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Slow-Baked BBQ Short Ribs

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

Fork on a plate with slow-baked barbeque short ribs.

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 board

Next, 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.

Short ribs in a pan of barbeque sauce.

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.

Barbeque short ribs on a plate.

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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

  • The boneless beef short ribs were tough and dry. I cooked 1.20 lbs for 2 hours covered and 1/2 hour uncovered at 300°. I didn’t use your BQ sauce, as I was missing 2 of the ingredients. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Original BQ Sauce spread on 1 side, then turned them over after 1 hour and applied the BQ sauce to the other side. Any suggestions?

    • — Gloria Mandravelis on February 9, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Gloria, I’m sorry these didn’t turn out well for you! I don’t think the sauce would cause them to be tough; it sounds like they were undercooked.

      • — Jenn on February 11, 2023
      • Reply
  • First time using boneless beef ribs and wondering why it took me so long. Mine didn’t look like your picture – for a whole lot of reasons, mostly related to using a (truly delicious ATX-local) commercial BBQ sauce instead of your suggested recipe I’m fairly sure; it was pretty wet. However, the taste was fabulous. Thanks!

    • — akagracie on January 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • I cooked these using a smaller quantity of bone-in ribs in a smaller dish, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. What a winner, and so easy — all you need is the time available for the cooking, as the preparation is mostly hands off! I served it with Jen’s awesome everyday cornbread (delicious, as usual), but I think next time I’d serve with mashed potatoes — better to capture the delicious sauce! Definitely a winner!

    • — Candice on January 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • Can you prepare this recipe earlier in the day (or day before) up to the last 30 minutes, refrigerate and then complete the cooking closer to dinner time?

    • — Harriet on January 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Harriet, that should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 23, 2023
      • Reply
  • These are absolutely delicious! So tender! Served over creamy mashed potatoes, they are heavenly. My family loves these ribs.

    • — Laurie Reilly on January 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • I have made and loved this recipe as is. Also on a bed of sliced onions. Since I got a multi cooker I have used the pressure setting and just thrown in all the bbq sauce at once. Turns out great every time.

    • — Maureen on January 15, 2023
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen<
    My son and I love all of your recipes. I would like to make the BBQ short ribs. My market does not have boneless short ribs. Approximately how much longer do you cook bone-in short ribs?

    Thank you

    • — Laurie on October 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes! The cooking time should be about the same. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 3, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! Is this really sweet? My husband just told me he doesn’t like BBQ sauce!

    • — Jen on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jen, It is on the sweet side. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on September 5, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was absolutely amazing. IT TASTES EVEN BETTER THE NEXT DAY ! Super delicious, I can’t say enough good things.

    • — Asmae Sououd on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • These were falling-apart-tender and delicious right out of the cooking liquid but dry out really quickly. I think they need to be kept in the liquid right until they go on the plate! (I kept them warm covered in foil in a turned-off oven for 10 mins and they were totally ruined). I should have realized that but now I know for next time!

    • — rzh on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Really delicious, easy recipe.

    Jenn, props to you! Your recipes are easy, reliable and consistently great. There’s very few chefs whose recipes I’ll make for the first time for guests, but like Barefoot Contessa, Maida Heatter and the Silver Palate folks, I know your recipes are reliably great.

    • — Ellen Romanow on August 6, 2022
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on August 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Best dish. Really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing

    • — Kasshaboger on June 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I was NOT happy. Meat was tough. Followed recipe to a T. I’m a great cook…family and neighbors literally beg me to open a restaurant. I always follow your recipes…NEVER had a fail til now!

    • Hi Michele, I’m sorry that these didn’t come out as expected. If they were tough, it’s likely they were undercooked. As long as you used the right cut of meat, they should’ve eventually have gotten tender (you really can’t overcook these).

  • Missed the ” boneless” part, so I’m cooking with bones in…hope they come out as delicious as everyone that used boneless did

  • I followed the recipe to a “T” and after 2.5 hrs the meat was very tender and looked great!
    But when I uncovered and did another .5 hr, they came out tough and black!!!!
    It took me awhile to understand that the amount of sugar in the sauce burned at 300 degrees for that long
    Lesson learned: don’t uncover the meat , serve it after the 2.5 hrs or keep it covered on warm.
    The bbq sauce recipe was delish, I added a tsp more of vinegar was all
    Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Mary- upstate New York, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious! My fourth time making this dish. My husband loves it and so do I.

