how long to cook ribs in oven at 400

How Long to Cook Ribs in Oven at 400 Degrees

When it comes to enjoying tender and juicy ribs, cooking them in the oven is a popular choice. However, many people wonder how long to cook ribs in the oven at 400 degrees to achieve the perfect result. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cooking ribs in the oven and answer some frequently asked questions.

Preparing the Ribs

Before cooking ribs in the oven, you need to prepare them properly. Start by removing the silver skin on the back of the rack. This thin, tough membrane can prevent the flavor from penetrating into the meat and make it tough to eat. You can use a sharp knife to loosen the skin from a corner and then grip it with a paper towel to pull it off.

Next, season the ribs with your favorite rub or marinade. It’s best to let the seasoning penetrate the meat for at least an hour, or even overnight in the fridge, before cooking. This will give the ribs a deeper flavor and make them more tender.

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Cooking the Ribs

Now it’s time to cook the ribs in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and place the ribs on a wire rack in a baking dish. This will allow the heat to circulate around the meat and prevent it from stewing in its juices.

Cover the ribs tightly with foil and bake them for 1 hour. This will start the cooking process and tenderize the meat. After an hour, carefully remove the foil and baste the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Return the ribs to the oven, uncovered, and bake them for another 15-20 minutes or until they are caramelized and slightly charred on the surface. The internal temperature of the ribs should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they are safe to eat.

Resting and Serving the Ribs

Once the ribs are cooked, it’s important to let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and make it more tender. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board and let them rest for at least 10 minutes.

You can serve the ribs whole or cut them into individual pieces. If you prefer a dry rub, you can sprinkle some more seasoning on top for extra flavor. If you like a saucy coating, you can brush on more barbecue sauce before serving.


Here are some frequently asked questions about cooking ribs in the oven at 400 degrees:

How Long Should I Cook Pork Ribs in the Oven at 400 Degrees?

Typically, you should cook pork ribs in the oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour covered, and then 15-20 minutes uncovered until caramelized and slightly charred on the surface.

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How Do I Know When the Ribs Are Done?

The ribs are done when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature in the thickest part of the meat.

Can I Use Beef Ribs Instead of Pork Ribs?

Yes, you can use beef ribs instead of pork ribs. The cooking time and temperature will be the same, but the flavor and texture of the meat will be different.

Do I Need to Use a Wire Rack for Baking Ribs in the Oven?

Using a wire rack is recommended for baking ribs in the oven because it allows the heat to circulate around the meat and prevents it from stewing in its juices. However, if you don’t have a wire rack, you can place the ribs directly on a baking dish and reduce the cooking time by 10-15 minutes.

Can I Cook Ribs in the Oven Without Foil?

Yes, you can cook ribs in the oven without foil, but it’s best to cover them for the first hour of cooking to tenderize the meat. Removing the foil for the final 15-20 minutes will allow the ribs to caramelize and develop a crispy surface. If you cook the ribs without foil, they may dry out and become tough.

Can I Make Barbecue Ribs in the Oven Without a Grill?

Yes, you can make barbecue ribs in the oven without a grill. By using a combination of dry rub and barbecue sauce, you can achieve a smoky and savory flavor that rivals grilled ribs. However, the texture may be slightly different because the meat doesn’t have the same sear and char as grilled ribs.

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In conclusion, cooking ribs in the oven at 400 degrees is a great way to enjoy tender and juicy meat without the need for an outdoor grill. By following the steps outlined in this article and answering some frequently asked questions, you can achieve delicious ribs that are sure to impress your family and friends. So next time you’re in the mood for some barbecue, give oven-baked ribs a try!

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