Home Reheating How to Reheat Ribs (7 Easy Ways)

How to Reheat Ribs (7 Easy Ways)

Learn how to reheat ribs the right way, and they’ll stay as juicy and tasty as the day you cooked them.

Succulent, juicy, and flavorful: these are just some of the things to describe a perfectly cooked rack of ribs

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Rack of ribs

They’re so tender, the meat falls off the bone.

Bathed in barbecue glaze, each bite has a wonderful balance of sweet, smoky, and savory. They’re absolutely finger-licking delicious. 

If your family has managed to resist the urge of devouring the entire thing at dinner, congratulations. You’ve just accomplished such a remarkable feat! 

Fortunately for you, the reward is more than satisfying: a few more segments of those mouthwatering ribs.

As long as you reheat them properly, you won’t have to worry about tough and dry leftovers. 

Follow any of these seven methods, and those leftover ribs will be as phenomenal as they were fresh off the grill. Let’s get cracking!

Roasted Ribs in the Oven

1. How to Reheat Ribs in the Oven

If you want to achieve that fresh-off-the-grill taste, the best option is to reheat the leftovers in the oven. 

When it comes to reheating ribs, may they be store-bought or homemade, low and slow is the way to go. 

Think about it: it takes hours for ribs to achieve that perfect flavor and texture.

That said, it makes sense that it also needs time to reheat as well. It takes patience, but it’s worth it.

The oven is the perfect candidate for this method.

Reheated in the oven at a low temperature for a long period, they’ll be as moist and delicious as the day you first had them.

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The meat will be tender and juicy, and the BBQ sauce will taste even better, too. 

Here’s how to reheat ribs in the oven:

1. Take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. 

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat the ribs with leftover sauce. If there’s none left, your favorite BBQ sauce will do. 

3. Double wrap the ribs tightly with foil. This will keep the sauce and juices from oozing out and the sugar in the sauce from burning. 

4. Place the ribs in a baking pan and reheat for 20 to 30 minutes. 

5. Five minutes before the timer goes off, remove the foil from the ribs. Turn on the broiler and cook for the remaining 5 minutes. This will caramelize the sauce and give it an even deeper, sweeter flavor.

6. Take ribs out of the oven and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

Pro-tips:

For dry-rub ribs, follow the same steps, except dip the ribs in leftover drippings or sprinkle them with a bit of water before double wrapping them in foil.

Skip the broiling as well.

For baby back ribs, reheat them at a lower temperature.

Since they’re cut thinner, they’re more sensitive to heat and could dry out much faster. Reheat them at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes.

For safety purposes, test the ribs for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer into the center of the meat.

Each rib should have a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Roasted Ribs with Tomatoes and Herbs

How Long Does it Take to Reheat Ribs in the Oven?

Again, you’ll want to take the low and slow approach when reheating ribs. The higher the temperature, the more likely the ribs will dry out.

The actual length of time will depend on how powerful your oven is.

In general, it will take somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit to reheat ribs. 

Don’t forget to take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before you reheat! The colder they are, the longer they’ll warm through.

Smoked BBQ Ribs

2. How to Reheat Ribs on the Smoker 

Another tremendous ally when reheating ribs is the smoker.

Again, you’ll want to take your time when reheating to ensure the ribs stay nice and moist throughout the process.

With the smoker, you can expect the ribs to reheat evenly, retaining their flavor and juices. Here’s how:

1. Take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. 

2. Brush the ribs with leftover sauce. If you don’t have any, use your favorite BBQ sauce instead. 

3. Double wrap the ribs tightly with foil. This will keep the sauce and juices from oozing out and the sugar in the sauce from burning. Stick a meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the ribs.

4. Reheat the ribs in the smoker until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. This will take around 30 minutes for thin cuts and about an hour for thick cuts.

5. Take ribs out of the smoker and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

Grilled Spare Ribs

3. How to Reheat Ribs in the Toaster Oven

The toaster oven might not come to mind when considering ways to reheat leftover ribs.

But let’s not forget that this appliance serves the same purpose as a conventional oven, except that it’s smaller.

So, if you only have a few cuts of ribs to reheat, keep this nifty gadget in mind!

Not only does it do a fine job at breathing new life into leftover ribs, but does so in just 15 to 20 minutes. 

Here’s how to reheat ribs in the toaster oven:

1. Take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. 

2. Preheat the toaster oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Coat the ribs with leftover sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce. Double wrap the ribs tightly with foil. This will keep the sauce and juices from oozing out and the sugar in the sauce from burning. 

4. Reheat the ribs for 15 to 20 minutes, or until their internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Take ribs out of the oven and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

Note: the actual length of reheating will depend on how thick the ribs are, so it’s best to check after the first 10 minutes.

