Preparing the Ribs for Cooking
Before cooking country-style ribs in the oven, it’s important to prepare them properly. Start by rinsing the ribs under cold water and patting them dry with paper towels. Next, remove the membrane from the back of the ribs by using a butter knife to loosen one end of the membrane and then pulling it off with your hands.
Once the membrane is removed, trim any excess fat from the ribs using a sharp knife. Leaving some fat on the ribs will add flavor, but too much can make them greasy. Finally, cut the ribs into manageable pieces, usually two to three ribs per portion.
Now that the ribs are prepped, you can move on to seasoning and cooking them in the oven.
Seasoning the Ribs
Seasoning is an important step in making flavorful country-style ribs. You can use any combination of herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences. A simple and delicious seasoning blend can be made by mixing together salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
To season the ribs, sprinkle the seasoning blend over both sides of the ribs and rub it in with your hands. Make sure to coat the ribs evenly and thoroughly. You can also add a barbecue sauce or a marinade to the ribs before cooking for extra flavor.
After seasoning, cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. If you’re short on time, you can skip this step and move on to cooking the ribs immediately.
Cooking the Ribs in the Oven
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the seasoned ribs in a baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, making sure to seal the edges tightly. This will help to keep the ribs moist and tender during the cooking process.
Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on the size of the ribs. About halfway through the cooking time, remove the foil and baste the ribs with their juices or barbecue sauce. This will help to add flavor and keep the ribs from drying out.
After the cooking time is up, check the internal temperature of the ribs using a meat thermometer. The temperature should read 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. If the temperature is not quite there yet, return the ribs to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes and check again.
Once the ribs are fully cooked, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the ribs more tender.
Checking the Temperature of the Ribs
Checking the internal temperature of the ribs is crucial to ensure that they are fully cooked and safe to eat. To do this, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch the bone. The temperature should read 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption.
If the temperature is below 145°F (63°C), return the ribs to the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes and check again. It’s important not to undercook the ribs, as this can result in foodborne illness.
On the other hand, be careful not to overcook the ribs, as this can make them dry and tough. Overcooked ribs will have a temperature above 170°F (77°C). If you accidentally overcook your ribs, try basting them with a little bit of barbecue sauce or other liquid to add moisture back to the meat.
By checking the temperature of the ribs, you can ensure that they are cooked to perfection and safe to eat.
Serving and Enjoying the Ribs
Once the country-style ribs are fully cooked and rested, it’s time to serve and enjoy them! You can either serve the ribs as they are, or add more barbecue sauce or other toppings if desired.
Country-style ribs are often served with sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, or cornbread. These sides complement the rich and savory flavors of the ribs.
To serve the ribs, use tongs to transfer them to a serving platter. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or cilantro, and serve alongside your favorite sides. Don’t forget to have plenty of napkins on hand, as country-style ribs can be messy to eat!
With their tender, juicy meat and flavorful seasoning, country-style ribs are a crowd-pleasing dish that’s perfect for a weekend barbecue or a cozy family dinner. Enjoy!