  • I bought a smaller pack of boneless short ribs at Costco, 4 pieces, 2 were thinner, all just under 2 lbs. So I used a 8″ square glass pan, cut the ribs in half and put the 2 thinner pieces in the middle of pan. I cut the bbq sauce recipe in half. (I always worry about reducing a recipe) There was no water on top but all around the outside so I didn’t remove any.
    This recipe was so easy with no fuss and they turned out so tender and delicious. Even the thinner cuts. Thank you.

  • Loved the BBQ sauce recipe! Great ratio of sweet to spicy. Meal came out really well.
    I believe I might have overcooked the ribs as they were not as moist and flaky as I would have liked even though I paid close attention to the cooking time and visually checked them often.
    Any suggestion on how I can know they are cooked through? Would a meat thermometer be helpful?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Kevin, sorry to hear that the ribs weren’t moist. It’s really hard to overcook these but if you want more of a guarantee next time, you could use a meat thermometer – you’d be aiming for 200°. It could be that the ribs that you got were not a great cut and just not fatty enough. Hope that helps at least a bit!

  • delicious over rice. i used a korean bbq sauce marinade and added a bit of brown sugar. will do again. perfect!

  • I made this recipe last summer and served the BBQ ribs over mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. These ribs were incredibly delicious and my guests ate multiple servings. What a compliment! Thank you for sharing this.

  • My short ribs came out delicious as expected and learned that if it’s tough then it needs to be cooked a little longer . Thankful for having read Jen’s reply in several reviews, Mine took an extra hour longer to get tender for whatever reason. I would love to know if I can substitute boneless chicken breasts next time. How would you adjust cooking time ?

    • So glad you enjoyed them! Unfortunately, chicken breasts wouldn’t work here — sorry!

  • The ribs ended up super dry and hard…overcooked… The flavor was good, though!

  • Thanks for the recipe. I’ve made it so many times and it has come out wonderfully every time. I find that bone-in meats work well too. I use this sauce for many bbq events.

    I plan to make this for the holiday dinner for a party of 10. If I purchase 10lbs, for how long do I bake?? Thank you very much!

    • So glad you like it! For 10 lbs. the bake time may be a bit longer, but not significantly. Hope everyone enjoys. 🙂

  • These were delicious!
    Any other meat you recommend that could be used in this recipe?
    Lately short ribs are very expensive here and hard to find.
    Love the sauce and the very easy cooking method!

    • Glad you liked them! 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!

  • Don’t think I’ve commented on this recipe yet! I’ve made this several times a year for the past few years and it’s always a hit! My kids love it shredded on a Hawaiian roll topped with coleslaw. I typically follow the recipe to a T! Past two times I tried to do it in the instant pot and it burned (my fault). Going to attempt it in my slow clay cooker today. Any tips?

    • Hi Rachel, I don’t have any experience with a slow clay cooker, so unfortunately, I don’t have any wisdom to share — I’m sorry!

  • Can I use a store bought BBQ sauce that we really like or would it not turn out? Thanks!

    • That should be fine. Enjoy!

      • Thanks Jenn! I’m making these tomorrow but they are bone in…should I still cut them? If so, how should I go about it?

        • Hi Turtle, Yes, I’d cut them into individual ribs. After that, you can proceed with the recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  • Delicious. Had no Worcestershire, so used one tsp. of A-1 and 1 tsp. of Burning Bush Essential Sauce (instead of cayenne also).

  • Hi Jenn,

    I see it only serves 4…. can you double the recipe for a larger crowd? Could you use two 9×13 baking dishes for a longer time period??

    Thank you for the best cooking website out there!!!

    • Hi Lauren, It’s perfectly fine to double it and use two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes. Time in the oven may be a tiny bit longer but not much. (And so glad you like the blog!!) 🙂

  • We use SO much BBQ sauce in our home, we tried something different. I made beef gravy for the BBQ sauce. It turned out to be a beautiful, rich meal.

