How to cook beef short ribs in the oven with homemade spice rub and BBQ sauce. A perfectly succulent, melt-in-the-mouth tender, delicious protein for satisfying, comforting, crowd-pleasing meals!
Cooking beef short ribs in the oven has never been easier (or tastier). Just like my crockpot beef brisket, this beef short ribs recipe covers the meat with a simple, flavorful spice rub, then bastes it in BBQ sauce for a truly delicious protein. The main difference is that this time, I am ditching the slow cooker for a tried-and-tested oven method.
These bone-in beef short ribs are sticky, sweet, smoky, savory, and delicious, with a truly delectable, tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture the entire family will love. And, although oven baked beef short ribs take 3-4 hours to cook, they’re super simple to prepare, require only easy-to-find (and primarily pantry staple) ingredients, and very little “hovering”!
Top Tips for Cooking Beef Short Ribs in the Oven
- Use the best meat: Well-raised, meaty, bone in beef short ribs with plenty of marbling work best for the best flavor and moisture.
- Use the correct temperature: Since it’s a tough cut of meat, the best way to cook short ribs is low and slow for wonderfully tender results. This will slowly break down the meat’s collagen for perfectly tender, juicy short ribs.
- Bake the ribs in foil: Since baking beef ribs require a long cooking time, wrapping them in foil helps secure the juices for quicker cooking and more tender, juicy meat.
- Season the meat well: This makes a massive difference to the overall flavor. I use a combination of a simple yet super aromatic spice for the meat and BBQ sauce to baste. The combination of sweet, tangy, spicy, and smoky flavors wonderfully enhances the flavor of the baked beef ribs without overpowering the meat.
- Leave it to rest: the BBQ beef short ribs benefit from resting for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This time allows all the juices to settle and redistribute to stay locked within the meat, even when cut.
Ingredients You Need
- Beef short ribs: Look for short ribs that are a bright red color (not grayish or browning), well-raised, with plenty of marbling (fat streaks throughout the meat), which helps make for more flavorful, tender meat. I used English Cut (not flanken).
- The spice rub: You only need simple, inexpensive pantry staples for a super flavorful seasoning.
- Garlic powder,
- Onion powder,
- Smoked paprika,
- Sea salt,
- Black pepper.
Add more flavor to this recipe with dried herbs, like rosemary or thyme. Alternatively, you could experiment with pre-made spice blends, like Cajun seasoning or a BBQ rub.
- Olive oil: (Optional) to help the spices adhere to the meat. Not necessarily needed.
- BBQ sauce: Use your favorite – a high-quality store-bought or homemade BBQ sauce will take the ribs to the next level.
How to Cook Beef Short Ribs in the Oven
Season and Prepare the Meat
First, preheat the oven to 325ºF/160ºC and line a large, rimmed baking tray with aluminum foil, preparing a second sheet to cover the ribs.
Then, use a sharp knife to remove some of the fat, if preferred (I kept it). Also, use paper towels to pat the beef dry.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine all the meat rub ingredients and mix well. Then, rub it liberally into the meat on all sides.
Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet bone side down, and tightly wrap them with the foil (use 2-3 sheets if necessary to avoid steam escaping).
How Long Do You Cook Beef Short Ribs in the Oven?
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 3-4 hours, first checking on the ribs at the 3-hour mark.
Checking for doneness: To determine if the ribs are cooked, insert a fork or meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (avoid the bones). It should be fall-off-the-bone tender with the meat visibly pulling away from the bone and with an internal temperature of 190ºF/88ºC.
If you only have a fork, insert it into the meat and gently twist or rotate it. If the meat starts to separate or shred easily, it is a good sign that it is cooked to perfection.
Once ready, remove the foil from the ribs, baste them liberally with the barbecue sauce, and return them to the oven for 30 minutes. For even more caramelization, broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes at the end.
Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes, then cut and enjoy!
How to Make the Drippings into a Gravy
Short beef ribs typically have a moderate amount of fat marbling throughout the meat. And while removing the fatty outer layer can help reduce the overall fat content, some fat will still remain in the meat. However, this remaining fat contributes to the flavor and tenderness of the cooked meat. And there will be cooking liquid (juices/drippings) in the baking pan once done cooking.
