3-Ingredient Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs

a country style rib with bbq sauce and a fork.
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Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs might just be your family’s favorite new way to eat pork! Fall-apart-tender, no bones, and a deliciously wicked and sticky barbecue sauce make this cut of pork a great alternative to traditional ribs…especially since they are so ridiculously cheap and easy to make.

BBQ ribs on a cookie sheet.

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Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’……Shall We??? 🙂

If you’ve never committed to making country-style pork ribs, you’ve never really LIVED! I think country-style pork ribs are the ultimate feed-a-crowd easily and on-the-cheap kind of food that we are all seeking for our just about any gathering. 

After all, what could be better than something that’s EASY, AFFORDABLE, and FINGER-LICKIN’ YUMMY?? These Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs are just your ticket! 

Lets Talk Ingredients: Spices, Sauce and Ribs

The Rib Rub and The Sauce.
Smoked paprika, black pepper, dark brown sugar, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, cumin, chili powder, dry mustard.  All of these spices are pretty common, most likely already in your kitchen cabinet, yearning to be part of something delicious. Use your favorite barbecue sauce, adding a bit of honey or agave nectar to it.

Country-Style Ribs.
These guys are already budget-friendly, but you’ll likely find them on sale around various summer holidays such as Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day when every body wants to be grilling and cooking MEAT. Country-style ribs are super meaty, have tons of marbling, and are great for the oven, grill, and/or smoker…..or a combination of those cooking methods.

Tools Needed to Make Sticky Ribs

  • Heavy-duty rimmed baking sheets or sheet pans, made of stainless steel or aluminum. These will provide nice browning for anything you bake or roast in the oven and if you keep them out of the dishwasher (always hand wash), they will last you a very long time.

The 4 Easy Steps to Making Oven-Baked Country-Style Pork Sticky Ribs

  1. Make your rib rub then rub it into every nook and cranny of each country-style rib, then place them onto the foil-lined baking sheet; cover with foil.
  2. Bake, covered, in a 250 degree F. oven for 1-2 hours….OR UNTIL FORK-TENDER. (The time you will bake them will depend on the size of the ribs you purchased.) Meanwhile, prepare your sauce by combining your favorite barbecue sauce with honey or agave nectar.
  3. When the ribs are fork-tender, remove them from the oven.  Lift each rib from the fats that have rendered while baking.  Place the fork-tender ribs onto a clean, foil-lined baking sheet. (Because the ribs haven’t been sauced yet, they aren’t going to look very un-appetizing at this point. Don’t be alarmed!  Just proceed as directed below and HAVE FAITH!)
  4. Slather the ribs on all sides with the prepared sauce using your favorite silicone brush. Return the slathered ribs to the oven (still at 250 degrees F) and bake for another 30 minutes or until the ribs are nice and sticky.  Feel free to brush the ribs with additional sauce during this time, if desired. Serve at once!

Helpful and Easy Tips for Making Oven-Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs

What’s so great about country-style ribs?

  • They are super meaty, have tons of marbling, and they are super economical.  So how does that translate, exactly?  Well, it means that each strip of pork (the country-style rib) is going to provide a hunk of meat to serve up that’s nicely tender, juicy, and wonderful, all without breaking the bank!

Where do country-style ribs come from?

  • Country-style ribs are typically cut from one of two places on the pig:  The blade end or the shoulder.  The blade end country-style ribs are sometimes cut into smaller pieces, while the shoulder country-style ribs are usually big, thick strips. Either way, you’ve got some seriously good meat to work with.

When I’m looking for country-style ribs at the grocery store, what will they look like?

  • I’m so glad you asked this question! Below is a photo of the package of country-style ribs that I purchased for making this recipe. They are large strips of meat. The term country-style usually means there no-bones.
A package of raw country-style ribs.

Are country-style ribs a versatile cut of meat?

  • Very much so. If you leave the ribs in big strips and cook them low and slow until fork-tender and fallin’ apart, you’ll have some delicious meals ahead.  Or, if you prefer to cut those strips of meat into small bite-size pieces and cook them more quickly, say in a cast iron skillet for pork tacos, you can totally do that.
  • Because country-style pork ribs have a lot of marbling (fat) they lend themselves to all kinds of cooking methods. Country-style pork ribs also make great kabobs!

Will there be a lot of fat on the baking sheet after I cook the ribs? 

  • Yes, as a matter of fact there will, no doubt about it.  All that good marbling of the meat is rendered into fat when you bake the ribs low and slow.  Don’t freak out!  Use your tongs to remove the fork-tender country-style ribs from the fats they are sitting in and place them onto a clean foil-lined baking sheet because this is where another part of the MAGIC is going to happen – the STICKY RIBS get REAL.
  • Slather the ribs with your sauce, then return the ribs to the oven, uncovered, at the same low temperature, letting them cook another 30 minutes or so.  You’re about to experience TRUE HEAVEN.
Cooked ribs with no sauce.

Why do I need so much aluminum-foil when making country-style ribs?

  • For one simple reason:  EASY CLEAN UP.  Because there’s a lot of fat that’s rendered when you bake country-style pork ribs, you can end up with some pretty big pools of grease and that can be super messy.  I like to pour that rendered fat (the grease) into a big jar that I keep for my dogs and then I add a small amount at a time to their dry dog food.  They go crazy for it!
  • Once you’ve poured that fat off the foil-covered baking sheets, you can easily crumple the foil up and toss it away, leaving a fairly clean baking sheet that’s very quick to clean up.  (Nobody wants to cook things that require lots of clean up, especially when we’ve got guests and fun to tend to.  Use that aluminum foil like your life depends on it!)

Should I be concerned that the ribs look pretty ugly and dried out after I’ve baked them the first time?

  • The ribs WILL look pretty ugly after you’ve baked them covered with the foil, that’s for sure. This is because you haven’t added any sauce yet. Don’t worry….keep going!

How do I know when the ribs are done? What does fork-tender mean?

  • As you are baking the ribs, begin checking them for tenderness after about an hour using a fork. Depending on the size of your ribs, it will take anywhere from 1-2 hours (probably closer to 2 hours) before the ribs get really fork-tender.
  • Fork-tender means that when you stick the fork into the meat and give a gentle twist, the meat begins to fall-apart, is obviously tender. This is exactly what you want! If the meat doesn’t fall apart, or if you have trouble inserting the fork into the meat at all, this is a big indication that the ribs need to cook longer at the low temperature, still covered with the foil.

Here’s how the ribs look from start to finish – see the photo below.

  1. The first strip of pork is how the country-style ribs look when you first remove them from the package.
  2. The next two ribs have been rubbed and seasoned and are ready for the first bake, without any sauce, and covered with foil.
  3. The remaining 3 country-style ribs have already been baked, low and slow, and are ready to be brushed with sauce so they can be baked, uncovered. This lets the barbecue sauce get nice and sticky…absolutely finger-lickin’ delicious.
Ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet.

We love to serve Country-Style Pork Ribs with these side dishes –

Tortellini Pasta Salad – Tortellini pasta with corn, tomatoes, and basil, all dressed up in a light vinaigrette dressing. Quick and easy to make.

Watermelon Dessert Pizza – Wait until you see how beautiful this easy, healthy dessert turns out.  Your guests will be delighted!

Saucy Cowboy Beans with Bacon and Beef – Hearty and filling, all simmered in a sweet and tangy bbq sauce.

Crunchy Corn Salad – A creamy-crunch salad that’s perfect for those hot months of summer

Printable Directions for Making Slow Baked Country-Style Barbecue Ribs

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a country style rib with bbq sauce and a fork.
3 from 2 votes
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Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs

Baked Country-Style Sticky Ribs might just be your family's favorite new way to eat pork! Fall-apart-tender, no bones, and a deliciously wicked and sticky bbq sauce make this cut of pork a great alternative to traditional ribs…especially since they are so ridiculously cheap and easy to make.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Pork
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. country-style boneless pork ribs

Rib Rub

  • 2 Tbs. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. granulated onion
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup of  your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbs. honey or agave nectar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

    Fully cover a rimmed baking sheet (I use 13" x 18") with heavy-duty aluminum foil, taking care not to puncture any holes in the foil; set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the rib rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover your work surface with a sheet of foil, then lay the ribs out and use your fingers to rub the prepared rib rub all over each rib on all sides.

    Combine the BBQ sauce and honey in a small bowl and set aside.

  3. Place the seasoned ribs in a single layer onto the foil-lined baking sheet; cover tightly with a second piece of foil. Place the seasoned ribs into the oven and bake for approx.1-2 hours, depending on the size of your ribs.

    The ribs should be very fork-tender before you remove them from the oven, so if you need to bake them a bit longer, it's totally fine.

  4. Remove the ribs from the oven. Carefully pull back the foil cover.

    You will see that there is a fair amount of fats/grease in the pan that has rendered as the ribs baked. Use tongs to carefully remove the ribs from the fats to a new foil-covered baking sheet.

  5. Using a silicone basting brush, gently baste the ribs with the prepared bbq sauce mixture, getting into all the nooks and crannies of each rib.

    Return the ribs to the oven for 30 minutes, basting on more sauce as desired, throughout that time. When the sauce on the ribs is nicely sticky, they're done!

  6. Serve ribs with additional sauce, on the side, as desired.

Recipe Notes

 

How do I know when the ribs are done? What does fork-tender mean?

  • As you are baking the ribs, begin checking them for tenderness after about an hour using a fork. Depending on the size of your ribs, it will take anywhere from 1-2 hours (probably closer to 2 hours) before the ribs get really fork-tender.
  • Fork-tender means that when you stick the fork into the meat and give a gentle twist, the meat begins to fall-apart, is obviously tender. This is exactly what you want! If the meat doesn’t fall apart, or if you have trouble inserting the fork into the meat at all, this is a big indication that the ribs need to cook longer at the low temperature, still covered with the foil.

We love hearing from our readers and followers, so leave us a comment if you’d like.  And, if you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment.  Feel free to reach out to us by email:  ChefAlli@ChefAlli.com

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

 

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

1 star
Followed the recipe exactly and these ribs were dry and no way near “fall off the bone.” We ended up giving 2 to the dog and pitching the rest.

Hi Blairsvillebabylady –
I’m so sorry that you had a bad experience with this recipe. I wish I knew what could have possibly gone wrong as I’ve had a huge positive response to this recipe from lots of other followers who loved the ribs. We make this recipe all the time and just adore it.
Sincerely,
Chef Alli

5 stars
The seasonings for the ribs really shown through and complimented the barbeque sauce glaze on top. Chef- the actual recipe calls for 1-2 hours of cooking the ribs covered, but in the narrative above it states 2-4 hours. Since you noted to cook until fork tender, I ended up cooking mine for 2 hours and it was perfect. May be the reason why SAB found the ribs dry because it was cooked too long??? Great recipe that I will be making again.

Hi Becky –
Thank you so much for this comment, and also for the 5 star rating – I so appreciate both. I reviewed the post and immediately saw what you were referring to in the text. I have edited that to be the same (1-2 hours) as what is stated in the recipe card. I’m betting you are correct – maybe the ribs that failed were cooked the 2-4 hours instead of 1-2 which makes me feel awful. I’m glad you kept an eye out and did the fork-tender test at 2 hours. My family loves this recipe so I was glad to hear that you had good results. Thanks so much for letting me know.
Sincerely,
Chef Alli

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