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Vinegar and Spice Baked Baby Back Ribs

Fall off the bone tender, these Vinegar and Spice Baked Baby Back Ribs are super easy to make and can be enjoyed year round. These definitely deserve a place at your table!

Two racks of baby back ribs sitting on a baking sheet that have been baked. The baking sheet is covered with foil.

I don’t know why but ribs always seem like “special occasion” food. They are a bit pricier than say, burgers or chicken but they are really very easy to make, especially baked baby back ribs.

Smoking ribs gives them an undeniably lusty flavor, but baking them in the oven is a super easy alternative that can be done year round. The vinegar, brown sugar and lemon zest create a tangy rub with a warm spice kick from the paprika and allspice.

As the ribs bake in the oven the meat becomes so tender it falls off the bone. See those deeply caramelized crusty edges? That’s what I’m living for right now.

They benefit from a long marinade with the dry rub, so plan ahead and give them 24 hours to soak up the seasonings. This longer marination time also helps tenderize the meat.

Come summer, try them outside too. Marinate them and bake them wrapped in foil per the instructions but then finish them on the grill instead of unwrapping and finishing them in the oven—no smokiness would be lost on these bad boys.


All the ingredients to make baked baby back ribs including pork baby back ribs, lemon zest, garlic, spices, salt, and more.

What is the secret to terrific ribs? A super flavorful spice rub. This one hits all the notes: sweet brown sugar, tart lemon, robust fresh garlic, and warm spices.

How To Make Them!

This recipe takes very little prep work but does have a long marinating time, so plan ahead. For best results, give the ribs overnight to marinate in the vinegar and spice rub.

step one

Prep the racks of ribs. Remove the membrane that covers the back of the ribs by grabbing it tightly on one end and peeling it off. Sometimes it is hard to pull off, using a paper towel can help. Occasionally the membrane will already be removed, especially if you buy it from behind the counter at a butcher shop. Set the ribs on a baking sheet.

Two racks of baby back ribs sitting on a baking sheet. A hand is pulling a membrane off the back of one of the ribs.

step two

Marinate the ribs overnight. Combine the brown sugar, vinegar, lemon zest, garlic, salt, paprika, black pepper, and allspice in a medium bowl. Rub all over both sides of the ribs. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

A glass bowl filled with red sauce sitting on a white counter with a spoon in the sauce.

step three

Bake ribs. Wrap the ribs tightly with aluminum foil and cook ribs at 325°F for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 45 minutes or until ribs are tender and browned. I line the baking sheet with foil after I unwrap them to help with clean up.

Two racks of ribs wrapped in foil sitting on a baking sheet.

step 4

Remove foil. Remove the foil and continue to bake another 45 minutes or until the meat is shrinking back on the bone and browned.

Two racks of ribs sitting on a baking sheet covered with foil that are getting ready to be baked.

step 5

Cut and enjoy! Slice each rack in half for four large servings or slice into individual ribs and serve hot with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Three individual ribs coated in barbecue sauce sitting on a wood cutting board with a white bowl of sauce.

What Makes These The Best Baked Baby Back Ribs?

  1. Tender! Fall off every bone tender.
  2. Easy! Ovenbaked baby back ribs are so much easier to make than smoking or grilling them. You really can’t mess these up.
  3. The spice rub + vinegar marinade hits every cravable note you need in good ribs.
  4. Wrapping them first in foil allows the ribs to basically baste in their own sauce then when they are nice and tender you unwrap them and get those golden chewy edges for perfect ribs every time.
  5. Excellent dinner, even more excellent appetizer. These tender ribs make awesome party food, just serve with your favorite bbq sauce and lots of napkins.

Baked Baby Back Ribs FAQ’s

Two racks of ribs sitting on a foil-lined baking sheet after being baked.

Do I really need to marinate the ribs overnight? No, you don’t have to but the longer the marinade sits on the ribs the more tender and flavorful they will be. Give these oven baked ribs at least a few hours with the marinade if you can’t do overnight.

What kind of ribs are best? I like baby back ribs the best because they are more tender than spare ribs. If you prefer spare ribs you could use them with this recipe, however they will take a bit longer to cook.

What about the sauce? The vinegar and spice rub on these ribs is so delicious you do not need sauce in my opinion, but if you want to serve them with barbecue sauce I’m a big fan of the Copper Line BBQ sauces and Cattelmen’s never disappoints either.

Can I freeze them? I don’t think you’ll have enough leftovers to freeze these ribs and I don’t really recommend it. You can reheat the leftovers wrapped tightly in foil at 350°F for 30 minutes or until warmed through or even eat them cold—yum!

What To Serve With Them

Three ribs sitting on a wood cutting board. One is topped with barbecue sauce sitting next to a white bowl with sauce in it.

Unless you are serving these as a party appetizer, you can’t just eat ribs alone. Here are some of my favorite sides to serve with them.

More Family-Friendly Dinner Recipes To Try!

Don’t Wait To Make These Ribs

Get those babies marinating ASAP! When you try it, let me know how it went! Share a photo and tag me on Instagram using @katesbestrecipes so that I can see (don’t forget to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating)!

Two racks of ribs sitting on a foil-lined baking sheet after being baked.

Baked Baby Back Ribs

Author: Kate
Looking for an amazing baked baby back rib recipe? This is it! Marinated with vinegar and spices like paprika, allspice, lemon zest and baked until tender.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Marinating Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 208kcal



  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed lemon zest from about 4 medium lemons
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 4 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 full racks baby back pork ribs about 5 pounds
  • Barbecue sauce, for serving optional


  • Remove the thin skin that lines the back of each rib and discard. Place remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Coat ribs evenly with rub on both sides, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Cover each rack separately in their own foil packet and place both racks side-by-side on a baking sheet. If you don't have a baking sheet big enough to fit both racks together, use two baking sheets.
  • Bake ribs 45 minutes. Open the foil packets and spread the foil out so it covers the baking sheet. Bake the ribs uncovered another 45 minutes or until tender enough that a fork easily penetrates the meat and it's caramelized and browned.
  • Slice racks of ribs in half for four generous portions or slice each rib individually for an appetizer. Serve with barbecue sauce and lots of napkins.


In support of this small business, Kate’s Best Recipes earns revenue in a few different ways. Several sponsored posts are published each month. I also earn an affiliate commission on the sales of products I link to— there are a few of those links in this post. I only feature items I genuinely love and personally use on a regular basis. This commission is an arrangement between the retailer and Kate’s Best Recipes (readers never pay more for products). This income allows me to run the site. Thank you for reading!

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  1. I cook ribs on the grill mostly…I recently tried St Louis style ribs with my ‘braised pork-chops buffalo style’ recipe. Thought I’d gone over the top, and it was indeed crazy-licious! It’s hard to mess up a good cut + good ingredients combined with good cooking technique: I like your page so far as I’ve seen because there’s a little adventure here, but with a good foundation! I have a single rack of pork loin back ribs, and I think I’ll try this marinade then finish on a smoky grill, sounds good and a bit different.
    Really enjoyed the braised beef in red wine. I was cleaning out the vegetables and they all went in the pot. I wasn’t really familiar with braising beef coated in flour, used to cornstarch, so the braising temp was too high and some of the flour burned. It didn’t ruin the flavor, but I had to spoon out any of the loose flour that had charred — lesson learned….