Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe

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Sit back and let the anticipation build as you make Dutch-Oven Ribs—a low-maintenance, finger-licking recipe that leads to fall-off-the-bone delight.

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe featured image above

The Dutch oven has revolutionized my kitchen. Yours too? I’m not surprised. It is perhaps the most versatile piece of equipment in my kitchen. Before slow cookers became de rigueur, everyone had a Dutch oven. And why not? You could cook, bake, and broil with them, use them on the stove or throw them in the oven. No matter the dish, you could easily incorporate a Dutch oven into your recipe.

Ribs are kinda like Dutch ovens. You can bake them, broil them, barbecue them, fry them, and yes, make them in Dutch ovens, which is what we’re doing today! The reason Dutch ovens and ribs go so well together is that Dutch ovens are ideal for recipes that require long cooking times at low heat. They’re similar to slow cookers in this regard. Ribs, in order to get that juiciness and fall-off-the-bone tenderness, need to be cooked at low heat for a long time. Hence why the two are the perfect pair.

With this particular recipe, we’re going with one of my favorite rubs. Don’t be intimidated if the ingredient list seems a bit long; you’ll likely already have many of them in your pantry. Once you’ve applied them to the meat, sit back and relax as the Dutch oven does its thing!

Why are They Called Dutch Ovens?

No one can really totally agree on this one. Still, there are a number of theories. The first, perhaps the obvious one, is that early Dutch traders were known for dealing in heavy, cast-iron pots with tight-fitting lids. They sold them throughout Europe and the association stuck. Others believe the Germans were responsible for bringing it to America and that the name is really just an Anglicized (i.e., butchered) version of Deutsch, which is German for German. No matter its origins, the Dutch oven continues to be used regularly in modern kitchens, a testament to its usefulness and versatility.

What Kind of Ribs Should I Use?

That’s a big question. First, you have your choice of beef or pork. Beef is generally larger with a more robust flavor. It’s also more expensive. Pork, on the other hand, has a milder taste and tends to be smaller, which means a shorter cooking time. I like to think of it like pork is ideal for midweek meals, while beef is reserved for weekends when I have more time to spend in the kitchen and want to prepare a “fancier” meal. As for cut, you have baby-back ribs, which are short and meaty, and spare ribs, which comes from around the pig’s belly, are bigger and, because they are fattier, have more flavor than the baby-back variety. There are other varieties but these two are the most common ones.

Ingredients

  • 1 2-pound rack of ribs
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp ground cilantro
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • ½ orange (optional)
Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe ingredients

How to Make Dutch-Oven Ribs – The Steps

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 275ºF then use a sharp knife to slide it under the membrane and peel it off the bottom of the ribs. Cut the ribs into sizes that will fit into your Dutch oven. 

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe step 1

Step 2: Mix the brown sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, dried oregano, garlic powder, mustard powder, cilantro, salt and pepper together in a bowl to make your rub. Rub half of it all over the ribs.

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe step 2

Step 3: Add the barbecue sauce and beef stock to a bowl with the rest of the rub and mix it all together. 

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe step 3

Step 4: Place the ribs into the Dutch oven and then pour the barbecue sauce mix over them. Then pop the orange half into the pot. Cover with the lid and place it into the oven to bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours.

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe step 4

Step 5: Once the ribs are cooked and falling off the bone, take them out and squeeze the orange over the ribs. Coat the ribs in more sauce from the pot and serve.

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe step 5

Top Tips For Perfect Dutch-Oven Ribs

  • Use high-quality, marbled meat for the best taste.
  • Remember to remove the membrane so that the rub can penetrate the meat.
  • Don’t rush the cooking process by turning up the heat. It’s because of the low temperature that the meat will stay juicy and fall off the bone.
  • Let the ribs rest after cooking so that the juices have a chance to be redistributed.
  • Use a meat thermometer to guarantee the ribs are done. They need to reach 145°F, though I recommend letting them attain an internal temperature of 190°–203°F for that perfect tenderness.
Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe featured image below

FAQs

What size Dutch oven should I use?

One that’s big enough to hold all your ribs! A 5.5 quart Dutch oven should suffice. And the Dutch oven will also come in handy when cooking other, irregularly shaped cuts of meat.

Do I have to keep the ribs covered?

If you want tender ribs that fall off the bone, yes. It keeps in the moisture, which contributes to that ideal tenderness. Also, it keeps them from drying out.

How will I know when the ribs are done?

You can either use a meat thermometer (see the ‘Tips & Tricks’ section for more) or scrape the meat with a fork. If it easily pulls away from the bone, there’s a good chance they’re ready.

Do I need to flip the ribs?

Typically, when you are cooking at such low heat, you don’t need to flip the meat.

What can I use instead of the orange?

If citrus isn’t your thing then maybe try adding vegetables. Onions, garlic, and potatoes can subtly impact the taste of the ribs. Just be sure there is enough juice to keep the meat from drying out.

Dutch Oven Ribs Recipe featured image below

Serving Suggestions

Brussels Sprout Salad: Brussels sprouts, cranberries, apple, and cheese make a delicious and tangy side salad.

Jenny’s Cornbread: A family favorite that infuses comfort food with a spicy jalapeno pop.

Smoked Corn on the Cob: A summer mainstay gets treated with piquant spices and smoky flavor.

Slow-Cooker Baked Beans: While waiting for the ribs, why not get this side dish on the go? Another low-maintenance recipe for its regular dance partner.

How to Store Dutch-Oven Ribs

Let the ribs cool completely, then store them in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to keep them around longer, you can freeze them by wrapping them tightly in foil or plastic then storing them in an airtight container. They should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat them, let them thaw in the fridge overnight, then cook in the oven or on the grill on low heat.

Dutch-Oven Ribs Recipe

Sit back and let the anticipation build as you make Dutch-Oven Ribs—a low-maintenance, finger-licking recipe that leads to fall-off-the-bone delight.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Rack of Ribs 2 pounds
  • 3 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp dried Oregano
  • ½ tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Mustard powder
  • ½ tsp ground Coriander
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 cup Beef stock
  • ½ Orange optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 275ºF then use a sharp knif to slide it under the membrane and peel it off the bottom of the ribs. Cut the ribs into sizes that will fit into your Dutch oven.
  • Mix the brown sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, dried oregano, garlic powder, mustard powder, coriander, salt and pepper together in a bowl to make your rub. Rub half of it all over the ribs.
  • Add the barbecue sauce and beef stock into the bowl with the rub and mix it all together.
  • Place the ribs into the Dutch oven and then pour over the barbecue sauce mix. Then pop the orange half into the pot too. Cover with the lid and place it into the oven to bake for 2 ½ – 3 hours.
  • Once the ribs are cooked and falling off the bone take them out and squeeze the orange over the ribs. Coat the ribs in more sauce from the pot and serve.

Notes

  • Don’t rush the cooking process by turning up the heat. It’s because of the low temperature that the meat will stay juicy and fall off the bone.
  • Let the ribs rest after cooking so that the juices have a chance to be redistributed.
  • Use a meat thermometer to guarantee the ribs are done. They need to reach 145°F, though I recommend letting them attain an internal temperature of 190°–203°F for that perfect tenderness.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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