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.

Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 239

  1. wenders

    This is an awesome recipe! I actually planned ahead this time and did as your recipe stated – to slow roast for the whole 4 hours. It was falling off the bones as I tried to baste it with sauce! Because my hubby wanted to grill, I had him grill part II instead of sticking it back in the oven with the sauce. We had the sweet chili sauce and bbq sauce on the side and just basted it with honey, because one of my kiddos is allergic to the sweet chili sauce (garlic) and the bbq sauce (food starch/corn). Next time I may slow cook for just 3.5 hours instead so that the meat doesn’t fall off the bone and into the coals! We love that the meat was fall of the bone! Easier to eat, nothing stuck between teeth, and I even took that thick membrane layer off too. Awesome, awesome. Thank you and happy 4th of July!

  2. Cat

    I am never a big fan of blogs .. I usually go straight to what I am looking for (recipes)and I am out.. I really enjoy your great recipes and your down to earth style.. I will be using your site more often … love it.. your inspiring… thank you…
    Mamma Cat

  3. Pingback: Oven Baked Ribs Recipe

  4. joe

    Great blog! I am using two racks that equal 3-3.5lbs. Should I use a shorter cooking time period? Like 2.5 – 3.5 hours? Thanks

  5. Teresa

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe and instructions. I made these tonight for dinner, and I felt like a real cook!! They turned out amazing, the flavour was wonderful, and so, so tender. Very well received by my family! I will definitely be trying more of your recipes. Thanks again!!

  6. Terese Tye

    we love your website and your cookbook!!
    I made this exactly as instructed last night for dinner and my husband said – wow dinner is so exciting at our house now, all day long I cant wait to find out what is for dinner. He is Chinese and I am Caucasian – it was a huge compliment that your cookbook and recipes would have him say that!!!!

    thank you!

  7. John

    Made this for my family last night and they loved it, I used Famous Dave Sweet and Spicy sauce. Best rims I ever made, we usually tried to make them on the grill and they alway turned out tough. Thanks

  8. Chris

    What an amazing cooking technique!! I had almost given up on cooking ribs altogether since I could never get them to fall off the bones, but then I ran into this recipe.

    If you want a little char on your ribs, bake them between 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I followed the exact baking technique for this recipe and when I tried to grill my ribs, they nearly fell off the bones and got stuck on the rack. Baking them to 4 hrs makes them soft and juicy enough to incorporate into a pulled pork sandwich.

  9. Jo

    GREAT. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Sauce – Couldn’t get any better.
    Thank you VERY MUCH. Some times, we like to chew on the bones with some meat. Would you just not remove the membrane or does that not work well?

  10. Liz

    I have made these 3 times now – twice with Soy Vay’s very, very teriyaki and today with my own homemade BBQ sauce. 3 out of 3 successes and for me as a single person, cooking mostly for just me – it is so easy to cut a rack and make just enough for 2-4 meals. Far easier than doing a lot of pulled pork – even though I can freeze it. Bottomline, LOVE this method – thank you!

  11. Christopher Austin

    Made these today. One of the tastiest tenderest things I have ever eaten. Might as well make twice as much next weekend.

  12. Pingback: Dad’s Perfect Father’s Day Meal

  13. Jay

    thanks, I never leave comments, but this helped me out so much and the ribs tasted great.

  14. Alice Olson

    I’ve made these several times and we love them. For the first time, I’m doing them for a dinner party and I’d love your advice about side dishes. With barbecue sauce, choosing accompaniments is easy. But with the sweet chile sauce, I”m thinking I need a little help.


  15. FDG

    Love this recipe! I’ve made it several times, but always struggled with that membrane. No more! Today I got out my citrus peeler, you know those cheap plastic things with a hook on one end and a flat handle on the other? That handle slides right under that membrane without a problem, lifts the entire section uo and you can grab it and peel it off the whole slab at once! Try it!

  16. Tito Tuason

    hi, just want to know where i can buy Mae ploy Sweet chili sauce? also, after 4 hrs in the oven, can i keep it in the freezer or ref and cook it on a later date? how long can i keep it? thanks

  17. SteamyKitchen

    You can get sweet chili sauce at most supermarkets in the Asian section. Mae Ploy is just a brand that I prefer. Otherwise any Asian market should have it.

    If you cant find, substitute with sweet plum sauce (also called duck sauce) mixed with a tablespoon of Asian chili sauce.

    Yes, after 4 hrs, you can wrap in tin foil and freeze for however long you want. When ready to cook, I unwrap still frozen (no need to defrost), place in pan and bake 400f for 15 minutes or so until hot. Then proceed to slather sauce and broil.

  18. John Schmelig

    Tried this last weekend for a family Sunday BBQ and they were a huge hit! I dry rubbed the ribs with John Henry’s East Texas Mojave garlic pepper seasoning, and cooked them outdoors in a gas grill at the lowest temp I could manage, which was about 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. I decided not to go longer because everyone was getting anxious from the delicious aroma wafting in the air, and they just looked ready. I slathered generously with Mae Ploy (since you asked so nicely to “please, try it just once!”), then removed the racks from the pan and cooked them over low flame just enough to carmelize on both sides. Yes, you need to be careful at this stage because they do flare up easily. Despite the shortened slow cooking time, the meat still did fall off the bone reasonably enough – no gnawing required – and I have to say they were probably the best ribs I’ve ever made. Since I still have another half bottle of Mae Ploy left over, I will absolutely do this again. Next time, using the indirect heat method on my Weber charcoal grill with soaked hickory wood chips. Thanks for the recipe! Glad I stumbled across your site.

