How Long Does It Take to Cook Ribs in a Dutch Oven?


Cooking ribs in a Dutch oven is a great way to achieve moist and flavorful meat with crispy skin. Dutch ovens are versatile kitchen tools designed to retain and distribute heat evenly, making them ideal for preparing ribs. Using a Dutch oven ensures that the ribs cook evenly and retain their juices, resulting in a delicious and tender meal.

Ribs can generally be cooked in a Dutch oven at 325°F (163°C) for 2-2.5 hours. But, you might need to cook your ribs for up to 3–4 hours if you wish them to be more fall-off-the-bone tender.

The Dutch oven is used in different ways; it can be placed on direct heat, on a charcoal stove, on a gas stove, or even on an electric stove. The Dutch oven can also be placed in an oven, and lastly, you could place hot coals around your Dutch oven to cook whatever you have inside it.

How Long Should I Cook Ribs in a Dutch Oven?

Cooking ribs in a Dutch oven is a great way to achieve your desired taste. The size of the ribs, the temperature of your oven, and the desired level of tenderness will all affect how long they need to cook in a Dutch oven.

As a general guideline, you can cook ribs in a Dutch oven at 325°F (163°C) for 2-2.5 hours. But, if you want your ribs to be more fall-off-the-bone tender, you might need to cook them up to 3–4 hours.

Also, remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure a safe internal temperature. It is also recommended to let the ribs rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking before serving it. This makes it soft and tasty by allowing the liquids to distribute evenly throughout the meat.

Step-By-Step Guide on How to Cook Ribs in a Dutch Oven

Ribs prepared in a Dutch oven are easier and only require a few steps. Here is a basic recipe for cooking ribs in a Dutch oven:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds of pork or beef ribs
  • Dry rub or marinade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • BBQ sauce 
  • 1 chopped onion 
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Spices like paprika, cumin, rosemary, thyme, or sage.
  • Additional ingredients like brown sugar, honey, or Worcestershire sauce are optional but add great flavors to the meal.

You can adjust the amount of liquid or sauce depending on how saucy or moist you want your ribs to be.

Note that the specific amount of ingredients you need may vary depending on the size of your Dutch oven and the number of ribs you cook.

Cooking Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a little oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown, the ribs on all sides, then remove and set aside.
  • Add the onion, garlic, spices, and additional ingredients (if any) to the Dutch oven and sauté until soft and fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Add the ribs to the Dutch oven, submerging them in the broth.
  • Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and transfer it to the oven.
  • Bake the ribs for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  • If you like, brush the ribs with BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve the ribs hot, with any remaining sauce on the side.

Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, so it’s a good idea to check them periodically as they cook. When the meat is fully cooked, it should have an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C).

What Is the Perfect Temperature for Ribs Cooked in a Dutch Oven?

The perfect temperature for cooking ribs in a Dutch oven is 325°F (163°C). This temperature allows the ribs to cook evenly and slowly, producing tender, juicy, and flavorful meat.

The Dutch oven will be evenly cooked at this temperature, allowing the ribs to cook slowly and retain moisture. The ribs could dry out or get tough if you cook them at a higher temperature.

You can check the interior temperature of the meat with a meat thermometer or an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature remains constant during the cooking period. Pork ribs should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C), while beef ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) and 170°F (77°C) for well-done.

Type of RibsCooking Temperature
Pork Spare Ribs325°F (163°C)
Baby Back Ribs325°F (163°C)
St. Louis Style Ribs325°F (163°C)
Beef Short Ribs325°F (163°C)
Beef Chuck Ribs325°F (163°C)
Lamb Ribs325°F (163°C)
Venison Ribs325°F (163°C)

What Is the Doneness Level for Turkey Cooked in a Dutch Oven?

Your preferences will determine how well you like your ribs when cooked in a Dutch oven. While some love their ribs to be soft and fall off the bone, others prefer them to be harder and have a little more bite.

Pork ribs should generally be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) to ensure their safety for consumption. But the ribs will become tougher as a result. You can continue cooking the ribs until the internal temperature hits 190-203°F (88-95°C) for more tender ribs that will fall off the bone. The ribs will be soft and juicy, but the process will take longer.

To check the internal temperature of the ribs, you can use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding the bone. Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the ribs from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

It’s best to monitor the cooking process closely and adjust the time and temperature to achieve your desired level of doneness.

Do I need to cover the ribs while cooking them in a Dutch oven?

Covering the Dutch oven with a lid or foil is advised to keep the moisture in and even cooking the ribs.

Can I cook ribs in a Dutch oven without a liquid?

Ribs should not be cooked in a Dutch oven without any liquid. The liquid gives the meat taste and keeps it moist. Water, beef or chicken broth, or your preferred sauce can all be used as a cooking liquid.

Can I cook frozen ribs in a Dutch oven?

It would be best not to use a Dutch oven for cooking frozen ribs because it can lead to uneven cooking and raise the danger of contracting a foodborne illness. Before cooking the ribs, it is recommended to let them thaw in the fridge for an entire night.

Guide on How to Cook Ribs in a Dutch Oven

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 pounds of pork or beef ribs
  • Dry rub or marinade
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • BBQ sauce 
  • 1 chopped onion 
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Spices like paprika, cumin, rosemary, thyme, or sage.
  • Additional ingredients like brown sugar, honey, or Worcestershire sauce are optional but add great flavors to the meal.

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a little oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown, the ribs on all sides, then remove and set aside.
  • Add the onion, garlic, spices, and additional ingredients (if any) to the Dutch oven and sauté until soft and fragrant.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Add the ribs to the Dutch oven, submerging them in the broth.
  • Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and transfer it to the oven.
  • Bake the ribs for 2 to 2.5 hours or until the meat is tender and easily pulls away from the bone.
  • If you like, brush the ribs with BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve the ribs hot, with any remaining sauce on the side.

Video

Notes

Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs, so it’s a good idea to check them periodically as they cook. When the meat is fully cooked, it should have an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C).
 

Conclusion

Cooking ribs in a Dutch oven is an easy and efficient way to enjoy this delicious meat. The cooking time will depend on the ribs type, the Dutch oven size, and the desired level of tenderness. Generally, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to cook ribs in a Dutch oven.

To ensure the best results, following a few key steps, such as seasoning the ribs before cooking and adding liquid to the Dutch oven to prevent the meat from drying out is important. Additionally, some chefs recommend searing the ribs before cooking to add flavor and texture.

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