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Country Style Pork Ribs in the Oven (video)

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This one’s a good one. We’re sharing our fool-proof method to getting tender, country-style pork ribs in the oven EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I know that’s a very bold claim, but I promise, this recipe for country-style pork ribs in the oven will result in meaty ribs so tender they practically melt in your mouth. I also want to point out that these pork ribs get a good, double slather of barbecue sauce that is then caramelized under the broiler. We’re checking all the boxes on this one, right? Because good barbecue is not something to be taken lightly… 

A plate of country style pork rib with coleslaw.

What are country-style pork ribs?

Despite their name, country-style pork ribs do not actually contain any rib bones. In fact, they’re from the parts of the pork shoulder blade, which means they are a lot meatier than most rib cuts. (Sometimes they’re called Pork shoulder country-style ribs.) They’re long strips of pork that resemble rib cuts but some of them are actually boneless. They usually have a lot of fat, which means they taste best when they’re cooked low and slow. The longer they cook, the more the fat renders out which results in smooth and tender ribs.

To make these delicious ribs, you’ll need:

  • 3 pounds country-style pork ribs (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 3 cups barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Start by sprinkling the seasoning salt liberally on the ribs. Place the ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet. They’re now ready to go into the oven… and this next step is extra important!

Close up of a country style pork rib being broken up with a fork.

So… how do you make tender pork ribs?

Part of the process is slow cooking. We suggest cooking these country-style pork ribs at 300°F for at least 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours, depending on the size of the ribs. But the second half of the big secret is: adding water and apple cider vinegar to the bottom of the baking sheet and covering the baking sheet of ribs with tin foil for the entire cook time. 

How do you know when country-style ribs are done? Check them after 2-1/2 hours and if they aren’t “fork-tender,” pop them back into the oven for up to another hour, continuing to check at various time intervals. Larger ribs may need an additional 30-40 minutes of cooking time. 

A bone-in country style pork chop next to a boneless country style pork chop.

Country-style pork rib. Bone-in on the left and boneless on the right.

This recipe works well for either bone-in or boneless country-style pork ribs. When I buy packs of bone-in ribs, there are usually a few boneless ribs in the mix. Since we are cooking them low and slow to render out the fat and tenderize the meat, you can’t go wrong with either cut. The boneless ribs will cook a bit faster but they don’t get overcooked if you leave them in longer. They just get more tender. That’s a good thing! 

Collage of 8 photos showing how to make country-style pork chops in the oven.

How to make country-style pork chops in the oven.

How to caramelize the barbecue sauce 

Once the ribs are done cooking, remove them from the oven, raise the oven rack so it sits about 6 inches under the broiler, then turn on the broiler to heat.

Place the ribs on a platter and pour out the fat and liquid from the bottom of the baking sheet. Return the ribs back to the baking sheet and brush one side of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes before flipping the ribs over to brush sauce on the other side and broil.

Repeat a second time for each side, brushing it with sauce and then broiling for a few minutes. If you baste and broil the sauce two times, you will get an extra thick and extra delicious coating of barbecue sauce. The broiler gets the sauce thick, sticky, and caramelized. Make sure to watch the ribs closely because they can easily burn under the broiler!

Country style pork ribs with broccoli in the background

The high heat from the broiler will thicken and caramelize the barbecue sauce (which, in my opinion, is the BEST thing about barbecue ribs). Don’t worry about cooking the ribs at this point since they’re already done! This step is meant only to let the sauce get thick and sticky under the high heat. 

Once the ribs are done broiling, remove them from the oven, tent the ribs with foil and let them rest for about 10 minutes.

There’s nothing like easy, slow-cooked barbecue with a sticky, caramelized sauce. Make sure to grab seconds (and extra napkins!) for this one.

Tips for the best country-style pork ribs in the oven:

  • Cook low and slow for the most tender ribs. These ribs take a while but it is mostly hands-off while the oven does all the work.
  • Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. The vinegar tenderizes the meat, adds flavor, and along with the water, it creates a steamy environment that keeps the ribs moist and juicy while they cook. 
  • Cover the baking sheet. Keep the ribs covered while they spend all those hours in the sauna. A sheet of aluminum foil will hold in all the steam and prevent the ribs from drying out. 
  • Use caution when you pour out the liquid. Extra liquid will accumulate while the ribs cook so be careful not to splash any hot liquid on yourself when you pour the liquid out of the pan. 
  • Coat the ribs with a DOUBLE layer of caramelized sauce! I can’t stress what an incredible difference it makes to get a double coating of the barbecue sauce on the ribs. After the first layer of the sauce gets thick and sticky under the broiler, coat those ribs again and get the second coat hot and sticky under the broiler!

Three country style pork ribs on a plate with a salad and broccoli.

