Secret Recipe: Horn Barbecue's oven ribs are finger-lickin'-good
If you don't have easy access to pitmaster Matt Horn's Oakland restaurant—and don't have a grill of your own—get the flavor of his Texas-style meats with this recipe for oven-baked ribs. (Courtesy of Horn Barbecue)

Secret Recipe: Horn Barbecue's oven ribs are finger-lickin'-good


Bay Area foodies worth their dry rub have either seen or heard about the lengthy morning queue at Oakland's Horn Barbecue, the much-anticipated brick-and-mortar restaurant from cult-favorite pitmaster Matt Horn that opened in late 2020, smack in the middle of the pandemic.

Despite Covid, eager carnivores lined up, masks on, to wait for Horn's famed Texas-style 'cue. If you haven't yet, you must make the pilgrimage. But in the meantime, Horn's oven ribs, specially adapted for home cooks, are perfectly easy to DIY.

"This is a really great recipe that you can prepare in the comfort of your home," says Horn, who likes to sauce his meat after it's been baked: "This can be either homemade or your favorite store-bought barbecue sauce. For really tender ribs, you can remove the membrane from behind the rack of ribs." (Geeking out much?)

With grilling season around the corner and many urban dwellers lacking their own home grills, Horn's kitchen-friendly ribs recipe is summer-in-the-city-ready.

Horn Barbecue is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining with pre-ordering available. Check out our first taste, then go taste it for yourself.

Pitmaster Matt Horn's Oven Ribs Recipe

Matt Horn sauces his ribs after baking.

(Courtesy of Horn Barbecue)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients for the Ribs

(3-4 Servings)

2 to 2 1/2 pounds baby back pork ribs

1 cup homemade rub (Blend about 3 tablespoons kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.)

Ingredients for the Sweet Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon homemade rub


1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Mix together the seasonings for the homemade rub.

3.. Spread a light layer of either olive oil or mustard (based on your preference) across the ribs to act as a bind for your rub. Season both sides of the ribs with a generous amount of rub.

4. Once both sides of the ribs have been seasoned, place in a pan and cover with foil. Bake the ribs for 3 hours.

5. While your ribs are baking, mix together the ingredients for the sweet barbecue sauce.

6. When your ribs are finished, pull them from the oven. Sauce the ribs with the barbecue sauce you made earlier.

7. Place the covered ribs back into the oven and bake for 15 more minutes and then pull from the oven.

8. Let your ribs rest on the counter until they are at a safe temperature to cut into. Cut the ribs and enjoy!

// Horn Barbecue, 2534 Mandela Parkway (Oakland),

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