  19. lisa barrett

    I was able to find the Mae Ploy at Walmart in the Chinese section and tried this recipe. The hot/sweetness of the sweet chilli sauce was a great complement to the meaty taste of the ribs. To add a little extra sweetness to the chilli sauce I added a couple of teaspoons of Lyle’s golden syrup to the sauce in a saucepan and then brought the sauce and the syrup up to near boiling and then removed from the heat. This is only for people who like the chilli sauce sweeter.

    The cooking method shown here cannot be beat – I always try to keep the tinfoil as tight as I can on top of the Pyrex dish I use – too hold in the moisture.

    Really good ribs can be cooked with this recipe with or without the BBQ or Sweet chilli sauce – just use whatever you want on those slow cooked ribs and you cannot go wrong.

  20. Pingback: Best BBQ Ribs Recipe Roundup : Bless This Recipe

  21. JR Nolds

    I have cooked many rib dishes over the years. This was the simplest and MOST DELICIOUS of all. Everyone at my party raved about the tenderness and flavor of the ribs and wanted the recipe. Thanks for sharing it……now I have passed it around :0)

  22. wilma

    A search for Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce recipes brought me to your web sit and this recipe. What a find! This is the simplest, most yummy ribs recipe ever! I bought St. Louis cut ribs and used sweet chili sauce on half, homemade BBQ sauce on the rest. Both were great but the Mae Ploy sauce was everyone’s favorite. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the world!

  23. lindy

    Have you ever successfully doubled this recipe? If so how did you do it? Can you layer the ribs in the roaster or do you suggest using 2 roasters?

  24. living a meaningful life

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all.
    However just imagine if you added some great photos or videos
    to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this site could definitely be one
    of the most beneficial in its field. Excellent blog!

  25. Alice

    We always make a double batch and reheat the left-overs for the next day. We think they are even better the second day.

  26. Alice

    For the initial cooking there’s no reason you couldn’t make as many as you can fit in a pan. The challenge would be removing them without letting them fall apart as you do, so be careful with that. Of course, under the broiler, you’ll need to do more than one batch, as each rack section must be sauced and the sauce topping broiled.

  27. Pingback: Baby Back Ribs Fall off the Bone Recipe | Cool Cooking School

  28. led lantern

    Link exchange is nothing else except it is only placing the other person’s webpage link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar in favor of you.

  29. Pingback: 15 Recipes of Delicious Food - Dreamer Attraction

  30. Dave Riley

    Wow these look fantastic,I as others have said, generally end up with tough ribs,so have some in the oven now with your recipe and looking forward to another 3 hours when I uncover them,I’m sure they will be great !

  31. Suzie

    Saving this recipe to my favorties. So glad I found it too. Wonderful. I made my own sweet chili sauce. Thanks again for the recipe.

  32. hurom juicer

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon
    every day. It’s always interesting to read through content from other authors and practice something from their websites.

  33. Chef Lisa

    I LOVE Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce – must be great on ribs; I’ll know soon! I always say you can use it on anything, even your tooth brush and teeth!!! Can’t wait to have me some ribs!!

  34. instant tent

    Hello there I am so thrilled I found your web site,
    I really found you by error, while I was researching on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now
    and would just like to say many thanks for a marvelous post and a all
    round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment
    but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more,
    Please do keep up the excellent b.

  35. mrtt

    meat didn’t fall off the bone. It lost so much juice that the gummy meat shrunk to half its original size, that meant I only needed a thin incision on each to separate the bone from the overly stretched gummy meat.

    1. JR Nolds

      That is mysterious! What kind of meat did you use. Every time I make this, people go crazy for it.
      Sorry you had a bad experience.

  36. scarceattorney310.beeplog.com

    Their biggest threats are smaller, newer, and local brands that are entering the
    market by selling their products online and building a loyal market base through social media.
    The main tool used herein is a responsive web design that facilitates.
    How does a small business owner effectively market their business online
    when they are trying to run their business on a day to day basis.

  37. JP

    Thank you. I can’t remember ever having made ribs before! The directions with photos for each step and having each step separated by the photos was so helpful. I am recovering from an illness that affects my brain so sometimes it is hard for me to take in a whole recipe!! Want to come to supper at our house! Thank you for the tasty rib recipe.

  38. Christy

    So glad I decided to use your recipe. We had them for Christmas Eve dinner with rice and pickled cucumbers. They turned out great. Already planning to have friends over in January and use this recipe again.

    Thanks for the pictures and details!

  39. fred

    I don’t have that many metal pans, but I have to cook for a lot of people and have a lot of glass pans/dishes,
    will glass work or is metal the best?

  40. Pingback: Melt in Your Mouth Ribs Recipes - MotivaNova

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *