Slow-Baked BBQ Short Ribs

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BBQ short ribs make an easy dinner that pleases kids and adults alike.

For easy, family-pleasing comfort food, you can’t beat meltingly tender short ribs in a sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. Inspired by Sunny Anderson’s BBQ short ribs, this simple recipe requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep, and then the oven does the rest. Unlike many roast or stew recipes, it’s not necessary to sear the meat first. Instead, you season the meat with salt and pepper and slather them with a quick homemade BBQ sauce – a mixture of ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning. Then you put the dish in the oven to bake for 3 hours, go about your day, and let deliciousness ensue. Serve with mashed potatoes or cornbread and a roasted vegetable.

What You’ll Need To Make Slow-Baked BBQ Short Ribs

short ribs ingredients

Count on about one pound of boneless short ribs per person. I know it seems like a lot but they shrink significantly while cooking, and people tend to eat generous portions. If you can only find bone-in short ribs, they will work but may take a bit longer to cook.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by cutting the short ribs in half and seasoning them with salt and pepper. Place them in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

seasoned short ribs on cutting boardNext, make the homemade BBQ sauce by combining the ketchup, dark brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and spices in a small bowl.

bbq sauce ingredients in bowl

Whisk to combine.

bbq sauce in bowl

Slather about 2/3 of the sauce all over the meat, and reserve the rest for the finished dish.

short ribs slathered with sauce

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 300°F for about 2-1/2 hours.

Remove the foil, pour off some of the cooking liquid and cook for 30 minutes more, or until the meat is tender and browned.

baked short ribs

Transfer the meat to a platter, leaving the cooking liquid behind, and slather with the reserved BBQ sauce.

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Video Tutorial

Slow-Baked BBQ Short Ribs

BBQ short ribs make an easy dinner that pleases kids and adults alike.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 3 Hours 15 Minutes

Ingredients

For the Ribs

  • 4 pounds boneless beef short ribs, cut into 4-inch long pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1½ tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Season the ribs all over with salt and pepper, then arrange in a 9x13-inch baking dish (it will be a tight squeeze).
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
  4. Pour ⅓ of the sauce (about ½ cup) over the ribs. Using tongs, flip the ribs over and spoon another ⅓ of the sauce over top. Reserve the remaining BBQ sauce to spoon over the cooked ribs. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 2½ hours. Remove the foil and, if the cooking liquid is covering the meat, use a large spoon or ladle to remove some of the liquid so that the tops are exposed. (Note: the meat will look unappetizing at this stage; don't worry, it will look much better once it's done!) Cook for 30 minutes more, uncovered, until the meat is tender and browned. Cut off any excess fat that remains around the short ribs. Transfer the short ribs to a serving platter. Discard the cooking liquid, as it will be very greasy. Slather the reserved BBQ sauce over the short ribs and serve.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The ribs can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat them tightly covered with foil in a 300°F oven until heated through.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 1,320
  • Fat: 87g
  • Saturated fat: 37g
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Sugar: 54g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 80g
  • Sodium: 2327mg
  • Cholesterol: 331mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • This was a very simple and very tasty meal to make
    Thank you for this recipe
    Greetings from Suriname South America

    • — Jules on February 7, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow! I have cooked some kick-ass dinners over the years, but this is one of the best (and easiest) things I’ve made. We all loved it and agreed it was better than what we would get at most restaurants. Will definitely make it again and someday (hopefully soon) for company!

    • — jane simon on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • Excellent, everyone loved them.

    Thank You

    • — Sharyn on February 1, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can you put these in the crock pot on low and if so for how many hours?

    • — Carrie Butler on January 31, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Carrie, I think this recipe is best made in the oven because you need to be able to brown the meat at the end, otherwise, it will look very unappealing. You could make the ribs up to that point in the slow cooker, then transfer them to the oven to brown, but that seems to be more trouble than it’s worth.

      • — Jenn on February 1, 2021
      • Reply
  • Delicious! These short ribs have become a family favourite. I had never made short ribs until these and we are hooked!! So easy to make and the results are fabulous! I followed the recipe exactly and the result was melt in your mouth tender. Thank you Jenn!

    • — Denise on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Another yummy recipe! I also tried substituting boneless pork ribs and it was just as delicious!

    • — Tracey O on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • So easy and so good. I used bone-in ribs and cooked them about 10 minutes longer. Served them with the Chipotle cheddar mashed sweet potatoes – perfection!

