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How to Reheat BBQ Ribs

How to Reheat BBQ Ribs

Last Updated on 16th May 2022 by

Outdoor family gatherings always call for a celebration quite no other—from fishing trips at the lakehouse amidst a cloudy day, to a funky poolside party underneath the searing sun, or a jazzy dinner on a terrace with the moon and stars sparkling up above the sky.

No matter what the setting is, only a few certain elements of such outdoor family gatherings remain constant: the frolicking family members, the jovial mood, the certainly refreshing booze as well as iced tea, and, most especially, an outdoor griller humming and sizzling with delectable barbecue ribs nestled atop its ridges.

Yep! We all love our barbecue ribs during moments like those! Cooking that luscious, juicy yet smokey meat melting in your mouth with every bite, above a grill—one drink in hand—while mingling with your relatives.

It’s that one unexplainable gravitas of an outdoor grill and BBQ ribs that make those special moments even more special. BBQ ribs just taste so good outdoors with your family.

But what if all of it is done? When the embers of the grill start to flicker out, and the guests start to wave their goodbyes?

What Happens to the BBQ Ribs Left Uneaten?

The easy answer would be to throw it all away. But that would be an economic waste of food, money, and time!

Why not reheat those ribs and restore them to their respectable glory?

You’re curious? Well, continue to read on as we discuss how to reheat BBQ ribs—be it in the oven, grill, air fryer, or microwave.

How to Reheat Ribs in the Oven

If you want to imitate your BBQ ribs’ former flavor and texture—and if you’ve got plenty of time—then you should reheat them in an oven!

This is because when BBQ ribs are reheated in the oven—at a low temperature, over a long time—it harkens back to almost its original self the day you cooked it: moist and savory.

To do this, just follow these steps:

  1. Take the leftover BBQ ribs out of your fridge or freezer and let them rest for at least 30 minutes. This is to let them sit at room temperature. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  3. Lather your leftover BBQ ribs with any leftover sauce. You could also use store-bought BBQ sauce, or you could make a fresh one.
  4. Double-wrap your leftover BBQ ribs in a secure foil wrap to ensure that it is encased along with their sauce and oils. Double-wrapping them is also meant to prevent the leftover BBQ ribs from burning while in the oven.
  5. Place the ribs in a prepared baking pan and put them in the oven.
  6. Take the ribs off the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

How long to reheat BBQ ribs in the oven? Well, it usually takes about 30-20 minutes to reheat your leftover BBQ ribs in the oven.

Before pulling them out of the oven, you could remove the tin foil wrap of your BBQ ribs and put them back in the oven for 5 minutes so that they can caramelize amidst the oven’s heat.

How to Reheat BBQ Ribs on the Grill

Reheating ribs on a grill means somewhat “recooking” them and trying to revive their smokey and char-grilled flavor. You could also use an electric grill!

  1. Take the leftover BBQ ribs out of your fridge or freezer and let them rest for at least 30 minutes. This is to let them sit at room temperature.
  2. Coat the leftover BBQ ribs with its barbecue sauce. You could also buy a new one from a store, or make one from scratch. Wrap them in tin foil, too.
  3. Set the temperature of your grill to about 225 degrees (or at a medium setting if you’re using an electric grill).
  4. Place your leftover BBQ ribs on the grill until their temperature is about 155 degrees. You could measure your BBQ ribs’ internal temperature with a meat thermometer.
  5. Pull the leftover BBQ ribs from their tin foil wrap and then grill them again.
  6. Once done, serve the reheated BBQ ribs hot.

How to Reheat BBQ Ribs in Air Fryer

When reheating your leftover BBQ ribs in an air fryer, you will be expecting a somewhat defined crunchy crusting on your BBQ ribs.

Reheating it in an air fryer also is a healthier way, since it does not need oil.

  1. Make sure to preheat your air fryer to about 350 degrees, which is USDA standard. At this temperature, microorganisms are killed because of the extreme heat—making your leftover BBQ ribs particularly safer to eat.
  2. Because an air fryer has limited space, we recommend cutting your leftover BBQ ribs into smaller pieces to make them easier and faster to reheat. You could also lather the ribs with a tablespoon (or two) of oil.
  3. Place them into the fryer for about 5-8 minutes. Serve while hot.

How to Reheat BBQ Ribs in Microwave

The microwave way of reheating is always the easiest and most convenient, as you just chuck the food you want to reheat inside it and wait for the bell to ring.

However, if things go wrong, then you might say goodbye to your leftover BBQ ribs.

To do this, make sure that the container you will be placing your leftover BBQ ribs on is microwaveable.

  1. Place your leftover BBQ ribs in the container, and spread them evenly. Lather every piece of BBQ ribs with your barbecue sauce.
  2. Place the container inside the microwave and set the temperature to medium heat. Let it reheat inside the microwave for about three to five minutes while checking its texture from time to time.
  3. Take them out of the microwave and place them on a plate for serving.

Remember that food or other residue stuck in the microwave can influence the odor and taste of your BBQ ribs. So it’s best to clean your microwave before reheating your leftover BBQ ribs.

It’s also worth remembering that microwaving your leftover BBQ ribs is not always the first option, as the expected quality of food is kind of subpar. It’s always best to reheat your BBQ ribs in the oven or on a grill!


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Pauline Loughlin
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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!