[GUIDE] How Long To Cook Turkey Ribs In Oven

Cooking turkey ribs in the oven can be a delicious and flavorful way to enjoy this lean and tender meat. However, knowing the optimal cooking time and techniques for turkey ribs is crucial to achieve the perfect balance of juicy meat and crispy exterior. In this article, we will delve into the science of cooking turkey ribs, discuss the ideal cooking temperature, explore various cooking techniques, and provide detailed instructions for cooking turkey ribs in the oven. So, let’s get started!

Quick Answer: How Long To Cook Turkey Ribs In Oven

The cooking time for turkey ribs in the oven can vary depending on the weight and thickness of the ribs, as well as the cooking temperature used. As a general guideline, turkey ribs should be cooked in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). However, it is always recommended to use a meat thermometer to ensure the ribs are fully cooked.

Key Takeaways

  • Cooking time for turkey ribs in the oven is influenced by factors like weight, thickness, and cooking temperature.
  • The internal temperature of cooked turkey ribs should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
  • Using a meat thermometer is crucial to accurately determine when the turkey ribs are cooked to perfection.
  • Basting and marinating turkey ribs can enhance their flavor and tenderness.
  • Resting the cooked turkey ribs for a few minutes before serving allows the juices to redistribute and results in juicier meat.

The Science Of Cooking Turkey Ribs

Understanding the science behind cooking turkey ribs can help us achieve the best possible results. Turkey ribs consist of lean meat and connective tissues, primarily collagen. Collagen is responsible for the tough and chewy texture that turkey ribs can have if not cooked properly.

When turkey ribs are cooked, the collagen breaks down into gelatin, resulting in tender meat. However, this collagen breakdown takes time and precise cooking temperatures. Overcooking turkey ribs can cause the meat to become dry and tough, while undercooking can lead to a rubbery texture and rawness.

Choosing Turkey Ribs

When selecting turkey ribs, opt for fresh ones if possible. Look for ribs that have a good meat-to-fat ratio and are free from any discoloration or foul odors. It is essential to choose ribs that are uniform in size and thickness to ensure even cooking.

Preparing Turkey Ribs

Before cooking turkey ribs, it is essential to properly prepare them to enhance their taste and tenderness. Here’s how:

  1. Remove the membrane: The membrane on the underside of turkey ribs can be tough and prevents seasoning from penetrating the meat. Gently lift one corner of the membrane using a knife or a paper towel, then grip it with a paper towel and peel it off in one motion.

  2. Trim excess fat: Trimming excessive fat from the turkey ribs can help prevent flare-ups and reduce the greasiness of the final dish. Use a sharp knife to carefully trim any visible fat.

  3. Seasoning: Apply your choice of dry rub or marinade to the ribs. Dry rubs typically contain a combination of herbs, spices, salt, and sugar, while marinades are liquid-based and can tenderize the meat. Let the seasoning sit on the ribs for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator for deeper flavors.

Ideal Cooking Temperature For Turkey Ribs

The ideal cooking temperature for turkey ribs is between 300°F (150°C) and 350°F (175°C). This temperature range allows for even cooking while promoting collagen breakdown and rendering the fat without drying out the meat.

While some recipes suggest higher cooking temperatures for quicker results, such as 400°F (200°C), it is crucial to monitor the ribs closely to prevent drying or burning. Lower and slower cooking is generally recommended for tender and juicy turkey ribs.

Turkey Ribs Cooking Time

The cooking time for turkey ribs depends on various factors, including the weight and thickness of the ribs, as well as the oven temperature. As a general guideline, turkey ribs should be cooked in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

However, always use a meat thermometer to determine the doneness of the meat accurately. The internal temperature of the cooked turkey ribs should reach 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.

Cooking Techniques

There are different cooking techniques you can use to cook turkey ribs in the oven. Here are three popular methods:

  1. Baking: This is a straightforward and traditional method of cooking turkey ribs in the oven. Place the seasoned ribs on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, and let them cook at the recommended temperature and time. Basting the ribs occasionally with a flavorful sauce can enhance their taste and tenderness.

  2. Braising: Braising turkey ribs includes first searing the meat on the stovetop and then cooking it in a covered baking dish with some liquid. The liquid can be a combination of broth, wine, or even barbecue sauce. This method ensures tender meat by slow-cooking the ribs in a moist environment.

  3. Smoker Oven: If you have a smoker oven at your disposal, you can achieve mouthwatering turkey ribs with a delightful smoky flavor. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for smoking turkey ribs in the oven. Typically, it involves applying a dry rub or marinade to the ribs, setting the oven to a low temperature, and smoking the ribs until fully cooked.

Remember to check the internal temperature of the ribs with a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached 165°F (74°C) before considering them fully cooked.

Monitoring And Troubleshooting

Monitoring the cooking process is crucial to prevent undercooking or overcooking turkey ribs. Here are some tips to help:

  • Use a meat thermometer: The most reliable way to determine if turkey ribs are fully cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C), the ribs are safe to eat.

  • Basting: Basting turkey ribs with a flavorful sauce while they cook can help moisten and tenderize the meat. However, avoid opening the oven door too frequently, as it can cause temperature fluctuations and extend the cooking time.

  • Troubleshooting: If you find that the ribs are cooking too quickly and becoming dry, you can cover them with aluminum foil halfway through the cooking process to retain moisture. On the other hand, if the ribs are taking longer to cook, you can increase the oven temperature slightly, but be cautious not to exceed the recommended temperature range.

Remember, cooking times can vary depending on the specific oven and the characteristics of the turkey ribs. Adjustments might be necessary based on your own oven’s performance.

Turkey Ribs Cooking Instructions

Now that you have a good understanding of the cooking process, here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking turkey ribs in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) to ensure it reaches the optimal cooking temperature.

