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Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs

March 3, 2013

By Kath Dedon


Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs couldn’t be easier! Just use your favorite barbecue rub and roast them on a rimmed baking sheet for 4 hours or so. After helping Byron dig trenches all day, Bob was very happy to dig into these ribs!

The “St. Louis Style” designation refers to the cut of the meat, not the style of preparation. St. Louis Style ribs are spareribs that have been trimmed. They are a bit higher in fat than baby back ribs and are perfect for “slow and low” cooking in a barbecue or in the oven. As they’re cooking, the meat pulls back from one end making convenient “bone handles” for picking up the ribs.

We enjoyed the ribs with just the flavorful Southern Barbecue Rub. If you prefer saucy ribs, just brush the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce when the ribs are done and roast them for about 20 more minutes.

If you have a free afternoon to turn the rack of ribs a couple of times, give Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs a try!


Slow Roasted Pork Ribs


Slow Roasted St. Louis Style Ribs

(Adapted from a recipe in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything the Basics)


(print the recipe)


Serves 3 – 4


One 3 – 4 pound rack of St. Louis Style Ribs

Your favorite barbecue rub (I used Southern Barbecue Rub*)


1. Preheat the oven to 250˚.

2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is easily done by loosening an end with a knife and then grabbing the piece with a clean paper towel and pulling it off.

Bad photo, but you get the idea.



3. Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet. Rub a generous amount of the barbecue rub on both sides of the rack.

4. With the ribs bone-side down, put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.

5. Turn the ribs over and roast for another hour.

6. Turn the ribs over so they are again bone-side down and roast for one more hour, or until the ribs are fork-tender and practically falling off the bone. (Total roasting time will be 4 – 4½ hours.)

7. Cut the ribs into serving pieces and enjoy!


*Southern Barbecue Rub

(Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)


¼ cup sweet paprika (You could use smoked paprika instead.)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons ground pepper

2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. The rub can be used with pork or beef.


Slow Roasted Pork Ribs 2


81 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2013 11:07 am

    Look how gorgeous those ribs look! I could take a whole rack just about now. Thank you for sharing. A lovely post to go along with my latte and cinnamon raisin bread. I hope you have a beautiful week!

  2. Christie permalink
    July 8, 2013 10:50 am

    Going to try these tonight if my ribs defrost in time. Yours look so good!

  3. Jason permalink
    July 27, 2013 11:20 am

    Looks great! I am wanting to do this for a tailgate, could I prepare them night before, refridgerate and heat back up on grill?

  4. Lisa B. permalink
    August 7, 2013 11:41 am

    I wanted to thank you for an easy to understand recipe with even easier instructions. Have not had much luck with any type of rib roasting, seems to be my meat kryptonite. Yet I felt hope when I found your recipe. I only had 2 1/2 lbs of St. Louis ribs but I stuck solidly with your roasting instructions. I applied my dry rub a day ahead just for a little extra umph and then baked my ribs at 250 for 4 hours. They came out great! My ribs were just a little thicker/meatier than I realized, so I think that I should have gone another 30 minutes and will do so the next time. Because there will definitely be a next time! Thank you for posting your recipe and tips – so easy and delicious!!

    Lisa B. 😉

    • August 7, 2013 11:46 am

      Thanks so much for letting me know that it worked so well for you! I love getting feedback. 🙂

  5. Renee permalink
    August 31, 2013 12:11 pm

    I got them in the oven this is my first time with this recipe will let you know how it turns out

  6. September 9, 2013 9:06 am

    These ribs look amazing. I spent a lot of time in St Louis and miss these ribs (and American barbecue in general) a lot now I am in London, so I am going to try out this recipe tonight!

  7. SteveO permalink
    September 29, 2013 12:02 pm

    Those are some interesting points. I learned many years ago that ribs can be done in the oven with good results, and it eliminates the “tending” that a grill takes over that many hours.

    The new points here for me include lowering the temperature to 250 (I have used 300), and a few similar articles even say use 225. The lower temperature also obviously increases the required cooking time, but “low and slow” is generally preferable for meat like this anyway.

    Another point is turning the ribs over two times. I haven’t done that, but it sounds like a good idea. I wouldn’t want them roasting with the meat side down for very long or to end up in that formation, but this recipe says to have 1 out of 4 hours meat side down, with the start and end with meat side up.