    • — Patrick R Nugent
    • Reply
  • I bought bone in beef ribs on a rack.
    How do I modify the recipe?

    • Hi Nidhi, I’d cut the rack into individual ribs. After that, you can proceed with the recipe as written. Hope you enjoy!

  • I made these and saw potential, but they didn’t come out as expected. I followed the recipe exactly. It could have been that the beef had been trimmed too much, or was leaner, and wasn’t aided by the normal amount of fat. The sauce left a burnt taste residue. In the future, I would add sauteed veg to protect moisture and keep the sauce from burning.

  • Absolutely delicious and easy! I am normally not one of those who writes about changes, but in this instance I was one tablespoon shy for the ketchup, so I added sriracha…I’m a tad OCD about following recipes. Added a bit of a kick to the BBQ sauce. I do plan on using this BBQ sauce for other recipes as well! Thank you!

  • Love this recipe Jen!!! For an extra layer of flavor, we often put a few cinnamon sticks in among the ribs. Marinating with the broth (made from the meat/fat) the flavor just elevates to another level!

  • I have a question Jenn. I have kids who are notoriously picky eaters, so before I go all in on a new recipe, particularly one with a large portion like this, I like to try it in smaller doses to make sure they will eat it, and if not, so there is not so much it is unmanageable for the adults to eat without help. I was going to start off with about 1 pound of short rib, but was curious if you thought that would change anything for the cooking time? Thanks! Can’t wait to try it.

    • Hi Chris, I’d strongly encourage you to make more than 1 lb. because these shrink A LOT! But if you do use less than 4 lbs, the cooking time may be a bit 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!

      • Does it matter if the fat side is up or down with short ribs?

        • — Dake warren on June 15, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Dake, No, it doesn’t matter. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

          • — Jenn on June 15, 2022
          • Reply
  • One word…O-M-G, AMAZING. OK, that’s two words. This recipe is amazing. I made it as specified except that I very generously salted and peppered the short ribs all over. Sauce: AMAZING perfect balance of sweet and savory; Ribs: meltingly tender and flavorful. Also this made FINGER LICKIN GOOD sandwiches the next day (I had to hide the leftovers). Perfection!! I served it with Jenn’s Chesapeake Corn with Tomatoes, German Potato Salad and Broccoli Salad with Bacon Cheddar and Almonds. The crowd went wild. Thank you Jenn!

  • We just made this tonight (except we did half the meat as it’s only two of us, but we still made a full recipe of sauce) and it was AMAZING. I’m very picky about my BBQ sauce and this one was perfect. The perfect balance of sweet & spicy (we did use a little less brown sugar as ½ cup was plenty). The meat was full of flavors and falling apart it was so tender. Best meal we have made in a while and we definitely plan to tell everyone about it!

  • Love these ribs! Today I’m making a double batch. One for friends and one for us. Any change to the cooking time?

    • Hi Jill, Glad you like them! The cook time should be about the same or just a bit longer; just keep an eye on them. Hope your friends enjoy too!

  • I’ve made this recipe a handful of times with short ribs from costco. Yesterday, I accidentally picked up a package of BEEF LOIN TRI TIP strips instead of short ribs. Great marbling and same size/shape. Once I realized my mistake, I turned to the internet, but couldn’t find any consistent cooking recommendations for the cut. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking! I decided to risk it and still use this recipe. Not sure if I got lucky, but it worked great!

  • This was absolutely perfect!! I will always continue to do the shortribs exactly as you so nicely instructed. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise! I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.

  • Made this twice now with simmering short ribs from Costco.
    Freakin amazing. A big hit
    Thanks for making me look good!
    Agree on the postitive comments on the Sauce for other uses.

  • Hi! I made this tonight and they came out so tough – what did I do wrong? They were fairly lean boneless short ribs from the butcher. I cut them maybe too small? I had oven at 3)) for the exact time you mentioned. I love all your recipes, so I think I must have made a mistake!! Thanks

    • Hi Tara, If they were tough, they were likely undercooked. As long as you used the right cut of meat, it should eventually get tender (you really can’t overcook these). Sorry they didn’t come out as expected!

