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 pork ribs literally melt in your mouth on the first bite.

Fall off the bone baby back ribs on parcment paper with smears of bbq sauce

Save This Recipe!

Enter your email below and get it sent straight to your inbox. Plus, you get more tasty recipes every week!

Save Recipe

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.

A rack of baby back ribs cut into rib pieces

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 caveman 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. 

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 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.

Side Dishes that Pair Well with this Baby Back Rib recipe

racks of fall off the bone ribs with bbq sauce

How to make Baby Back ribs

First, start with about 4 racks of Baby Back Ribs. I have tried this recipe with other types of spare 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 them properly with foil later
Raw racks of rib in a metal aluminum tray

Next, you need to make the BBQ ribs dry rub. The pic shows a bottle of 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.

Ingredients for best ever baby back rib dry rub

Once you have the spices all blended up, use your hands to gently rub the dry rub marinade for the baby back ribs all over, front and back.

ribs with a dry rub

Once this is done cover the ribs with foil tightly and let them 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.

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 slow cook the ribs on low heat for 4 hours or until these baked ribs are fall off the bone tender.

ribs on the barbecue being basted

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 favorite 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 the 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 with the remaining barbecue sauce. 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 these fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs to a clean tray or platter and serve!

Fall off the bone baby back ribs on parcment paper with smears of bbq sauce

Tips For making fall off the bone Baby Back Ribs:

  • When shopping, look for baby back pork 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 it.  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!

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 when 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!

racks of ribs cut and messy on a paper lined table

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

Back ribs are cut from where the rib meets the spine whereas 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.

Why are Baby Back Ribs so Expensive?

It comes down to simple economics. Baby back ribs are in the highest demand because they are so supremely tender. I have tried making this recipe with side ribs and other cuts but nothing beats baby back ribs!

How to Store Baby Back Ribs

If you have leftovers you can put them back in the foil tray you used to bake them in and then cover them tightly with foil. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

You can freeze these fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs as well. To do so just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then a tight layer of foil. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and reheat them in the oven.

I don’t recommend reheating them back on the grill if they are already sauce simply because they will take longer to warm since they aren’t right out of the oven and the sugar in the barbecue sauce may cause them to char.

A rack of baby back ribs cut into rib pieces

Fall Off The Bone Baby Back Ribs

Alisa Infanti | Livin’ Well
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.
4.75 from 51 votes
Prep Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 11 hours 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 Half Racks
Calories 851 kcal


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


  • 4 racks baby back ribs
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 ½ 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.  


Serving: 1Half RackCalories: 851kcalCarbohydrates: 52.5gProtein: 96gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 336mgSodium: 4332mgPotassium: 1794mgFiber: 2.4gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 2800IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 120mgIron: 5mg


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.
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.

Share on Facebook Pin Recipe

If You Liked This Recipe You May Also Enjoy…


Pin it for later!

Pinterest pin showing a rack of ribs

Similar Posts


  1. 5 stars
    First time making baby back ribs EVER… and these were a HUGE hit from our BBQ party yesterday. Guests wouldn’t stop raving about them! Just wanted to come on here and say thank you so much!! Too good for gate-keeping, I want everyone making these all summer long!!

  2. 5 stars
    OMG! From the first time I made these we were hooked! Can’t get over how wonderfully delicious these ribs are. I make them now as often as possible. They are so delicious I’m sure it something we will not get tired of. And I never have to worry about leftovers. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have made these three times now, and love how easy it is plus the spiciness. I have used brown sugar, and half and half; and this last time, I minced a generous tablespoon of fresh garlic and used that in place of the powder. I also highly recommend using the juice from cooking to coat sweet potato spears and roast those at 425 until tender (about 15 – 25 minutes depending on your oven and how thick you cut them).

  4. 5 stars
    Made this on Memorial Day, HUGE hit with everyone! Even my mother who hates anything with spice (aka flavor) enjoyed them and had seconds. So glad I found this recipe and it lived up to the description. Try it, you won’t regret it!

  5. 5 stars
    We just finished eating our first batch of these incredible lip-smacking ribs, all we can say is (burp!) WOW!!
    I am not an “easy sell” when it comes to baby back rib recipes, but that glorious photo caught my eye, and now I’m a believer!
    These are everything you could ever want in a rib, easy, full of flavor, succulent and Fallin’ off the bone❤️
    Rub is perfect, although I did cut back a wee bit on the cayenne pepper. This is now are go to recipe, wish I’d had this recipe years ago

    1. Thanks for leaving such a fabulous review, Tracie. I am thrilled you love this recipe as much as I do!

  6. 5 stars
    This is my 2nd time making these FABULOUS RIBS! Having “Christmas in March” with the family. Perfect meal for togetherness!
    At 4500 ft elevation, I bake for 45 more min overall.

    1. That’s great to know Steph. I never considered elevation but I am glad you were able to adjust and loved the recipe!

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

      1. 5 stars
        This is my very first time making ribs! They’ve been in the oven for 3 hours and my house smells sooo good! I can’t for dinner tonight! Thanks for the easy to follow recipe!

        1. They do smell good all day baking don’t they! I would love to know how they turned out!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

4.75 from 51 votes (34 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating