Knowing how to make tender, juicy pork ribs is a must for any cook—and it's easier than you think! We have the answers to all of your questions about making pork ribs, including how to choose your ribs and how to season them, plus three different cooking methods (including how to cook pork ribs in the oven, on the grill, and in your slow cooker). We'll also share some of our favorite pork rib recipes so you can be ready to serve this favorite meal for any upcoming occasion.
Spareribs are cut from the belly (side) and have up to 14 ribs per slab (also called a rack). Look for a slab that weighs at least 3 pounds, is well trimmed, and has good layer of lean meat on the ribs, especially on the larger end of the slab. Plan on having three servings per slab.
Loin back ribs come from the blade and center section of a pig's loin and are also called baby back ribs because they are smaller than spareribs. Back ribs should be meaty and lean, so look for ribs with at least 1 inch of meat attached to the bone. Each slab usually contains 10 to 13 ribs and weighs 1-1/2 to 2 pounds. Figure on about half a slab per person. These also make great appetizers when cut into individual ribs.
Country-style ribs are the meatiest of the rib varieties and are cut from the sirloin end of the pork loin. They are better for fork-and-knife eating than as finger food and are just as versatile as the other rib cuts. This cut is often used for braising and it does well in the slow cooker. Country-style ribs are sold in slabs and individual servings.
If desired, cut the ribs into serving-size portions. Using a chef's knife, cut between the rib bones to make two- to three-rib portions.
Before cooking the ribs, you can boost the flavor with a marinade or a dry rub. This step is optional, but it will definitely make your ribs tastier.
There are a variety of factors that might influence your cooking method, including the weather and how much time you have. Luckily, we have three different methods to choose from for cooking pork ribs so you can enjoy them year-round. Each method is equally delicious, so it's up to you if you want to cook your ribs in the oven, on the grill, or in your slow cooker.
Making pork ribs in the oven might sound complicated, but once the ribs are ready to go, you only need to follow two steps. Just follow these instructions:
Take advantage of gorgeous weather by cooking your pork ribs on the grill. They'll be juicy and tender with an added smoky flavor from the grill. To grill pork ribs, follow these steps:
Cooking ribs low and slow requires a little extra patience but yields super-delish results. You can get these ribs started in the morning, then come home at the end of the day to a mouthwatering dinner. Here's how to slow-cook pork ribs: