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How Long To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400 5 Tasty & Effortless Ways 

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400?

Ribs are a great source of protein and can be easily prepared in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit in a variety of ways. For example, whether or not you use foil will change the method in which you cook your ribs. In addition, there is also an important distinction between ribs that are boneless and ones that aren’t as well as whether or not you have purchased baby back pork, spare ribs or beef ribs. This article will provide you with 4 methods with step-by-step instructions on how you can prepare your ribs to absolute perfection. how long to cook ribs in the oven at 400 

When you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal that will not only provide a great source of protein but will also minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, ribs are an excellent option. 

Ribs require a little longer than some other dishes to be fully cooked, but what’s great about them is that once they’re in the oven, all the work is done for you! 

Our favorite way to cook ribs is at 400 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven. Although you can cook them at a lower temperature, we prefer 400 as it cooks more quickly (on average an hour and a half) and will provide your ribs with a lovely golden brown shade. 

In terms of prep work, adding a rub and some spices is all it takes to get ribs ready for baking. 

We personally love adding barbeque sauce, but whatever your taste buds prefer will work just as well! 

If you’re ready to start your rib journey, make sure to read these five simple ways of how to make this dish so that you achieve juicy, tender ribs every time. 

How Long To Cook Baby-Back Pork Ribs In The Oven At 400 With Foil 

A great way to prepare your ribs is with foil. Cooking your ribs this way takes approximately 1 ½ – 2 hours and produces irresistibly tender chunks of meat that can literally be removed with just a fork. 

What makes them be able to just fall off the bone, you ask? Wrapping your ribs in an airtight space, such as foil, will cause the heat to be contained inside, which will inevitably create a ton of moisture. The result is super tender and juicy ribs. 

The average cooking time for this method is 1.5 hours, but all ovens are slightly different, so make sure to keep an eye on them. The ribs will be finished once they can be removed with a fork. 

Placing your ribs on the grill after cooking them in the oven is completely optional. However, because your ribs won’t turn golden in the oven as they are wrapped in foil, we do recommend it. 

If you do decide to go with the grill step, it’s really important that you don’t forget to oil the grates, as this will prevent the meat from sticking. 

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to skip the grilling, simply add on your sauce before sealing the ribs in foil. 

We highly recommend trying barbeque sauce with this method. 

How Long To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400 Without Foil 

Cooking your ribs in the oven at 400 without foil won’t be quite as tender as when you use foil, but it is a little faster. 

Preparing your ribs this way will only take approximately 1 hour. It’s important to remember that if you’re cooking at a lower temperature, it can take longer. For example, at 300, it can take up to 3 hours. 

The great thing about unwrapped ribs is that cooking them this way will create a beautiful, strong bark on the exterior. Just be sure to follow these steps so that they don’t get too dry. 

The key to achieving perfect ribs this way is ensuring they don’t get dried out. A great way to avoid this is by checking on them regularly and, if they appear dry, spray them with a homemade mix. 

To make the spray, create a mix with half apple juice and half apple cider vinegar. We like these two ingredients as apple and pork are a lovely combination in terms of flavor!

If you really want to taste the flavors from the spices, we don’t advise using a sauce. On the other hand, if you can’t eat your meat without a good dip, a sauce will also help to provide a little more moisture to these ribs. 

How Long To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven At 400

Spare ribs are meatier than baby back ribs and will therefore take a little longer to cook. It’s totally worth it though. 

This method is so juicy and flavorful, you won’t want to cook your rack any other way. 

It’s important to be very careful when you open the foil after the ribs cook for 80 minutes as a lot of steam will be released (keep your face at a distance). 

You will know when the ribs are done when a knife can easily slide through the meat. 

For a flavorful finish, we recommend spices such as garlic, onion, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper and for sweetness, brown sugar. Sauce-wise, you guessed, barbeque.  

How Long To Cook Boneless Ribs In The Oven At 400 

Boneless ribs are a delicious alternative to ribs with bones and take on average 10% less time to cook in the oven, so if you’re on a time crunch, we’d be using this method!

