Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs

These Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs are the best ever! Marinated for 8 hours in a to die for the dry rub and then slow-roasted in the oven on low for  3-4 hours. Finished off on the BBQ where they are smothered in barbecue sauce. So tender these ribs literally melt in your mouth on the first bite.

This was originally published in May 2018 and has been updated to include new photos, "how-to" instructions and more.

My dad was a huge rib fan. He would go on and on …. and on about the quality and value of the ribs based merely on the proportion of sauce to meat and how “fall off the bone” his ribs were.

With years of fatherly education on what makes the best ever ribs I am pleased to announce the only baby back rib recipe you will ever need! You will not be disappointed and may actually write me a thank you note after devouring them.

Your welcome.

Fast forward many years and wouldn’t you know it I married a rib fanatic just like my dad! Lou, my husband, is also a huge BBQ Chicken fan and loves this Honey Sriracha Chicken Recipe too. I think many men feel some draw to the good ole BBQ.  Maybe it is the fire, chunks of meat and pokey tools that sometimes look like spears that bring them back to their cave man days. I don’t know what it is but BBQ Ribs are just as serious with my husband as they were with my Dad.

I don’t mean to harp on it but for my dad ribs were serious business. If they didn’t “fall off the bone” the moment that first delicious bite was taken well there was a problem Houston. He was never rude to the wait staff he was just disappointed like a kid that picked the wrong colour popsicle out of the box!

I myself don’t actually get to make this recipe. It is Lou (my husband) who insists that he is the guardian of the ribs or and chicken! He also loves this Honey Sriracha Chicken Recipe.

Well, he is welcome to it! I have no problem breaking out a bevy or two while he cooks me dinner. You go right ahead my dear. I will be in the kitchen making the side dish to go with these. Here are some of my favourite side dishes to pair with these ribs:

How to make fall off the bone ribs:

First, start with about 4 racks of Baby Back Ribs. I have tried this recipe with other types of ribs but baby back ribs are the most tender I find and get the best result. If using back ribs allow the cooking time in the oven to be another 45 minutes.

I like to cut the racks in half for three reasons:

  • They are easier to handle on the BBQ
  • Half racks are easier to serve and portion out
  • Smaller pieces fit better in a large foil tray and don’t hang over the edges so you can cover properly with foil later

Next, you need to make the BBQ Ribs Dry Rub. The pic shows a bottle of the BBQ sauce but this is for later when you go to grill them. For now you just need to add all of the ingredients but the barbecue sauce to a medium bowl and mix until well blended.

Once you have the spices all blended up use you hands to gently rub the ribs all over, front and back, with the rub.

Once this is done cover the ribs with foil tightly and let marinate in the dry rub overnight or for at least 8 hours. I like to do this the night before and let them sit overnight so they are ready to put in the oven early afternoon.

These ribs take about 4-5 hours to cook so prepare them the night before.

If you are having them for dinner I recommend getting them in the oven for about noon or 1 o’clock at the latest. Preheat the oven to 275 F and keep covered with foil.

Once the oven is heated place the ribs in the oven and let cook on low heat for 4 hours or until they are fall off the bone tender.

Once they are done baking in the oven remove them and then place them on a barbecue grill that has been heated to medium heat.

Now is the time to add the sauce!

You can add any sauce you like but our absolute favourite is Baby Ray’s. A little sweet and smokey! You will want to quickly brush the ribs with a good amount of sauce so make sure you have a full bottle ready.

I like to put the barbecue sauce in a bowl and use a basting brush to coat the ribs in sauce. You need to move fast because barbecue sauce has quite a bit of sugar in it and if you take too long the sauce will burn or char before you have finished basting the other ribs.

As soon as you have basted one side, flip them over and baste the other side. The goal isn’t to cook the ribs because that was taken care of in the oven. At this point, you really only want to heat up and caramelize the barbecue sauce a bit before serving.

Then just remove the ribs to a clean tray or platter and serve!

what is the difference between back ribs and baby back ribs?

Back ribs are cut from where the rib meets the spine where as the baby back ribs are lower down towards the abdomen and are much smaller.

