How to Reheat Ribs in 5 Effective Ways

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You love ribs, and you want to enjoy them again. But what do you do? You can’t just cook another batch because what if they’re not as good the second time around? Well, there are a few different ways on how to reheat ribs so that they taste just like when they were freshly cooked.

We’ll discuss all of these methods in this article as I share my experience with each of them.

Can you reheat pork ribs? If so, how?

Yes! You can reheat pork ribs in various methods. You can use the oven, grill, microwave, air fryer, or instant pot to reheat them.

The only downside is that they may not taste as good as they did when first cooked because the meat will have lost some of its natural juices and flavor during the cooling process.

But what if I tell you I’ve discovered a way to revive the great flavor in whichever method you choose?

That’s precisely what we shall go over in this post! My secrets to the truest reheated ribs.


How to reheat ribs in the oven

The oven is the most effective, and the commonest way to reheat ribs. I like to use this method when I have a lot of ribs to reheat because it’s very convenient, and the results are usually mostly desirable.


  1. Preheat the conventional oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Place the ribs on a tin foil, and make ’em moist again. Squirt a second layer of sauce over the ribs to achieve this. If you dry-rubbed the ribs, you can dress the ribs with an extra rub and sprinkle a tablespoon of water over them.
  3. Wrap the foil around the meat to keep the moisture in.
  4. Put the meat in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Enjoy your evenly warmed pork ribs.

Always have your ribs out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before reheating. Only this way will avoid cold spots after reheating.

Preheating the oven to a low temperature (250 degrees F) is necessary so that the ribs don’t get cooked further during the long (25 minutes) reheating period.

If you like, you could moisten the ribs with beer, coke, or even broth, just before reheating it. It depends on your individual taste profiles.

You could also restore a crisp outer layer in the ribs by uncovering the ribs once reheated and letting them cook for an extra 15 minutes. This is to make the sauce caramelize and add a twist to the flavor.

How to reheat ribs in the grill

The grill is another great way to reheat ribs. I recommend using the grilling method whenever you have smoked ribs and a barbecue at your disposal.


  1. Turn on your grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let them warm up at room temperature for half an hour.
  3. Scrap the chili from the meat and douse the meat in a sauce. You could sprinkle a little water or drippings over the ribs
  4. Pt the ribs on aluminum foil and wrap them loosely.
  5. Put the wrapped ribs on a grill. Turn them occasionally to avoid burning while evenly heating them for about 10 minutes.
  6. Don’t forget to let the ribs rest them for 2 minute before serving!

It’s crucial to let the ribs acclimatize to room temperature after taking them from the fridge. This step ensures they heat up uniformly.

You should not wrap the ribs tightly with aluminum foil because it will steam the meat and make it soft. The barbecues also heat the meat from one side, unlike the oven.

How to reheat ribs in the microwave

The microwave is not my favorite way to reheat ribs, but I know many people who swear by this method- most of whom want to do things in a record short time.


  1. Remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil from the ribs.
  2. Separate the ribs
  3. Place them on a microwave-safe plate.
  4. Place a wet paper towel under the plate and another (also wet) over the ribs. Don’t place a lid over the plate.
  5. Heat the ribs on medium heat for 2-3 minutes as you check whether they are thoroughly warmed.
  6. Serve once the ribs attain an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.

I don’t like to use the microwave because it dries out the meat. However, if you’re looking for a speedy method, this is a decent option.

Once heated, the two paper towel releases steam into the microwave oven, reducing the chances of drying out the meat.

How to reheat ribs in the air fryer

The air fryer is an excellent appliance for warming up many foods, including ribs. I like using this because of its grill-like heating technology, which leaves the outside of the meat crispy.


  1. Preheat the air fryer to 390 degrees F.
  2. Separate the ribs and slice them.
  3. Put the meat in the air fryer basket.
  4. Spritz the ribs with water. You could coat them with oil to reduce evaporation and thus dry out.
  5. Cook the ribs for 3-4 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the ribs to turn out.

As with the grill, it’s crucial to let the meat rest 30 minutes from the fridge to attain a uniform external temperature. This step ensures they will heat up evenly.

Avoid stuffing your ribs too much before putting them in the air fryer. The appliance uses hot circulating air to cook food. The lesser free space left, the lower the efficiency.