      • Hi there! This happened to me too! Turned out tough and I followed recipe exactly. If we cook it longer, should we just keep cooking it even last the 3 hours until it’s soft/tender? Thank you! Also I wonder if we can do this in the crockpot

        • Yes, I would keep cooking them until they are tender. And 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. Hope that helps!

  • I love this recipe. It’s so simple and delicious. However, when serving for a party, I need the oven to make some other last minute dishes. Is there a cook ahead option that won’t dry them out?

    • Hi Allie, Glad you like this! You can make them ahead and reheat, but you’ll need the oven to reheat them, so not sure that solves your problem!

  • This was amazing! Thanks for an easy but company-worthy recipe. The sauce is really good!

  • Came out perfectly. Easy and crowd pleaser dinner.

  • I have a question. Can you use already made barbeque sauce from the bottle? Or do you have to make it to have it turn out good? I have cattlemans barbeque sauce.

    • Sure, store-bought will work if you’d prefer not to make your own. Hope you enjoy!

  • This recipe was incredible! I followed it almost exactly – except moved the ribs out of the pan after onto a rack to cook for the last step as I didn’t want to deal with the draining. I was worried they would dry out but they were PERFECT! Melt in your mouth, savoury comfort food.

  • Absolutely DELISH!!!!!!!!!

  • I should have followed my gut when I thought this recipe couldn’t be right. Unfortunately, I didn’t. Now we have no dinner & I ruined my favorite baking dish. Thanks so much for this silly, untested recipe. You should go back to getting plastic surgery. You’re better at it.

    • What a mean thing to say! There are more constructive ways to say you didn’t like a recipe. I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it is simple and delicious. This is the recipe my adult daughter always requests I make when she comes to visit.

    • The ribs were delicious. My family gobbled them up. Can’t wait to cook more of your recipes!!

    • Did you really just post such an unkind remark like that?? Obviously hundreds of us made the dish and it turned out perfect. In a world that is already hurting, perhaps more tact. Jenn, as always, another amazing recipe-in fact, I just gave it to a friend. This will be my 5th time making these and the first two times were spot on perfect. As I am rereading recipe now, I realize MY errors from the last two batches I made, not cutting the meat in half and not paying attention to liquid amounts in the end! I just assumed I remembered the recipe and did it on my own, forgetting those crucial steps hence why cooking took much longer, also I’m pretty sure I assumed the package from Costco was automatically 4lbs when it very well could have been much more. Thanks, Jenn, you and Ina always my go to’s for delicious recipes that I never question if they had been tested and perfected-keep up the great work!!!!!

    • I made this recipe today.
      It was a real hit!

      I didn’t use all of the last 1/3 of the sauce, thinking it might be too rich. I think that was a mistake. I will certainly make this again and sauce it up!

      • — Colleen on July 24, 2022
      • Reply
    • What??? Completely uncalled for reaction. This recipe is a favorite of ours. I took the leftovers out of the freezer today and we are looking forward to another enjoyable short rib meal!😋

      • — Susanna Funk on August 13, 2023
      • Reply
  • My first time making short ribs and this recipe was excellent! It was so easy and so good. They came out wonderful. I also made the mashed potatoes and the roasted carrots and it was a perfect easy dinner!

  • Delicious, easy recipe! This was my first time ever cooking ribs, and my first time eating beef ribs, so this recipe was exactly what I needed. Next time I’m going to try it with pork ribs. The BBQ sauce is a keeper; I’ve been on the hunt for a from-scratch BBQ sauce and this has been the best I’ve come across. I was afraid the cayenne would be too powerful because I have a young child, so I tasted the mixture before adding it and it was lacking. I then added half the cayenne, but it was still lacking, so I added the whole amount per the recipe and it was perfect. Just the right amount of kick but not too much. I can’t say what my kiddo thought because he decided not to try it. 😉 I would love to see your version of a BBQ sauce without ketchup but rather tomato paste/sauce to make it truly from scratch.

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