How to Make Easy Fork Tender Ribs

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3 ingredient sweet & tangy pork ribs marinade and hints how to make easy fork tender ribs. Start in the oven…finish on the grill!

I like a challenge. Especially when it comes to cooking.

I’ve been married over 19 years now and for the first few years of our marriage, I was always trying new recipes. Although cooking wasn’t new to me, getting to plan menus, grocery shop and cook meals for my little family was new. And I loved it.

All these years later, I still like tackling new things in the kitchen, whether it’s a new cooking technique, how to use a new ingredient or a new-to-me cut of meat.

These sweet & tangy pork ribs are my latest successful challenge and I’m so excited to share them with you! Let’s talk about how to make easy fork tender ribs!

A close up of food, with bbq pork Ribs

Thanks to the Ohio Pork Council for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Baby Back Ribs in the Oven

Cooking a rack of baby back ribs to fall of the bone fork tender perfection isn’t as hard as it seems. Before this summer, I had never cooked pork ribs before, much to my husband’s dismay. It was a big cut of meat and a little intimidating to me, but I can honestly say today I wish I had tried it long ago.

A close up of a plate of food with a fork, with Ribs

Difference between Baby Back Ribs and Spare Ribs

Choose baby back pork ribs. What’s the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs? Baby back ribs are smaller, which can seem less intimidating than the larger, rectangular spare ribs. Baby back ribs are more curved than the flatter spare ribs. Baby back ribs are also leaner and more tender than spare ribs. Since I was new to cooking ribs, I chose baby back, but you can feel free to use spare ribs if you’d like. You may have to cook them longer since they are a larger cut.

Removing Membrane from Ribs

Remove the membrane on baby back ribs. On the underside of the rib rack, there is a very thin membrane. To remove the membrane, simply slide a knife under the membrane on one end of the ribs. Use the knife to loosen the membrane over one bone. Using a paper towel, grab hold of the membrane and pull back. The membrane may come off in one piece or several smaller pieces.

How to Cook Ribs in the Oven

Bake pork ribs in the oven. For easy, fork-tender pork ribs, start the ribs in the oven. Place them in a baking pan, pour your favorite pork marinade recipe overtop and cover the pan with foil. Bake the pork ribs “low and slow”…..low oven temperature (300 degrees) for 3 hours. The exact time will depend in the size of the pork ribs. Test the ribs…they should be fork tender before removing them from the oven.

Finishing Ribs on the Grill

Finish the pork ribs on the grill. Once the pork ribs come out of the oven, finish them on the grill for a little bit of smoky flavor and those gorgeous grill lines. Make sure the grill is at least 400 degrees to get those nice sear lines. The pork is cooked completely at this point, so you’ll just need about 4-5 minutes of grilling on each side.

A close up of a plate of food with a fork, with Ribs

And that’s it! Simple as that.

The week I was perfecting my rib-making skills, we had these sweet & tangy pork ribs 4 nights in a row. Matt fell in love with them and said he never knew he liked ribs so much.

There ya go. If you’ve never made pork ribs before, take on this challenge. If I can do it, you can do it!

If you’ve been making pork ribs for years, share your hints. I’d love to continue to learn. And give this easy pork rib marinade a try next time. 🙂

easy baby back ribs recipe
easy baby back ribs recipe

How to Make Easy Fork Tender Ribs

4.64 from 11 votes
3 ingredient sweet & tangy pork ribs marinade and hints on how to make easy fork tender pork ribs. Start in the oven…finish on the grill!
Servings 5
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes

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  • 2 1/2 pounds pork back ribs
  • 1 cup chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by lining it with 2 large pieces of foil, crossing them in the center so the pork ribs can be enclosed in the foil.
  • Use a sharp knife to loosen the thin membrane on the back of the rib rack.
  • Grab hold of the membrane using a paper towel and pull back to remove the membrane. Discard the membrane.
  • Cut the rack of ribs into 3 sections.
  • In a small bowl, combine chili sauce, molasses and vinegar. Mix well.
  • Reserve ½ cup of sauce for basting during grilling.
  • Place the rib pieces on the foil in the baking pan. 
  • Pour the sauce over top the ribs.
  • Fold the foil over the ribs to enclose them. 
  • Bake for 3 hours.
  • Remove ribs from the oven. Grill ribs on a preheated grill (400 degrees) for 4-6 minutes per side. Baste with additional marinade while the ribs are grilling.
  • Remove from the grill and serve immediately.



The calories shown are based on the recipe being divided 5 ways and all of the marinade being used. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.


Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 880mg | Potassium: 1178mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 390IU | Vitamin C: 8.7mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 536
Keyword baby back ribs, grilling, pork, ribs

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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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5 years ago

What kind of chili sauce?

6 years ago

this looks great!!!! a must try!!!
ooohhh…that was a nice indoor grill…may I have the name please…

Roxanne Korte Ruckmar
6 years ago

4 stars
Wondering how this could be accomplished without a grill. Broil?

6 years ago

They look so good Julie i must try hard to do it for one i live the new addition to your family he’s adorable i would take him in a minute look out thanks again for your delicious recipes have a super day