Plus, you don’t have to deal with the annoyance that sometimes comes along with trying to cut around the bones. 

Making sure your ribs are cooked all the way through is vital. A great way of knowing your ribs are done is by using a thermometer.

When you place a thermometer into the thickest part of your ribs and the temperature hits 145 degrees Fahrenheit, your ribs are done. 

Again, for a BBQ-style flavor, we highly recommend going with seasoned salt and barbeque sauce. 

How Long To Cook Beef Ribs In The Oven At 400 

Are you more of a beef person? Don’t worry. We’ve got a recipe for you too!

Beef ribs tend to take longer in the oven than pork ribs because they are larger in size and often fattier. 

On average, beef ribs will take 30 minutes per pound in the oven. 

When purchasing your beef ribs, make sure you know how many pounds you are purchasing, as this will determine how long you cook them in the oven for. 

It is also possible to use frozen beef ribs with this method. If you choose to do this, make sure you take the ribs out of the freezer the night before cooking and place them in the fridge.

They should be completely thawed prior to placing them in the oven. 

Like the other methods, barbeque sauce goes splendidly with beef ribs. 

Lastly, if you prefer beef that is more well-done, cook your ribs for 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes per pound. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Different Kinds Of Pork Ribs Are There?

  • Back Ribs: back ribs are named as such because they come from the back part of the pig (similar to where pork chops come from). Back ribs tend to be less fatty and meaty but more tender than other types of pork ribs. Because of this, they cook more quickly and are also often more expensive. 
  • Spare Ribs: while back ribs tend to be leaner, spare ribs are the meatier type of ribs that come from the lower area of the pig. Because of how heavy spare ribs are, they also cook longer than the other racks. 
  • Country-Style Ribs: this type of rib comes from the area of the pig where the loin meets the shoulder. Country-style ribs cook faster than spare ribs and contain both lean, light meat from the loin area as well as dark, richer meat from the shoulder. 

How Long Does It Take To Cook Ribs In The Oven?

The time it takes to prepare ribs in the oven varies depending on how thick or lean your ribs are and what temperature you are cooking them at. When cooking them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, they will most often take between 1 and 2 hours. 

Do You Need To Wrap Ribs In Foil?

No, it is not necessary to wrap ribs in foil, however, if you prefer a more tender and juicy rack, we highly recommend this as foil helps to contain heat and moisture. 

If you do decide to cook your ribs without foil, simply make sure to regularly check that they aren’t drying out. If you find they are on the dry side, spray them with a little apple cider vinegar and apple juice. 

How Do You Make Ribs Tender?

Making ribs tender is all about how you cook them! As mentioned, foil is vital for ensuring tenderness. Cooking your ribs for longer periods of time and at lower temperatures will also aid in this. 

What Can You Serve With Baked Ribs?

Ribs pair well with a variety of side dishes, including: 

  • Coleslaw
  • Potatoes/fries 
  • Corn on the cob
  • Mac & cheese 
  • Baked beans
  • Fried pickles 

Basically, just think of Southern cuisine!

How Long Can You Leave Baked Ribs In The Fridge?

Once they’ve hit room temperature, ribs can stay in the fridge for up to 3-4 days after cooking them in an airtight container. 

Ribs can also be warmed up again in the oven for 10 minutes at 350. 

Can You Freeze Ribs After Baking Them?

Once your baked ribs have hit room temperature, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months, tightly wrapped in both plastic wrap and placed in a freezer bag.

How Can You Tell When Your Ribs Are Done?

If you have a thermometer at home, you can tell your ribs are done when the thickest part of your meat reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Long To Cook Baby-Back Pork Ribs In The Oven At 400 With Foil

How Long To Cook Baby-Back Pork Ribs In The Oven At 400 With Foil

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ribs are seasoned and placed in the oven until tender. Ribs are then seasoned and placed on a grill until golden brown. 

