How To Reheat Ribs And Keep Them Moist (8 Most Useful Methods)

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In the last couple of months, some of our college friends were getting together on our weekends at different tourist traps.

As we have gotten together as a gang group, we wanted to make the holiday of a lifetime memory. As a part of it, we planned each day special for different angels, especially from lunch and dinner. 

The most exciting thing is, we all are barbeque lovers. And we prepared a barbeque item each day associated with other items. 

We chose ribs to have in our dinner. But we couldn’t finish at once. So we had to reheat it further. We had experienced some excellent ideas of reheating ribs without missing moisture. 

As you know, reheating ribs and keeping them moist is quite challenging for somebody because it becomes more crispy and dry. 

So, here I’m excited to share my experiences using 8 methods of reheating ribs that I have gathered for a long time. 

In this context, I’ll share my experiences and talk about my preferred method and why all the pros and cons. 

How To Reheat Ribs And Keep Them Moist Using Microwave 

Using a microwave is the best way to reheat ribs. It helps to keep the ribs moist while reheating. 

Let’s see the process- 

  • First, Cover the ribs with foil paper 
  • Add some spice 
  • Dink as a liquid to keep them moist
  • Turned on the heat 
  • Set the timer for two minutes 
  • Then, open and check then heat them another two minutes
Related: How To Reheat Baby Back Ribs Without Drying Them Out

How To Reheat Ribs In Oven

We made tents in different suitable places during our visiting time and tried to set or hire an open kitchen for our meals. 

As a part of it, one of my friends managed an oven from a local inhabitant. We used the oven to reheat our food items as well as ribs. 

So, to reheat ribs using an oven, you need a range first and make it able to cook. 

  • At first, my friend preheated his oven to 250° f. 
  • As we were a gang of the foodie, so we know little tricks of testing food. 
  • Our cooked ribs were in a sauce, so he added another layer of sauce. 
  • Besides, he poured a slight drop of Coca-Cola so that the meat did not become dry. 
  • Then, he placed the ribs in a pan and covered it with foil paper.  
  • He did the job and described to us the way of reheating ribs in the oven.
  • While describing he cooked the rib for a longer time. 
  • And when it came to 145° f. internal temperature, 
  • He opened the oven and removed the foil paper to caramelize the sauce. 
  • It took almost another 10 to 15 minutes. After that, the ribs were ready to serve. 
Also Read: What Is The Best Way To Reheat Steak Without Drying It Out?

The drawbacks I had seen in using the oven for reheating BBQ, ribs, or any meat item, one of them is the possibility of becoming inflamed. 

The last time processing, when my friend removed foil paper from the rib, he had to give more attention. Otherwise, the rib can be burnt. 

But no problem, I have a solution for this. If your ribs get burnt, you can use these bbq sauce for burnt ends

How To Reheat Ribs In The Air Fryer

You can reheat your leftover ribs in the air fryer. Since we tried it once, I’m going to explain how we had reheated ribs in the air fryer. 

The air fryer that my friend brought was a bit small in size. As you know, air fryers are varied in different sizes. So we had cut our ribs in the size of your air fryer. 

We cut in small pieces to reheat the ribs. He prepared the air fryer by setting the temperature at 350° f. Then he placed the ribs and allowed them to cook for at least 30 minutes. 

Oh, I forgot to mention, my friend wrapped the ribs with foil paper like the previous process. Otherwise, it would be too crispy and impossible to eat. The use of an air fryer is relatively fast and straightforward.

Note: Air fryer is also a great way to reheat leftover fried chicken.

As I recognized, the fastest way of reheating the frozen ribs or leftover BBQ was, but I didn’t prefer using the air fryer. It’s not because the ribs get rough or something worse happens, and it’s because of health issues. 

If you use your air fryer regularly, it will hamper your health. There is a chance of over toxicity inside the air fryer, and the ribs could be burnt inside it.

How To Reheat Ribs In The Toaster Oven

The next day we tried a different one. You may not think about reheating your BBQ using a toaster oven. 

At first, we got enthusiastic about how it would be after reheating any item, especially the cooked thing in the toaster oven. Then we came to understand, it works. 

For this, you have to manage a toaster oven and other accessories with it. We had to manage a boning knife as well to cut the ribs into small pieces. 

One of my friends did the reheating process. He mainly knew the timing of reheating in a toaster oven. And this is the central fact to apply the trick. 

So, he preheated the oven first to 250° F. He also covered the ribs with aluminum foil using enough barbeque sauce. 

Then he put them in the toaster oven. And he was continuously checking the ribs for 15 minutes. Within 15 minutes, our ribs were ready to serve.

I think the downside of this process is to maintain the timing. If you are not an experienced cook, chances are high to burn the ribs. 

As the main work of a toaster oven is to make toast to everything. It’s totally my opinion. It can be different up to you. 

How To Reheat Ribs In Instant Pot – Another Great Method

We found it so funny and super easy when another friend suggested using an instant pot to reheat the ribs. 

As per his aspiration, he brought his instant pressure cooker for the whole journey.  Then, at lunchtime, he exposed it to experiment with the rib cook. 

  • Frist, Connect the pressure cooker with electricity to prepare it to reheat ribs
  • Marinate the frozen ribs with sauce and some liquid
  • Operate the cooking process 
  • Put the ribs one by one in the instant pot 
  • Wait for 20 minutes
  • After that, poured a bit more vinegar 
  • Cook it for more 10 minutes 

However, when we all were eagerly waiting for the new experimental result. We found at our dinner table juicy and yummy soft ribs. By the way, the latest addition of experience was quite good. 

