Baked Barbecue Beef Short Ribs – Tender, fall-off-the-bone meat smothered in a homemade BBQ-based sauce that’s bursting with sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors! Impress your family and friends with this EASY comfort food recipe that’s perfect for meat lovers and barbecue enthusiasts alike!
Easy Baked BBQ Beef Ribs Recipe
Let me introduce you to the glorious world of oven-baked barbecue beef short ribs. These mouthwatering ribs are a true delight, offering tender, fall-off-the-bone meat coated in a homemade barbecue sauce that balances sweet, tangy, and smoky flavors.
In this easy baked ribs recipe, I really appreciate that after you whisk together the barbecue sauce, put it on the ribs, and them in the oven, it’s an extremely hands off dinner recipe.
Check on them towards the end of the roasting time, remove the foil, and allow them to finish cooking uncovered. It couldn’t get any easier!
Whether you’re cooking this comfort food recipe on a busy weeknight, for a more formal Sunday family dinner, as a treat for the meat lovers at your tailgating event or game day party, with just a few simple steps, you’ll have a dish that impresses your taste buds.
And any lucky family, friends, or guests you serve it to will also be impressed that you made these mouthwatering, super tender and juicy ribs with meat that just falls off the bone, leaving everyone begging for seconds!
What are Beef Short Ribs?
Beef short ribs are typically taken from the lower portion of the rib area, where the meat is marbled with delicate streaks of fat.
These beautifully (fat) marbled ribs are what give them their succulence and create an irresistible melt-in-your-mouth experience. Fat = flavor. I talk extensively about this in my Slow Cooker Pulled Pork recipe.
When a fattier cut of meat is cooked low and slow, as is the case in this BBQ baked short ribs recipe, the resulting texture of the protein will be tender, juicy, and oh-so-satisfying.
Ingredients in Oven-Baked BBQ Beef Short Ribs
To make this family favorite beef dinner recipe, you’ll need the following easy to find and very common fridge and pantry ingredients including:
- Beef short ribs
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Cider vinegar
- Worcestershire sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Chili powder
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
- Liquid smoke, optional and to taste
- Black pepper
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Saucy Baked Barbecue Short Ribs
Despite the quick prep time, these ribs do take about 3 hours to bake. It’s the low and slow cooking method that keeps them so tender. Patience is the key here, but I promise you it is so worth it!
But as I mentioned in the intro, the bulk of this recipe is hands off or inactive time – the best kind of time in a recipe!
Step 1: Rinse the ribs, pat them dry, and place them in a heavy bottomed roasting pan, baking dish, or cast iron skillet.
Step 2: Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the ribs making sure to coat them well all over.
Go Easy on the Smoke Sauce
Liquid smoke, or smoke sauce, is an optional ingredient that I include as part of the barbecue sauce.
Some people just adore the smoky flavor it lends when you want to mimic outdoor grilling but you’re actually oven-baking. However, other folks not so much. Know your audience and their flavor preferences before adding it, because you can’t undo it or mask it once it’s there.
Remember that a tiny bit goes a very long way! It’s not like, for example vanilla extract where if a recipe says 1 teaspoon, you may be tempted to add 2 (or 3 teaspoons in my case). Don’t! 1 teaspoon max with the smoky stuff!
Step 3: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 2 ½ hours on the middle rack.
Step 4: Remove the foil and bake about 30 minutes more before serving. Ribs are done when a digital thermometer reads 200-205F.
Serving Suggestions for Baked BBQ Short Ribs
While you’re waiting for your ribs to finish, you can get ahead by making some side dishes to serve alongside them.
Here are some excellent side dish ideas for what to serve with your barbecue beef short ribs:
Baked Barbecue Short Ribs with a Twist
I know you’re going to love the basic recipe, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want to put your spin on things, let me inspire you with some of these ideas:
- Turn up the heat: If you like it spicy, add some extra heat to the barbecue sauce. Increase the chili powder or add some cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to kick it up a notch.
- Asian-Inspired: Add some hoisin sauce and grated ginger to the BBQ sauce to give your short ribs some Asian flare.
- Sweeten with honey: Replace the brown sugar with honey for a luscious glossy glaze.
