These incredible riblets are one of my favorite barbecue recipes. It smothers pork riblets in a homemade sauce and cooks them low and slow in the oven until they're super tender.
Table of Contents
My Take On Riblets
I love a smoked rack of ribs, but it can take hours and hours to make them. This recipe is finished in half the time, and I think it actually tastes even better than traditional bone-in ribs.
The tender pork ribs are cooked to absolute perfection in a thick homemade BBQ sauce. They're sticky and delicious and kind of messy, but the sauce is so good you'll be licking your fingers clean!
The sauce is what I think is the star of this recipe, adding the perfect flavor to the juicy and tender meat. Serve them with this Martha White cornbread, and you'll have a meal everyone will remember.
Why I Love This Recipe
It's a family favorite. Truly, we cannot get enough of this recipe in the Duff household. They're bursting with flavor and irresistible when served over mashed potatoes or rice.
It's pretty simple to make. You really just have to mix the sauce ingredients, coat the ribs in it, then put them in and out of the oven throughout the cooking process. Even if you've never cooked ribs before, you'll find this recipe to be effortless.
Restaurant-quality meal. I think these hearty ribs are as good as something you'd get from a barbecue restaurant. I have a feeling after your family gets their first taste, they'll think you're a true pit master!
- Riblets- small ribs that are cut from the rack of pork ribs.
- Brown sugar- to give the sauce a hint of sweetness.
- Paprika- for some savory flavor.
- Dry mustard- to enhance the flavors of the sauce.
- Chili powder- for a little heat.
- Worcestershire sauce- this is a secret ingredient that helps make the best BBQ sauce.
- Vinegar- I used white vinegar.
- Tomato sauce- to give the sauce volume and acidic flavor.
- Ketchup- for the base of the sauce,
Can I Use Storebought BBQ Sauce?
Yes, if you don't want to have to get all of these ingredients, you can use any storebought BBQ sauce that you want. With that said, I think the homemade one in this recipe gives the riblets their addictive flavor and that perfect sticky texture.
How To Make Riblets
1. Prep work. Preheat the oven to 450°F, line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, and spray it with cooking spray. Add all of the sauce ingredients to a bowl, mix them together, and set the sauce aside for later.
2. Brown the ribs. Place the ribs on the prepared pan in a single layer and brown them in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F.
3. Add the sauce. Pour the sauce over the ribs and make sure they're completely covered. Put them back in the oven to bake for 1 ½ hours or until glazed and gooey. During this time, turn and baste the ribs every 20-30 minutes. There will be a lot of sauce, but it will thicken up as it cooks.
4. Serve and enjoy. As soon as they're cooked, serve immediately alone or with mashed potatoes or rice. Enjoy!
My Tips To Make The Best Recipe
- Don't skip the basting! Turning and basting every 20-30 minutes will ensure your ribs are juicy and covered in that thick BBQ sauce.
- If your pork riblets aren't fork tender, they may need more time in the oven. Begin checking them at the hour and a half mark.
- I used white vinegar in this recipe, but you could absolutely use apple cider vinegar if that's what you have!
- One cup of brown sugar may sound like a lot, but trust me, if you want that sticky glaze, you should use the full cup.
How I Recommend Storing This Recipe
In the fridge: If I have leftovers, which rarely happens, I'll store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days. If you don't plan on eating them within that time, I suggest freezing them.
In the freezer: Transfer the leftovers to a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 4 months. Be sure your ribs have cooled completely before freezing. Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.
Reheating: I like to put the leftovers back on a baking sheet and warm them in the oven at 250°F for 30 minutes. Warming low and slow will keep the meat nice and tender.
More Recipes I Think You'll Love
- Sous vide ribs
- BBQ meatloaf
- St. Louis style ribs in the oven
- Beef back ribs in the oven
- How to cook beef ribs in the oven
- Boneless pork ribs in the oven
- 3-3.5 lbs pork riblets
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup vinegar (I used white vinegar)
- 8 oz. tomato sauce
- ¼ cup ketchup
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
- Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
- Place ribs on the prepared pan in a single layer.
- Brown ribs in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove ribs from oven.
- Turn the oven down to 350ºF.
- Pour all of the sauce over the ribs and put them back in the oven to bake for 1 ½ hours or until the ribs are glazed and gooey. Turn and baste every 20-30 minutes. There will be a lot of sauce, but it will thicken up as it cooks and coats the ribs.
Serving Size:½ lb.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 763mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 48g