Easy Country-Style Ribs

Believe it or not, easy country-style barbecue ribs do not require a giant grill or smoker in the backyard. You can make them in the oven, with a minimal amount of ingredients, besides the generous slab of pork shoulder you'll need to get. We secured this tasty rib recipe from Kit Hondrum, the creator of Kit's Kitchen, a blog where you'll find a variety of recipes for delicious, flavorful meals. 

If you're wondering just how specific cuts of meat can get, the answer is very specific. "This is a common cut of meat, and I think a lot of people wonder what to do with them," says Hondrum. "Country-style ribs are from the shoulder of the pig but are a different cut of meat than what is sold as 'pork shoulder.' They are sold cut into rib shape but are boneless and labeled 'country-style ribs.'" This is just something to keep in mind when you're buying the ingredients for this recipe at the store. Read on for more details on all things oven-baked country-style ribs.

Gather the ingredients for these easy country-style ribs

The ingredients for these easy country-style ribs are pretty simple. You'll just need six pounds of pork shoulder ribs, boneless and country-style, salt and pepper, one tablespoon of butter, and some of your favorite barbecue sauce. Remember, country-style ribs are best. According to Hondrum, "I think you could buy a pork shoulder and cut it into rib shapes, but I think the shoulder cut is actually leaner, so it may not cook the same way."

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the fridge and allow it to sit room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to starting the cooking. You'll also need a large skillet or braising pan.

Season the easy country-style ribs with salt and pepper

Once all the ingredients have been accumulated, you can start the prepping portion of the easy country-style recipe. This extremely easy step is literally the only actual prep work you'll have to do for these ribs. When we say "easy," we mean it.

Generously season the ribs with salt and pepper on all sides. Make sure every inch of each rib is covered in the salt and pepper, more or less to your taste, but well-covered. As previously mentioned, pre-cut ribs will make your life a lot easier in this step and the entire recipe.

Brown the easy country-style ribs in batches

The next step in this easy country-style ribs recipe involves browning the meat on the stove prior to putting it in the oven. Heat a large braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the tablespoon of butter and swirl it around to fully coat the bottom of the pan. Place the ribs in and sear them to brown all sides, working in batches as needed. 

The batches are crucial because the recipe specifies that you should not overcrowd the pan. You want each individual rib to get a nice sear. This step will take about 15 to 20 minutes if you have two batches of ribs to brown. "You want to brown in batches so you don't crowd the pan, which would cause them to steam instead of brown," Hondrum confirms.

Nestle all the browned ribs in the skillet or pan and cover

After all the easy country-style ribs have been seared, return all of them to the same braising pan or skillet. This time, though, you can pack them in and nestle them together. It's okay for them to be touching as long as it's just one layer. Cover the ribs with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Hondrum notes, "For the long cook, you nestle them in together, and they touch. They all fit in my braising pan, which is the standard size Le Creuset."

This country-style ribs recipe also offers an alternate method for this step. Instead of the braising pan or skillet, you can place the ribs on a high-sided sheet pan and cover that pan tightly with foil. The key is using a vessel with high enough sides so that it catches all the "liquid and fat that renders out during the cooking process."

Cook the easy country-style ribs in the oven for two hours

Once the easy country-style ribs have been browned and covered in the pan or skillet, it's time to put them in oven. They need to cook there for about two hours.

If you don't have a braising pan or a sheet pan, you still have options. Per Hondrum, "You can certainly use a Dutch oven to brown and do the long cook, but it would need to be a big one because you want them all in one layer touching the bottom for the long cook." As previously mentioned, the one-layer component is key.

Remove the easy country-style ribs from the oven and add barbecue sauce

After the easy country-style ribs have cooked in the oven for two hours, it's time to add the barbecue sauce. Carefully remove the ribs from the oven. Transfer them to a plate with a spatula or a pair of tongs. Since the ribs will be so tender, make sure they don't fall apart as you take them out of the pan. Once the ribs are out of the pan or skillet, pour off all of the liquid that remains and discard it. Then, you will return the ribs to the pan or skillet and pour the barbecue sauce over the top of the ribs. Use a pastry brush to spread the sauce over the tops and sides of the meat.

Hondrum tells us, "I used the Texas Pete Original BBQ sauce, but people can use whatever they like! I also like Stubb's!" 

Return your easy country-style ribs to the oven and baste halfway through cooking time

Now the easy country-style ribs have to go back in the oven for one final cook session. After applying the barbecue sauce, return the ribs to the oven, uncovered, for a final 45 minutes. Baste the ribs with more sauce about halfway through the cooking time in this final round. 

Basting can mean different things in different recipes. In this country-style ribs recipe, Hondrum clarifies, "Basting is just taking some of the sauce that's around the ribs, dipping the brush into it, and brushing over the tops to coat." 

Remove the easy country-style ribs from the oven and serve

Once you've completed that final 45 minutes in the oven, the easy country-style ribs are ready to eat! Remove them from the oven and serve.

We asked Hondrum what her go-to sides are for these country-style ribs. "Buttermilk biscuits and a big green salad would be my go-to, but you could also do mashed potatoes and green beans, or even potato salad and coleslaw for more of a backyard BBQ vibe."

How long will they keep if you've got leftovers on the brain? "I would say probably five days in the fridge," Hondrum says. "I haven't tried freezing them, but I think it's possible. If so, I would thaw in the fridge and then reheat in the oven with extra BBQ sauce to make sure they don't dry out."

Easy Country-Style Ribs
5 from 35 ratings
Believe it or not, easy country-style barbecue ribs do not require a giant grill or smoker in the backyard. You can easily make them in the oven.
Prep Time
2
minutes
Cook Time
3
hours
Servings
6
servings
easy country-style bbq ribs served
Total time: 3.03 hours
Ingredients
  • 6 pounds boneless country-style ribs (pork shoulder)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 18 ounces barbecue sauce
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
Directions
  1. Remove pork from refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Season ribs generously with salt and pepper on all sides.
  4. Heat a large braising pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter. Once it's hot, coat bottom. Add ribs and sear to brown all sides, working in batches as needed. Take care not to overcrowd the pan so that you get a nice sear. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes if you have 2 batches.
  5. Nestle all of the browned ribs into the braising pan or skillet, and cover with a tight-fitting lid or foil. Alternately, you can place the ribs on a high-sided sheet pan and cover tightly with foil. You want to use something with high enough sides to catch all the liquid and fat that renders out during the cooking process.
  6. Place the pan in preheated oven and cook for 2 hours.
  7. Remove pan from oven and carefully remove ribs to a plate with a spatula or tongs. The ribs should be nice and tender at this point, so take care not to let them fall apart when transferring. Pour off all of the liquid and discard. Carefully place ribs back into pan and pour bbq sauce over the top. Use a brush to brush the sauce over the tops and sides.
  8. Place back in the oven, uncovered, and allow to cook for an additional 45 minutes, basting halfway through.
  9. Remove from oven and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,424
Total Fat 108.6 g
Saturated Fat 35.4 g
Trans Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 368.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 35.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 28.3 g
Sodium 1,261.9 mg
Protein 71.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe