The safe minimal temperature to bake ribs in the oven is 145F° – 160°F. So how long to cook ribs in the oven at 400 to achieve this temperature?
Different types of ribs need different preparation and cooking. Other factors can also influence the cooking time.
Here, I’ve done my research on how long to cook ribs in the oven at 400F for the perfect bake every time.
The following chart includes temperatures and cooking time for both beef and pork ribs. I also included two baked ribs recipes in an oven at 400.
How Long to Cook Beef Ribs in the Oven at 400
How long to cook beef ribs in a preheated oven at 400 depends on the weight of the ribs, the type, and whether it’s thawed or frozen. Check out the chart below to determine both the beef ribs’ cook time per pound and the total time – covered in foil or uncovered.
|4 lbs||6 lbs|
|Thawed Beef Ribs||Rib Roast|
|18 to 20 min/lb.||1:12 to 1:20||1:48 to 2:00|
|22 to 26 min/lb.||1:28 to 1:44||2:12 to 2:36|
|Frozen Beef Ribs||Rib Roast|
|27 to 30 min/lb.||1:48 to 2:00||2:42 to 3:00|
|33 to 39 min/lb.||2:12 to 2:36||3:18 to 3:54|
|Minimal Internal |
How Long to Cook Pork Ribs in the Oven at 400
Follow this chart for pork robs cooking times based on whether it’s thawed or frozen. All cook times are based on bone-in or boneless ribs covered in foil or uncovered, weighing 2 to 4 lbs, and placed in a preheated oven at 400°.
|Thawed Pork Ribs||1:30 to 2:00
(or until fork tender)
|Frozen Pork Ribs||2:15 to 3:00|
|Minimal Internal |
Beef and pork ribs are cooked properly when they are heated at a certain temperature for enough time. The combination of these two factors allows killing any potential bacteria living in the meat and prevents foodborne illnesses (1).
In terms of fresh beef and pork, the safest internal temperature to reach is 145°F.
Factors That Impact the Baking Time for Ribs at 400°F
Types of Ribs
There are different types of ribs, whether pork baby back ribs, spare ribs, st louis style ribs, beef short ribs, or country-style ribs.
But whatever the type of ribs, they don’t have any influence on the cooking time.
What’s important here is the type of meat (pork or beef) and if beef ribs are bone-in or boneless.
Types of Meat
The first parameter influencing the cooking time is the type of meat.
Beef ribs don’t need cooking as thoroughly as pork ribs. Regarding beef ribs, you can just cook the outside and leave the interior juicy and rare.
Something you can’t do with pork. Pork ribs need thorough cooking all the way through to make them safe to eat.
So it generally takes longer to cook pork ribs than it does the beef versions.
Boneless or Bone-in Beef Ribs
The official line of the Food Safety US organization is your baked beef ribs are ready faster if cooked with the bone in. One explanation could be that the bone conducts heat faster than the meat.
But many websites find beef boneless ribs in the oven are ready to eat much faster. According to them, bone takes longer to heat up and cool down than the meaty bit. The baked ribs near the bone could show a different temperature by a few degrees.
Whether you choose beef boneless or bone-in in an oven at 400°F, the difference in cooking time isn’t huge. It’s only a few minutes per pound according to the Food Safety US organization.
The cut size of your ribs is one of the biggest factors that affect how long it takes to cook ribs in an oven at 400°F. The more you have, the longer they take to cook.
As a general rule, you need to bake, grill, or cook ribs for a certain amount of time per pound. So you should always weigh your ribs before you start the cooking process to check how long they need.
There is a factor that won’t affect the cooking time: the way you cook the beef or pork ribs in the oven.
Some methods suggest you should use aluminum foil to wrap ribs on the baking sheet. But using foil doesn’t make a difference to the total time you need. Wrapped ribs still face the same high temperatures as those that aren’t covered in aluminum foil.
The main difference is how brown your ribs get. If you cover ribs, they don’t get any direct exposure to the dry heat of the oven, so they don’t brown as much.
Instead, the foil traps all that lovely moisture and steam inside. It makes for juicy and tender ribs. But they won’t brown as much (or at all) compared to ribs cooked without foil.
When it comes to cooking times, stick to the suggested time in the recipe whether you use foil in the oven or not.
The temperature of the meat will make an impact on the cook times too. To cook ribs from frozen, you need to increase the oven time by about 50%.
Finally, they’re other factors that can impact the cooking time of your ribs in an oven at 400°F.
Like the size and shape of your oven dish, how accurate the temperature of your oven is, and the temperature of your ribs before you cook them.
Ribs in the Oven at 400 Recipes
Oven-Baked Beef Ribs at 400
What You’ll Need
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Brush the ribs with oil and spread the seasonings (on each side)
- Place the ribs in a large baking dish, meaty side up, and bake for 30 minutes. Flip them and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Take the ribs out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Brush with barbecue sauce (all sides) and place back in the oven for 45 minutes.
- After the 45 minutes period is up, cover with aluminum foil and put back into the oven for 45 additional minutes.
- Let the ribs rest for 3 minutes and serve hot.
Oven-Baked Pork Ribs at 400
What You’ll Need
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF
Mix the seasonings in a bowl and spread them on the ribs.
- Place the ribs on a baking dish, meaty side up. Add hot water to the baking dish, cover with foil, and place in the oven.
- Bake for about 1:30 or until ribs are fork tender.
- Oven: Increase oven to 450°F and brush each side of ribs with bbq sauce. Bake for 5 minutes or until the sauce becomes golden-brown or bubbly.
- Grill: Put the grill on the medium settings and grill ribs for 15 minutes, brushing with bbq sauce and flipping the ribs from time to time.
- Flip the ribs and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove ribs from the oven, and let rest 3 minutes before serving hot.