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. Heidy

    We love Mae Ploy chili sauce, and it is a staple in our house. I have never thought about putting in on ribs, though. Sounds like a crowd-pleaser….Thanks for posting!

  2. Jean

    Another Yummy looking recipe. Thanks!
    I have to stop checking your blog, I pretty much have to make every thing you post. LOL
    Went out this afternoon purposly to find this sauce and I did, Yippee! I was even thinking to put on chicken wings, Yum.

  3. joudie's Mood Food

    I love the st louis ribs, as i love the extra meat on the bone. They are so good. I have not had them since last winter as they just remind me of that time of year. Yum, I cant wait for winter now i hav eseen this. And the sweet chilli sauce looks sooooo gooood!

  4. Faythe

    I will have to go track down some beef ribs to try out this recipe. It looks absolutely lovely, Jaden.

  5. AGinTO

    You take the most beautiful food photos EVER! And I’m in the first camp with you… I want my meat to fall off the bone somewhere between the plate and my mouth! LOL

    Made You Look Natural Skincare

  6. Jen da Purse Ho

    mmm must try. my grandma made some ribs last week that were freaking DELICIOUS and when i asked her how she did it, it’s very similar to your recipe except she uses honey instead of the chili sauce. and she didn’t cook it *as* long or at as low a temp as you did. ok …i guess it’s not that similar. LOL

  7. Everyday Mommy

    Okay…so I popped into our little Asian market that’s just around the corner and grabbed some sweet chili sauce. I couldn’t wait to try it so…I put it on a hotdog. A Nathan’s All-Beef dog. It was FABuLOUS!

  8. Cheryl Dolby

    I tried the rib recipe and found it to be the best ribs I have ever eaten! They were moist and had a wonderful flavor from the Thai sauce. My family were here to sample them and hands down, everyone said they were the best yet. I don’t know where you learned to remove the membrane at the bottom of the ribs but you were 100% right about it. They were so tender as a result of it.

    Thanks so very much!


  9. Vicki (piggledy)

    That looks just great! I’m fixing “Lazy Chicken” tonight, and will finish it off with the chili sauce. I agree, the sauce is wonderful, and not so spicy. For folks who think chili sauce is too exotic, I think you’ll find it nearly everywhere. It really is nearly as commonly found as peanut butter, I swear. Even in little old Portland, OR! Have you ever had chili sauce on rice? Very simple, very good!

  10. wendy m

    I happen to be making ribs tonight, with whatever leftover bbq sauce is in the fridge. I like to gnaw meat off the bone, but for the rest of my family, the fall off the bone would be most desirable. I will have to get some more ribs now and some sweet chili sauce and give this a try. As long as the meat is tender, I’m willing to try this slow bake method, but I just have to remember to plan ahead! Thanks for the recipe!

  11. Cindy

    I made these today and they were incredible and easy! I used both the sweet chili sauce and regular BBQ sauce. The sweet chili sauce was so much better!

    My baby back ribs didn’t have the membrane on the back.

  12. Susan

    Made these last night and when they were done, wrapped them back up in foil and let them cool overnight on the stove. Then sliced them up and put them back in the oven at 350 this morning for a half hour to warm them back up. After that into a crock pot for a potluck at work. Super easy and everyone loved the ribs. Had to share the recipe with a few people. I use sweet chili sauce as a dip for your egg rolls (another great recipe by the way!) and lumpia but never thought about using it as a glaze for ribs. Excellent! Next time will try finishing them off on the grill. Thanks!

  13. Rachelle

    Oh yum! I love that sweet chili sauce (Trader Joe’s for cheap!) will have to try it on ribs. I made ribs this way, the first time not long ago (roasting), we loved them! I used to just throw them straight onto the grill, totally ruining them, but no more!

  14. keropokman

    I love ribs! It’s one of those things that I can eat and eat and eat!

    Looking at your pull out the membrane, if only we can pull the fats out near our tummy the same way! LOL.

  15. Julia

    Jaden, these were AMAZING! I made 2 slabs of St. Louis style ribs last night, and everyone raved about them. Great job as usual!!

  16. Chris

    You have a perfectly good Big Green Egg but cook ribs in an oven. I’m not talking to you anymore.

    Just kidding.

    I love the technique you demonstrated for the membrane removal, that’s the way I do it too and it is so much easier. It doesn’t work as well on spare ribs though, I still have to remove those the hard way starting at one end.

  17. Kim Y

    Great recipe and I love the chili sauce idea….but you do still have your Big Green Egg don’t you???? These ribs would be super delicious cooked on your BGE…. :=))

  18. Vinh T

    Hi, great recipe. Will try it this weekend.
    Question: If I don’t have 4 hours to bake in the oven, can I just boil them since that only take 30 mins or less then throw them in the oven to crispy them up.

    Your website is helpful and wonderful. Thank you.

  19. SteamyKitchen

    Well, no it won’t be the same. The secret to this recipe is low and slow. When you boil them, you’re cooking the ribs fast and they’ll be tough.

  20. Lucy T.

    I’ve got some wild boar ribs to cook and wonder if this technique would work for them. Have you cooked wild boar before?

    I like the simplicity of this! Will try soon. Thanks!

