Oven Baked Dry Rub Ribs

I used to think that ribs were a mysterious meat that only the most experienced barbecuer should tackle. I thought I needed a special smoker, a seasoned grill, and a secret dry rub or BBQ sauce handed down through the generations.

But actually, basic ribs are pretty easy and fool-proof. Sure, a smoker, grill and secret sauce can be amazing in the right hands, but these dry rub ribs are dead simple for the rest of us folks. They’re flavorful, tender, and have a nice texture anyone will love.

Prep time: 7 min.

Marination time: overnight (optional)

Cook time: 2 hours, 45 min

Serves: 3-4 (or makes great leftovers for one)


  • 1 rack of baby back ribs
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder (add more if you like it hot)


Spice bottles

  • Combine all spices in a bowl and mix well (your hands work great).

Bowl of spices

  • Pat the ribs dry with paper towels, then cut the rack of ribs in half (you don’t have to, but I find it makes it much easier to work with).

Bowl of ribs

  • Note: most butchers remove the thin membrane from the underside of the ribs. If not, remove the underside membrane for more tender ribs. Here’s a nice video showing how (plus he’s got an awesome voice!):

  • Rub the dry rub spices all over the ribs. Cover all sides of the ribs, but the meatier side is most important. You should be able to use up all of the dry rub on the entire rack.

Ribs rub in bowl

  • Set the ribs on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil (or a large bowl like shown above), and place in the fridge overnight. Cover with foil if desired (I do).
    • Note: You don’t have to let the spices set overnight. You can put the ribs in the oven right away. I find that letting the rub set overnight adds a little bit more depth… but it’ll turn out fine either way.
  • When you’re ready to cook, put the ribs on a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in the oven–uncovered–at 250°F for 2 hours, 45 min. (leaving them uncovered will give a nice texture to the surface).
    • Note: I don’t bother to turn them over. They’ll cook just fine meaty-side up.
  • After 2 hours, 45 min., move the ribs up to the top rack and turn on the broiler, meaty side up. Broil for about 5 minutes until top is a little browned and crispy (watch carefully so they don’t burn!).
  • Serve with any veggie side salad, sweet potato fries, or anything else you think might go good with ribs. Enjoy.

Ribs on plate

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