Ok people, this is how you make tender pork ribs in the oven. Grab your ribs, some barbecue sauce, and some seasoning salt. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and let the oven do all the work while you go to church or get your chores done. Here are a few items that will make things a bit easier.

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Country style pork ribs with broccoli in the background

Country Style Pork Ribs in the Oven

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Country-style pork ribs slow-cooked in the oven become so tender they practically melt. They get finished with a double coat of barbecue sauce that gets caramelized under the broiler.

Country-style pork ribs will come out perfect every time with this fool-proof recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds country-style pork ribs (bone-in or boneless)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 to 3 cups barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. 
  2. Place the ribs on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the seasoning salt all over the ribs.
  3. Add the water and apple cider vinegar to the bottom of the baking sheet and cover the baking sheet with tin foil. 
  4. Cook the ribs until fork tender. This will take anywhere from 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours depending on the size of your ribs. Check them after 2-1/2 hours and continue to cook them if they are not tender. 
  5. Remove the ribs from the oven, raise the oven so it is 6 inches under the broiler. Turn the oven to broil.
  6. Place the ribs on a platter then pour off the fat and liquid in the bottom of the baking sheet. Return the ribs to the baking sheet.
  7. Brush on side of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes then turn the ribs over, brush the other side of the ribs and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  8. Repeat the process again so the ribs get a double coating of sweet sticky barbecue sauce. Watch the ribs closely while they are under the broiler as they can burn quickly. 
  9. Remove the ribs from the oven, tent with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes. 

Notes

  • Do not put the barbecue sauce on the ribs until the very end of cooking. If you put it on too soon it will get watery as the ribs steam under the foil. 
  • Increase the oven temperature in the last step when you baste the ribs with barbecue sauce. The high heat will thicken and caramelize the barbecue sauce. The ribs will already be cooked so you only need to baste them with sauce and let the sauce get thick and sticky under the broiler.
  • If you have larger ribs you may need to increase the cooking time by 30 to 40 minutes. 
  • If your ribs have a thick layer of fat, trim the fat to 1/4 inch thickness. You want to keep some fat on the ribs. The fat will render down and keep the ribs tender. 
  • Country-style pork ribs were made to be cooked low and slow. They have a lot of fat and the longer you cook them the more the fat will render out. As the fat renders out, the ribs get smooth and tender
  • Country-style pork ribs are sometimes labeled “Pork shoulder country-style ribs”
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 242Total Fat: 7.2gSaturated Fat: 2.5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 2112mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 0.5gSugar: 21gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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C S Y

Friday 26th of February 2021

I made this rib recipe for dinner tonight and it was a hit!! After a 10 hour shift, my daughters mate was very pleased to have a delicious and filling meal to finish the day;) Adding this recipe to my rotating meal plans!

Dahn Boquist

Friday 26th of February 2021

Well a 10 hour work shift deserves a good, hearty meal! I'm glad it was a hit. Thanks for the comment

Katrina

Monday 13th of July 2020

I made these ribs yesterday. I mixed Hunts Original BBQ sauce with Apricot Preserves for the sauce. They were very easy to make, tender, and delicious! Will definitely make them again. I also made the "make ahead mashed potatoes". They were great also. Thank you for the recipes.

Dahn Boquist

Monday 13th of July 2020

Oh, thanks for the comment, Katrina. That sauce sounds amazing with the apricot preserves. So glad you liked the mashed potatoes too ;)

Theresa

Friday 1st of May 2020

Me and my husband absolutely loved these!!!!!! They were so tender and the taste was absolutely amazing...... thank you for posting this recipe!!! Loved them!!!! I never left a comment.... you are my first!!!! AWESOME!!!! ,!

Dahn Boquist

Friday 1st of May 2020

Wow, that is a great complement if this is your first comment. Thank you. I am so happy to hear you enjoyed them.

Ashley

Monday 20th of April 2020

I was skeptical because of the vinegar but followed your recipe to the t . I first got these thinking it was some thing different. So I had to pintrest recipes and quickly found this one . I'm glad I did my whole family loved it . My son first said mom that's yucky while it cooked but once he tried it all made he was so happy . Thanks for the easy to follow recipe

Dahn Boquist

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Oh thanks, Ashley. That's funny about your son but I do have to agree with him. They really are not very pretty but sometimes ugly food is really delicious ;)

Whisperin Pints

Friday 17th of April 2020

Your method is the BOMB! I LOVE how the fat and collagen turn to gooey, STICKY, lip-smacking perfection. I had been cooking them exposed and they came out dry and tough. The foil and vinegar made them fork tender. Twice under the broiler is the perfect finishing touch. Excellent work.

Dahn Boquist

Friday 17th of April 2020

Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.

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