Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Chili Sauce

There aren’t very many recipes that can boast “2 ingredients” and taste better than fall off the bone baby back ribs smothered in sweet, sticky Thai chili sauce, which by the way, isn’t really all that spicy despite the name.

5-minutes hands-on and two ingredients: ribs and 1/2 cup of the sweet chili sauce. Salt and pepper don’t count, but even if you did count it, it’s still will be the best 4 ingredient-dish you can ever make.

Just a word on the ribs – there are 2 camps of rib-lovers:
a) meat fall off the bone camp
b) I want to gnaw and tear meat off the bone camp

I’m part of the first group, I enjoy tender, juicy, succulent meat that requires very little effort to pry from the bone. If you’re like me, you’ll love this recipe and I bet you’d never order ribs at a restaurant again.

Also, I’ve got a trick for you that will make the ribs even more tender.

How to make baby back ribs fall off the bone

This technique can be used with ANY type of barbeque sauce. If you want, you can also use a dry rub instead of the salt and pepper.

To feed 4 hungry people, start with about 5 pounds of baby back ribs. Actually, you can use the larger St. Louis or country style ribs if you want. Tender baby backs are my thing. The amount of ribs really doesn’t matter – throw in another rack if you’ve got more people.

Turn the rib over to the underside — see that layer of white membrane covering the ribs? You’ll want to remove that – it’s tough and stringy.

Take a butter knife, wedge it just underneath the membrane to loosen.

Pull the membrane up and off the bone.

Once you’ve got a section off, use your fingers to remove the rest – just peel it off.

See how thick and tough that membrane is? Removing this will make your ribs infinitely better. Sometimes this membrane is really thick (like mine) and sometimes it’s really thin and a little more difficult to remove. Try to get as much as you can.

Place all the ribs in a roasting pan, it doesn’t matter if they overlap. Season with salt on both sides.

Pepper on both sides.

If they overlap, I like to layer them like this.

Cover with double-thickness of tin foil. Bake at 275F for 4 hours or so.

After 4-ish hours, they’ll look like this:

Use a spatula to move them to a baking sheet.

Here’s sweet chili sauce. Mae Ploy is my favorite brand. Really, you can use any type of barbeque sauce, thick teriyaki sauce that you want. No need to stick to sweet chili sauce (but please, try it just once!)

Brush on the sweet chili sauce all over the ribs.

Be generous! Brush on a lot.

Now move your oven rack to the top 1/3 of the oven and broil for 5 minutes. Keep a good watch on ‘em! Don’t let them burn.

And that’s it! Baby Back Ribs with Sweet Chili Sauce.


Baby Back Ribs Fall off the Bone Recipe

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 5 Cook Time: 4 hours

You can use the larger St. Louis or country style ribs. If you'd like to use a dry rub, just it in place of salt and pepper. My kids love barbeque sauce, and I'll use this same technique and slather on bbq sauce instead of the sweet chili sauce.


5 pounds baby back ribs
salt & pepper
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce


1. Preheat oven to 275F. On the underside of the rib, remove the thin membrane and discard. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Place the ribs in a roasting pan, cover with double thickness of tin foil.

3. Roast for 4 hours or so. Discard foil. Use a wide, flat spatula to carefully lift the ribs onto a baking sheet. Spread the sweet chili sauce generously over the ribs.

4. Place oven rack near the top of the oven. Turn broiler on and broil the ribs for 3-5 minutes, or until the sweet chili sauce begins to caramelize. Make sure you don't burn the sauce, so keep a close eye on the ribs.

Comments 182

  1. Pingback: Baby Back Ribs That Fell Off the Bone | Black Horse, White Hall

  2. Diane

    Great recipe…In all the years I have made BBQ ribs I have never read anything about removing the membrane or instructions on how to do it correctly.. It certainly makes a difference! There is far less fat residue and the meat can absorb the sauce much better. Thank you for letting us know about this variation of preparation and your special sweet chili sauce.

  3. Angel Luecke

    I can’t believe how great this makes the ribs. Before now i have never been able to make ribs that were not tough and/or dry. Thank you for the recipe. I think i have shared it a dozen times. :-)

  4. Pingback: Fall off the bone ribs | Lonesome Lake House

  5. tom vogel

    Best recipe ever. Finally, I find a recipe with fall off the bone ribs and easy to make. Just as good as Texas roadhouse. Thank you

    1. Post
  6. Gord Potter

    Just tried it. Unbelievably awesome!!!!
    So tender,so tasty and fell of the bones. Thanks- could not be easier,

  7. Phil Dunn

    I’m in progress on these tonight. Will let you know how it goes. Great tip about taking the membrane off! That alone should make a huge difference.

  8. Kathleen Maddox

    Did this recipe twice, best rib recipe ever and butter knife, cheese knife idea so helpful in getting membrane off.

  9. Tim

    Awesome recipe, thank you for posting it. Made it for New Year’s and the family loved it. Meat fell off the bone and the sticky chilli sauce was delicious. My grocer didn’t have that brand but Frank’s Red Hot had a sweet chilli sauce and it worked great

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  10. Maru

    We made this recipe today. We used Carolina tango BBQ sauce instead of Thai chili sauce and grilled not broiled. It was AHHHHHmazing!!! They were super tender when we took out of oven!

  11. Terri

    These turned out so delicious! Invited a friend who is known for his meat cooking expertise and he quizzed me at length about my method/recipe. Love the tender, juicy morsels of succulent goodness!

  12. Lynn Leavitt

    These ribs are absolutely amazing. They are true fall-off-the-bone ribs and with the Mae Ploy Sweet Chilli Sauce added just enough heat and spice to make even a person who can’t eat spicy food smile. I have made these several times. Now that I know what I’m doing (results have never varied), I’m game to experiment a little with other spices and sauces. The secret is the 4 hours baking/steaming in the oven, sealed inside the foil. This recipe is truly a winner. BTW, the sweet chilli sauce can be found at Walmart and Cost Plus World Market, at least here in Southern Calif.

  13. michael

    Ok I tired this and enjoyed the taste but the meat was dry….

    I did exactly as stated and yet the meat was just dry….

    Any idea why?

    1. Post

      Hi Michael – did you cover the pan? If the meat is covered, at low temperature, it’s nearly impossible for the ribs to be dry. The meat cooks, releases steam, steam gets trapped in the pan, which then results in juices. Once it’s uncovered, the juices will evaporate and concentrate. But you are only uncovering to broil and brown.

      Another issue is your oven temp. Are you sure your oven was set to the correct temp?

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