    • — Tamara A Wilson on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • These boneless ribs are outstanding. I’ve passed the recipe around to all my friends. When I prepare them, company always asks for the recipe. If there are leftovers (not often), they make great sandwiches.

    • — Jacqueline on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is my go to “Sunday Dinner” dinner. I’ve made this at least seven times and the short ribs are always fall apart tender. I’ve used store bought sauce when I didn’t have the proper ingredients for Jenn’s homemade sauce or when we were cutting down on sugar. The prep is quick and easy and I HIGHLY recommend the mashed potatoes to go with it!

    • — Kelly on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is definitely one of my “go to” recipes. It comes out perfect every time and everyone loves it. I especially like that not only can you make it ahead, I actually think it tastes better after it’s been reheated! Also love how easily it comes together with ordinary ingredients. A winner, for sure!

    • — Esty on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I love this recipe! It is so easy on days when I am working remote and tastes great. The challenge I have had each of the three times I have made it, is the short ribs come out semi-tough. I am following your directions. What might be causing this?

    Thanks!
    Heidi

    • — Heidi on January 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Heidi, If you’re finding it tough, that most likely means it’s not cooked enough. As long as you used the right cut of meat, it should eventually get tender (you really can’t overcook these). I’d add a little water to the pan, cover it tightly, and continue cooking until the meat is fork-tender. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on January 27, 2021
      • Reply
    • I have this same issue. I feel like they’re tender at 2.5 hours when I take the foil off and they get tough those last 30 minutes. I’m going to try the recipe again today and leave them covered in foil longer.

      • — Maryann Tamrazi on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • I found this recipe online about 4 months ago and have made it now about 6 times. So delicious! I am no fancy cook and this is so super easy and quick!! This will be a favorite for many years to come!

    • — Cindy on January 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can these be made from frozen short ribs?

    • — Aimee on January 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, that should work (after they’re thawed). 🙂

      • — Jenn on January 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • What can be used as replacement for short ribs? Can you use Tri tip (Costco sells them in strips)? What other type of meat if I can’t find short ribs?

    • — Rachel Bauer on January 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Rachel, I’ve never used tri tip here so I can’t say for sure how it would work. Beef chuck will work nicely here – just cut it like short ribs (about 2 inches wide x 4 inches long). Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • These were so easy and good. The BBQ is delicious. I suggest making them ahead of time and then reheating. Short ribs needs to “rest.” That said, I prefer Jenn’s recipe for the slow braising with wine for short ribs.

    • — Laurie on January 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Excellent easy recipe. I only had 2.5 lb of beef and it filled the 9×13. Will definitely make it again… my husband loved it!

    • — May on January 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this last night. Perfect instructions. Next time I will buy premium beef chuck pot roast and slice myself. $2 / pound cheaper and same meat. And will use 1/2 the brown sugar next time. Very tasty but I don’t like so sweet. But very good and easy. Don’t like I have to give my email address though to submit a review.

    • — Tmd dar on January 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Can I substitute pork short ribs for this recipe and would you adjust cooking time or anything else?

    • — Barbara on January 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, I think it would work without any modifications. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on January 5, 2021
      • Reply
    • This was SO GOOD. I cooked exactly as written but used paprika instead of cayenne because that’s what I had, but it came out amazing. I’ll definitely make again!

      • — Jenny on January 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • I made this yesterday for another couple that we had over. I bought bone-in short ribs by mistake. I just increased the time by about 20-30 minutes and the meal was wonderful. I paired it with roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes. The sauce was so amazing that I made extra and heated it. Perfect, simple dinner.

    • — Debbie on December 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • made the wine braised short ribs last yr for christmas dinner and husband loved them. same with this recipe! another great one from my go to site.

    • — charrington on December 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • My husband accidentally bought bone-in ribs. I see many have made this recipe with them so I will try them, but how many pounds of bone-in ribs would you suggest for 4 adults? Also, the recipe describes cutting up the meat. How would I handle this with the bone-in ribs?

    Thank you.

    • — Heidi DROSS on December 9, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Heidi, I’m guessing you’d need about 6 pounds bone-in ribs. You don’t need to cut them; I would just cook them whole.

      • — Jenn on December 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • I can’t believe I waited this long to make these! Delicious! I want to make them today for a friend coming over tomorrow for lunch. Will that work? Reheat tightly covered in a 300 oven?

