Oven-baked ribs can be made any time of the year and turn out tender and deliciously yummy every time.
Taken from the belly side of the hog, St. Louis-style spare ribs are bigger and meatier than baby back ribs (taken from the upper loin section of the pig, near the spine) with a uniform shape that makes them easy to handle and brown.
Due to the marbling of fat in the ribs, you should cook them slowly using low, indirect heat, such as covered in the oven or braised.
However, you can cook them fairly quickly on the grill, as long as you let them soak in a dry rub or marinade first.
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Are St. Louis Ribs The Same As Spare Ribs?
St. Louis ribs start off as spare ribs. The spare ribs ends, called rib tips, are trimmed off (sternum and cartilage are also removed).
The narrow, pointed end of the ribs are also cut off to produce a roughly rectangular shape.
From the underside of the spare ribs, the flap of meat called the rib skirt is also cut away.
Once they are a rectangular shape and more uniform in appearance, they are easier to cook and eat.
Oven Roasted St. Louis Style Pork Ribs
2-3 pounds rack St. Louis Style Pork Ribs
1 cup of barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)
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1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Prepare and Clean The Ribs
You will need to remove the thin membrane from the underside of the pork ribs.
This is called the silver skin, and you need to remove it to get all the flavors into the meat.
Use a paper towel to grab and pull the silver skin off as you slice through it with a knife.
After that, wash the ribs with cold water and then pat them dry with paper towels.
What Is The Silverskin
Silverskin or the peritoneum is a thin membrane of connective tissue covering and holding ribs together.
Removing the silverskin before roasting, grilling or smoking ribs is vital because this membrane prevents rubs or brines from penetrating the meat.
The membrane does not soften when cooked. If you leave the membrane on the ribs, it would be like chewing on rubber.
Season The Ribs
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the salt, paprika, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, and brown sugar.
Mix them well together until all the ingredients are combined.
Place the ribs on a baking pan and then rub the ribs with the mixture.
Use your hands to get the rub all over the ribs and massage it a little bit to get the flavors into the meat.
Cover the seasoned ribs and place them in the refrigerator to absorb the rub for at least 15 minutes.
Roasting The Ribs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the oven rack in the middle and then wrap the ribs with aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet and slide it into the oven.
Let cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the pork ribs become tender but not too dry.
Take them out of the oven and remove the aluminum foil.
Baste them with the barbecue sauce by brushing them with a thin layer of the sauce.
Place them back in the oven and allow them to cook for another 20 minutes.
Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the ribs, when done they should be 190 degrees. *See Cook’s Notes Below
Let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Serve your St. Louis style ribs with these classic sides:
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Pork is considered – Safe to Eat – after it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145F.
However, just because the meat is Safe to Eat does not always mean that the ribs are done and ready to eat.
In fact, in most cases pork ribs need to be cooked way past the Safe to Eat temperature to become tender.
It is suggested that you should not rely totally upon internal temperatures when cooking ribs. In addition to temperature you should be checking for:
- Meat to pull away from the bone.
- Thermometer should easily slide through the meat.
- Pick up the ribs with tongs to see how easily they bend.
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