6 Best ways: How to Reheat Ribs

Ribs are an everlasting barbeque favorite. Most of the time, you’ll not have any leftovers. But on the off chance, if you’re fortunate enough to have some from a cookout, you need to how to reheat ribs. 

Trust me when I say that I’ve ruined my fair share of ribs in the reheating procedure. There have been times when this juicy, tender meat came out to be rubbery, sticky, and dry.

To avoid this nightmare, I’ll share my experiences so that you can reheat ribs without ruining them. I’ll show you the best ways to reheat ribs so that they come out as moist and as tender as possible.

Additionally, I’ll share my recommendations on various kinds of ribs as well.

Storing Ribs for Reheating:

The reheating process starts long before you open the microwave door. If you don’t store correctly, there’s no way to get that tender texture and moisture. The process starts just after you’ve finished your fair share of the meal.

After enjoying your favorite ribs especially prime ribs, you’ll have to refrigerate them as soon as you can. Therefore, keeping the meat safe from bacteria as well as ensure that the meat is tender and juicy. 

The cooked meat temperature should be less than 40° F – most refrigerators already are set at this chill level. You should also cut the meat into smaller pieces; this makes them cool down faster.

Besides, it helps in storage as well. But don’t go for too small as the smaller they are, the more apparent they’re to dry out.

Now, there may be another question in your cognizance- How long can I store them? To be on the safe side, don’t store them for more than three days. Additionally, I’ll guide you through the storage process later in the techniques.

Best way to reheat ribs

To be honest, there are many ways to reheat ribs. Every option has its pros and cons, depending on how much time you have and the tools you possess and finally, your preference. The thing you need to know is that there are many more ways to reheat your favorite foods without the Microwave. That’s a fast and easy process I’ll share it as well. But I would request you to consider the other options as well.

How to Reheat Ribs in the Oven:

The oven is a trendy choice for reheating ribs. Courtney Rada, the host of Genius Kitchen’s Carnivorous as well as Matthew Register, owner of Southern Smoke BBQ in Garland, prefers this technique.

It ensures “fresh off the grill” flavor and also keeps the ribs as moist as possible. Though for juicy ribs, you’ve to be cautious. Let’s get on with the steps now:

  1. Preheat your oven to high (around 250° F)
  2. Take your leftover ribs out of the fridge and wait till they reach room temperature.
  3. For juicy ribs, coat them with the sauce you used earlier. Or you can even use broth, beer, or other liquids for the moisture.
  4. Now wrap your ribs with two layers of foil. Most of the sauces are sweet, and when burned, they create an excellent caramelized layer. You don’t want to lose any of that sweet taste. Wrapping twice will ensure that they stay intact.
  5. Place the wrapped ribs in a pan.
  6. Cook until the internal temperature is near 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This would take about 20 minutes. However, it depends on the oven you’re using.
  7. Furthermore, remove the tin foil and cook again for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help the caramelized layer add crisp to your beloved ribs.
  8. Finally, if you want to use spice rubs, wait till they are reheated entirely and add them before serving.

How to reheat baby back ribs

While reheating ribs, fat content is a significant factor. The higher the fat content, the more time they’ll need. But don’t worry, cooking them at a low temperature like 225 degrees Fahrenheit will prevent them from drying out.

If you want to reheat beef ribs, consider adding a little more sauce or broth or liquids to contain the moisture. And while reheating baby back ribs, you can follow these procedures:

  1. Lower the temperature to about 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Coat the ribs with an ample amount of bbq sauce.
  3. Wrap the ribs into two layers of aluminum foil.
  4. Heat this about 40 minutes.

Another way of reheating baby back ribs is to broil them in the oven. To do that,

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place them with bone side up in the pan.
  3. Insert the pan inside the oven and leave for three minutes until the sauce starts to bubble.
  4. Take out the pan and flip the ribs. 
  5. Again continue heating under the broiler for three minutes.
  6. Finally, take the pan out and cover the reheated ribs with foil. Let them sit for five minutes before serving.

How to reheat Braised Short Ribs

The oven is also a preferred option for braised short ribs. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and keep them for about 30 minutes to reach room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 270-300 degrees Fahrenheit
  3. Cover the ribs with foil. Add some sauce and place it on a baking pan.
  4. Reheat until it is warm enough, and the core temperature reaches near 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Learn more in our full guide to Reheat Fried Chicken

How to reheat ribs in crockpot, slow cooker, or instant pot

If you don’t prefer using the oven and thinking about how to reheat ribs and keep them moist, crockpot or slow cooker is a good alternate. As here, you can add as moisture as you want. 

The downside of this is that it’s slow. It can take a while to reheat ribs in this technique. Though it requires time, the taste makes up for it. Let’s get on with the steps now:

  1. Place the ribs in the slow cooker. Add about two tablespoons of water for every piece.
  2. Put some sauce as your preference.
  3. Set the cooker to warm. If your model doesn’t have a warm setting, set it to low. Reheating will take around 2-3 hours at this temperature. 
  4. Check them after every 40 to 50 minutes and turn them as needed.
  5. You can add extra liquid if necessary.

How to reheat ribs in Microwave

Unfortunately, no matter how cautious you are, Microwave tends to dry out the meat. If you don’t have enough time to use a crockpot or slow cooker and want a quick fix, you can use your Microwave.

Before nuking up your meat, make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator in case of cooked ribs. This process will take some preplanning, as thawing takes about 7 to 8 hours. Let us move on with the steps now:

  1. Use a Microwave safe dish
  2. Take two paper towels below and one on top. Soak these towels with water. The Microwave will turn this water into steam, thus keeping some moisture intact.
  3. Place the ribs with ample spaces in between so that they don’t cling to each other. Add sauce according to your preference.
  4. Set your Microwave at medium heat. Keep the heat for three to five minutes.
  5. Check if the meat is adequately reheated. If not, heat for an extra three minutes.

Reheating ribs on your grill

The best way to reheat ribs is where you’ve cooked them, especially if you want to keep that “fresh off the grill” flavor.

It’s best for reheating pork and smoked ribs. It is also spacious enough to reheat a rack of ribs. It’ll take about 8-10 minutes to heat the ribs on your grill. Without further ado, these are the steps:

  1. Preheat your grill to high (around 250° F) 
  2. Takeout the leftover ribs out of the freezer and let them come to the room temperature
  3. Coat the ribs with the sauce of your choice or the seasonings you’ve used earlier you can also brush them after wrapping
  4. Wrap them loosely with two layers of aluminum foil and lightly lift the foil around the edges. Lifting protects from extra burning and keeps the moisture of the ribs intact
  5. When the grill is hot enough lower the heat from high to medium
  6. Place the wrapped ribs on the rack and close it. Let the ribs reheat nicely and evenly for about 7-8 minutes.  
  7. Furthermore, open the grill and keep a check on it. You can also flip the grill if needed. Don’t flip the foil flip the grill. And try to preserve the sauces, juices, and moisture within.
  8. After around 15 to 20 minutes, take a piece cut through and check if reheated evenly.
  9. Finally, before serving check if the internal temperature is near 165 degrees Fahrenheit

Now you know how to reheat ribs and keep them moist. If you follow the instructions above, I can assure you that your ribs will be tender, moist, and smokey as fresh off the grill.

Looking to learn more? Read Best Ways To Reheat Chicken & Buffalo Wings