Using an instant pot to reheat ribs was not palpable to me. Because it could not make the ribs dry enough, it was too juicy to consider with BBQ items. 

After all, the process was super easy. If you are too busy with your household work or kids, you can try this one.

How To Reheat Ribs In The Grill 

BBQ grills are a part of the picnic for BBQ lovers.  And we, the gang of foodies, were not out of them. So we took one of our grill stands with us. 

As we love to have barbecue items, we took our ribs as a part of our method experiment. So, I decided to reheat ribs on the grill, and the rest were helping me. 

  • First, I preheat the grill on high. During that time, 
  • I took the ribs out of the fridge to let the frozen ribs come to room temperature. 
  • Then, I slathered the ribs with several sauces. 
  • I used to wrap ribs with aluminum foil paper. 
  • Then, I placed the wrapped ribs on the heated grill. 
  • And I turned the grill to low heat. 
  • After a while, I turned the ribs to cook both sides well. 
  • I waited for at least 15 minutes to cook properly. 
  • But I made sure that the internal temperature of the meat came to 165° f. 
  • Then I served everyone. 

Since I love to reheat meat using the grill, I did not find any drawbacks. But it is not undeniable that some people may not like the smoky smell of the grill. And then it is a hassle to wash the grill because it becomes so messy. 

How To Reheat Ribs In The Slow Cooker

Since we were learning how to reheat ribs extremely quickly in different methods, another day of our trip, one of our cooking expert friends convinced us to allow more time to have our meal.

We found the method was super convincing as we assume it will not become dry like other times. So we let him do the task in front of the sea beach. 

As we reheated our foods as well as we reheated the rids item. But we didn’t have to use leftover meat. 

  • We turned frozen ribs at room temperature. 
  • Then, our friend put the ribs on a barbecue and poured enough water to cover the bottom of the slow cooker. 
  • Then he placed the barbecue in it, and let it be cooked. 
  • He started heating at a warm switch. 
  • After 30/45 minutes, he checked the ribs again and again. 
  • It took around 1.5 hours to come to the final look. 

If you want to apply the trick and make the ribs free of getting hard and rough, consider your slow cooker at warm or low pressure. Then you will get the desired result. However, after waiting for 1.5 hours, we had our lunch. 

Although the cooking process is a tiny bit long and lengthy, I have no excuse for it. Because we were ready to consider the time and wanted to experience the test of different cooking methods

All of us found the drawback was wet steam in the ribs. But it was so soft from inside and outside. It depends on you. I share my taste expectation. 

How To Reheat Ribs Using Sous Vide Method

A unique idea I had gathered of using the Sous Vide Cooking method. The method is relatively uncommon. 

And I had never experienced it before. One of my friends was in chef training abroad, and he introduced the process to us. 

At first, he prepared the rib. Then he placed the ribs in a zip-lock plastic bag. Must check the bag if it is an air-sealed bag. 

However, then he poured the barbeque sauce on the ribs to cook it. He used 150° f. on his Sous Vide machine. It took almost 45 minutes when he placed the air-sealed bag in the boiling water. 

The method is this, to let the pack in the hot water bath. It provided indirect heat to cook the meat.

Our BBQ ribs were not strictly frozen, so we didn’t need any extra time to cook. But if you see your cooked ribs are frozen, you might be waiting for another 30 minutes, as my friends say. 

After reheating the ribs, we found it quite similar as before. So we were delighted and enjoyed a newly experienced method. 

As we enjoy this process, we still found the downside of this method. The process is quite demanding. Because you have to manage the air-sealed bags for ribs and the Sous Vide machine. 

Most importantly, it took a considerable time compared to the other methods. I think it is a drawback of this process.    

If you want to know more about cooking ribs, you can follow this article on how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill fast

A Few Exclusive Tips To Keep Your Ribs Moist

There are some great tips to keep your ribs moist. When you want to reheat the leftover ribs, the main target should stay moist and not dry much. The tips are

  • Use aluminum foil paper to keep the moisture. 
  • Learn about the right temperature based on a different method. 
  • Every time, in every method, try to use barbecue sauce or any juicy sauce. 
  • Mix some soda mixed drinks like Coca-Cola before wrapping the ribs with foil paper. 
  • Do not expire the taste of the ribs by spending too many days. 
  • Be careful about your fridge temperature. 
  • When you want to keep the leftover ribs, adequately preserve them using a zip lock bag and keep them in a deep fridge. 

Which Method Is The Best To Reheat Ribs and Why

As I explained a whole journey of reheating ribs with different techniques. The best way to reheat ribs to me is using a grill. It is not for being my favorite, but the open process is familiar to almost everyone. 

There is less risk of burning since you can see it very often. I experienced different methods and found the exact test and smell of steak or BBQ, whatever I have mentioned. I think the smoky smell is the key to enhancing the test of ribs along with other grill items.  

I tried different meat items on the grill and reheated them also. But the easiest and safest method for me is to use the grill. 


So, these are the ways of how to reheat ribs and keep them moist we applied in our last few journeys. We enjoyed ourselves a lot by doing the job, and eating delicious meat.

Finally, I want to make sure that reheating is not only making ribs crispy, dry, and hot to serve. Instead, it means making the food item as moist as the newly cooked food. 

So try one of the 8 methods to reheat the ribs and adequately utilize the leftover ribs portion. Then I’ll be successful in sharing the whole journey experience.   

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