that charcoal smokey taste and flavor with the convenience of oven baking. 🙂 I use the mesquite coals since they will have a nice smokier scent.

    1. Thank you so much Neal! I really appreciate the feedback. You’re either eating a mess of ribs every week or have been using it on other dishes. I’d love to hear more.

  7. The rib recipe sounds good. I usually use country style ribs as they are meatier and cheaper. I will comment on the results.
    I have had the heartburn problem with coffee and sometimes tomatoes. I put a small amount of baking soda in the pot of coffee and that works. Since I have gone grain free and added probiotics to my diet , I no longer have the problem with tomatoes.

  8. Mine are in the oven now….I’ve never ever made ribs before, but was happy to see this sugar-less, grill-less recipe. I have some sugar less BBQ sauce I made, so I may use a bit of that towards the end, but I think I prefer a drier rib to a sloppy saucy one. Thanks! ~Missy

  9. Tried these Saturday on some baby-backs. Did one rack using this cacao-based recipe, and another rack with a rub based on Coconut palm sugar and chili powder. Both were dry-rubbed, sat for two hours then smoked for 4 hours. All tasters liked this one best. It has a nice, rich taste that melds with the smoked pork beautifully without being overwhelming. Did NOT slather with sauce to eat, but I’m sure it would have been tasty that way too. I think I used a half-teaspoon of cayenne- it could have used a little more. Thanks Chica! Great post.

  10. What a hit! The flavor was delicious, not overpowering… Doubled the rub recipe for 3 racks of pork back ribs, and there was a bit left over. I didn’t have cacao or much time to cook, but had unsweetened cocoa, and adjusted the cooking time and they were fall of the bone delicious! Cooked at 350 for 30 mins, then at 250 for 90 mins, opened the foil placed the ribs meat-side up and broiled on high for a short amount of time until the outer layer of meat began to crisp. Easy and delicious!! Thanks for the recipe, it’s a keeper!

  11. I just got our first grill. Why have yours always turned into a rust pit?! And oooh, ribs! I haven’t had these in years. I’ll have to see if I can find some beef ribs!