    I have a rack of pork ribs in the refrigerator today, that I plan to trim to St. Louis style, and do in the oven today using the techniques mentioned in the article.

  8. Janice permalink
    October 6, 2013 1:25 pm

    Made them today and they were amazing! Varied the rub to my own taste and added a little sauce at the end. Absolutely delicious!!!!

    • October 6, 2013 3:20 pm

      Janice, I’m so glad you liked the ribs! Thanks for letting me know. And you bring up a good point; you can really use any rub that you like. 🙂

  9. Ryan permalink
    October 31, 2013 4:57 pm

    The recipe turned out great, the ribs came out so tender. Thank you for sharing this

  10. January 12, 2014 4:53 am

    I am going to try this recipe today. I have not cooked ribs very often so I cannot wait to try this method. Thanks for sharing this

  11. Nick permalink
    January 19, 2014 12:35 pm

    I’m definitely trying this for this Sundays games. My ribs are ready, do you have to cover them at any point or make a base of water and the ribs placed over a rack? I’m already prepping! Thank you so much.’

    • January 19, 2014 2:16 pm

      Hi Nick, I didn’t cover the ribs or use any water. I just put the ribs in the pan; a rack is not necessary. Enjoy!

  12. April 10, 2014 8:31 pm

    Kath, I made a rack of St.Louis style ribs for the first time today and used your recipe. Gotta love Pinterest! They were DEE-LISH! This Louisiana girl used half the salt and half the cayenne pepper if you can believe that. Lol I put BBQ sauce on half of the rack only. I wanted to taste the difference. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Deacon Dan permalink
    August 14, 2014 2:12 pm

    Kath, those ribs are GREAT! I love grilling, so I cut the oven time in half, to 2 hrs, and finished on my grill.i also cot the salt in half, yo one tablespoon. I lathered them up with my fav bbq sauce. My wife snd Don loved them! I’m ready for a rib cook off

    • August 14, 2014 2:47 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the ribs, Dan! And it’s great to know that you can cut the salt in half and they will still be delicious. I’ll have to try that. Thanks for your comment!

  14. roger permalink
    September 21, 2014 7:36 am

    put my favorite rub on a rack last night and they are going in the oven at 330 in the afternoonI never had luck with ribs before thank you for your recipe I’ll let you know how they came out

    • September 21, 2014 8:07 am

      Hope you love them as much as we did, Roger! I like the idea of putting the rub on the day before.

      • roger permalink
        September 27, 2014 2:50 pm

        they came out so awesome last weekend I’m doing them again tomorrow

        • September 27, 2014 3:03 pm

          I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them!

          Your comment last weekend made me hungry for them, so I went out and bought a rack and we had them again, too! No complaints from my husband. 😉

  15. roger permalink
    October 19, 2014 1:27 pm

    Yummy,doing them again tonight one more hour in the oventhen finishing them off on BBQ with barbecue sauce

  16. Kenmo permalink
    April 24, 2015 12:43 pm

    I’ve made these several times and am never disappointed. Easy to make and delicious to eat.

    • April 24, 2015 1:15 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you’ve enjoyed them! I really appreciate the feedback. 🙂

  17. May 29, 2015 10:50 am

    Awesome easy recipe ever! We love our meat, pork, beef chicken as well as turkey too!
    I know some of our family recipes, but it gets boring after a while, cooking the same thing every week. good to mix it up.. This is one I have used before, and I will continue to use, either on the grill. (Or in oven:) Thanks, they always come out so tender and delicious. I use a rib rub mix that comes with the same ingredients that you have listed. The name of it is Championship rib rub with ingredients as Granulated brown sugar, seasoning salt & spices. BBQ sauce may be added at end of last 30 minutes and is fantastic as BBQ too. just yummy, and kids, grandchildren and husband love this, one of their favorites! thanks again.

