keep cooked ribs warm

How to Keep Ribs Warm and Juicy: Your Ultimate Guide

Eating deliciously cooked pork ribs is what many people in most BBQ family parties eagerly look forward to. But cooking those ribs and keeping them warm until lunch or dinner time is one of the most challenging tasks for many grillers. When the pork ribs reach the desired degree of tenderness, then that’s the best time to remove them from the grill and serve them immediately to our family members. Oftentimes, we finish cooking long before we intend to serve our guests or family. There is a big issue of keeping the cooked ribs warm until the dinner which many people fail to achieve. But don’t worry! Today, I am going to explain my simple 5 methods which will help you maintain the warmth of your cooked or grilled pork ribs until your lunch or dinner time. You have a few options available to you when it comes to keeping ribs warm for little longer. One of the most popular methods is to cover the cooked ribs properly with aluminum foil and keeping the package in a dry and warm place until the BBQ dinner. On the other side, you can also make your own home container with the help of a large towel-lined cooler instead of a restaurant-quality container. Plus, you can use your home oven to keep the ribs warm up to 30 minutes or so. All these simple methods will help you maintain the right temperature of your cooked pork ribs till your dinner is not over. I highly recommend you to learn the following 5 simple methods that will help you keep the warmness of your cooked ribs for up to 30 minutes or so.

5 Best Methods to Keep Ribs Warm After Cooking

If you have grilled your pork ribs properly, then you should be able to serve them while they are still piping hot. There are various useful methods to keep the cooked ribs warm for a bit longer. To keep them warmer up to 30 minutes, you need to implement any one of the below mentioned 5 methods. Let’s take a look at how many ways you can keep ribs warm after you cook them.

Use Faux Cambro Box

Faux Cambro is a special type of insulated box which is used to transport food from one place to the other while keeping it hot or cold for longer duration of time.

It involves preheating a cooler lined with towels and placing the hot ribs inside to maintain the internal environment moist and warm for long duration.

You will need to pour hot water inside the large cooler and close the lid properly exactly one hour before your pork ribs are ready.

Once the ribs are ready to place inside the Faux Cambro box, at that time, throw out all the hot water.

You also need to use disposable aluminium pan to store the ribs inside the cooler.

For more details, kindly check out this article from

Click Here to Get Faux Cambro Insulated Box to Store Your Hot Pork Ribs.

2. Consume Within 2 Hours After Cooking

To maintain the freshness of your cooked meat, it is equally important to follow the right cooking time.

When you cook pork ribs, their freshness can last up to 3-4 days and that too when you store them in your refrigerator.

When you put cooked ribs outside the fridge, then the maximum time it can stay fresh at the room temperature is around 2 hours.

As a result, to get the most out of your ribs, you should consume them much earlier than 2 hours.

To maintain the freshness of those cooked pork ribs for longer than 2 hours, you may have to invest in getting Faux Cambro box as mentioned above.

Alternatively, you can also consider warmers and coolers to store them for up to 6 hours.

3. Use Food Warmers

Another great alternative method to keep your cooked ribs warmer for longer period is to use a quality food warmer with stainless steel warming base.

You can keep your ribs warmer fresh for a bit longer than 2 hours when you use such types of special containers designed for the food storage purpose.

Generally, better-quality food warmers offer better heat insulation and retention.

These types of food warmers usually come with 2.5 QT stainless steel buffet trays where you can store your ribs.

The transparent dome lids make it easy for you to keep watch on the freshness status of your stored ribs.

These food warmers are also equipped with adjustable temperature controls which you can use to again heat up your stored ribs to some extent.

I highly recommend using these types of portable and easy to use food warmers to store your cooked ribs when you are in a family bbq party.

Click Here to Get Elite Platinum EWM-6171 7.5 Quart Triple Buffet Food Warmer.

4. Use Your Microwave Oven

Another option to keep your ribs warm for longer periods is to simply leave them in the oven for a while.

This method is best to warm up your ribs in the oven for short period and for low temperature.

It is important not to heat up your cooked ribs for longer than 30 minutes at max.

