How Long to Cook Beef Ribs in Oven at 400? Helpful Tips

Cooking a delicious meal of beef ribs can seem like an intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Oven-baked beef ribs are a savory dish that require minimal effort and time to prepare. With the right ingredients, oven temperature, and cooking time you’ll have tender, juicy cuts ready to enjoy. By following this simple guide on how long to cook beef ribs in oven at 400°F (204°C), you will create restaurant quality results every single time.

Understanding The Different Cuts And Types Of Ribs

Understanding The Different Cuts And Types Of Ribs

Understanding the different cuts and types of ribs is essential for barbecue enthusiasts and home cooks alike. There are four main types of pork ribs: baby back ribs, spare ribs, St. Louis style ribs, and rib tips. Each cut has its own distinctive flavor, texture, and cooking method.

  • Baby back ribs, also known as loin or back ribs, are the highest on the pig and connected to the backbone.
  • Spare ribs come from the belly side of the rib cage and offer a rich, meaty flavor with some indulgent fat content.
  • St. Louis style ribs are a rectangular cut taken from the spare ribs, offering a neat, evenly trimmed, and meaty option.
  • Lastly, rib tips are the cartilage-laden, chewy, and flavorful bits often served as an appetizer or snack.

These rib cuts can be prepared using various techniques such as grilling, smoking, or oven-roasting, allowing for a diverse range of dishes to satisfy any palate.

Tips For Preparing Ribs

  • Shop Wisely: When purchasing ribs, opt for pink meat with uniform size and marbling to ensure even cooking. Avoid ribs that have been “enhanced” or “basted” with a liquid sodium solution, as this can result in overly salty ribs when combined with rub or sauce.
  • Clean Your Grill or Smoker: Ensure your grill or smoker grate is clean to prevent any unwanted flavors from ruining your batch of ribs, regardless of how delicious your sauce is.
  • Get the Right Gear: Equip yourself with long-handled tongs and a grill basting brush, preferably silicone models for easy cleaning. Additionally, having a squirt bottle on hand for a vinegar wash can be helpful.
  • Remove Excess Moisture: Before cooking, pat your ribs dry with paper towels to absorb any surface moisture, preventing them from browning.
  • Let the Rub Stand: If using a dry rub, evenly coat the ribs and press the rub into the meat to form a crust. For optimal flavor, let the rub sit on the meat for 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Don’t Peek: Whether cooking on a grill, smoker, or in an oven, maintaining a constant temperature is crucial. Try to keep the door or lid shut as much as possible to avoid temperature fluctuations.
  • Test for Doneness: Judging when ribs are done can be challenging by appearance alone. A useful test is using tongs to easily pull apart two ribs. After cooking, allow the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.

How To Cook Beef Ribs In Oven At 400?

Before placing your ribs in the oven, make sure to:

  • Remove the membrane: The membrane on the back of the ribs can be tough and prevent seasoning from penetrating. Use a knife or paper towel to remove it before cooking.
  • Season generously: Use your favorite dry rub or marinade to add flavor to your ribs. Make sure to cover all sides evenly for maximum flavor.
  • Wrap in foil: For extra tenderness, wrap your ribs in foil before placing them in the oven. This will lock in moisture and help the meat cook more evenly.

After preparing your ribs, follow these simple steps to cook them in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Place seasoned ribs on a baking sheet or in a baking dish.
  3. Cook for 2.5 – 3 hours, depending on their size.
  4. For Fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, cook for an additional 30 minutes wrapped in foil.
  5. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

How Long To Cook Beef Ribs In Oven At 400?

Oven-baked beef ribs are a healthy alternative to the traditional smoked version, offering a flavorful and tender dish without all the added fat. The secret to achieving perfectly cooked beef ribs in the oven is cooking them low and slow. This method allows for the meat to cook evenly while becoming juicy and fork-tender. Set your oven temperature at 400°F (204°C), and let the ribs cook for approximately 2.5 – 3 hours depending on their size.

The Cooking Time For Boneless Ribs Vs Bone-In Ribs

Generally, bone-in ribs require 10% more cooking time than boneless ribs. This rule applies not only to pork or beef ribs but also to chicken, salmon, or lamb. For instance, if the recommended time for boneless ribs is 1 hour, bone-in ribs will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes longer.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that the internal temperature of the ribs reaches between 185 F and 200 F.