Materials

  • Baby-back pork ribs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sauce of your choice

Tools

  • Oven
  • Foil
  • Rimmed baking Sheet
  • Brush
  • Grill (optional)

Instructions

  • Set your oven to a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the entire surface of the ribs
  • Place your rib slabs onto sheets of foil 
  • Seal the foil around the ribs so that it is airtight 
  • Place foil-wrapped ribs onto a baking sheet (preferably one that is rimmed)
  • Cook for approximately 1.5 hours, or until the meat is tender enough to be cut with a fork
  • Get out your grill and set the temperature to medium-high 
  • Oil the grates on the grill 
  • Take your ribs out of the oven as well as the foil 
  • Brush the sauce of your choice all over the ribs 
  • Grill the ribs for approximately 3-4 minutes, or until they have turned a lovely brown shade
  • Remove from the grill and enjoy!

How Long To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400 Without Foil

How Long To Cook Ribs In The Oven At 400 Without Foil

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ribs are spiced and then cooked on a baking sheet in the oven for approximately 1 hour, moistening it with homemade spray when necessary. 

Materials

  • Ribs
  • Spices
  • Dipping sauce (optional)
  • Apple cider vinegar/apple juice mixture

Tools

  • Oven
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Aluminum

Instructions

  • Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Dry ribs with a paper towel and apply spices (really push the spices in with your fingers)
  • Place ribs on an aluminum-lined baking sheet
  • Cook in the oven for approximately an hour 
  • Moisten with apple cider vinegar/ apple juice mixture halfway through if ribs appear dry

How Long To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven At 400

How Long To Cook Spare Ribs In The Oven At 400

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Rest Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ribs are spiced and wrapped in foil for 80 minutes at 400 in the oven. Foil is opened, sauce is added and then ribs roast for another 10-15 minutes before resting outside of the oven for 10 minutes.

Materials

  • Ribs
  • Spices of your choice
  • Sauce of your choice

Tools

  • Oven
  • Foil
  • Baking pan
  • Brush

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Line baking sheet with aluminum foil
  • Dry ribs thoroughly with paper towel
  • Place ribs on foil 
  • Season ribs 
  • Tightly close foil around ribs
  • Cook in oven for 80 minutes
  • Open foil and spread sauce of your choice all over ribs
  • Leave the foil open and put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes
  • Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes 

How Long To Cook Boneless Ribs In The Oven At 400

How Long To Cook Boneless Ribs In The Oven At 400

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ribs are spiced and covered in sauce before being cooked in the oven for approximately 1 hour.

Materials

  • Ribs
  • Spices
  • Sauce of your choice

Tools

  • Oven
  • Brush
  • Aluminum
  • Pan

Instructions

  • Set your oven to a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Dry your ribs with a paper towel
  • Season your ribs with desired spices, making sure to push them in with your fingers
  • Cover your ribs in sauce of your choice
  • Place your ribs on an aluminum-lined pan and then in the oven and cook for approximately 1 hour 

How Long To Cook Beef Ribs In The Oven At 400

How Long To Cook Beef Ribs In The Oven At 400

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Beef ribs are seasoned and covered in sauce and olive oil before being covered in foil and cooked in the oven for 25 minutes per pound of beef. The ribs then sit for an extra couple of minutes before being served. 

Materials

  • Beef ribs
  • Olive oil
  • Sauce of your choice
  • Salt & pepper
  • Water

Tools

  • Oven
  • Baking Sheet
  • Foil

Instructions

  • Oven 
  • Baking Sheet 
  • Foil 
  • Set your oven to a temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Set your beef ribs onto a baking sheet 
  • Cover the ribs all over in the sauce of your choice 
  • Add olive oil to the sauce and spread all over 
  • Season the ribs with some salt and pepper 
  • Add water to the base of the baking sheet 
  • Take your foil and tightly cover the entire baking sheet with it 
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven
  • For every pound of beef you have, bake for 25 minutes or until a thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Take your ribs out of the oven and allow them to sit for a couple of minutes before serving 

Jess Smith
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