The Ultimate Guide to Cooking Ribs in the Oven (and on the Grill) at 400 Degrees

Get ready to savor the most succulent ribs you have tasted with our ultimate guide to cooking ribs in the oven and on the grill at 400 degrees.
Delicious ribs baked at 400 degrees
Photo: Pexels

Do you want to make the most delicious, mouthwatering ribs in your kitchen? Our comprehensive guide provides all the information necessary for how to cook ribs at 400 degrees using both an oven and a grill.

With so many different types of ribs to select from, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your meal. Baby back ribs, St Louis-style ribs, country-style ribs, beef ribs and rib tips – each type offers its own unique flavor and texture. Furthermore, the cooking time may differ depending on what cut you choose. Let’s explore these options together and make sure that whatever you cook shines in taste as well as presentation!

Baking pork ribs in oven at 400 degrees
Credit: Cuisinefiend

Cooking Ribs in the Oven at 400 Degrees

Whether you’re dealing with beef or pork ribs, the process for cooking them in your oven at 400 degrees is always similar. Begin by preheating your oven to a warm and inviting 400-degree temperature. As that heats up, get out those ribs and remove the membrane (if necessary). Now is the best time to sprinkle on your favorite dry rub or marinade before putting them in the oven for delectable results.

When the oven is preheated, lay your ribs on a baking sheet or in an oven-safe pan and pop them into the hot oven. Baking with high heat at the beginning will help to sear the ribs and create a crispy exterior.

After the initial bake, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking the ribs for 1-3 hours (depending on the type of ribs you’re using) or until the ribs are tender. You can check the doneness of the ribs by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. The internal temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

It’s especially important to be mindful when dealing with pork ribs, as storing them incorrectly or undercooking can cause food poisoning. To avoid any risks, exclusively store your pork ribs in the refrigerator for maximum of 3-5 days prior to cooking them. This will help to ensure that the ribs are fresh and safe to eat.

Ribs with bbq
Photo: iStock

Tips for Oven-Baked Ribs

If you want to take your ribs up a notch, there are some helpful tips and tricks that can transform ordinary oven-cooked ribs into something truly special.

  • Use foil: Boost your ribs’ flavor and texture by wrapping them in foil during the last few minutes of cooking! Simply pull out your oven-baked ribs, tuck them into a layer of aluminum foil, then put it all back in the oven until they are cooked through. This simple step will help to lock in moisture and guarantee tenderness for every rib you serve.
  • Add liquid: For a burst of extra moisture and flavor in your ribs, pour some liquid into the roasting pan. Try apple cider, beer or broth, as these liquids will evaporate while cooking creating a fragrant steam that infuses into the ribs!
  • Use a barbecue sauce: For an irresistible glaze on your BBQ ribs, brush them with a delectable barbecue sauce during the last stages of cooking. Just make sure to watch closely as they bake, because if left too long in the oven, that gorgeous and sticky coating may easily burn.
Ribs baked in oven at 400 degrees
Photo: Getty Images

Cooking Ribs on the Grill

Cooking ribs in the oven is a reliable way to prepare them, but there’s something truly special about grilling them. The smoky flavor adds an extra layer of depth and complexity that can’t be recreated indoors.

To cook your own succulent barbecue ribs on the grill: preheat it to 400°F and place your prepared rack onto the grate for 25-30 minutes on each side until tender; use a meat thermometer to check that they’ve reached at least 145°F internally.

To infuse delicious BBQ sauce into your grilled ribs, similarly brush it on in the last few minutes of cooking to avoid burning. Additionally, if you’re seeking extra tenderness and moisture, wrap them up tightly with foil and place back on the grill for 20-30 more minutes.

Pork ribs baked on grill
Photo: Rbandmindy

No matter if you prefer to bake your ribs in the oven or barbeque them on the grill, make sure that they are given a few minutes of rest before serving – this will ensure that they are tender before serving. Plus don’t forget to add some vegetables for additional nourishment.


All in all, cooking ribs at 400 degrees in the oven or on the grill is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this classic barbecue favorite at home. With a little patience and some basic techniques, you can easily create ribs that are moist, tender, and full of flavor. So next time you’re craving ribs, give this ultimate guide a try and see for yourself just how amazing oven-baked or grilled ribs can be.

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