    • — Jill C. on November 18, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yep, that will work perfectly! 🙂

      • — Jenn on November 18, 2020
      • Reply
  • Excellent and super easy!!!!!

    • — Robyn Stoller on November 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have boneless beef spare ribs. my meat is cut up into smaller pieces. would I still cook it for the suggested amount of time?

    • — Kelley on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • Yes, I think the amount of time should be about the same. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have finally found the holy grail of short ribs recipes!! My husband’s very favorite thing ever is short ribs. I’ve tried many recipes in the past, but I think they’ve all used the slow cooker. I assumed the slow cooker would be the best way to cook them. But I’ve never been pleased with the results. After trying this recipe, I can now say that the key is the oven – it really is. Also, reserving 1/3 of the sauce is crucial – I followed the recipe and discarded the cooking liquid – it was greasy. I topped with the reserved sauce and YES! The thing with the slow cooker is that all you have is greasy sauce! Not good! And those last 30 minutes of uncovered cooking really did the trick too. I made the BBQ sauce according to the directions – it was delicious! But, if you’re in a real pinch, you could just use store-bought. Also, I purchased my boneless short ribs from Costco. Be sure that you don’t buy the “sliced” ones in the vacuum sealed bag – those aren’t right! I’ve made this mistake. I think those are used in some Asian recipes. Those have tons of little bones in them – I ended up throwing away my last batch of short ribs because of that mistake. The right ones come in a standard white styrofoam tray covered with plastic and the short ribs are in long sections. I cut each in half, according to this recipe. PERFECTION! Served with mashed potatoes and Jenn’s roasted carrots with thyme – it was a perfect dinner – fancy enough to even serve to guests.

    • — Amanda on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
    • That’s correct. The small bones ones are for making Korean bbq short ribs, aka kalbi.

      • — NorCal on December 28, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have never made short ribs before the recipe was very easy your home made BBQ sauce was fantastic. They made a great leftover served over polenta.

    • — Greg and Sherry Heiden on September 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is the best recipe ever! I made the red wine sauce recipe, but this is the BEST! My question is, what oven temperature would you suggest if I were to cook them for 5-6 hours… ?
    Thanks so much!

    • — Shell on September 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Shell, Hard to say for sure, but I’d guesstimate you could cook them at 250 for 5 hours. Keep in mind that I haven’t cooked them this way. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on September 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Sauce was a perfect balance of spices! Hubby made it last week and we devoured it so fast we forgot to snap a pic. I’m making another batch for tonight’s dinner. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    • — Bri on September 23, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is the first time I’ve ever made short ribs and they were delicious! Well done, tender and flavorful! I looked at several other recipes that were much more complicated and took many more hours. This was perfect to put in the oven on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy after chores were done for the day. Thank you, Jenn!

    • — Renee from State Center, Iowa on September 20, 2020
    • Reply
  • I have made these many times and it is the best recipe I have found and I have had rave reviews from all my guests. I normally serve it with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus or green beans gremolota. I will be serving it this weekend with warm Caesar potato salad and a variety of roasted peppers on a balsamic glaze. I prefer a nice Chianti or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy with this beef. Thank you for the wonderful recipe… CB

    • — Chuck Beasley on August 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • This recipes calls for 4 lbs of boneless short ribs cut into pieces with a total cooking time of 3 hours. If I’m using 5.5 lbs of bone-in short ribs, how long do I need to cook them? Thanks!

    • Hi Laurie, the bake time may be a bit longer but not significantly so. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 8, 2020
      • Reply
    • Hello, did you fit all 5.5lbs in a 9×13 baking dish? Trying to figure out how to cook my 5.5lbs of ribs…squeezed into the one 9×13, or putting the additional 1.5lb in a 9×9…but then I’m afraid there will be too much space between pieces and dry out…
      Thanks!

      • — Evelyn on November 25, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi! Have made this recipe as-is for countless dinner parties and it’s always a hit for kids and adults!

    And advice or caution about using beef chuck instead of short ribs?

    • Glad you like these! Beef chuck should be fine – just cut them like short ribs (about 2 inches wide x 4 inches long). Cook time and temp would be the same. Please let me know how it turns out!

      • Hi Jenn! I made this recipe using beef chuck pot roast and cut 2×4 per your instruction; OMG just as delicious! 😋

        • Glad it worked out — thanks for following up! 🙂

  • Can I use bone in ribs?

    • Yep – hope you enjoy!

