These succulent oven-baked beef back ribs are next-level with a sweet-tangy maple bourbon glaze. If you’re a fan of prime rib bones, these beef ribs are for you. Easy prep with a low and slow cooking process.
Meat enthusiasts who love well-marbled, richly flavored meat on the bone will relish these delicious ribs. If, however, you are a fan of lean meat with little to no fat and no bones, give this recipe a pass.
What to expect
- Rich, higher-fat, meaty flavors and tender meat. The maple bourbon glaze adds earthy sweetness with a slight tang.
- The ribs take little time to prep (with just 7 ingredients) and a long time to cook (3-4 hours).
- Caveman-style, messy eating.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Beef ribs: Either buy beef back ribs in a rack (with the ribs attached) or as single ribs. Costco sells the single ribs that I use for this recipe. The rack tends to be a bit juicer.
Rub: Use your favorite dry rub. I have tried BBQ rub, Montreal steak seasoning and Everything Bagel seasoning – they all work well. You can also make your own rub (see recipe notes).
Glaze: The glaze ingredients include pure maple syrup, bourbon, Dijon mustard, garlic powder and apple cider vinegar.
- brown sugar instead of maple syrup
- pork spare ribs or baby back ribs instead of beef ribs (these will need less cooking time)
- lemon juice or white wine vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
Variations: Instead of the maple bourbon glaze, try a BBQ sauce (any kind) or teriyaki sauce. Or skip the glaze altogether.
Tip about cooking time
The total time for cooking the beef ribs will depend on the thickness of the meat on the bones. I find 3 hours is usually sufficient, but you might need or prefer 3 1/2 to 4 hours, depending on the texture you like. Check them after 3 hours.
Ask the butcher to remove the thin membrane (silver skin) on the back of the ribs for you. Or buy the ribs from Costco with the membrane already removed.
Make the full beef ribs recipe a few hours or up to two days ahead, then reheat the ribs, well covered, in a low-heat oven. Cover them well so they don’t dry out. Cooked ribs will last in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for 6 months.
What to serve with maple bourbon ribs
FAQs on beef back ribs
The best beef ribs have a lot of meat on them. To save money, some grocery stores will sell beef ribs almost shaved to the bone. Avoid those. Buying a rack of ribs will keep the ribs a bit juicier when cooking, but if you cover the pan of individual single ribs very well, they will be fine.
Silver skin is a thin membrane or connective tissue covering the back (bone side) of the beef ribs. Removing it allows the seasoning to penetrate the ribs and make them more tender when eating. Here’s a video on how to remove the membrane from ribs. Or ask the butcher to do it for you.
I figure 2 beef ribs per person if serving a couple of sides with them because the ribs are very rich. For big eaters, count on 3 per person.
More rib recipes
- mouthwatering sous vide beef ribs
- pork loin back ribs (parboil, bake, instant pot)
- pork ribs with peach BBQ sauce
- sous vide pork ribs
- Korean beef short rib recipe (sous vide) – these are boneless beef ribs
- sous vide short ribs recipe (boneless beef)
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Beef Back Ribs With Maple Bourbon Glaze (Baked)
- 3 1/4 pounds beef back ribs (rack of individual ribs)
- 3 tablespoons dry rub, Note 1
Maple Bourbon Glaze, Note 2
- 1.2 cup real maple syrup (or brown sugar)
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice or white wine vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 tsp granulated garlic)
- Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper and/or cinnamon (I use both)
- HEAT OVEN to 275F/135C. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup.
- PREPARE BEEF RIBS: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs, Note 3. Sprinkle a dry rub all over the ribs and rib it in. Place ribs in single layer on prepared pan, meat side down. Wrap ribs on pan well with heavy foil on top (or a double layer of regular aluminum foil). You don't want steam to escape.
- BAKE RIBS: Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until meat if very tender. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat on the bones.
- MAKE GLAZE: While ribs are baking, place glaze ingredients in a small saucepan on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes until sauce has reduced and is slightly thickened.
- GLAZE AND FINISH RIBS: Remove ribs from oven. Turn them over with meat facing up. Brush glaze on top and sides of the ribs. Turn oven to broil and place an oven rack close to the top. Broil ribs for 3-4 minutes until bubbly and starting to brown. If you have additional sauce left, brush it on before serving.
- Dry rub options: Use your favorite rub. BBQ rub, Montreal steak seasoning and Everything Bagel seasoning all work well. Or make your own rub – here’s a dry rub recipe (you can cut the recipe in half).
- Glaze variations: Instead of the bourbon glaze, you can use a store-bought sauce of glaze such as teriyaki, BBQ sauce, sweet chili sauce, bulgogi sauce, etc.
- How to remove membrane on back of ribs: Removing it allows the seasoning to penetrate the ribs and make them more tender when eating. Here’s a video on how to remove the membrane from ribs. Or ask the butcher to do it for you. TIP: Costco ribs usually have the membrane already removed.
- Make ahead:
- To make a earlier in the day: bake the ribs, then doing the glazing step just before serving.
- To make 1-2 days ahead: bake the ribs (without the glaze step), cool and refrigerate well covered. Reheat: Bring to room temperature and glaze ribs. Place in a 500F/260C oven for about 6-8 minutes or until heated through.
- Freeze: ribs can be frozen for 3 months in an airtight container or ziploc bags.
- Leftovers: will last in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for 6 months. Reheat, well covered, in a low-heat oven. Or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Cover them well so they don’t dry out.