- Korean style: Add a spoonful of Korean chili paste into the barbeque sauce for an added spicy-sweet flavor.
Other Ways to Make BBQ Short Ribs
While baking is a fantastic method and will give you tender ribs every time, there are several other mouthwatering ways to prepare them.
Slow Cooker Ribs
I have a recipe for Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs. While those are pork and we are talking about beef today, the overall gist is the same.
Read over that recipe to see how I make those, and you can easily swap in beef short ribs for baby back pork ribs.
Of course, pay attention to cooking times since it’s not an exact apples-to-apples situation.
Grilling: Fire up the grill and bring out the smoky goodness! Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and sear the short ribs on each side to achieve a beautiful crust. Then, transfer them to indirect heat and brush them with the BBQ sauce, allowing them to cook slowly until tender. Basting and flipping occasionally will help build up that irresistible caramelized glaze. Make sure to keep the heat low and indirect heat because the lower and slower you can go, the better.
Remember, no matter which cooking method you choose, the key is to infuse the ribs with that irresistible BBQ flavor and achieve that fall-off-the-bone tenderness we all crave. So, pick your preferred technique, and let the aroma fill your kitchen!
Tips for The Best Baked BBQ Beef Short Ribs
Finish the ribs. When the final 30 minutes of baking time arrives, remove the foil and let the ribs develop a beautifully caramelized glaze in circulating oven air.
You can also place them under the broiler for a couple of minutes.
I finish my Slow Cooker BBQ Pork Ribs under the broiler so if this is of interest to you, make sure to read that post. Make sure that if you choose to broil them, you pay very close attention and don’t turn your back on the oven or get distracted and you accidentally burn your precious ribs!
Drain the grease. After the initial baking period of about 2 1/2 hours, if you find the pan is too full of grease, carefully pour it out before returning the ribs to the oven. This will prevent excessive greasiness and allow the ribs to finish baking beautifully.
Spoon, baste, and flip. While the ribs are baking, you can occasionally spoon the sauce over the top and flip them to ensure they are evenly coated and infused with flavor.
Storing and Reheating
Your baked beef short ribs will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
They can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for up to 4 months. Make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator before reheating in either the microwave or oven. I add a bit of barbecue sauce when reheating to prevent them from drying out.
Barbecue Beef Short Ribs FAQs
I suggest nice thick ribs with the bone in, but you can use boneless.
Look for beef short ribs with good marbling and a decent amount of meat (and fat) on them. This will ensure that they become tender and juicy as they bake.
Yes you can if it’s easier for you. You’ll want about 1 1/2 cups store bought barbecue sauce. I suggest Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce. But whatever you have on hand or your fave BBQ sauce is will work just fine for these fork tender ribs.
Also remember that you can doctor up store bought barbecue sauce. Don’t have the Dijon mustard but do have soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and garlic powder – add those! That’s what I do when I am trying to jazz up something store bought is add what I do have, and the flavors I especially like. For me, this would for sure also include the brown sugar! It’s Sandra Lee “semi-homemade” style.
Yes, if you have extra time, marinating the ribs in the barbecue sauce for a few hours or even overnight can enhance the flavors even further. Just be sure to refrigerate them in a sealed container or very large ziptop plastic bag.
However, this recipe is already a 3-hour number, so if you don’t have time, and didn’t plan ahead, or don’t want to plan ahead that far, don’t worry. These beef short ribs are saucy, juicy, and wonderful even without marinating ahead of time!
The smoke sauce adds an extra smoky flavor, but it’s optional. If you don’t have smoke sauce on hand, don’t worry! The ribs will still turn out amazing without it.
You can adjust the amount of brown sugar according to your taste preferences.
However, I think the overall sweetness level is perfect just where it’s at.
I know there are sugar haters out there, but without the half-cup brown sugar they just don’t have the same rich and wonderful flavor so I urge you not to reduce the sugar.
Certainly! While Dijon mustard adds a tangy kick, you can experiment with other mustard varieties such as whole grain or spicy brown mustard. This allows you to personalize the flavors to your liking.
That being said, I wouldn’t use basic yellow mustard in the marinade. Save those for your hot dogs.
