How Do You Cook Spare Ribs On The Grill

How To Buy Ribs

How To Cook Spare Ribs On A Pellet Grill | BallerBBQ

You can buy ribs at the butcher shop, grocery store, or mass market retailers like Costco. Ribs from the butcher will usually be sold individually and pre-trimmed so you know what you are getting. The butcher will usually have their ribs cut down into St. Louis style while the mass market retailers sell spare ribs that you cut down yourself.

When buying ribs, look for marbling and uniformity of the rib so it cooks evenly, and make sure there are no shimmers. That is where the butcher got too close to the bone and nicked it with their knife. Look for marbling. Fat provides a lot of flavor but find ribs that have the least amount of fat because youll end up trimming it. Look out for blood spots on the meat. This usually means the animal suffered and muscles tensed up.

How To Cook Bbq Pork Spare Ribs With Dry Rub Seasoning

Cooking tender Texas barbeque pork ribs is not rocket science. Anyone can do it. Dry rub seasoning and “Slow and Low” smoked cooking is the key.Here is our fool-proof method for smoking a great rack of ribs. For more detailed instructions, we have cooking videos below to walk you though all the steps.

You can use this same method for beef ribs but with subtle differences. Beef spareribs tend to be a tougher meat that pork so they need extra time on the grill.

Here our two-part instructional video that walks you though the entire process.

If you dont’ have access to a smoker with indirect heat, here’s our video show you how to grill your ribs on a gas grill.

How To Cook Pork Ribs On A Pellet Grill

A pellet grill gives you the consistent temperature and reliable smoke flavor to make the best ribs on the block.

If you can automatically adjust the temperature of your pellet grill like you can with a Traeger you won’t have to worry about opening the grill to add charcoal.

Because your pellets are constantly added to the fire, you don’t need to open the grill to add more pellets. Those pellets are just working away, keeping your grill at the proper temperature and delivering natural smoke flavor to the ribs.

Just follow the instructions above for tender, delicious, perfectly-colored and evenly cooked pork ribs.

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Place The Ribs On The Grill

Where you place the ribs on the grill is most important. You need indirect heat to cook ribs without drying them out or overcooking them. The goal is to hit temperatures up to 375 F/190 C.

If you have a grill with the burners running front to back, you will need to use one of the burners on either end. Let’s say you are using the left side burner. This means you place your smoke bombs directly over this burner . The ribs will be placed on the grate to the right of the hot burner. If the rack of ribs is short enough to be placed running parallel to the burners, set it near the hot burner but not over it. Otherwise, you might have to place it in a more diagonal position on the grill, which will require rotating the rack of ribs occasionally to even out the cooking.

Place the rib rack bone-side down on the grill, close the lid, and adjust the grill until it holds a temperature of 300 F/150 C. Let the ribs cook for 30 minutes. Don’t open the lid as keeping it closed will hold in as much smoke as possible. Don’t expect a lot of smoke to billow out of the grill as there won’t be a tremendous amount of smoke production.

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How Do I Cook Pork Spare Ribs? (with pictures)


Im Aubrey. Im Mom to two little monkeys and married to my best friend. I love finding food thats easy to make and my family loves! Real Housemoms started as a way to share recipes with friends, now I just have a lot more friends!

Hey, Im Aubrey!

Im mom to two great boys and married to my best friend! I spend my time developing recipes that my family and friends will love and then I share them with you! Im committed to getting families back to the dinner table one simple recipe at a time!

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How To Remove The Membrane/skin Off Baby Back Ribs

This is a controversial and personal step when cooking ribs. I grew up eating ribs with the skin left on and only started removing them about 10 years ago advice from a chef. Personally, I love the chewiness of the membrane when left on, BUT, I also love the ease of eating ribs with it removed.

Go with what YOU love!

  • Turn ribs over with bone/rack-side facing up. Carefully slide a blunt knife under the membrane at one end of the rack.
  • Lift to loosen the membrane off of the bone.
  • Using a sheet of paper towel to hold onto the membrane, peel it off the back of the ribs.
  • It should come off in one piece.

Caribbean Pineapple Baby Back Ribs With Chile Rub

Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 25 minutes / Total time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

You will need a spray bottle for this recipe.


4 racks of baby back ribs or St. Louis-style spare ribs

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons favorite chile powder

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

1/4 cup white vinegar

Oil for the grill grates

Favorite barbecue sauce

To prepare the ribs: Pull the white membrane off the back of the ribs. Discard the membrane. Cut each slab in half. Place the ribs on a sided baking sheet.

In a bowl, combine all the rub ingredients. Taste the rub and adjust seasonings as needed. It should have a sweet, salty and slightly spicy taste. Sprinkle some of the rub on the back sides of the ribs, rubbing it in. Flip the ribs over and generously sprinkle the meaty side with the remaining rub. Pat the rub into the ribs. Place the ribs in the refrigerator for at least one hour or as long as overnight, before grilling.

In a spray bottle, place the pineapple juice, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.

Remove the ribs from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling.

Preheat the grill with all burners on high. Oil the grill grates. Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the ribs on the grill. You want to maintain a temperature of about 300 degrees. You may have to shut one burner off.

Analysis per 1/2 slab ribs with rub.

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How To Tenderize Pork Ribs Before Grilling

The ribs should be cooked slowly for optimal tenderness. Ribs are often cooked before being grilled or steamed in the oven to make the meat more tender. To steam the ribs in the oven, place the ribs in a large baking dish, fill with about 1 inch of water, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes.

How To Prepare The Grill

How to prepare BBQ Spare Ribs on a charcoal grill

Our main aim here is to turn our grill into a smoker. This actually takes a bit of skill because we need to keep a good, constant heat of about 250F/120 C. Not only will this require the use of a good meat thermometer, but also a little knowledge of indirect cooking.

