Today, I will take you through a step-by-step guide on making slow cook ribs in an oven at 200 degrees. This tutorial will go into more depth on the exact cooking times and when you can test the doneness of your ribs.
I’ve also included one of my favorite baby back ribs recipes that uses the technique we’ll discuss today. So, let me know how your ribs went or if you have any other questions!
How Long To Slow Cook Ribs In The Oven?
When it comes to meat, especially slow-cooked meat, people can get quite passionate about how to cook it and how long to cook it. So needless to say, when researching cooking times for my baby back ribs recipe, I was bombarded with contradicting answers.
Some people say 3 hours, some say 8 hours, and some even say 12 hours! All at 200 degrees! But that’s simply not possible, right?
Well, I figured it out eventually. Technically, your ribs will be ready once it reaches an internal temperature of 145ºF (63ºC). This takes about 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours if you are working with your averaged sized baby back ribs.
However, just because it’s reached the safe-to-eat temperature, doesn’t mean it’s at its best. People more often than not continue cooking their meat way beyond this to get it to essentially fall off of the bone!
And, because we are baking at such a low temperature, it is quite easy to do without burning the meat. But, you need to know the tricks that go along when slow-cooking ribs in the oven.
What Affects How Long To Cook Ribs At 200 In The Oven?
In this scenario, the only variable really is the size and thickness of the ribs. Naturally, the larger the rack of ribs (and the thicker), the longer the cooking time will be.
So, your average rack of baby back ribs has 10-13 curved ribs on it. Each measure between 3 to 6 inches in length. The entire rack (on average) weighs between 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.
A St. Louis-style rack of spareribs is much bigger. They weigh about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each. These racks also have 13 curved ribs on them, each measuring 6 to 8 inches.
These are the two most popular types of ribs that people love to slow cook. But, there are many more you can read up about here.
Bottom Line: How Long To Slow Cook Ribs In Oven At 200 Degrees?
For your average baby back rack of ribs, I’d recommend baking it for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours covered. Then, continue baking it for another hour or two, or until the ribs almost fall off the bone.
For St. Louis-style spareribs, you can bake them for 4 to 5 1/2 hours at first (covered). Then, finish them off in the oven uncovered.
Tips And Tricks For Slow-Cooked Ribs In The Oven At 200 Degrees
- Test the internal temperature of the ribs before removing the foil. If it’s not close to 145ºF, you should continue baking it until it has at least passed it.
- If your ribs are baking for much longer than the times mentioned below, you may have cold spots in your oven. It could also be that the size or thickness of your ribs differs from an average rack of its kind.
- If you see that the meat is darkening too much when it is baking uncovered, you can always place the foil back over the tray. It will help avoid the juices from burning and keep the meat cooking at low heat.
- It’s best not to bake the ribs uncovered for longer than an hour. It’s very likely they will darken too much after that time.
- If you have any leftovers, check out Ginny’s comprehensive guide on How to Reheat Ribs!
FAQs On How To Slow-Cook Ribs In An Oven
What can you serve with slow-cooked ribs?
At what temperature do ribs fall off the bone?
As I’ve mentioned, ribs are best when cooked to 190-200 degrees. That’s because they will be uber soft, tender, and juicy. The meat will literally glide off the bone.
How long does it take for ribs to cook at 225 degrees?
Even though the difference in temperature may seem insignificant, it actually has a big effect on the overall baking time. At 225 degrees, ribs will be ready within 3-5 hours (both covered and uncovered cooking time included). This may not seem like much, but at 200, the same rack of ribs would take 3 1/2 – 6 hours at least.
More Recipes You Can Try
Slow Cook Ribs In An Oven At 200 Degrees With In-Depth Guide
Racks of baby back ribs
- 3 racks of baby back ribs
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground black
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- Begin by preheating your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93ºC). Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
- In a small bowl, mix together all of the dry rub ingredients.
- Rub the spice mix all over the ribs, making sure that they are thoroughly coated.
- Then, place the ribs, with their meat side facing downwards, into the baking tray. Cover the tray with more foil.
- Bake the baby back ribs for roughly 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours depending on their size.
- If your meat is almost finished cooking at this point, it's time to flip them over to finish the baking process. To start, drain any excess drippings and oils inside the pan. You can reserve them for later use.
- Flip over the ribs so that your meat side is now facing upwards. This will allow the juices on the top to caramelize.
- Bake the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of around 190-200 degrees Fahrenheit (88-93ºC). The ribs will already be safe to eat aorund 145ºF (63ºC), but the higher temperature is for uber-tender and juicy ribs.
- Once your ribs have reached the perfect internal temperature and are super soft, you can remove them from the oven. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving them with your favorite side dish.