Cooking ribs in the oven is a popular method that guarantees tender and flavorful results. Whether you’re a fan of pork ribs or beef ribs, knowing the right cooking time and temperature is crucial to achieve mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone goodness. Let’s dive in and learn how long to cook ribs in oven with different temperatures: 225, 250, 300, 350 and 400 °F for the best result.
What are Ribs?
Ribs are a delectable cut of meat that come from the ribcage of animals, such as pigs and cows. They are prized for their rich flavor and juicy, tender texture. Ribs can be divided into different categories, including pork ribs and beef ribs. Pork ribs are derived from pigs and can be further categorized into baby back ribs, spare ribs, and boneless pork ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller and more tender, while spare ribs are larger and meatier. Boneless pork ribs are a convenient option for those who prefer a bone-free eating experience. Beef ribs, on the other hand, are typically larger and have a more robust flavor compared to pork ribs. They are known for their succulent marbling and meaty texture.
Before we delve into cooking times, let’s take a quick look at the nutritional value of ribs. Ribs are a good source of protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. They provide necessary nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins. However, it’s important to note that ribs can also be high in fat, particularly saturated fat. Therefore, it’s advisable to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Opting for leaner cuts and trimming excess fat can help make them a healthier choice.
How Long to Cook Pork Ribs in Oven at 350 °F (175 °C)
When cooking pork ribs in the oven, similar to chicken breast or pork shoulder, the cooking time can vary depending on the type of ribs and the desired tenderness. To learn how long to cook ribs in oven at 350, let’s make a breakdown of cooking durations at different temperatures:
At 225 °F (107 °C)
Cooking pork ribs at a low temperature of 225°F is a slow and low method that results in incredibly tender and flavorful ribs. For small pork ribs, such as baby back ribs, you can expect a cooking time of approximately 3 to 4 hours. Larger ribs, like spare ribs, may need around 4 to 5 hours to reach the desired tenderness.
At 250 °F (121 °C)
Increasing the oven temperature to 250°F will shorten the cooking time slightly. Small pork ribs may take about 2 to 3.5 hours, while larger ribs can take 3.5 to 4.5 hours to become tender and juicy.
At 275 °F (135 °C)
Cooking pork ribs at 275°F is a popular choice as it reduces the cooking time further while still maintaining excellent tenderness. Expect small ribs to cook in about 2 to 3 hours, and larger ribs in approximately 3.5 to 4.5 hours.
At 350°F (175 °C)
If you’re looking for a slightly faster cooking time, you can set your oven to 350°F; however, the higher baking temperature, the dryer the ribs become. Therefore, if you choose to cook your ribs in oven at 300°F or higher, don’t forget to wrap them tightly in aluminum foil to prevent the moisture from escaping. Small pork ribs cooked in oven at 350 °F will typically be ready in 2 to 2.5 hours, while larger ribs may need 2.5 to 3 hours to achieve the desired level of tenderness.
At 400°F (200 °C)
Cooking pork ribs at a higher temperature of 400°F will further reduce the cooking time. Small ribs can be cooked to perfection in roughly 1.5 to 2 hours, while larger ribs may take about 2 to 2.5 hours.
How Long to Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven at 350 °F (175 °C)
Beef ribs generally require a longer cooking time compared to pork ribs due to their denser texture. When cooking beef ribs in the oven at 350°F, you can expect the following approximate cooking times:
- Short Ribs: Short ribs are known for their rich flavor and tenderness. To achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture, it’s recommended to cook them low and slow. At 350°F, you can cook short ribs for about 2.5 to 3 hours for medium-rare. If you prefer your ribs well-done, extend the cooking time to around 3.5 to 4 hours. Keep in mind that cooking times can vary depending on the thickness of the ribs, so it’s always a good idea to check for doneness using a meat thermometer.
- Long Ribs: As the name suggests, long ribs are larger cuts of beef ribs. They have a hearty, beefy flavor and require a longer cooking time to become tender. At 350°F, plan to cook long ribs for approximately 3 to 4 hours for medium-rare. For well-done ribs, you may need to extend the cooking time to around 4 to 5 hours. Again, it’s crucial to monitor the internal temperature of the ribs to ensure they reach the desired level of doneness.
How Long to Cook Ribs in an Air Fryer at 350 °F (175 °C)
Air fryers are also a convenient and efficient way to cook ribs, producing crispy and delicious results. When cooking ribs in an air fryer, preheat it to 350°F and follow these guidelines:
- Pork Ribs: Pork ribs can be cooked to perfection in an air fryer. For baby back ribs, set the cooking time to approximately 20 to 25 minutes of each side. Spare ribs, being larger and meatier, may require 25 to 30 minutes, then remember to flip them over for more 20 minutes. Boneless pork ribs, which cook relatively faster, can be ready in around 15 to 20 minutes each side. Remember to flip the ribs halfway through the cooking process to ensure even browning and doneness.
- Beef Ribs: Beef ribs can also be cooked in an air fryer, although the cooking time will be slightly longer than for pork ribs. For short ribs, set the toal cooking time to about 60 to 70 minutes for medium-rare, or 80 to 90 minutes for well-done. Long ribs, being larger, may take around 80 to 90 minutes for medium-rare or 100 to 110 minutes for well-done. As with pork ribs, flipping the ribs halfway through cooking is recommended for even results.
Checking the doneness of ribs
Although there is an overall guideline on baking ribs above, remember that the actual cooking time may vary. Depending on factors such as size of the ribs, the thickness of the ribs and individual oven variations, cooking time may be longer or shorter than the suggestion. Here are a few methods to determine if the ribs are cooked:
- Bend Test: Hold the rack of ribs with tongs at one end and gently lift it. If the ribs are fully cooked, they should bend easily and the meat should start to pull away from the bones. This indicates tenderness and that the ribs are ready to be enjoyed.
- Toothpick Test: Insert a toothpick or a sharp knife into the meat between the bones. If it slides in and out easily with little resistance, the ribs are cooked. If there is still some resistance, red juices or the meat feels tough, they may require more cooking time.
- Internal Temperature: Using a meat thermometer is the most accurate way to check the doneness of ribs. For pork ribs, the internal temperature should reach around 190°F to 205°F (88°C to 96°C). Beef ribs, especially short ribs, should be cooked to an internal temperature of around 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone to get an accurate reading.
Storing and Reheating Ribs
If you have leftover cooked ribs or want to prepare them in advance, proper storage and reheating techniques are essential to maintain their flavor and texture. Here are some tips:
- Refrigerating: Allow the ribs to cool completely before placing them in an airtight container or wrapping them tightly in foil. Refrigerate the ribs and consume them within three to four days.
- Freezing: If you want to store ribs for a longer period, freezing is an option. Wrap the ribs securely in foil or place them in a freezer-safe container. Properly stored, ribs can be frozen for up to two to three months.
- Reheating: To reheat ribs, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the ribs on a baking sheet, cover them with foil to prevent drying out, and heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat ribs in a microwave on a microwave-safe plate for a quicker option. Adjust the reheating time based on the size and thickness of the ribs.
Other Dishes with Pork Ribs
Beside baking in oven, you can also make some dishes with pork ribs by boiling and simmering, such as: