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.

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Comments 239

  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.

    1. Andy Fish

      A teaspoon works better than a knife. Either way removal of that membrane, sometimes called “silver skin” is critical for the best ribs you can serve!

  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. πŸ™‚

  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

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  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?

  14. James

    AMAZING, AMAZING,AMAZING!!! Thank you for such a wonderful, flavorful fail-proof recipe that is simple to make. I followed everything as written and used the Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce instead of my usual sauce.
    The flavor, sweetness and spicyness were perfect. This will be the only way I will serve my baby back ribs
    from now on. THANK YOU!!!!!

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    KUDOS TO YOU !!!!!

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  16. Tina

    I’ll be trying these tomorrow. I love your site and your recipes. My hubby and I are Vietnamese, transplanted to the States 40 years ago, and our daughters (13 and 17) love to cook and eat Asian food as much as we do. Your recipes, tips, and tricks help make it fun and easy! Thank you!!

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  17. Lyn

    I have a question..I’m planning to try your 3 rib recipes not all at same time, #1 FALL OFF THE BONE WITH SWEET CHILI SAUCE #2 KOREAN KALBI #3 ORANGE GLAZE
    All 3 recipes have different cooking methods. Since I want ribs to be as tender as possible, can’t I cook all 3 recipes the same way to achieve the most tender ribs? (I understand Korean should be put back in oven to let sauce caramelize . ) I will be using baby back or Louis ribs…. Your thoughts, please. Thanks

    1. Post

      Hi – Yes, you can cook them all the same way – use this recipe, then after cooking, apply the different glaze to the different ribs, let caramelize. How fun, a rib party!

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  18. Lyn

    Another thought…rather than putting ribs under broiler…have you ever finished them off on grill? I would think they would even be tastier….I’ll share my reviews after making them:)

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  19. Lyn

    I ended up making only 2 kinds of ribs…Korean was our favorite. I am making them this weekend for guests and serving with your Korean Glass noodles recipe..(When under broiler at end…one must be careful..my foil caught on fire)…I was watching carefully as you suggested so no major problem. I will lower rack next time. I will make ribs again with sweet chili sauce (using more sauce and serving sauce on side)…The Korean ribs is the WINNER!!!! Thanks for all your great recipes…:)

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  20. gere

    This is a 5 star plus recipe. I highly recommend it.

    What a wonderful way to cook ribs. I did them in a long Pyrex dish & in 4 hours they were “fall off the bone” ready as you said. I didn’t have the Sweet Chili sauce so substituted with plain Chili sauce, Bulls eye BBQ sauce, a little honey, dash of liquid smoke, great way to clean out fridge πŸ˜„

    I’ll try to find the Chili sauce you used, next time I have ribs.

    THANKS for posting such a super recipe πŸ˜‡

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  21. Kevin

    Jaden –

    Cooking ribs with this recipe for the fifth time … finally found the Mae Ploy chili sauce you suggested a few batches ago – great add-on to my long-standing dry rub.

    Thanks for the great dinner (three hours from now)!


  22. avian

    hey jaden , i just made these for the fam. Not only did they love them they were super easy to do! thanks for the recipe will definitely make them again real soon!

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  23. susanne

    If I only use 2 pounds of pork ribs can I put them in the oven for half the time? say like 2 hours?

    1. Post

      Hi Susanne – You can put them in the oven for 2 hours, but it won’t be as tender as the longer baking time. Oven time can be decreased for big hunks of meat, like a roast, chicken, turkey. For those types of meat, the smaller the piece (diamaeter), the less cooking time required. Think of it this way – it take longer for the oven’s heat to reach and cook the middle of a big fat roast than it does for a skinny, small roast.

      Ribs don’t have a lot of meat on them, They are flat, skinny things πŸ™‚ So, even if you halve the number of ribs, it doesn’t affect cooking time as much.

      That being said, I’ve done ribs for 1.25 hour and as long as they are cooked through – they are just fine, not as “fall off the bone” but just as delicious. To check for doneness, just use a knife and poke right next to the bone. Meat juices should run clear.

  24. Smitty

    I’ve made your recipe several times and it always turns out great and it’s also so easy! My ribs are always perfectly tender, moist and fall off the bone! I still struggle to get the membrane off so I usually ask my butcher to do it:) Unfortunately I’m the only one who loves the chilli sauce, so I baste enough for me and use a chipotle BBQ sauce for everyone else! Thanks so much for such a great recipe!

  25. Kelley

    Omg. Thank you sooooo much for this recipe! It was absolutely amazing. The meat literally fell of the bones. It was a huge hit! Thank you for the tip about removing the membrane. I hadn’t known about this. Wow what a great tip! Thank you again. Your an amazing cook ! : )

  26. Stephanie

    Loved these!! Will be making them again soon!! Love the sweet chili sauce, tired of barbecue sauce all the time!! Thanks!!!

  27. Jan archer

    Just a wee footnote , I tried these ribs some time ago and they were so dry when I took them out of the oven , decided to try again because figured I had done something wrong . Eureka moment , I’m in the UK and our ovens are Celsius , so everyone , oven temp 135 !!!! Not 275 . Mine are in the oven now so will post results .

