Slightly Twist A Bone
Grab the tip of a bone from the middle of your slab and give it a slight twist. You should feel the bone easily start to break from the meat, indicating that your meat is the perfect tenderness. If the bone comes out without resistance, you might have cooked them a little too long. If it doesnt tear free from the bone at all, they might need to spend more time cooking.
How To Check The Readiness Of The Ribs
Here are three quick methods you can use to check if the ribs are ready for munching!
Checking Whether The Ribs Are Done
When the ribs are perfectly done, they should look done. They should be easily pierced by a fork. The ribs should feel tender, yet juicy. But, they shouldnt have gone so soft that they fall right off the bone. Thats a disappointment to everyone!
Break off one rib, and check the colors of your meat. If its pink on the outside but white on the inside, youve got it perfectly ready. If theyre too pink, theyre probably not done yet.
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Cooking Ribs On The Grill With Foil
There is no doubt that wrapping them in foil will enhance the end result. There are multiple advantages to doing so. When you wrap the ribs in foil, it prevents them from soaking up too much smoke that causes them to get fried up. The meat is better able to retain moisture and comes out with a delicious-looking color.
The foil also speeds up the cooking time. Although, dont wrap the ribs in foil from the beginning. Its usually preferable to wrap them up when the ribs are cooked halfway through. This allows the meat to be cooked evenly, absorb just enough flavor from the grill, and still be perfect.
Wrapping The Ribs In Foil
Once the ribs are browned on all each side, its time to steam the ribs with apple juice to make it tender. Although a half cup of apple juice is a favorite in this foil technique, you can also use other juices you want like pineapple or orange juice.
Tightly wrap the meat in foil to keep all the apple juice or your favorite juice inside the wrap. Place the foil wrapped ribs back on the indirect heat side of the grill. Close the lid and raise the temperature to about 375°F. This temperature is appropriate to boil the apple juice, make the ribs tender, and let the ribs cook inside the foil.
Leave the wrap in the grill for about 30 minutes before you turn the heat on low. Unwrap the rack of ribs after the time is up and you can test if it’s almost done by its flexibility. It should be more flexible and if you hold it at one end, it should sag down.
However, if you notice that one side is not entirely browned, wrap up the rack of ribs again and let it grill for another 10 minutes to 15 minutes over the indirect heat space but now at a temperature of about 250°F to 265°F.
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How Long To Grill Ribs On A Charcoal Grill
Cooking time depends on grill temperature. The idea is to keep the grill at a consistent temperature of around 225°F .
Low and slow is the name of the game and why you need to give yourself plenty of prep time.
At 225°F , its going to take at least 5 hours, possibly just over 6 to cook them.
Although we want the internal temperature of ribs to be 190°F minimum, it doesnt mean theyre ready. It takes time to break down the connective tissues that make them tender, and sometimes we need to take them and slowly up to as high as 205°F
The basic timeline looks like this:
- 3 hours of smoking unwrapped
- 2 hours of cooking wrapped in foil
- 1 hour of cooking unwrapped at a higher temperature to finish
Your ribs may take more or less time depending on your grill. Remember to occasionally rotate them, check fire, smoking wood & water every 30 minutes.
Test for doneness, not time or temp, and you should be ready to serve perfect ribs. Ill talk about doneness in a moment.
Understanding The Difference Between Ready And Done
When it comes to good pork ribs there is ready and done. Just because theyre cooked doesnt mean they are at their best for eating.
Ready means that the internal temperature of the meat is a minimum of 145°F , they are cooked and the meat is safe to eat, but you probably wont like it. The meat will be very tough.
Done means the ribs have had a chance to gain a higher temperature of around 190°F to 205°F . Getting to this temp melts the fat and collagens that makes them tough, and instead makes them moist, tender and delicious.
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How To Make Tender Ribs On The Grill
- The first tip when cooking ribs is to always remove the silver skin membrane. Take a sharp knife and lift up the membrane at one end on the backside of the baby backs. If you use a paper towel once you start to pull it up it will come up super easily. You can check out this video from Barbecue Tricks to see the exact way to do it.
- Rub the dry spice rub onto both sides of the ribs to add flavor to every bite.
- Grilling on indirect heat at a low temp for a longer time also adds to the tenderness the ribs breakdown, but doesnt dry out and get burned by being on high heat.