  21. Kim in MD

    Hi Jaden! I just wanted to let you know that I used this cooking technique for my ribs yesterday (for my Asian themed party for 25 people). I used your Orange Asian BBQ glaze recipe instead of the sweet chili sauce and they were TO DIE FOR! No kidding- guests were licking their fingers and pouring the extra BBQ sauce on their rice…it was AMAZING! This will be my “go to” recipe for making ribs in the future. Thanks for sharing your passion for great food with us! πŸ™‚

  22. Theodora Csabon

    Delicious. Didn’t use the sauce specified but mixed a batch of ketchup, soy soy, worchester, steak sauce, etc. and lightly brushed over the ribs. I could have cut the timing by a half hour or so as they were literally falling off the bones.

  23. Connie

    Hi Jayden! This looks fabulous. Question – you think I can do chicken wings this way? How should I proceed?


  24. Caribbean Recipe Kits

    Removing the membrane is a great cooking tip for ribs, after looking at these pictures I feel like I’ve died and gone to rib heaven, pork is one of my favourite meats.

  25. Danmy

    We tried this recipe today and the ribs were delicious! Thanks for the great tips on how to make them “fall off the bone” – definitely a technique I won’t forget!

  26. Pingback: p. 36: Asian BBQ Sauce « CB's Cooking Adventures

  27. Alex

    We served this recipe exactly at a potluck over the weekend and it was far and away the most popular dish. Thanks.

  28. Susan

    I’ve never made ribs before and after I saw this recipe, I attempted it this past weekend! I LOVE Mae Ploy! The ribs turned out great, fall off the bone and all! They tasted great. Thanks for sharing this!

  29. Matt Kay

    That is a super simple rib recipe. I cook my ribs in a similar fashion (in the oven, sauce them) except I usually finish mine on the grill unless it’s raining. πŸ™‚

    I’ll have to try that sauce the next time I make them though. I’ve already sourced it out and bought it. I’m a chile-head so…


    Matt Kay

  30. IndoHermit

    HEY ANNIE! (or anyone) Just how do you make ribs in a pressure cooker?? Please do tell…Sky-high electricity rates and a counter-top oven make this 4-hour job prohibitive in Indonesia…hope to hear from someone. Looks fabulicious Jaden. Thanks!

  31. Pingback: home sweet home « East Coast Girl in a West Coast World

  32. Lynne

    Yummmmm – just took these out of the oven!! Had to make them ahead as will be working today, but I think they’ll heat up fine for supper, don’t you??

  33. Carrie

    Wow, these are perfection well, were. Think I ate 5 ribs. Hope the guys get home soon. Good thing I have five days til my Weight Watcher weigh in. lol! Definitely going to be in my meal rotation. I’ve had that sauce in my pantry since my son told me how good it was then ran across this recipe. Can’t wait to find other uses for it.

    Thank you for sharing this great recipe.

  34. Vix

    I’m not generally a big fan of sweet chilli sauce, but damn this looks good. Might just have to try it out!

  35. Amy

    I just have to say that this recipe is amazing! I never knew you could get such tender ribs in the oven. I’ve made them a few times now with different dry rubs and sauces and they are great every single time.

    I sent my mom the recipe and she got rave reviews as well!

  36. Dave

    I have not yrt tried the recipe, but has anyone tried cooking it in a pressure cooker for the first stage. This is how I normally cook my ribs, as it falls off the bone, but does not take all day. Follow the instructions until the cooking in the oven, but instead put in a pressure cooker. You can stack them up, it does not matter, but you do need some liquid in the bottom of the pan to make steam. Maybe apple juice for this recipe. I use a mixture of 1/2pint of water, with 2 table spoons hoisin sauce, 3table spoons of good soy sauce, 1 tea spoon of English mustard ( it’s not hot after cooking) and some worcester sauce, plus one star anise, cook on high pressure for 18 mins. The ribs will be perfect and you can also use the juices to make a lush gravy.

  37. chris herring

    Yes, I never have 4 hours to prepare a meal and use my pressure cooker from breakfast (oatmeal) lunch (risotto even pasta -I live in Italy) and dinner. I agree with you, the p.c. renders the fat and leaves the meat literally falling off the bone tender. If I’m in a super hurry I just you a can of beer and a star anise pod. It imparts a underlying flavor to the meat that marries well with the sauce.

  38. Joe and Michelle

    AMAZING. Our guests all said these were the best ribs they EVER had. We used sweet baby rays BBQ sauce and it was amazing. We’ll definitely have to try the sweet chili sauce next time. You just pick up the ribs and all the meat falls off in one piece, it looks like you washed the bones clean. Thank you!!

  39. Pingback: Fall-Off-The-Bone Baby Back Barbecue Ribs « Le Food Snob

  40. Lynn

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My four year old daughter requested “baby back ribs” for her birthday party last Sunday. I was not sure that I could pull it off, given that I had never made them before. Thanks to your fabulous explanation (pictures are so helpful!), they were fall off the bone delicious. Rave reviews.

    We did three racks, one traditional bbq, one the thai sweet chili sauce, and one korean bbq sauce. All were delicious. Thanks again!

  41. Eilleen

    I had my grocery store butcher cut the baby backs right down the middle lengthwise right through the bones. Then I cooked them as usual. The ribs came out fantastic and the small width made them perfect for the appetizer table.

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