How to Reheat Ribs: So It’s Always Tender and Juicy!

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Grilling in your backyard on a warm day is good. Enjoying some freshly grilled ribs with a chilled drink is better. But you know what’s best?

Waking up the next day to the leftover ribs that you can munch on leisurely. There is one little snafu, however. 

You have to figure out how to reheat smoked ribs so that they taste just as good. Knowing the best way on how to warm up ribs can mean the difference between an amazing dinner or something inedible.

So we decided to come up with this treatise on how to reheat ribs. You will learn the different ways in which you can revive barbecued ribs in the oven, heat convection oven ribs, and reheat ribs in the microwave. 

We will even show you our favorite reheating tips, and drop an amazing leftover ribs recipe or two!

Different Reheating Methods

Like with many other foods, there are a few different ways in which one can reheat ribs. Some people use ovens, others prefer a toaster oven. If you are low on options, you might even be tempted to use your microwave or stovetop.

The best way to reheat ribs is in the oven. This is because slowly heating them in a closed oven will help the ribs retain more moisture and prevent them from drying out. If you want your ribs to be as juicy as when they were first grilled, reheat ribs in the oven nice and slowly.

The same logic works for reheating baby back ribs. Whenever you reheat meat in the oven, doing so at low temperatures for a longer time will give you a soft and tender final product.

Reheating Ribs in an Oven:

This is the best method for reheating most kinds of ribs. Whether you want to reheat pork ribs or find out how to reheat BBQ ribs, this section is for you. Here is how to reheat smoked ribs:

01. Take your leftover ribs out of the fridge or freezer. If you want to heat frozen ribs in the oven, thaw them completely first.

Leave them to sit on the counter until they are at room temperature. If you want to reheat BBQ ribs, brush a good amount of barbeque sauce all over your ribs.

02. Preheat your oven to 250F.

03. Wrap your ribs in two layers of foil. This will seal the ribs and prevent them from drying out or burning in the oven. 

Furthermore, many kinds of barbecue sauces have lots of sugar in them which means they tend to burn when reheating. Covering your ribs during the process will stop any burning, so you get a rich caramelized glaze on your ribs instead.

04. Put the covered ribs in a baking pan and heat them for around 20-30 minutes. How long to reheat ribs in the oven depends on what the power of your oven is. Knowing how long to reheat ribs in the oven needs a bit of guesswork so keep checking on your ribs.

05. Turn on your broiler 5 minutes before the timer is supposed to go off, as this gives your sauce that extra caramelized flavor and browns the ribs even better.

These steps show us how to reheat smoked ribs or BBQ ones. To reheat spare ribs in the oven, keep them in a little longer than 20-30 minutes. They have a higher fat content so need a little extra heating time, and the low temperature will prevent them from going dry.

If you want to reheat beef ribs, it is best to add a dash of beef broth or even water before wrapping them up in foil which keeps them juicy and tender, stopping them from being overcooked.

For baby back ribs, lower the oven temperature to 225F, cover the ribs in double foil layers, and heat for roughly 45 minutes.

Reheating Ribs in a Microwave:

A good idea is to reheat frozen ribs, BBQ ribs, and baby back ribs when you’re really desperate. Keep an eye on the ribs the entire time, as they can go from perfect to tough and chewy in the blink of an eye.

  1. Use a large microwave-safe dish.
  2. Put the ribs on the dish, leaving enough space to make sure each piece is covered completely.
  3. Brush a lot of barbecue sauce over the ribs so that they stay soft and moist.
  4. Place the ribs in the microwave and set your microwave on medium heat.
  5. Heat them for three to five minutes, checking halfway through.
  6. In the end, check the meat for doneness and see if it is evenly heated through.
  7. If they aren’t properly heated, place them back in the microwave and heat for an additional 2 minutes.

Reheating Ribs in the Toaster Oven:

You can use your convection oven to reheat ribs too. However, this method only works if you know how long to reheat ribs, which can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Because of this, you have to keep checking in on the ribs throughout the hearing process.

  1. Preheat the toaster oven to 250F.
  2. Cover your ribs with foil and seal them completely.
  3. Place the covered ribs in the toaster oven.
  4. Keep an eye on the ribs until they are heated through completely.

Reheating Ribs on the Grill:

This is the best way to heat pre-cooked ribs so that they taste just like the fresh ones made from scratch. Knowing how to reheat smoked ribs on the grill is also the best way to preserve the smoky flavor and taste even better.