- Grill the pork back ribs on indirect heat. Turn on the burners to low temperature heat. If you have a large grill, turn on the two outer burners and then set the ribs on the section where there are no flames. If you have a smaller grill, heat one side and leave the other side of the grill off.
- You may want to cut a full rack of ribs to smaller racks to fit on a smaller grill so they are completely off of any flame while slow cooking.
- If you want you can create a drip pan by making a foil pan with aluminum foil underneath them. Since its indirect heat you can lay the tray just below the ribs underneath the cooking grate where there is no flames to catch the drippings.
What Kind Of Ribs Should You Get
A vast majority of people, when they talk about ribs, mean to say pork ribs, and that is what we are going to talk about today. However, if you go to your local butcher shop and ask for pork ribs, they will ask you: baby rack or spareribs?, and we will prepare you for that question right away. The types of ribs that you can get are divided into two major groups:
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Tips For Making Ribs On The Grill
Make sure youre using apple cider and NOT apple cider vinegar for this grilled ribs recipe. You want non-alcoholic cider that hasnt been flavored with cinnamon or other spices.
Its also important that you place a wire rack in the baking sheet, as you want some of the fat to drip off the ribs. Plus, you dont want them cooking directly in the apple cider.
Finally, when grilling the ribs, heat them on the grill first, then baste with sauce. If you add the sauce too early youll be sure to end up with blackened crusty outtards thanks to the potential for burning the sugar in the barbecue sauce rather than the savory and delicious variety we all crave.
How Long To Grill Beef Short Ribs
Beef short ribs are a prized cut of BBQ pit masters around the country. Theyre known for being high in fat and full of incredibly robust and delicious beefy flavor.
Additionally, the meat is all on top of the bones when it comes to the short rib section. With this cut, well want to cook them low and slow on the grill at 225°F.
The amount of time it takes to cook beef short ribs has more to do with the thickness of the beef layer on top of the bone. Most cuts will have 1 to 2 inches of beef on top.
- For 1 inch thick beef: cook at 225°F for about 1 hour for medium rare results
- For 1 1/2 inch thick beef: cook at 225°F for about 1 1/2 hours for medium rare results
- For 1 inch thick beef: cook at 225°F for about 2 hours for medium rare results
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How To Grill Ribs On A Charcoal Grill
Youll set your charcoal only on one side and let them get super hot, then allow them to get to medium/ low heat before placing the ribs on the non-heated side. Because it takes 2-3 hours to grill the ribs, you may need to add some coals to the bbq. Youll need to pay special attention that the grill does not get too hot.
How To Cook Baby Back Ribs
If you want to cook perfect baby back ribs, you need one very important thingtime. To go from tough and chewy to luscious and tender, baby back ribs need to be cooked low and slow over indirect heat, whether its in the oven or on the grill or smoker. The one exception to this is a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, both of which significantly speed up the process.
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The Best Way To Cook Ribs Using The Oven And Grill
I love BBQ ribs, but Ive never actually attempted to cook them at home until Memorial Day weekend 2020. I figured with the stay at home orders still in place and nowhere to go, it would be a perfect time for me to experiment with cooking ribs at home.
I wont bore you with a story related to growing up eating my moms ribs, or how she cooks them, because I know you just want to get into the recipe, so lets go through the process I used and how to cook them and then I can bore you with some personal anecdotes if you so choose to read them.
Shorten The Time The Hot And Fast Method
There is a faster way to cook ribs. Instead of cooking at 225°F , youll bump up the temperature to 325°F .
Place your ribs on the top rack and cook unwrapped for 1½ to 2 hours.
After they have a nice deep color, wrap them in foil or butcher paper. The paper method allows some of the steam to escape, keeping the bark intact and preventing them braising.
Return them to the grill for another 1½ to 2 hours. Check for doneness. Use the last 30 minutes to sauce your ribs and cook on a glaze.
Finally, take them off and let them rest for 15 minutes.
With this method, you can reduce the cooking time by approximately 2 hours, but increase the chances of overcooking and drying out the ribs. Just be diligent about the meat and dont leave it alone too long.
For a fuller description, recipe and method, see this article from HeyGrillHey.com
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Should You Wrap Ribs In Foil When Grilling
Wrapping the meat in foil will limit the amount of smoke on the surface of the meat thus yielding a better color and flavor on the final product. It also adds moisture and speeds up cooking time. Wrapping should be done about half way through the cooking process or when internal meat temp is 150-160 degrees.