  18. May 29, 2015 11:12 am

    Love, Love this recipe. Have done this before several times. Always so tender, juicy and is a great summer , or just easy dinner to prepare on or off the grill.
    I use my own rib rub which is a combination of what you have in the ingredients needed. It is called Championship Rib Rub. Ingredients in the rib rub is granulated brown sugar, season salt & spices. very simple to make, prep it..put it in oven, slow cook…Melt in your mouth. Whole family including grandchildren love this recipe. Another win win, we have occasional pool parties, grilling an adding the Ribs is fantastic choice, have some baked beans, potato salad or macaroni salad, even green salad , corn cobb, goes perfect for friends family coming over. A must must!! I really enjoy this recipe, which is quite simple to make. Will be continuing to make as long as I can, switching up is a must for me. I get bored with same meal every week. If you come up with more easy to do recipes, please give me a shout out! Also, I have high sugar, any Mediterranean meals are accepted too, any options? Thank you, keep it up. everything I have tried turns out wonderful, and a very happy family.

    • May 29, 2015 4:39 pm

      I’m so glad to hear how much you and your family enjoy the ribs! Your pool parties sound fantastic!

      Although I have a few more complicated recipes on the blog which I occasionally make for special occasions, most of the time I like to keep things simple. On the right hand side, not too far below the picture of Bob and me, you’ll see a place where you can Search the blog. If you search for easy it will bring up a whole list of recipes that I have tagged as “easy”.

      Thanks so much for your comment; I really do appreciate it! 🙂

  19. Laura permalink
    August 26, 2015 5:05 pm

    These ribs came out so decadent and good. They didn’t dry out too much when I reheated them in the oven either. Thanks so much. Kept the extra dry rub in a jar for later use 🙂 This was my first time preparing a cut of meat like this before. Same glorious jitters I got when I roasted my first whole chicken.

    • August 26, 2015 5:08 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Laura! I really appreciate it when people let me know that a recipe worked well for them! 🙂 I wanted to make these ribs today, but I thought of it too late in the day. I’ll definitely be making it again soon.

  20. kim kaser permalink
    August 31, 2015 12:18 pm

    I was wondering about doing these recipe in an electric roasting pan. Do you think it would work

    • August 31, 2015 12:29 pm

      I think it would work fine, Kim, though I have never tried it. They might be done a little more quickly because they’re in such a compact space. I’d love to hear how it works for you, if you try it! 🙂

  21. Ruth permalink
    September 2, 2015 12:44 pm

    I LOVE this rub recipe. The ribs were amazing and I used the same rub to make a slow cooker pork butt. Making the ribs again on Monday. Thanks for sharing!

    • September 2, 2015 3:49 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Ruth! I’m so glad you like it. I’ve used it for a slow cooker pork roast, too. Love it! 🙂

  22. Jay permalink
    November 26, 2015 3:21 pm

    Happy thanksgiving.!!!! And thank you for sharing your knowledge on ribs

    • November 26, 2015 3:27 pm

      Thanks for the greeting, and Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  23. Pat permalink
    March 11, 2016 3:03 pm

    This was the first time I ever attempted to make St Louis ribs, and with your rub, they came out excellent! My husband was in his glory! OMG!, Finger Licking good!!!

    • March 11, 2016 3:54 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Pat! My husband loves them, too. They are good! 🙂

  24. Amber permalink
    May 27, 2016 8:21 am

    I’ve made these several times and they are by far the best ribs I’ve ever eat! Only change I made was, I used smoked Paprika instead of sweet Paprika.

    • May 27, 2016 5:02 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that you like them, Amber. Using smoked paprika is a great idea! Thanks for mentioning. I’ll add it to the ingredients list as an option. 🙂

  25. July 22, 2016 8:44 am

    Followed the recipe exactly and the end product was excellent. The meat came off the bone easily and tasted great.

  26. Kim archer permalink
    April 15, 2017 10:44 am

    Do you cover them with foil??

    • April 15, 2017 10:51 am

      No, Kim, I don’t cover them with foil. Thanks for your question! Others may have been wondering, too.

  27. Bob permalink
    June 4, 2017 12:49 pm

    I like the simplicity of this. I rubbed mine with liquid smoke prior to dry rub. One sets membrane wouldn’t peel so I cut it following the bone several times. We had a $2 a pound sale here at lake of the Ozarks Hy-Vee so I did three full racks. They keep for a week or longer. Pit smoking is a waist of time and effort IMHO. The secret is in the slow cooking and the seasoning. I added no brown sugar and used onion powder for the sweetness.

