We don't let not having and grill or eating sugar free stop us from eating delicious keto bbq food! These ribs are incredibly juicy and tender, plus they free up room on the grill. 😉 We're in a small Chicago apartment with strict fire codes and sadly grills aren't allowed on our back patios. Sound familiar, or just don't have access to a grill? Don't worry! These yummy ribs are totally easy.
We included a lot of step by step process photos in the body of the text. We also answered lots of common questions, and made suggestions for substitutions too. You can feel free to skip to the recipe card to jump right into it if you prefer!
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- Baby back ribs - Are the style of ribs we used for this recipe. Pork spare ribs can be used instead here, but it will affect the nutrition facts and cooking time. Spare ribs will take longer to cook.
- Liquid hickory smoke - Optional, but recommended, especially since these aren't going on a grill!
- Brown sugar replacement of choice - We love Swerve! It's our favorite.
- Seasonings - Kosher salt & ground pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, chipotle powder & cayenne pepper for a little heat!
- Serve with: sugar free bbq sauce of choice, we make this delicious spicy bourbon homemade bbq sauce (sugar free)
How to Make Oven Baked Pork Ribs:
Preheat your oven to 275°F. The trick to these super tender, fall off the bone oven baked pork ribs is cooking them low and slow in then oven for awhile.
Using a butter knife, slide your knife under the thin membrane. Wiggle it a bit, and be very careful! It's slippery. Use paper towel to grab easier. Once you're under there, it should be pretty easy to rip back the membrane. Removing the membrane will help us season the ribs more effectively. Plus, it makes them even more tender!
You will need one baking sheet per slab of ribs. Then, make sure you have enough foil to wrap around the slab, and layer two pieces of foil over the center of the baking sheet if need be.
Add some liquid smoke to your ribs, which is an optional.
In a bowl, mix together your brown sugar substitute and the rest of the spice mixture to make your dry rub.
Massage the dry rub into both sides of the ribs. Wrap the ribs tightly with foil, then double wrap them, and even a third time if you like. You want them to be well covered to hold in all the juices when cooking.
Put the slabs meat side down on the baking sheet and bake for 2.5 hours.
After the ribs have cooked thru, brush both sides with BBQ sauce and place under the broiler on high for roughly 5-7 minutes. Afterwards, cut up the ribs, then dip in more bbq sauce if desired.
Substitutions & Optional Ingredients:
- Brown Sugar Swerve- We love using Swerve for this, because it's the perfect brown sugar replacement. Feel free to replace with any brown sugar replacement, or just use regular brown sugar if you aren't concerned about carbs or sugar.
- Liquid Smoke- This is one of those extra ingredients that is recommended for extra smoky flavor, but not necessary.
- Seasonings- If you don't prefer some of the spices, leave them out! For instance, if you're not really a fan of spice, feel free to scale back on the spicier seasonings or leave them out. We love spicy things so we like a little kick. You can really use whatever your favorite spice rub is however. It's up to you!
Baby back ribs are from where the rib reaches the spine after the loin is removed. They're called "baby back" because of their size in relation to spareribs.
Baby back ribs are very tender, and also lean. They tend to be more popular than spareribs, and come with a higher price.
Spareribs, also known as St. Louis ribs are very meaty and come from the belly of the pig after the belly is removed. Spareribs tend to be a lot more affordable than baby back ribs, and often have a lot of fat which can make them incredibly delicious!
The style of ribs you use is totally up to you, but it will affect the cooking time and nutrition facts. This recipe was designed with baby back ribs in mind.
Cooking these ribs low in slow, wrapped tightly in foil steams them while they cook in their own juices and seasonings slowly, making for incredibly tender, fall off the bone ribs.
Really the only things you need to do are dab the slabs off with paper towels, season them with your dry rib rub very well, and wrap them tightly in foil, double wrapping is good practice for these ribs. You will want to use heavy duty aluminum foil for these, so that the liquid doesn't spill out and burn all over your baking sheets.
t's also a good idea to cook each meat side down on your baking sheets, and to cook these ribs very low and slow. That's what ensures they are tender, moist, juicy and flavorful. Anyone can make these ribs! All you need is a little time. After they are finishing cooking, you should take them out of the oven and leave them wrapped for 15 minutes before opening the foil. This sort of seals in more of the juice and flavors.
BBQ sauce is honestly so easy and inexpensive to make, so lately, we've been making our own. Here's our Keto Spicy Bourbon BBQ Sauce. It's tasty, spicy, sweet, smoky and tangy!
If you prefer, you can always use your favorite store bought keto friendly bbq sauce. We like to use the dry rub first, and then add the bbq sauce later after they are fully cooked, when we then take the ribs, coat them, and broil for 10 minutes. Then, we dip them in more sauce!
What To Serve With These Oven Baked Ribs:
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Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Easy Oven Baked Pork Ribs with BBQ Sauce (Keto Friendly)
- 2 slabs baby back ribs (about 4-5 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons liquid hickory smoke (optional and to taste)
- ⅔ cup Swerve Brown sugar (about 130 grams)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- ½ tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- sugar free bbq sauce of choice (store bought or homemade)
- Preheat your oven to 275°F. Line the baking sheets with a lot of excess foil to wrap the ribs later. You will need 1 baking sheet per slab of ribs. Place the slabs in the center of the foil lined sheets.
- Using a butter knife, slide your knife under the thin membrane. Wiggle it a bit, and be very careful! It’s slippery. Use paper towel to grab easier. Once you’re under there, it should be pretty easy to rip back the membrane. Removing the membrane will help us season the ribs more effectively. Plus, it makes them even more tender!
- Add some liquid smoke to your ribs, which is an optional. If using, you will need roughly 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke per slab of ribs. In a bowl, mix together your brown sugar substitute and the rest of the spice mixture to make your dry rub. Massage the dry rub into both sides of the ribs.
- Cover the ribs very well with foil. Wrap them in another layer. You want them to be well covered to hold in all the juices when cooking. Put the slabs meat side down on the baking sheet and bake for 2.5 hours.
- After the ribs have cooked thru, brush both sides with BBQ sauce and place under the broiler on high for roughly 5-7 minutes. Afterwards, cut up the ribs, then dip in more bbq sauce if desired.
- Leftovers will store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- BBQ Sauce is not included in the nutrition facts because it will depend largely on the brand you use, or homemade like our recipe!
- Spareribs (also known as St. Louis style ribs) can be used instead, but will take longer to cook. We always use baby back ribs so at this time we can't recommend how much longer it will take to cook the larger spareribs. Spareribs will also impact the nutrition facts as well.
- If making these ribs for the first time, be aware that we like things a little spicy! If you're not a huge fan of spice, you can skip the chipotle powder and cayenne.