  1. Preheat the grill on high.
  2. Remove your leftover ribs from the fridge and let them come to room temperature for a couple of minutes.
  3. Coat the ribs with the sauce of your choice (BBQ, HP, or homemade glazes).
  4. Loosely wrap the ribs in aluminum foil.
  5. After the grill is heated, lower the temperature to medium.
  6. Put the wrapped ribs on the grill.
  7. Halfway through the heating process, flip the ribs over.
  8. Make sure the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 165F before serving them.

Reheating Ribs Through The Sous Vide Method:

Sous vide is a French cooking technique that uses a hot water bath to indirectly cook food that is sealed in a plastic bag. 

Although there are specialist sous vide cookers, you can also just carry it out in a large pot on the stovetop.

This is a good idea because it gently heats the ribs, so there is no fear of overcooking. You also don’t have to add oil or sauces for additional moisture because the bag is sealed and won’t allow any moisture to escape.

  1. Bring your sous vide cooker or a big stove-top pot of water up to 165° F.
  2. Put your leftover ribs in a vacuum-sealed bag and lower them into the machine/pot.
  3. Allow the bags to sit in the hot water bath for 45 minutes per inch of the thickness of the ribs.
  4. If you are cooking frozen ribs, leave them in the water for an extra 30 minutes.

Reheating Ribs in The Air Fryer:

An air fryer uses hot air to duplicate cooking in a deep fat fryer. It works a lot like a toaster oven. 

Because air fryers cook dry foods, it is best for ribs that are cooked with a dry rub, instead of sauces. An air fryer will result in your ribs having a nice flavor crust on the outside.

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 350° F.
  2. Cut up your ribs so they will easily fit into your air fryer without being crammed in. Leave some space between the pieces to let the hot air circulate evenly.
  3. Spray some oil to prevent your ribs from going dry. This will add some extra crispiness to the ribs.
  4. Cook your ribs for almost 3-4 minutes and then check their internal temperature. Cook in short intervals to make sure your ribs don’t dry out.

Tips for Reheating Your Ribs

Here’s how you can make sure your ribs taste like you just got them off the grill:

  • Slow and steady temperature. Cooking them on low heat for 30-40 minutes will make your ribs soft and tender and juicy.
  • Add a broiling pan. If you are worried about the ribs losing too much moisture on the oven or grill, add a pan of hot water over the burner. This will steam some moisture into the meat.
  • You can even add things like coke, root beer, apple juice, or stock for interesting flavors.
  • Let them rest. Give your ribs some time to settle in their juices before cutting into them.

The Leftover Ribs Conundrum

What to do with leftover ribs? If you’re sick of eating ribs, you might be tempted to feed them to your pets, or just toss them in the trash. But don’t do that! There are loads of things you can do with leftover ribs.

For starters, you can shred them up and use them in tortillas. They also work really well in nachos and give them a flavor boost. You can use BBQ pork ribs to pair with your grits for some lovely soul food. They also go well in meaty soups or stews, and hand pies. And when you want to empty out your fridge, just use the meat in your fried rice!

FAQs

Still have questions about ribs and reheating them? We’ll answer them right here.

01. How Long to Reheat Ribs in Oven?

It usually takes 20-30 minutes to reheat ribs in the oven. However, the total time also depends on the power of your oven and the size of the ribs.

02. What is the Best Temperature to Reheat Ribs in the Oven?

Experts agree that 250F is the best temperature for reheating ribs without altering the taste or texture.

03. How to Reheat Ribs and Keep Them Moist?

To keep your ribs from drying out while they are being heated, smother them in sauce and wrap them in two layers of foil. This will prevent them from losing moisture when heated.

04. How Long to Reheat Ribs in Oven at 350?

If you want to heat ribs at a higher temperature (350F), do not keep them in the oven for more than 15 minutes.

05. How to Cook Pre-cooked Ribs in the Oven?

If you want to reheat something like Costco pre-cooked ribs, use the steps mentioned above, cooking them for 20-25 minutes at a low temperature of 250F.

Bottomline

We love a stack of ribs and know you do too. But if you end up with too much, storing them for another day is the best idea. 

Knowing how to reheat ribs will let you enjoy some whenever you get cravings. So now that you know what to do, get some sauce and pull your ribs from out of the fridge; you’ve got some ribs to heat up!