For this recipe, I highly recommend baby back ribs because they cook faster because they are smaller and I find them much more tender. If you are using back ribs or any other type of rib I find them a bit tougher to get the whole fall off the bone thing happening. In this situation, I would recommend adding an additional 45 minutes to an hour of cook time in the oven.

how to know when ribs are done cooking?

Ribs are technically ok to eat at an internal temperature of 145 F however to get that fall off the bone goodness you need to get them to about 165 F at least. I find the best way to test to know hen they are done is to carefully use tongs to try and pull a rib away from the rack. If it tears away easily that is a sign they are ready to go to the BBQ and get sauced!

Tips For making fall off the bone Baby Back Ribs:

  • When shopping look for ribs with more meat and less fat.
  • On the back of the ribs there is a thin tough layer of skin called the membrane.  Insert a knife under the membrane and over the bone to loosen.  Grab the membrane with a paper towel and tear off the back of the ribs.
  • Clean ribs of tough bits and excess fat with a sharp knife
  • Fall of the bone ribs take time – apply the dry rub to the ribs overnight or early in the morning so they can sit in the fridge for 8 hours before baking.  This is where the tenderness and flavour come from…. great things take time!
A rack of baby back ribs cut into rib pieces

Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs

These Baby Back Ribs are the best ever! Marinated for 8 hours in a to die for dry rub and then slow roasted in the oven on low for  3-4 hours.  Finished off on the BBQ where they are smothered in barbecue sauce.  So tender these ribs literally melt in your mouth on the first bite.
4.79 from 23 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baby Back Ribs, BBQ, Ribs
Prep Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 11 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Half Racks
Calories: 851kcal


  • Large Tray
  • Knife
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Medium bowl
  • Small Bowl
  • Basting Brush
  • Tongs
  • Barbecue
  • Oven


  • 4 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 bottle Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce Or your favourite BBQ Sauce


  • Clean ribs, trim any excess fat and remove membrane from back of ribs.  
  • In a medium bowl combine sugar, salt, ground pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Mix well.
  • Coat each rack of rib top and bottom with dry rub mixture massaging in so it is evenly and well coated.  Stack in a large foil roasting pan and cover with foil to let sit in fridge for at least 8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 275 F and bake covered with foil for 3-4 hours or until ribs are tender and start to fall apart when prodded with a fork.  Depending on the cut of the ribs it may take a little longer to get to this level of tenderness.
  • When tender remove from oven.  Preheat BBQ to medium heat.
  • BBQ ribs a few minutes each side basting with Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce or your sauce of choice.  Be careful not to let them sit for long because the sugar in the sauce may burn.   
  • Remove from barbecue and serve immediately.  


Prepare the ribs with the dry rub the night before and let rest in the fridge overnight for a minimum of 8 hours before cooking.
If using back ribs or any other larger rib adjust the cooking time for an extra hour or so to allow them to cook longer and become more tender.
Store any leftovers in the fridge tightly covered for up to 2 days.  Warm up on the grill with more BBQ sauce or in the microwave.


Serving: 1Half Rack | Calories: 851kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.5g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 336mg | Sodium: 4332mg | Potassium: 1794mg | Fiber: 2.4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 2800IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 5mg
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Please Note:The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.


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  1. 5 stars
    Made this yesterday (6/26/2021) for a large group of friends. The ribs were fall off the bone fantastic and everyone absolutely loved them! The look on each of my friends’ faces as they had their first few bites was priceless. BTW I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ sauce which was a perfect compliment for your marinade. Thanks so much for posting your recipe.

    1. Yay! I love hearing this and love the reactions when my friends try them for the first time too!

  2. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday for Father’s Day and they were a HUGE hit!! They just fell off the bone and had excellent flavor! So glad I found your recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. First time cooking beef ribs and they were tender, full of flavor and delicious!!

    1. Hi Vuc, Someone recently wrote me that they used brown sugar instead of white and they tasted great.

    1. Hi Linda, I have never tried it before in this recipe but I do not think it will be a problem in this case. Please let me know though if you do make the swap how it turns out. Enjoy!

      1. I thought it tasted great! I don’t know how your original tastes, but it has to be similar. At any rate, it definitely tasted good to us!

  4. 5 stars
    You had me sold at ‘fall off the bones’! These baby back ribs sound INCREDIBLY juicy and I love all the spices you’ve mixed in to marinate them. Yum!

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