If you heat up your cooked ribs in the oven for longer than 30 minutes, then you may end up burning or completely drying out your pork ribs.

Here, I want to share two more useful tips for you.

First tip is to set the oven temperature as low as possible (go up to 150 F if possible.)

And the second thing is to use the roasting pan to put ribs in the oven and also cover it with aluminium foil to keep the ribs warmer for longer period.

5. Wrap Ribs and Store in Cooler

Yes, this is one of the easiest but very efficient techniques to store cooked ribs for longer duration without any spoilage in the taste.

All you need is a proper insulated cooler for a food storage, aluminium foil and towels.

First, put the cooked pork ribs in an aluminium foil.

Here, you can also use unwaxed butcher paper for proper air ventilation.

This is helpful in maintaining the external texture of the meat in its original state for long period.

Now wrap this package in few towels and keep the whole stuff inside an insulated cooler for about 2 hours.

This cooler will actually act like a warming oven and will help the ribs to remain warmer for about 2 hours.

Click Here to Get a Properly Insulated Cooler for Food Storage at Home.

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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Keeping Pork Ribs Warm After Cooking

What Temperature to Keep Ribs Warm in the Oven?

The actual temperature range which you need to maintain inside the oven is 150 degrees to 170 degrees F.

Usually, you are not left with much choice after the ribs are cooked or grilled.

You need to serve them faster otherwise they start to lose their original taste and flavor after few hours.

So, the microwave oven is the right choice to keep them warm but there’s something you need to know.

This method is applicable only if you are going to serve the cooked ribs in 30-60 mins.

The process is simple.

Firstly, you’ll have to set your oven to its lowest temperature.

In most cases, the attainable temperature is 170 degrees but I recommend to go as low as possible (up to 150 degrees is desired).

It’s important that the juices get redistributed throughout.

So, let it rest for about 15 mins.

Then, put it in a roasting pan and then, use foil to cover it.

Keep it in the oven to maintain its temperature for at least 30 minutes.

How Long will Ribs Stay Hot in a Cooler?

An ideal time period is 2 hours.

You can store cooked ribs in a cooler for up to 2 hours to maintain the warmness of the meat.

A cooked item loses its freshness and taste with time.

The same case is with the cooked pork ribs.

You have about 16 hours till they are fresh but if you want to eat it with its right taste then, the ideal time slot is up to 6 hours max.

As I already mentioned above, you can use an insulated cooler to keep the cooked ribs warmer up to 2 hours.

Coolers are good insulating agents which is why they are able to preserve your food for longer duration after the actual cooking is done.

Talking practically, it’ll add a couple of hours.

So, 9-10 hours should be its freshness expectancy.

Still, it’s advised that you should eat the cooked ribs in next 1-2 hours after they are completed cooked or grilled.

How Long Can You Let Ribs Rest?

Ribs are supposed to rest after taking out of the grill or smoker for around 10-15 minutes.

This is important because it lets the ribs’ heat and juice spread evenly throughout the meat.

Also, make sure to set a timer for up to 15 minutes after the grilling or cooking is done.

It is important to avoid the dryness of the meat which may happen if you rest the ribs beyond 15 minutes.

Also, the instant carving is not good as the taste won’t be the same at every corner.

That’s why it’s necessary to rest the cooked ribs, and let the juices sink back, and then, get on to their carving.

How to Hold Ribs After Smoking?

There are different ways to hold the ribs.

For instance, get an insulated cooler which will insulate the pork ribs and will keep them fresh and warm for up to 2 hours.

This is used when you have 5-6 hours or less to serve.

You can also use the oven to hold your ribs.

But make sure to keep the temperature at its lowest or your ribs will get dried quickly.

Plus, you can use this method only for 30-45 minutes or else the meat becomes dry and less tasty.

What to Do if Ribs are Done Early?

This does not happen often but if it does, there are two ways to tackle it.

The first is to foil it and keep it in a preheated cooler.

This will preserve the food and let its flavor settle everywhere. 

The next way would be to keep it in an oven for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Remember, you need to keep the oven at its lowest temperature, or else you’ll be speeding up the process of meat drying which eventually will make the meat lose its flavor.