Marinades For Baby Back Ribs

Make a tasty marinade for baby back ribs by mixing together ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup beef broth (or chicken broth), 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, and 3 peeled garlic cloves.

The recipe is simple: Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce and broth in a small bowl. Place the ribs in a resealable plastic bag with the marinade, and seal up the bag. Place in refrigerator to marinate overnight.

What Do You Soak Ribs in to Make Them Tender?

Soak ribs in apple cider vinegar for two hours. Remove from vinegar, pat dry, and coat ribs with rub evenly on all sides. Place meat-side up in a shallow baking dish, add enough water to coat the bottom of the dish, and wrap tightly with foil.

You’re going to want to make a double batch of these delicious marinades for baby back ribs. They’re made with a simple blend of brown sugar, soy sauce and apple cider vinegar, which seasons the meat while tenderizing it.

This is a simple marinade, but with big flavor. The brown sugar adds a unique sweetness and the soy sauce adds a rich, salty kick.

This marinade for baby back ribs is a delicious, easy way to create a flavorful crispy-skinned rib. Be sure to start your ribs in a cold oven to render the fat out of the ribs before applying this sauce.

A perfect blend of sweet, salty and tangy flavors, this marinade is great for any cut of pork.

How to Marinate Baby Back Ribs for Oven

Mix up a flavorful rib marinade—perfect for pork ribs, beef ribs, spare ribs, and more—that will produce rich, flavor-packed ribs. Read on for an easy pork rib marinade that will result in moist, tender meat and make waves at your next cookout.

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What Is a Marinade?

A marinade is an emulsion of oil, acids (like citrus juice or vinegar), and assorted spices and seasonings used to both tenderize and flavor meat. When home cooks steep ribs in a marinade for hours, it yields flavorful, tender meat.

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How to Use a Rib Marinade

Here is a step-by-step overview of how to use a rib marinade:

  1. 1. Make the marinade. Mix up a rib marinade with a balance of fats (like oil), acids (like vinegar), and seasonings (such as spices, herbs, and condiments like ketchup or barbecue sauce).
  2. 2. Prepare the ribs. Pat the ribs down with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Place the ribs in a shallow baking dish.
  3. 3. Marinate the ribs. Pour the marinade over the ribs in the shallow baking dish. Cover the baking dish, and transfer it to the refrigerator. Marinate the ribs for a few hours (or ideally overnight) before cooking with the method of your choice.

6 Ways to Cook Marinated Ribs

Bone-tender, succulent, eat-with-your-hands marinated ribs are a highlight of any well-rounded barbecue tray. You can use pork ribs for grilling and smoking, but you can also braise them or make them in a slower cooker. Popular methods for cooking marinated baby back–style ribs include:

  1. 1. Air-frying: Air-fry your pork ribs for crispy, caramelized ribs that don’t require a grill or oven. Allow the marinade to drip off the ribs slightly, then cook them over high heat in an air fryer basket.
  2. 2. Baking: Home cooks can use their ovens to make marinated ribs over high, dry heat, making this a convenient option that doesn’t involve an outdoor cooking setup. Reserve marinade for basting your ribs as they cook, which will infuse them with more flavor.
  3. 3. Braising: Braising your pork ribs low and slow in liquid results in succulent, fall-off-the-bone meat. First, brown them in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop, then cook them slowly on low heat in liquid, such as beef broth, vegetable stock, red wine, or barbecue sauce.
  4. 4. Grilling: This common method for preparing ribs involves cooking the meat on a high-heat grill until the surface is lightly charred and caramelized.
  5. 5. Slow-cooking: Slow-cooking pork ribs is a convenient, low-effort method to achieve tender meat. Simply place the ribs in the slow cooker with a marinade or BBQ sauce and cook over an extended period.
  6. 6. Smoking: This cooking method involves heating the pork ribs under low and slow indirect heat from wood smoke. Smoking ribs produces exceptionally juicy, tender meat infused with a smoky flavor.

Easy Recipe for Rib Marinade

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5 min


5 min


  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup beef broth, or chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 rack baby back ribs

Note: The total time does not include 12 hours and 30 minutes of inactive time.

  1. 1In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, brown sugar, soy sauce, broth, vinegar, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper until well combined.
  2. 2Place the baby back ribs in a shallow baking dish. Pour the marinade over the ribs and turn them over once to fully coat the meat. Cover the dish with plastic wrap.
  3. 3Place the ribs in the refrigerator and marinate overnight, flipping them occasionally. Before cooking, let the ribs rest on the countertop for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.

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