You can turn these drippings into a type of gravy/sauce by first whisking 2 tablespoon each of melted butter and flour into a paste in a large Dutch oven or skillet.
Then pour in the drippings and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until thickened to your desired consistency.
For a lighter version: to avoid excess fat in the gravy, I prefer preparing it without the use of butter or oil. You can achieve a delicious result with this easy method too.
First, transfer the drippings from the baking pan to a saucepan or skillet and heat it over medium heat. In a small bowl, dissolve 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch (or your preferred thickening agent) in an equal amount of cold water. Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the saucepan while stirring constantly.
Keep stirring as the mixture thickens, adjusting the heat as needed. Once the gravy reaches the desired consistency, remove it from the heat.
These baked beef short ribs are melt-in-the-mouth tender and absolutely packed with rich and delicious flavor, perfect for serving alongside:
- Creamy mashed potatoes or cauliflower,
- Couscous, polenta, or pasta salad,
- Mac n’ cheese,
- Roasted vegetables (potatoes, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, corn on the cob, etc.),
- Creamed or sauteed spinach,
- Sauteed asparagus, green beans, or mushrooms,
- A leafy green side salad (with a fresh vinaigrette to cut through the richness of ribs).
More Beef Recipes
- Braised Lamb Shanks
- Steak Marinade
- Hamburger Casserole
- Air Fryer Steak
- Ground Beef Tacos
- Pepper Steak
If you try this recipe for beef short ribs, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
The Best Oven Baked Beef Short Ribs
- 5 lb beef short ribs 1 rack of 4 bones – bright red, well-raised, English cut, with lots of marbling works best
- 1 cup BBQ sauce high-quality store-bought or homemade
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional to help spices adhere
- Food Thermometer optional
Season and Prepare the Meat
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF/160ºC and line a large, rimmed baking tray with aluminum foil, preparing a second sheet to cover the ribs.
- Use a sharp knife to remove some of the fat, if wanted (I kept it). Also, use paper towels to pat the beef dry.
- In a small bowl, combine all the meat rub ingredients and mix well. Then, rub it liberally into the meat on all sides.
- Transfer the ribs to a baking sheet bone side down, and tightly wrap them with the foil (use 2-3 sheets if necessary to avoid steam escaping).
Cook the Ribs
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 3-4 hours, first checking on the ribs at the 3-hour mark.To determine if the ribs are cooked, insert a fork or meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (avoid the bones). It should be fall-off-the-bone fork tender with the meat visibly pulling away from the bone and with an internal temperature of 190ºF/88ºC.If you only have a fork, insert it into the meat and gently twist or rotate it. If the meat starts to separate or shred easily, it is a good sign that it is cooked to perfection.
- Once ready, remove the foil from the ribs, baste them liberally with the BBQ sauce, and return them to the oven for 30 minutes. For even more caramelization, broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes at the end.
- Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and settle throughout. Then cut and enjoy!
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.Alternatively, freeze them (in portions) wrapped tightly in foil, then in a freezer bag (to prevent freezer burn) for up to 3 months. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.How to reheat beef short ribs? I prefer to use the oven, adding them to an oven-safe dish with a large splash of beef broth, then covering them with foil (to avoid drying out). Bake at 325ºF/165ºC for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through, then remove the foil and bake for a further 5-10 minutes for a crispier exterior. The internal temperature should reach 165ºF/74ºC to be safe to consume.
- For even more flavor: Optionally sear the ribs over medium-high heat until they have a golden-brown crust to lock in the juices and add more caramelization.
- Don’t trim the fat: This helps to keep the meat moist while cooking. If you want to trim some, only do so if it’s really excessive.
- Leave it to rest: For at least 10 minutes to absorb all the juices and allow them to settle and redistribute (so they aren’t lost when you cut into the beef).
- The cooking time will vary: The size and thickness of the ribs. That’s why checking at the 3-hour mark is important, then every 20-30 minutes after that.
- How to make the drippings into gravy? There will be juices/drippings in the baking pan. You can turn this into a type of gravy/sauce by first whisking 2 tablespoon each of melted butter and flour into a paste. Then pour in the drippings and heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until thickened.
Alternatively, to avoid excess fat in the gravy, prepare it without butter or oil. Heat the drippings in a saucepan over medium heat. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and gradually add it to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Adjust the heat as needed. Remove from the heat when the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.