Nevertheless, the air fryer is very powerful. You need to cook in short splits of 30 seconds to avoid burning the ribs.

Finally, don’t apply any sauce over the ribs when reheating in an air fryer.

How to reheat ribs in the instant pot

The instant pot is one of the most foolproof and efficient ways to reheat ribs. The only disadvantage is that it takes forever to do the job. Don’t go this way unless you have over half an hour’s worth of patience.


  1. Turn on the instant pot and press sauté, or set the heat to ‘low’.
  2. Put 2 tablespoons of water per rib in the inner pot and put a trivet inside it.
  3. Place the ribs on the trivet.

You can opt for pressure cooking, which hastens the process to about 30 minutes in total or cook the slow cooker way, which takes up to 3 hours.

-The slow way:

  1. Let the meat cook for 1-3 hours, checking after an hour or so until the meat is tender and heated through.
  2. You can occasionally add more liquid (water/sauce) if it dries out.

-The faster way

  1. On closing the rid, set the pressure to high.
  2. Adjust the timer to 45 minutes and start cooking.
  3. If the ribs are frozen, pressure builds in about 15 minutes.
  4. Ribs at room temperature will need about 10 minutes to reach the boiling point and build pressure.
  5. Once heated, release the pressure and take off the lid.
  6. Place a baking sheet over the oven and set it to broiler function.
  7. Place the ribs over the sheet, brush a little sauce over them and broil for 4-5 minutes. By this time, the ribs will be glazed and crispy on top.

This method is handy in terms of steaming vegetables and reheating them. For ribs, it ensures they are evenly heated without too much time spent.

Set the oven at a relatively low temperature (200 degrees F) to ensure that the ribs don’t dry out.

Can you freeze cooked ribs? If so, how?

Yes, you can freeze cooked ribs. Cooked ribs can freeze for up to 12 months. This is, however, dependent on how well you seal them. Vacuumed ribs will comfortably stay for a year in the freezer, but I don’t know why anyone would want to keep their ribs this long!


  1. Wrap the ribs well in saran wrap.
  2. Ensure no air bubbles are present that could affect freshness. You can use vacuumed Ziploc bags or airtight containers for better results.
  3. Place the package in the fridge to allow it to cool down.
  4. Place the ribs in the freezer until you are ready to consume them.

If you plan to store the ribs for long, don’t use plastic bags as the seal breaks with time, allowing frost on the ribs. Instead, go for rigid containers.

Allow the frozen ribs to thaw in the fridge overnight or use the microwave with a defrost feature.

How to store cooked ribs

Freezing is one of the most dependable ways to store ribs. Once reheated, the meat will taste just like when you first cooked it.

You can still refrigerate ribs if you plan to consume them within a few days.

Storing cooked ribs in the fridge

This is the best way to keep ribs moist and juicy for 3-4 days.


  1. Cover the ribs with plastic wrap or place them in a covered container. The wrap should be tight to avoid contact with air.
  2. The container should be sealed well to prevent evaporation.
  3. Remember to leave the sauce in to marinate the ribs through the storage period.

For best results, the fridge temperature should be maintained at <40 degrees F.

The ribs should be consumed within 4 days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you reheat ribs in the oven?

Of course, you can reheat ribs in the conventional oven. The method is straightforward and cooks the meat just as you want.

Can you freeze ribs before cooking?

Yes, you can freeze ribs before cooking. The process is simple, and the outcome is a sumptuous meal that you and your family will love.

Raw frozen ribs will last up to 6 months.

This is a great way to stock up on ribs if you are anticipating a busy weeknight.

How long can you freeze ribs?

You can freeze ribs for up to 12 months. This is wholly determined by how well you seal them.

With proper seals, your meat should taste fine even after 12 months. Unfortunately, Ziploc and plastic bags won’t cut in that long before frostbite sets in.

How long can pork ribs be frozen?

Pork ribs can be frozen for 6 months. The key is to ensure that the meat is adequately sealed and protected from freezer burns and any would-be evaporation or contact with external air.


So there you have it – 5 easy methods to reheat ribs like a pro. Ribs are delicious and make for a great meal, but many of us do not get the chance to enjoy them that often. Well, stop waiting and start cooking! You don’t need to always spend a fortune on fresh ribs in town every time, while the leftovers can be frozen and reheated later on a busy night. Just reheat using one of these five effective methods, and you’re good to go. Enjoy!

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