Baking Ribs With A Sauce Vs. Adding The Sauce At The End

When baking ribs, there are two approaches to consider: adding the BBQ sauce after the ribs are done cooking or incorporating it during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to prevent burning. It’s important to note that BBQ sauces typically contain sugar, which can easily burn at high heat. For this particular recipe, it is recommended to add the sauce after removing the ribs from the oven and just before placing them on the grill.

What Is The Best Temperature To Cook Beef Ribs?

What Is The Best Temperature To Cook Beef Ribs?

Beef ribs can be cooked at the optimal temperature of 275°F (135°C) to achieve tender and well-rendered results in approximately 3 hours. Using a Smoke X2—combined with Billows™—or another reliable leave-in probe thermometer is essential for tracking the temperature accurately.

The best doneness temperature for beef ribs is around 205°F (96°C). This temperature ensures that the collagen within the meat has sufficiently dissolved, resulting in a perfect level of tenderness. While there may be a short stall during the cooking process, it is minimal compared to other BBQ cuts.

What To Serve With Baked Ribs?

When serving baked ribs, there are several delicious side dishes you can pair them with:

  1. Southern-Style Potato Salad: Tangy, creamy, and crunchy, this potato salad is a classic complement to ribs.
  2. Smoky-Sweet Baked Beans: A healthier twist on the traditional baked beans, this recipe cuts back on sugar and salt without sacrificing flavor.
  3. Deviled Egg Pasta Salad: This dish combines the creaminess of deviled eggs with the heartiness of macaroni salad for a tasty fusion.
  4. Classic Coleslaw: Tangy, creamy, and crunchy, coleslaw is the perfect side to accompany ribs.
  5. Grilled Corn On The Cob: Make eating corn on the cob easier by folding down the husks and tying them together to make a handle. Add your choice of flavors such as Basil Butter With Parmesan or Smoky Barbecue Rub.
  6. Creamy Cucumber Salad: A cooling side dish, creamy cucumber salad complements baked ribs perfectly. Cucumbers and Vidalia onions pair with a sweet and sour cream sauce, accented with fresh dill. Remember to consume within four hours to maintain the cucumbers’ crunchiness and prevent dressing from becoming watery.
  7. Broccoli, Grape, and Pasta Salad: Make-ahead pasta salad, featuring fresh broccoli, toasted pecans, crumbled bacon, grapes, and pasta in a sweet and tangy sauce, is an ideal accompaniment to baked ribs. The contrasting textures and flavors of this salad create a delicious contrast. Allow three hours for marinating before adding pecans and bacon just before serving.
  8. Tennessee Onions: With sweet Vidalia onions as the star, Tennessee onions offer a savory, cheesy side to serve with baked ribs. Prepare this dish quickly by combining thick-cut onions with spices, butter, and cheese, then baking until golden brown.
  9. Old-School Squash Casserole: For a classic Southern side that complements sweet-and-tangy sauced baked ribs, try old-school squash casserole. This cheesy and creamy dish incorporates yellow squash in a rich sauce, topped with crunchy butter crackers. Follow the provided pro tips to avoid a mushy and watery casserole.
  10. Zesty Corn-And-Squash Salad is the perfect side dish to serve with baked ribs. This no-cook salad takes advantage of summer’s vibrant produce, including fresh corn, zucchini, and yellow squash. Tossed with a citrus vinaigrette and garnished with cilantro and smoked almonds, it adds a healthy and flavorful element to any barbecue menu. The flavors meld together beautifully after marinating for about two hours, making it an ideal make-ahead recipe that can be prepared a day in advance.

6 thoughts on “How Long to Cook Beef Ribs in Oven at 400? Helpful Tips”

  1. Long cooks. Cure the meat with some salt and aromatics/mirpoix. Sear beef. Add a bit of tomato paste. Caramelize with mirepoix. Deglaze with whatever you want. Add water or stock or enough liquid to cover 3/4 meat. Cover. Oven 250. 5 something hrs. Check it. Let rest. Reduce liquid? Serve on something. A little flaky salt.

  2. I do mine at 160 for 24 hours. I would season it closer to a steak, if you really want to go above and beyond my favorite beef seasoning mix is salt, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, rosemary, black pepper. Blend it all together in a spice blender then seal. I personally don’t think back ribs need a sauce rub but that’s just me.

  3. I’ve done 145 degrees for 36 hours a couple of times with beef ribs and its been a household favorite. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, just the temps/times with my own rub and sauce.


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