If you enjoy spicy food, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the barbecue sauce. Adjust the heat to your desired level, but remember to taste as you go!
Absolutely! This recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled to accommodate a larger group. Just make sure you have a very large yet semi shallow roasting pan that’s big enough to hold all the ribs comfortably. Think Thanksgiving turkey type of roasting pan.
Easy Baked BBQ Recipes
When grilling season has passed, and maybe you’re not a slow cooker fan, I’ve got a few other baked BBQ recipes when you have barbecue cravings and you want to make them in your oven.
- Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken: Juicy and tender chicken with zero clean-up!
- Oven Baked BBQ Chicken Wings: Perfect for entertaining, these wings pack a flavor punch with the simple 5-ingredient BBQ sauce.
- One-Pan Barbecue Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes: These bone-in chicken thighs are covered in a sweet BBQ sauce and the best part is the sweet potatoes roast along with the chicken in the same baking sheet. So easy!
- Barbecue Chicken Sliders – These FAST and EASY sliders are made with shredded chicken, smothered in tangy barbecue sauce, sandwiched between soft Hawaiian rolls with cheese, and baked until warm!
- BBQ Chicken Pizza – This amazingly fresh bbq pizza reminds me of California Pizza Kitchen’s bbq chicken pizza except I think homemade is better. I’m not partial or anything. In just 15 minutes, you have a meal everyone will love!
3 hours 10 minutes
- 3 pounds beef short ribs* (I prefer bone-in, but see Notes)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke sauce, optional
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Rinse the ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel before placing them in a 9×13-inch heavy bottomed roasting pan, baking dish, cast iron skillet, or similar large roasting or casserole dish; set aside momentarily.
- In a medium bowl or 2 cup glass-measuring cup, add all the remaining ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Barbecue Sauce Tips – Note that the liquid smoke is optional, and that if you do decide to use it, a little goes a long way so don’t add more than is called for. Also, it’s possible to doctor up store bought barbecue sauce such as Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BBQ Sauce (or another favorite) to your liking. As written, my sauce recipe is so easy, but if you want to make it even easier or are missing the majority of the ingredients and it’s easier to just buy BBQ sauce, do it. Feel free to add what you do have, i.e. for me the brown sugar is non-negotiable, as is the chili powder.
- Slowly and evenly pour the barbecue sauce mixture over the ribs, turn the ribs over and spoon some of the sauce over the tops.
- Cover the roasting pan with foil, and place on the center oven rack to roast for about 2 1/2 hours. Start checking after 2 hours to see how the ribs look. Tips – While roasting, you can flip the ribs over halfway through and/or spoon some of the barbecue sauce over the ribs for more moisture and flavor, but it’s optional.
- After about 2 1/2 hours, remove the foil. Tip – After the initial baking period of about 2 1/2 hours, if you find the pan is too full of grease, carefully pour it out before returning the ribs to the oven. This will prevent excessive greasiness and allow the ribs to finish baking beautifully.
- Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until ribs are done. Ribs are done when a digital thermometer reads 200-205F. Tip – I always allow protein of any kind to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, not only so I don’t burn myself or my family, but so that the internal juices stay sealed in the meat and don’t run out.
*Ribs – I suggest nice thick ribs with the bone in, but you can use boneless. Look for beef short ribs with good marbling and a decent amount of meat (and fat) on them. This will ensure that they become tender and juicy as they roast.
**Nutrition Info – It’s provided by a computer-generated program and estimate. However, while this is a comfort food recipe, not all fo the sauce (nor drained fat) will be consumed. Therefore, the stats as written I believe are skewing higher than they likely actually are if I am using my instinct and common sense. Feel free to calculate by hand or in an app like MyFitnessPal if you’re concerned.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 817Total Fat: 52gSaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 29gCholesterol: 227mgSodium: 1472mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 59g
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Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew — Comfort food at its finest with thick and tender chunks of beef, buttery soft potatoes, and mixed vegetables. The broth is rich, deep, and exquisite thanks to a mixture of beef broth, red wine, and a mixture of herbs and spices. IMPRESS your family and friends with this CLASSIC beef stew recipe!
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