This quick and easy Rib Marinade is going to add so much flavor to your rack of ribs, no matter if you cooking ribs on the grill, smoker, oven, or in the Instant Pot! Made with real, simple ingredients, this rib marinade recipe will give you the best results for tender ribs every time.
The Best Rib Marinade
Any time that we are planning a backyard BBQ or family gathering for the Fourth of July, we always love making full racks of ribs! And this is the best rib marinade recipe that we continue to come back to again and again. Just slather this easy marinade over every little nook and cranny of the ribs and let them sit for a minimum of 30-60 minutes or overnight, if you have the time. Then use any cooking process that you want for perfect, fall off the bone ribs that are a real crowd-pleaser! Serve with some slow cooker baked beans, pasta salad, creamy cucumber salad and cornbread muffins for the complete summer cookout!
Interested in trying a dry rub for your ribs? We have tried-and-true dry rub recipe that is amazing on ribs too!
What You Will Need
- soy sauce – a simple base that brings plenty of salt and the best flavor.
- olive oil – every homemade marinade recipe needs some!
- garlic – everything is always better with a little garlic.
- garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, & ground black pepper – simple seasonings that bring a lot of flavor to this easy recipe.
- lemon zest – a little bit of acidity to really amplify all those great flavors!
- ketchup – great for adding some sauciness and a touch of sweetness.
- apple cider vinegar – this will help tenderize the pork ribs and bring just a bit of tang.
How To Make A Rib Marinade
The first step to making this easy rib marinade recipe is to gather all of the ingredients.
Place all of those ingredients in a medium bowl.
Use a whisk to fully combine everything together.
Place your ribs in a shallow baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Use your hands to rub the marinade over the entire surface.
Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and set the marinating ribs in the fridge for at least 30-60 minutes or overnight, if you can.
Remove the ribs from the marinade, shaking off the excess, let them come back to room temperature, and then cook the ribs any way you want!
Best Way To Cook Marinated Ribs
There are so many great ways to cook the best baby back ribs! If you like a more smokey flavor and slow cooking, you can use your electric smoker to make smoked ribs. And if you prefer more of a char on the outside, we suggest cooking up some grilled ribs. Now if you don’t have access to a smoker or grill, you can easily make easy oven baked ribs or juicy ribs in your Instant Pot!
- Type of ribs: This marinade would work well for any type of ribs – spare ribs, short ribs, country-style ribs, baby backs, etc.
- How long should you marinate ribs: we suggest letting them sit in the marinade for at least 30-60 minutes for a quick marinade, but if you have the time they really benefit from 12 hours or sitting overnight in the fridge.
- Marinade vs. dry rub: This all depends on how you like your ribs. If you prefer them with more of a bark or sugar crystalization on the outside, then you will want to go with a rib dry rub. But if you just want to add flavor and moisture to the rib meat, then a marinade would be the right choice for you!
- Storage: This marinade recipe is a great one to make ahead of time and cook the ribs the next day. Or you can place the racks of baby back ribs and marinade in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months before thawing and cooking.
Made this recipe and loved it?! We would love it if you would take a minute and leave a star rating and review – it is also helpful if you made any substitutions or changes to the recipe to share that as well. THANK YOU!
Rib Marinade Recipe – a delicious and easy rib marinade recipe that really takes any rib recipe to the next level!
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (sub Tamari for gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- pinch of kosher salt
- pinch of ground black pepper
- Combine Marinade ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Pat ribs dry with clean paper towel. Place ribs, meat side down, on a baking sheet. Using a small knife, gently lift off the corner of the membrane (a layer of thin connective tissue) and gently pull to remove.
- Place ribs in 9×13 baking dish and pour marinade over top – rub marinade all over ensuring it covers every nook and cranny.
- Cover and let marinate 30-60 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Remove from marinade (discard excess) and cook your ribs your favorite way – we love grilled ribs, oven baked ribs and smoked ribs!
- Gluten-Free: simply sub in Tamari or coconut aminos for the soy sauce to make this gluten-free.
- Overnight: the recipe card notes to let the ribs marinate for at least 30-60 minutes, but if you have the time you can let them sit overnight for maximum juiciness!
- Storage: option to prep these ahead of time and let them marinate overnight in the fridge or in freezer-safe bags in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then just thaw in the fridge and cook any way you want!
Keywords: rib marinade