    • June 4, 2017 2:34 pm

      Wow! $2 a pound? That’s great! I totally agree with you that it’s the slow cooking and seasoning that makes great ribs. Subbing onion powder for the brown sugar was a great idea. The brown sugar isn’t really necessary. I sometimes leave it out. Thanks for your comment, Bob! 🙂

  28. SHEAROR F BURTON permalink
    July 3, 2017 5:00 am

    I’m cooking these tomorrow for our Independence Day dinner. I will prep them and apply the rub today and let them get happy in the fridge. I know they will be delish.

    • July 3, 2017 8:42 am

      Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! I just made them yesterday. 🙂

  29. CJ5_girl permalink
    July 8, 2017 7:54 am

    Today will be my second time to follow your recipe for these delicious ribs and I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful recipe! My grandson and I LOVE them!

    • July 8, 2017 9:36 am

      I am so glad you like them and I really appreciate your comment to let me know! 🙂

  30. Amie D permalink
    July 9, 2017 10:20 pm

    Hi there! I’m excited to try this recipe. If I wanted to finish these on the grill, would you be able to recommend a cooking ratio time for oven vs grill? Thanks!

    • July 10, 2017 9:33 am

      I haven’t tried it, Amie, probably because I just take the easy way on these ribs. 😉 I’d probably put them on the grill for the last 30 minutes, turning them a time or two. I’d use indirect heat.

  31. Jimothy permalink
    October 15, 2017 9:44 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Made these the other night. They were fantastic, fall off the bone perfection. Used my usual rub (equal parts salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar). Were a big hit and will be my go to for cookouts from now on. Once again, thank you

    • November 5, 2017 5:15 am

      I’m so glad you liked them, Jimothy! I really appreciate your comment. 🙂

  32. Wheaton Hewes permalink
    November 5, 2017 2:46 am

    Do you wrap the ribs in foil?

    • November 5, 2017 5:16 am

      No, Wheaton, I don’t wrap them in foil. They’re roasted at a low temperature so foil isn’t necessary.

  33. Shauna S permalink
    November 22, 2017 9:12 am

    This is by far the BEST and EASIEST no-fail ribs recipe ever!!! I’ve lost count how many times I’ve made these ribs. They disappear quickly after making their appearance on the table. Thank you for sharing such a fantastic recipe!

    • November 23, 2017 2:43 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Shauna! It makes me want to make them again SOON. 🙂

  34. Marti Fisher permalink
    August 17, 2018 9:38 am

    OMG rub is Awesome. Just put them in the 250 degree oven. Can’t wait !!!!!

  35. Brenda Jackson permalink
    October 20, 2018 1:01 pm

    does cooking time increase when making 2 slabs? I’ve made this recipe before and it was great. Now I would like to make 2 slabs.

    • October 20, 2018 4:02 pm

      I think the timing would be the same, Brenda. Glad you enjoy the ribs! 🙂

  36. Monique permalink
    August 2, 2020 3:16 pm

    Love loved how the ribs came out!! It was so tender and fell off the bones. My husband loved the taste so much that he wish I had made more! Thank you so much! This recipe is a keeper!!👍👍😊

    • August 3, 2020 3:03 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment, Monique! I’m so glad that you and your husband enjoyed the ribs. 🙂

  37. September 29, 2020 4:57 pm

    These were superb, made them tonite. Did exactly as directed 😁👌

    • September 29, 2020 5:13 pm

      I’m so glad you liked them, Christopher! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  38. Lauren Pieniaszek permalink
    October 23, 2022 8:45 am

    Just wondering if you’re working with only a half a rack of ribs, say one and a half pounds, with the cooking time still be the same?

    • January 5, 2023 8:01 am

      Sorry to get back so late to you, Lauren. Yes, the cooking time should be the same.

  39. Robin Stokes permalink
    January 5, 2023 5:44 am

    Are these spare ribs or country style?

    • January 5, 2023 8:04 am

      They are spare ribs. They are “St. Louise style” because the meat has been trimmed so that it pulls back while it’s cooking. The result is a nice little “bone handle”. But you can use regular spare ribs; it’s the same cut of pork.


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