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Masterly Reheating Ribs: Oven, Stovetop & Microwave Techniques for Keeping Leftover Ribs Moist and Tasty

Leftover ribs can be just as delicious as when they were first cooked, if you reheat them properly. Reheating ribs correctly ensures they stay moist, tender and flavorful. This article provides tips on the best ways to reheat various types of ribs.

How to Reheat Ribs in the Oven

How long should you reheat ribs in the oven?

  • Baby back ribs take about 10-15 minutes to reheat in a 350°F oven.
  • Spareribs and country-style ribs take 15-20 minutes in a 350°F oven.

Steps for reheating ribs in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the size and type of ribs.
  4. Uncover the foil halfway through to allow the ribs to further heat and brown.
  5. Brush with barbecue sauce in the last 5 minutes if desired.

The oven provides even, thorough heating to rewarm ribs without drying them out. Be careful not to overcook them.

How to Reheat Ribs on the Stovetop

Can you reheat ribs on the stove?

  • Yes, reheating ribs on the stovetop works well, especially for quick reheating.

Steps for reheating ribs on the stovetop:

  1. Choose a skillet or saucepan that can fit all the ribs laying flat. Add a small amount of water, broth or barbecue sauce.
  2. Heat the liquid over medium heat until simmering.
  3. Place the ribs in the pan in a single layer, meaty side down.
  4. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  5. Uncover and cook 2-3 more minutes to glaze ribs with sauce.

The stovetop allows you to reheat smaller amounts of ribs quickly. Keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking.

How to Reheat Ribs in the Microwave

Can you microwave reheated ribs?

  • Yes, the microwave provides a fast option for reheating ribs. Take care not to overcook them and dry them out.

Steps for microwaving ribs:

  1. Place ribs on a microwave-safe plate in a single layer.
  2. Cover with a damp paper towel to add steam.
  3. Microwave on High for 2-3 minutes for up to 6 ribs.
  4. Rearrange ribs and microwave in 1 minute increments, checking frequently.
  5. When done, brush with barbecue sauce.

The microwave can reheat ribs conveniently in just minutes. Monitor ribs closely and stop early if already hot.

How to Reheat Smoked Ribs

Smoked ribs like baby back and spare ribs have extra moisture from the smoking process. Reheat them more gently to preserve this moisture:

  • In the oven at 325°F for 15-20 minutes
  • On the stovetop over low heat for 8-10 minutes
  • In the microwave at 50% power in 1-2 minute intervals

Brush smoked ribs with barbecue sauce just before serving to avoid burning the sugar in the sauce.

How to Reheat Ribs and Keep Them Moist

  • Always reheat ribs covered in foil, with a damp paper towel or in sauce to prevent drying out.
  • Cook ribs just until heated through; avoid overcooking or they will be dry.
  • Brush with sauce at the end to glaze instead of cooking them in it.

More Questions

Should you add liquid when reheating ribs?

Yes, adding a small amount of liquid like broth, water, or sauce helps keep the ribs moist during reheating.

Can you reheat ribs on a grill or barbecue?

Yes, placing the ribs over indirect heat on a grill or barbecue for 10-15 minutes will reheat them nicely. Brush with sauce in the last few minutes.

How do you reheat ribs to crisp them up?

Place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes after reheating to crisp and caramelize the exterior. Watch carefully to avoid burning.

Tips for Reheating Ribs

  • Cut ribs into individual bones before storing and reheating for faster, more even reheating.
  • Reheat ribs in batches if needed to ensure they are all properly warmed through.
  • Let ribs rest for 2-3 minutes after reheating so the moisture redistributes evenly.
  • Change up the sauce when reheating to give leftovers more variety.

Recipes for Reheated Ribs

Baked Reheated Ribs

  • Reheat ribs in the oven with barbecue sauce or dr pepper bbq sauce brushed on top.

Reheated Ribs Sandwich

  • Chop ribs and pile onto a toasted roll with pickle chips and coleslaw.

Reheated Ribs Tacos

  • Dice ribs and serve in warmed corn tortillas with pico de gallo, avocado and lime crema.

Ribs and Rice Bowl

  • Serve shredded reheated ribs over cauliflower rice with sautéed peppers and onions.

BBQ Rib Pizza

  • Top a pre-baked pizza crust with shredded reheated ribs, red onion and fresh mozzarella.

Here are some recommended appliances for reheating ribs:


  • Gas stove – Gas stoves allow you to control the heat easily to maintain a gentle simmer when reheating ribs on the stovetop. Look for a stove with at least 4 burners to have room to reheat multiple pans.
  • Electric coil stove – Electric coils get hot enough to reheat ribs gently. Use a flat-bottomed pan that makes good contact with the coils.
  • Induction stove – Induction stoves heat up pans very quickly while providing precise temperature control. This allows you to reheat ribs evenly without scorching.


  • Conventional oven – A standard full-size oven works great for reheating ribs. Look for adjustable racks to fit different sizes of baking sheets.
  • Toaster oven – For small batches of ribs, a toaster oven with convection settings can reheat ribs nicely. Monitor closely to avoid overcooking.
  • Air fryer oven – An air fryer oven like the Ninja Foodi can reheat ribs crisp and saucy by air frying at 400°F for 5-10 minutes.


  • Solo microwave – A 0.7-1.2 cubic foot microwave is ideal for reheating single servings of ribs. Find one with adjustable power levels.
  • Microwave convection oven – The convection setting can help reheat ribs more evenly and prevent drying out. Cuisinart and Breville make quality models.
  • Commercial microwave – For reheating large batches, look for a commercial microwave with 2+ cubic feet capacity and high wattage (1500+ Watts).

Reheating ribs is easy with the right technique. Use the oven, stovetop or microwave to gently rewarm ribs without drying them out. Keep ribs moist by reheating covered in foil, sauce or a damp paper towel. Follow these tips for ribs that taste just-cooked when enjoyed as leftovers.

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