  • Jenn, the highest compliment I could give this dish surprised everybody at the table: I shamelessly licked my plate and smiled at my wife, while my children’s jaws hung open and my grandchildren squealed with delight. My wife, who made the dish, wanted to be shocked but recognized the compliment and just rolled her smiling eyes*. I’m told this was almost too easy to prepare, and even though we doubled the portions, there wasn’t a scrap left. Brava, well done!

    ps: Next time we make this I’m suggesting making and extra cup of the sauce…outstanding :))))

    • LOL – so glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Made these for dinner tonight. So easy and delicious! I only cooked for me and my husband so I used 2lbs of short ribs and used a smaller baking dish. Definitely will be doing again.

    • Did you cook it for the same amount of time? I am cooking these as well for just my husband and myself and have about 2 lbs of boneless ribs.

      • — Lisa on October 6, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Lisa, the cooking time may be a bit (but not significantly) shorter. Enjoy!

        • — Jenn on October 7, 2020
        • Reply
  • This recipe is sooo sooo sooo delicious! It is easy and quick to prep. Thanks again for another great recipe 🙂

  • Do you season both sides or just one?

    • Both – hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • I have beef back ribs- can I use them in place of short ribs?

        • — Seema on December 19, 2020
        • Reply
        • Sure, that should work. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on December 21, 2020
          • Reply
  • Just amazing! I made this last night and my husband told me that it was better than any restaurant! So far every recipe I’ve tried from the blog has been great and a huge hit with my family (including the toddler). I’ve for the first time ever actually enjoyed AND look forward to cooking (thank you, Jenn!) Bought the cookbook and can’t wait to cook my way through it!

    • ❤️ So glad you’re enjoying the recipes and thanks for your support with the cookbook!

  • I made this tonight using thick cut steaks instead of ribs and it was fabulous.. served it with roasted baby potatoes and Asiago creamed spinach

  • Excellent! I halved it and brilliant. From a former chef

    • — Frank Rapisardi
    • Reply
  • This was amazing. Melt in your mouth! Super easy as well.

  • I only have 2 pounds, what would the cooking time be?

    • Hi Jenna, I’d strongly encourage you to make more than 2 lbs. because these shrink A LOT! But if you do use less than 4 lbs, the cooking time may be a bit (but not significantly) shorter. Just make sure to use a dish that just fits the ribs and sauce as you don’t want too much extra space in the pan. Hope you enjoy!

  • These were amazing! And easy to make. And amazing! My family asked me when I can make them again.

  • Have already made this recipe a few times and my whole family LOVES it!

  • Wow! These BBQ boneless short ribs were Delicious!!!

    Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  • This was absolutely delicious and so easy! I left the cayenne pepper out as my kids won’t eat anything ‘spicy’. And I didn’t know how much heat it would bring. It was a big hit. Your website has turned me into a chef and I’ve gotten compliments on all your recipes.

  • Hi.
    I love this recipe and am wondering if I can use Instant Pot or slow cooker? Our baking feature has gone out in the oven and can’t get it repaired due to quarantine right now. Thanks!

    • Glad you like it! I think this recipe is best made in the oven because you need to be able to brown the meat at the end, otherwise, it will look very unappealing. You could make the ribs up to that point in the slow cooker, then transfer them to the oven to brown, but that seems to be more trouble than it’s worth. And I don’t have enough experience with an Instant Pot to say whether or not this recipe would translate well but you may find these tips helpful.

      • I am short on brown sugar, only have 1/4 cup. Wondering if I can use molasses as a substitute? If yes, how much would you recommend?

        • Hi Natalia, Do you have white/granulated sugar on hand? If so, I’d supplement the 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1/2 cup of white sugar and add 1 tablespoon molasses. Hope that helps!

  • Was excellent, very tender and tasty. I didn’t have Worcestershire so I subbed Guy Fieri’s “Carolina’s6 Mop n Slop”. Fabulous. Added a little more hotness. 5 stars

  • This is a great recipe. Surprised I followed all the steps and ingredients as I would usually add stuff. This turned out yummy and meat was excellent. Loved the BBQ sauce. That I made extra of to have in the fridge. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jenn,
      Can I make these with pork ribs since we don’t eat beef ribs? If so which ones should i buy?

      Thank you!

      • Hi Lucy, I do think these would work with pork, and I’d buy boneless pork ribs. I’d love to hear how they turn out!

  • Wonderful Recipe!!

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