How to Cook Pork Ribs

Before learning how to cook pork ribs, you will need to know a little about the different kinds of ribs. Although I love all kinds of pork ribs, my favorite is the baby back ribs. Baby backs come from the top of the rib cage. Generally speaking you only get about four pounds of this type from a whole hog when butchering. Because of this they are a little more expensive but worth it to me. The bones are smaller and the meat is very tender and more tasty.

I learned years ago how to cook pork ribs, especially the baby backs, as appetizers. For this I cut the ribs using only one bone for each driblet. When serving ribs as appetizers for a party, a better way is to have the butcher cut them for you. The butcher will cut crosswise through the bones making small appetizers. After cooking these driblets, you can serve them with many flavorful and presentable sauces making a variety of recipes with one meat.

If you are learning how to cook pork ribs, you should know that you will get about eight pounds of “spare ribs” from an average hog when butchering. This type comes from the side ribs of the belly. This type of ribs contains more bone than meat. For me, the meat does not have the flavor like baby backs but the bones add a lot of flavor when blending other ingredients in recipes. These are often on sale and always cheaper so I use them in many dishes like sauerkraut and pork.

Another type of the pork rib is called “country style” ribs. This type is cut close to the shoulder of the hog; the blade end of the loin. When I was young and I learned how to cook pork ribs, I use to purchase a lot of these country style ones for my family. They were always much cheaper than baby back ribs and contain a lot more meat. They also have a lot more fat making them very flavorful for adding to many recipes and this fat is what makes the price lower.

As you learn how to cook pork ribs, you will find that most can be cooked by baking, broiling, slow cooker, cooked on the stove top or by grilling. Unless I am planning to put them in the oven or in liquid on the stove top for a couple of hours, I will precook them first.  When grilling or broiling, this will ensure that the meat will be thoroughly cooked and tender. Unless the cut is very thick, this only takes about 30 minutes of boiling in water on the stove top.


  • 4 Pounds spare ribs
  • 2 Sliced onions
  • 2 Teaspoons vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • ½ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ Cup catsup
  • ¾ Cup water

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cut ribs into serving size; sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Place ribs in roasting pan; cover with sliced onions.

Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, chili powder, catsup and water; pour over ribs and onions.

Cover roaster and bake 1 ½ hours basting about 2 times; remove cover last 15 minutes of cooking to brown ribs.


As you learn how to cook pork ribs, you will find that most people think of ribs with a barbeque sauce on them. 

  • 3 Pounds spareribs
  • ½ Cup chopped onion
  • 2 Clove minced garlic
  • ¼ Cup melted butter
  • 2 Cans (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • ¼ Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons chili powder
  • 4 Dashes hot sauce

Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

Place ribs in roasting pan and bake 1 ½ hours.

Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil.

Pour dripping off ribs; pour hot sauce over ribs.

Return meat to oven and bake another 45 minutes or until tender; baste occasionally.


How to Cook Pork RibsHow to Cook Pork Ribs

When I learned how to cook pork ribs, I only thought of them with our German recipes with sauerkraut.

  • 4 Pounds pork ribs
  • 2 Large cans sauerkraut (drain but do not rinse)
  • 1 Teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon celery seeds
  • ½ Cup pearl barley
  • Salt/ pepper

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Cut ribs into serving size; place in a large Dutch oven.

Sprinkle ribs with salt, pepper, celery seeds and caraway seeds.

Scatter barley over top of ribs; top with sauerkraut.

Add 2 cups water; set on stove top and bring to a boil.

Move Dutch oven from stove top to the oven; bake about 2 hours.

Check occasionally to stir mixture and to make sure it does not dry (Can add more water).

NOTE: I serve this with mashed potatoes. 6-8 large servings.


  • ½ Cup molasses
  • ¼ Cup vinegar
  • ¼ Cup prepared
  • 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 Pound spareribs

Preheat oven to 450F degree.

Combine molasses, vinegar, prepared mustard, salt and hot sauce; bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Cut meat into serving size and place meaty side down in a large shallow baking pan.

Bake ribs for 30 minutes; drain off fat.


Turn ribs over and bake additional 50 to 60 minutes brushing ribs with sauce several times.


  • 1 Slab baby back pork ribs
  • ½ Cup chicken stock
  • ½ Cup soy sauce
  • ¼ Cup cooking oil
  • ¼ Cup vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Cloves minced garlic

To make a marinade, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sugar and garlic.

Place ribs in a shallow dish and pour marinade over the top; cover and refrigerate overnight or for several hours.

Grill over hot coals, broil or bake in oven until internal temperature reaches 160F degrees; baste frequently with marinade.


  • 6 Pounds ribs cut into serving size
  • ¼ Cup chopped onion
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Can (16 ounces) purple (No pits) plums (Drain and RESERVE liquid)
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ Teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 3 Teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 Can (6 ounces) frozen lemonade thawed

Place ribs in a heavy pot and cover with water; bring to a boil and cook about 30 minutes.

In a skillet sauté onion in butter until tender; set aside.

Drain liquid from ribs; discard liquid and set ribs aside.

Put plums in food processor and blend until smooth.

Combine pureed plums with chili powder, ginger, soy sauce, horseradish, mustard and lemonade in a saucepan.

Bring plum mixture to a simmer for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

AT THIS POINT you can cook on the grill, under the broiler or bake until cooked and tender.

Brush with sauce while cooking; to use remaining sauce, bring the mixture back to a boil before serving.

Serves 6-8.


  • 3 Pound baby back ribs (Separate bones and cut bones crosswise in half)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 12 Ounces bottled chili sauce
  • 1 Pound fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Put cranberries in saucepan and barely cover with water.

Cook cranberries over medium heat until cranberries start to pop.

Add lemon juice, sugar and chili sauce; cook until thoroughly heated.

Place rib pieces in a shallow baking pan; bale for 20 minutes.

Drain all grease from ribs; pour heated sauce over the ribs and return to oven.

Bake another 40 minutes or until the meat is tender and well cooked.

NOTE: Check after a while so meat does not go dry and stick; add a little water if necessary.