To make succulent savoury fall off the bone ribs, it is going to take some work and some time. To slow cook baby back ribs in oven 200 degrees, you have to be prepared to be in it for the long haul.
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The Challenge and Rewards of Slow Cooking Ribs
You can cook the ribs quickly and simply with little prep work and they might taste OK, but they won’t be as soft and tender and juicy as you might like.
I want to talk about how to slow cook ribs in oven 200 degrees and show you my method to make fall off the ribs meat.
Pork ribs are one of my favourite meats, and I order them all the time at restaurants and I’m less likely to cook them at home. That’s because it takes so long to make them, but it is definitely worth the effort that is put in.
Keep in mind that the information I’m going to give you about how to slow cook spare ribs in oven 200 degrees may vary based on your oven’s power, and you may need to adjust your cooking time accordingly.
Preparing the Ribs for Slow Cooking
One tip I want to share with you about how to slow cook ribs and chicken in an oven 200 degrees is to ensure the ribs are thawed out completely before you try to cook them. This is important if you want the ribs to cook all the way through and to cook evenly.
You can fill out the ribs overnight in your fridge or put them in a bowl of cold water to thaw out faster. I would not suggest putting them in the microwave to defrost. The problem with that is that the ribs may start to cook a little bit and then cook too fast, defeating the purpose of slow cooking them in the oven.
The Benefit of Slow Cooking Ribs in the Oven
I know most people are used to slow cooking ribs on the grill, which is time consuming and takes a lot of effort. You have to constantly be attending to the ribs to ensure that they don’t burn and to make sure that the heat is just right.
It’s a hassle but it is how most people slow cook their ribs. I want to tell you that’s not necessary to make succulent delicious ribs that fall right off the bone. You can make ribs that are so tasty and tender just using your oven, and I’ll show you how.
How Long to Slow Cook Ribs in Oven at 200 Degrees?
The question I keep getting about slow cooking ribs in the oven is how long does it take. I think a lot of people have heard that you cook ribs slowly at 200 degrees, but how long should they be cooked for?
I want to tell you upfront that it will take hours for them to cook. This is slow cooking, after all. My method for 200 degrees slow cook ribs in the oven requires that they be cooked for about 8 hours. This gives them time to cook all the way through and have that nice texture to them without overcooking and drying out.
Cooking Multiple Racks at Once
I usually cook about 3 racks of ribs at once. This saves me time because I know cooking ribs in the oven takes a long time and I want to cook a large amount at once. I figure this is making good use of my time, and I think you will agree.
When I slow cook ribs in the oven at 200 degrees, I spaced them out so they can cook freely and unhindered. I want them to cook through and through, so if they’re packed too closely together, then they won’t have room to cook the entire rack of ribs fully.
The more ribs I cook at once, the more important it is to space them out. Of course, cooking more racks of ribs at once may mean that the cooking time will have to be longer.
How to Ensure Ribs Cook Thoroughly
Most of the time, the ribs will have a little arch to them. This makes cooking easy in the oven because the arch will lift some of the meat off the pan. In other words, not all of the meat will be touching the pan and it can cook more evenly. With arched ribs, I turned the rack of ribs so that the arch makes a rainbow shape on the pan.
If there is no arch to the ribs, then I use a cooking grid. This raises the ribs off of the pan and allows them to cook properly. Any part of the ribs that is touching the pan for the entire baking time may not cook properly.
It may cook too much, and those parts of the ribs may be slightly charred and slightly overcooked. To help with that, you may just want to use a cooking grid whether the ribs are arched or not. This will ensure that the ribs are cooked thoroughly.
Can I Cook Beef the Same Way?
You may wonder if you can slow cook beef ribs in oven 200 degrees and they cook the same as the pork ribs. Are the two kinds of ribs interchangeable when it comes to the cooking method? It’s a valid question and one I want to address quickly.
Preparing Beef Ribs for Slow Cooking
You can actually cook beef ribs and pork ribs the same way, using the same cooking methods, the same temperature, and the same cooking duration. They will be perfectly edible when they come out of the oven, but you need to be prepared for them to not be as tender as the pork spare ribs. Simply put, beef is a tougher, denser meat than pork is. That means that the beef will need to cook longer to become as tender as the pork.
The problem with this, however, is that cooking your beef for so long can cause it to dry out. To help with that, you may want to brine or marinate the beef ribs first. This helps to trap the juices in and ensure that they come out more tender and succulent.
You can also foil wrap the beef ribs. Of course, what this does is trap in the natural juices very well and marinate the beef in its own juices. This is a great slow cooking method that’s easy to do and ensures a soft and tender final product.
Slow-Cooked Ribs in the Oven at 200 Degrees
- 2 racks of baby back ribs
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- barbecue sauce of choice
- In a bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper to create the dry rub.
- Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel and then apply the dry rub all over the ribs, ensuring every bit is covered.
- Wrap each rack of ribs in two layers of aluminum foil. Make sure they are well-sealed.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the foil-wrapped ribs on a baking sheet, bone-side down, and put them in the preheated oven.
- Slow-cook the ribs in the oven for approximately 6 hours, or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, carefully open the foil, and brush your favorite barbecue sauce over the ribs.
- Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, return the ribs (uncovered) to the oven, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and starting to caramelize.
- Let the ribs rest for a few minutes before cutting into individual portions.
- Be patient. The key to these ribs is the low and slow cooking process. You can’t rush perfection!
- To check for doneness, you can use a fork to see if the meat pulls away from the bone easily. Another indication is when the meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bone by about ¼ inch.
- For a smoky flavor, consider adding a bit of smoked paprika or liquid smoke to your dry rub.
- Be careful when opening the foil after slow-cooking as there will be hot steam that could cause burns.
- After applying the barbecue sauce, returning the ribs to the oven allows the sauce to become sticky and form a nice crust on the ribs.
Exploring Variations in the Slow Cooking Method
It’s usually not necessary to brine the pork ribs and they will still turn out great. But you can brine them if you like and get some great results. You may want to try this as a variation on the method I have given you.
What benefits does slow cooking ribs at 200 degrees offer compared to cooking at a higher temperature?
Slow cooking ribs at a lower temperature like 200 degrees can lead to more tender and juicy results. This is because the slow and low method allows the collagen in the meat to break down over a longer period of time, resulting in meat that’s tender and easy to pull from the bone. It also helps to prevent the meat from drying out, which can sometimes occur at higher cooking temperatures.
Should I season or marinate the ribs before slow cooking them in the oven?
Yes, seasoning or marinating the ribs before slow cooking them can greatly enhance the flavor. A dry rub of spices and herbs is often used, and some people choose to marinate the ribs in a sauce for several hours before cooking. However, if the ribs are marinated in a sauce, it’s important to remove excess sauce before cooking to prevent it from burning during the long cooking process.
How can I ensure my slow-cooked ribs in the oven come out tender and juicy?
The key to tender and juicy ribs is patience and proper temperature. Keeping the temperature low and slow cooking them for several hours allows for the fat and connective tissue to slowly render and soften, resulting in tender ribs. Wrapping the ribs in foil for part of the cooking time can also help to lock in moisture. Additionally, letting the ribs rest for about 10 minutes after cooking before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.