Pork Loin Ribs with Sauce, Fries and Beer

4. How to Reheat Ribs in the Slow Cooker 

While you won’t get a crisp outer crust if you use this method, you will be ensured a fall-off-the-bone level of tenderness.

Here’s how to reheat ribs in the slow cooker:

1. Take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. 

2. Set the slow cooker to medium-high. Pour a small amount of liquid, either water or meat juices into the bottom of the pot. 

3. Coat the ribs with leftover sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce and place them in the slow cooker.

4. Reheat the ribs for 1 hour or more until their internal temperature reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

5. Take the ribs out of the slow cooker and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

Grilled Ribs in a Grilling Pan

5. How to Reheat Ribs on the Grill 

Reheat those scrumptious ribs the same way you cooked them: using the grill. 

Grilling provides a different level of deliciousness to ribs. That smoky, charred flavor satisfies like no other.

You’d think it requires the most effort out of all the methods, but it’s actually a quick and easy process. Here’s how:

1. Take the ribs out of the fridge 30 minutes before reheating to allow them to come to room temperature. While waiting, preheat the grill to high.

2. Coat the ribs with leftover sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce. Wrap the ribs loosely with foil. The ribs will be exposed to direct heat from the grill, so a little breathing room is needed.

3. Once preheated, turn the grill down to medium heat and reheat the ribs for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through. 

4. Take the ribs out once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

6. How to Sous Vide Leftover Ribs    

This approach to reheating ribs may be new, but it gets the job done – and very wonderfully so, at that.

To those unfamiliar, sous vide is a French cooking method that uses a hot water bath to indirectly cook food that’s placed inside a plastic bag.

This method is very effective when reheating ribs because it eliminates the risk of overcooking them. 

There’s also no need to add BBQ sauce, water, or oil to the ribs to help retain their moisture.

The fact that they’ll be sealed in a bag takes care of that. It’ll take a while, but the result is ultra moist and tasty reheated ribs, so it’s definitely worth it. 

While there are sous vide machines widely available at the market, don’t feel like you have to get one.

If you’re on a budget but want to test the technique, you can always count on a pot and your stovetop.

Here’s how to sous vide leftover ribs:

1. Place and seal the ribs in a vacuum-sealed bag. 

2. Place the sealed bag in a large pot of water over low heat, about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Reheat for 45 to 60 minutes. 

Pro-tips: 

  • The duration will depend on how thick the ribs are. A good rule of thumb is 45 minutes for every inch of thickness.
  • If you’re reheating frozen ribs, add an extra 30 minutes to the cooking time.
Smoked Ribs in a Skillet

7. How to Reheat Leftover Ribs in a Skillet 

I know I said low and slow is the best approach to reheating ribs, but if 30 minutes is too long a time for you, your best option is the cast-iron skillet. 

The ribs will turn out okay, although don’t expect the same level of moistness and juiciness that the oven, sous vide, or grill will provide.

Also, while the skillet method takes more time than the microwave, you’ll at least still get relatively moist ribs.

Here’s how to reheat leftover ribs in a skillet:

1. Add some water or meat juices to the bottom of a deep cast-iron skillet and warm over medium heat.

2. Coat the ribs with leftover sauce or your favorite BBQ sauce. Place the ribs in the skillet and cover with the lid.

3. Reheat the ribs for about 10 minutes, swirling the pan every so often to keep the ribs from burning.

4. Take the ribs out once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them sit for 10 minutes before serving to redistribute their juices.

How Do You Reheat Baby Back Ribs Without Drying Them Out?  

The first thing you’ll need to take care of to prevent leftover ribs from drying out is proper storage.

If they’re not stored the right way, the ribs won’t have a chance of staying moist and juicy the next day.

When storing ribs, keep the following in mind:

  • Refrigerate the ribs as soon as possible. The longer they sit out on the dining table, the higher chances they have of accumulating bacteria. Don’t leave the ribs out for more than 2 hours.

Be sure to pop them in the fridge as soon as they come to room temperature. You can speed things up by slicing the ribs into individual portions. 

  • Double wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and foil or place them in a vacuum-sealed bag to seal in the moisture. Refrigerate them for up to 4 days or freeze them for up to 2 months. 
  • Thaw the frozen ribs in the fridge overnight before reheating.
  • Do not store the ribs in Tupperware. Even with a lid on, it’ll still cause the ribs to dry out.
Grilled Pork Ribs with Herbs

How to Moisten Dry Ribs 

  • Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce to lock in their moisture. A splash of water, broth, soda, or apple juice will also do the trick.
  • Avoid cooking them on high heat. Again, keep it low and slow. 
  • If you’re using the oven or grill, add a pan of hot water over the burner. This will create steam, which will bring back moisture into the ribs.
  • Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes after reheating to allow the juices to settle.
How to Reheat Ribs

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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