  28. Mark

    Followed directions to a T used the sweet chili sauce you reccommended best darn ribs I have ever had my wife was very pleased have since shared with all my friends thanks for sharing

  29. Bob

    After searching for 10 years to find the best cooking recipe this is it. I’ve tried smoking, slow cooking on the grill, boiling then grilling, never came out as good as this. I had a plan to finish them off on the grill but they were so tender I had to use the broiler in the oven. Everybody loved them. And I just use the regular barbecue sauce from the supermarket. Can’t wait to try them with Jack Daniels spicy barbecue sauce. Thank you.

    1. Post

      Thanks so much Bob! We love Jack Daniels’ bbq sauce – made these ribs for the 4th. If you like to finish on grill, you can cook them for 2 1/2 hours slow and low. They’ll still be tender (though not completely fall off the bone), and will hold together enough for grill.

  30. Anneliese Meier

    You taught a class at Rolling Pin in Brandon many years ago and a version of this recipe is your cookbook. You TAUGHT me how to make from your cookbook and they ARE THE BEST TASTING!!!! So easy to do! Thank you.

    Need another cooking class from you soon……….

    1. Post

      Thank you Anneliese!! Great to hear from you again – I’ll let you know when we teach another class πŸ™‚

    1. Post

      Hi Pat! Yes! You can keep your BBQ on low, monitor the temperature. Put the ribs in a disposable aluminum pan, cover with aluminum foil. Cook low and slow in the BBQ grill for 2-4 hours. The longer you bbq, the more tender. To finish, brush with BBQ sauce. Turn BBQ to high heat. You’ll have to be very careful handling the ribs – they’ll be so tender they might fall off the bone! Use tongs and a spatula to lift the ribs out of pan and onto the hot grill. Just a couple of minutes is all they’ll need – keep an eye on them so that the ribs don’t burn!

  31. Drew

    These look so good!!

    It is really hot here in the afternoon. Can I cook them in the morning and then broil right before dinner?


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  32. Rachel

    These look really good. I never thought of making ribs before figuring they’re more 10 hours slow smoking stuff . I can’t wait to try it. I might not take off the membrane though, just make shallow cuts to separate the ribs. My family is of the gnawer type and would probably turn up their noses on fall of the bone meats.

    ‘You over cooked it!’ Lol!

  33. itswonger

    Hi, I am so excited to make these ribs! How would you reheat these? Also, can some of the recipe be made ahead? Thank you!

    1. Post

      All of this can be made ahead of time. When ready to eat, if the ribs are cold from being refrigerated, heat oven to 300F, covering ribs in tin foil and cook for 10-12 minutes until hot. Then, just slather on the Sweet Chili Sauce, broil until caramelized.

  34. Sharon Dailey

    I bought the Costco St. Louis ribs with a rub on it. Will these work to do this way? Will adding the sauce be too much spice? Plan to do tomorrow. Thanks

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  35. Lauren Adam

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet(plan to this weekend)….was wondering how much water(if any) to put in the bottom of the roasting pan πŸ™‚

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  36. Donald C Nelson

    kick-ass recipe…..membrane a little of a battle BUT worked out super great…..tender and moist…..fell of the bone…used sweet bay rays sweet and spicy…….will never order out again, especially when I can get twice the ribs for the same price…..many thanx and great info the wait for the first time was forever BUT now know the wait is all worth it…..again………thank you

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  37. John

    I tried it twice with my wife, and we both loved it. I made it tonight (St. Louis style ribs) when my son and his wife were visiting, and got raised eyebrows and critical comments during preparation. But during dinner, the potatoes got cold, and the veggies and salad ignored, as everyone seemed to be rushing to eat all the ribs that they could before they were gone, pausing only to say how wonderful they were. I had expected leftovers. Instead, I got “When can we do this again before we leave?”

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  38. Edward

    amazing recipe. left them in the oven for 5 hours. found the Mae ploy sauce abs it is wonderful. will not go out for ribs again!!!!

  39. Olivia

    HI Jaden ! Love your recipes !! Do you think the ribs could
    Be made in an instant pot instead without affecting the flavor ? Thank you

    1. Post
  40. Barbarainnc

    Looked for a recipe to cook ribs in the oven. Yours was the winner. Doing them your way. I have a sf bbq sauce, because we are watching our carbs. Thanks

    1. Post
  41. Jaime

    Question, if I’m doing 3 racks instead of 2, do I need to cook them longer than 4 hours???

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  42. Carolyn

    Making these for Father’s Day tomorrow; prepping tonight. First time I’ve ever made any kind of ribs (usually make “Lloyd’s” from the market). I’m so excited since there’s a running joke in the family about my cooking, although I sometimes make a huge hit & these look fail-safe! They will definitely become a family favorite!

  43. DB

    Excellent recipe. Made two batches with a specialty BBQ sauce and Mae Ploy sauce. Both were wonderfully delicious. Thanks for posting!

  44. Melissa Rossow

    Sounds amazing. I want to make these tonight. Do you think I could use my Staub Cast Iron Oval Cocotte(w/braising lid)to cook the ribs instead of a baking dish with aluminum foil?

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