  2. Prepare the ribs: Remove the membrane from the underside of the turkey ribs and trim any excess fat. Season the ribs with your desired dry rub or marinade, and let them sit for at least 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.

  3. Place the ribs in a baking dish: Arrange the seasoned turkey ribs in a single layer in a baking dish or on a baking sheet, bone side down.

  4. Cook the ribs: Place the baking dish with the turkey ribs in the preheated oven. Let the ribs cook for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). If desired, you can baste the ribs with a flavorful sauce every 30 minutes or so.

  5. Rest the ribs: Once the turkey ribs reach the desired internal temperature, remove them from the oven. Cover the ribs with foil and let them rest for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute.

  6. Slice and serve: After the resting period, slice the turkey ribs between the bones, and serve them hot. Enjoy!


While the basic cooking instructions mentioned above can result in delicious turkey ribs, you can experiment with variations to add more flavor and variety to your dish:

  • Barbecue Sauce: Instead of using a dry rub, you can apply a generous amount of your favorite barbecue sauce to the turkey ribs before cooking. Baste the ribs with additional sauce while they cook for a mouthwatering glazed finish.

  • Smoking: If you have access to a smoker oven or a grill with a smoking attachment, you can add a delightful smoky flavor to your turkey ribs. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for smoking turkey ribs, and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

  • Spices and Herbs: Experiment with different combinations of spices and herbs in your dry rub or marinade to create unique flavor profiles. Traditional spices like paprika, garlic powder, and cumin work well, but feel free to get creative with your own spice blends.

When Things Go Wrong

Even with the best efforts, sometimes things can go wrong when cooking turkey ribs. Here are some common issues and tips to address them:

  • Dry Meat: If the turkey ribs turn out dry, it may be due to overcooking or not using enough moisture during the cooking process. To remedy this, you can try basting the ribs with sauce or broth more often next time, or consider using a braising method that incorporates additional liquid.

  • Tough Ribs: Tough ribs can be a result of undercooking or insufficient collagen breakdown. To fix this, make sure the ribs reach the recommended internal temperature. If undercooking is not the issue, the ribs may benefit from longer cooking times or a lower cooking temperature to allow more time for collagen breakdown.

  • Burnt Exterior: If the exterior of the turkey ribs becomes overly burnt, try lowering the oven temperature slightly or covering the ribs with foil to protect them from excessive heat. Additionally, avoid using high-sugar sauces on the ribs, as they tend to burn quickly.

Serving Turkey Ribs

Once your turkey ribs are cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve them up! Turkey ribs are best enjoyed hot and can be paired with various sides and sauces. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Side Dishes: Serve your turkey ribs with classic barbecue sides like coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, or macaroni and cheese. These side dishes complement the smoky and flavorful nature of the ribs.

  • Dipping Sauces: Offer a variety of dipping sauces for added flavor. Classic barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or spicy buffalo sauce can all work well with turkey ribs.

  • Fresh Salad: Balance the richness of the turkey ribs with a fresh salad. A simple garden salad with vinaigrette dressing or a tangy coleslaw can enhance the dining experience.

Best Practices For Turkey Ribs Cooking

To achieve the best results when cooking turkey ribs in the oven, consider the following best practices:

  • Use a meat thermometer: Investing in a reliable meat thermometer is key to accurate temperature readings and perfectly cooked turkey ribs.

  • Marinating or brining: Seasoning turkey ribs with a dry rub or marinating them overnight can impart wonderful flavors and enhance tenderness. Allow enough time for the flavors to penetrate the meat.

  • Rest before slicing: Letting the cooked turkey ribs rest for a few minutes before slicing allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier meat.

  • Experiment with flavors: Don’t be afraid to try different combinations of spices, herbs, and sauces to create unique and flavorful turkey ribs.

  • Practice food safety: Ensure that the internal temperature of the cooked turkey ribs reaches at least 165°F (74°C) to guarantee safe consumption.


Cooking turkey ribs in the oven can be a rewarding culinary experience when done correctly. Understanding the science behind cooking turkey ribs, choosing the right cooking techniques, and following detailed instructions can help you achieve tender, juicy, and flavorful results. Experiment with different flavors, monitor the cooking process, and adjust cooking times as necessary. With a little patience and practice, you can serve up mouthwatering turkey ribs that will impress your friends and family with their deliciousness. Enjoy your cooking journey!


What Are Turkey Ribs?

Turkey ribs are leaner and smaller cuts of meat than traditional pork or beef ribs, and come from the rib cage of a turkey.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Turkey Ribs In The Oven?

A good rule of thumb is to bake turkey ribs in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. However, the exact cooking time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the ribs.

How Should I Prepare Turkey Ribs Before Cooking?

Before cooking, it’s important to remove any excess fat and any silver skin from the surface of the ribs. You can also season the meat with your choice of spices or marinade for additional flavor.

How Can I Ensure The Turkey Ribs Will Be Tender And Juicy?

One way to ensure tender and juicy turkey ribs is to wrap them in foil during the cooking process, which will help trap in moisture. Another technique is to baste the ribs with a sauce or broth every 30 minutes while they are cooking.

Can I Use A Meat Thermometer To Check The Temperature Of The Turkey Ribs?

Yes, using a meat thermometer is a great way to ensure the turkey ribs are cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat to get an accurate read.

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  • About the Author Jenny

    I'm Jenny, a housewife with an unwavering passion for food. My culinary journey began with my grandmother's kitchen, and it's now a full-fledged food blog. I've turned my love for cooking into a creative outlet, sharing recipes and stories with a global community of fellow food enthusiasts. It's proof that being a housewife can also mean pursuing your passions and savoring life's delectable moments.