Liquid Smoke Is Real Smoke
Now we get to the real question: How do you get smoky flavor into ribs without actual smoke? Some sous vide recipes use a hybrid method, either starting or finishing the ribs in the smoker to add real smoke flavor to them. To me, this seems to miss the point. If I’m willing to fire up the smoker, then there are any number of traditional recipes out there that don’t necessarily require sous vide for great results. I want a method that allows me to cook the ribs indoors from start to finish, no actual fire necessary.
J. Kenji López-Alt
Liquid smoke gets a bum rap, but it shouldn’t. The good brands, such as Wright’s or Colgin, are quite literally nothing more than smoke and water in a bottle. To make it, manufacturers burn hardwoodjust like you would in your smokerthen run the moist smoke through a condenser, where water vapor condenses and traps the smoky constituentsjust like how water vapor condenses and deposits smoke flavor on the surface of meat. This water drips down and is collected and packed into bottles.
According to flavor and fragrance experts Leffingwell & Associates, the vast majority of compounds that lend smoke its unique aromasmoky phenols derived from burnt wood lignin, and burnt caramelscented cyclopentenones from cellulosemake their way into those liquid smoke bottles as well. In taste tests I’ve held, most folks cannot tell the difference between truly smoked meats and those treated with judiciously applied liquid smoke.
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Bake The Ribs For Two Hours In The Oven
Two hours may seem like a long time to wait for ribs! But trust me, you’ll be so glad you did when you take your first bite! Succulent meat, falling off the bone, is well worth the effort! And the only way to get that is to bake them in the oven first!
Place the ribs on separate racks and then switch their positions after one hour.
Once the ribs are done, they will look like this and be tender to the touch. In fact, they’ll be so tender they will be a bit fragile so be careful when handling them.
The best way to bring them out to the grill is on a large baking sheet. They will be easier to handle that way and once cooked, two racks will fit nicely on one sheet pan.
How To Tell Ribs Are Ready
The USDA recommends that pork and beef both be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F to be considered done. Many professional chefs cook beef steak cuts to only 128°F or so before they are served.
Its important to note here the difference between safe to eat and finished.
Since ribs are tougher cuts of meat, they should be cooked longer and until they reach a higher internal temperature so that the connective tissues and fats have ample time to break down and render.
Ribs are generally cooked until an internal temperature of 190°F to 205°F. Aaron Franklin, a BBQ idol of mine, recommends that you cook to an internal temperature of 203°F.
The best way to tell if ribs are ready is to measure internal temperature of your meat with a probe meat thermometer. When measuring, make sure that the probe measures a thick section in the center of the slab. The bones are sure to be piping hot and will throw off your temperature reading if the probe gets too close.
There are also a couple of quick checks you can do if you dont have a thermometer handy:
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How Do You Slow Cook Ribs On A Weber Grill
Prepare the grill for direct and indirect cooking over low heat . Combine the rub ingredients, including 1 tablespoon black pepper and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Season the ribs evenly with the rub. Grill the ribs over direct low heat, with the lid closed, until nicely marked, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once.
How Can I Support Family Farms
When you pick up some pork ribs at Walmart or Kroger you are more than likely buying pork that was raised in Iowa by a family that has been doing it for generations. How cool is that?! Plus, I think it is super important, as a consumer, to know where my food is coming from and how it is being raised. It’s comforting to know that families, who care about us and their animals, are producing this food that I am enjoying.
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Go Easy On The Seasonings
When it comes to seasoning ribs, you want to be very conservative good ribs have a great flavor all on their own and don’t need a lot of enhancement. It is also important to avoid adding barbecue sauce to ribs early in the process. Most barbecue sauces, whether store-bought or homemade, contain some kind of sugar . This can cause your barbecue ribs to burn, even when cooked indirectly.
Try using a good rub before you grill, and if you like, a barbecue sauce after the grilling is done. If you are adding a sauce, try using a mop. A mop is a thin barbecue sauce that you brush on during grilling to help maintain moisture and to add flavor. Sometimes you will hear it referred to as a baste.
You can also fill a spray bottle with a thin barbecue sauce, thin meaning it is practically water. Try a mixture of paprika, water, and a few other seasonings. By spraying the ribs with this mixture during grilling you will add moisture, reduce burning, and add flavor to your barbecue ribs.