If youre unfamiliar with indirect cooking, its a method that places charcoal lumpwood under one half of your grill grate, leaving the other side clear. You then put your meat on this clear side, allowing the heat inside the grill to cook it rather than the direct heat from the flames.

For a full guide check out my guide to indirect grilling.

With this approach, were going to be a bit creative and call on the help of a disposable aluminum pan. Were going to fill it with water and use it to add moisture to our grilling environment, in turn helping to regulate the temperature. More on this in a moment.

Make sure your BBQs grates and drum are both thoroughly clean before cooking. There are a lot of benefits to having a spotless BBQ, so if your grill is dirty then Id put aside half an hour to really clean it.

Once clean, remove the cooking grate and light the charcoal. There are a few methods to this, so if youre not sure how to do this then take a look at my guide on how to light a charcoal grill.

Youll need enough charcoal to cover half the grate area, and also enough to create 2-3 layers of charcoal.

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Should You Cook Ribs Before Grilling

Another option to preparing your grilled ribs is to bake them in the oven or slow cooker and simply finish them up on the grill. This ensures that the ribs are tender but also have that great smokey char that the grill gives off.

Ive found that with this grilled ribs recipe, the ribs come out tender every time even if cooked on the grill from raw. I love the flavor that cooking the ribs on the grill for the full hour gives, but thats just a personal opinion. Really, either method works great for delicious bbq ribs!

How To Make Tender Ribs

Perfectly tender ribs are actually easy to make with this method!

  • Choose the right ribs, baby back or pork back ribs are the most tender and the best choice.
  • Cook them low and slow in the oven until they become really tender.
  • Ensure they are well sealed as they cook.
  • These can be made with any sauce or even just salt & pepper.
  • Broil or grill to get a little bit of color before serving.

Kitchen Tip Baked, Not Boiled!

Before grilling , ribs are cooked slowly to make them tender often people BOIL them.

Boiling ribs will make all their flavor seep out into the water and theyll be bland! The method below keeps all of the flavors, youll never boil ribs again!

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Grilled Bbq Pork Spare Ribs

Fork-tender BBQ Spare Ribs coated in a Cajun dry rub and grilled to perfection with crispy outer edges.

This season has brought so much gratitude into my life. If nothing else, I’ve learned to appreciate and not take small things for granted. It may sound silly, but I will not take a bag of rice or all- purpose flour for granted, or a box of pasta or bathroom tissue for that matter. Above all, I will not take time with my family for granted. I’ve cherished this time with my family so much.

This season has been about pantry staples and pasta galore. Let’s spice things up a bit, and let’s get out in the yard and start grilling.

Today, I’m bringing you a delicious BBQ spare ribs recipe that calls for firing up the grill. Meanwhile, don’t forget to check out this Grilled Teriyaki Pork Ribs Recipe too. Also, check out these Grilled Flanken Short Ribs or these Grilled Chicken Wings and let’s not forget Grilled Boneless Chicken Thighs.

Grilling season is just around the corner, so we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and grill outdoors. If you’re a meat-eater and love pork, I’m convinced that you’ll love this recipe. These smoked flavored ribs are beautifully caramelized and tender with the most robust flavor.

How To Choose The Best Ribs For Grilling

How to Slow

The best ribs for grilling really depend on your tastes and needs. In most parts of the United States, pork ribs are preferred, and they are the most common types of ribs. However, beef ribs, which are larger and have a deeper flavor, are also popular in places where BBQ beef is king, like Kansas City and many parts of Texas. Both of these take well to American-style barbecue sauces. Lamb ribs are also a great alternative, but theyre not as commonly eaten in North America as pork and beef ribs. Lamb has a gamier flavor that requires different seasonings that pork and beef ribs. There are many mouthwateringly delicious lamb rib recipes in Middle Eastern and East Asian cuisines that feature cumin, coriander and a lot of garlic.

Among pork ribs, there are several common varieties to choose from:

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What Our Readers Are Saying

If you dont believe that our recipe helps you achieve perfect oven baked ribs at home, take a look at what our readers are saying about the recipe! More reviews are in the comments section below.

These are the best ribs Ive ever made! Nick

My first time making ribs and it couldnt have been easier or tastier. M.B.

This is the best recipe for ribs that I have found. It is so easy and absolutely delicious! Jackie

Quite literally fall off the bone goodness. Jessica

OMG! These ribs are incredible!!! Lupita

How Long To Cook Pork Spare Ribs In The Oven

Depending on the actual temperature and size of ribs rack anywhere from 2 to 3 hours total time. We usually check them after two hours and decide how much longer to let them cook.

While an internal temperature of 145 F is food safe, 190 F is typically when the meat will begin to pull away from the bones. Give higher priority to your visual perception than your food thermometer.

If you are satisfied with how tender the meat has become after the 2-hour mark you can go ahead and remove the aluminum foil and parchment paper and cook uncovered to let the outsides get nicely caramelized and crispy.

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How To Braise Ribs

Braising ribs is similar to boiling ribs except you are using a smaller quantity of more flavorful liquid. This is a preferred way to infuse your ribs with more flavor because the liquid in which they cook is usually a lot more concentrated than the liquid you use to boil ribs. Again, the skys the limit as far as what you can add to your braise for flavor, but many people simply slow-cook their ribs in barbecue sauce.

You can braise your ribs on the stovetop by bringing the barbecue sauce to a simmer over medium heat, adding the ribs, covering them, reducing the heat to low and cooking for a few hours. Check every hour or so for tenderness. This is an excellent opportunity to use a slow cooker, too.

Alternatively, you can braise them in the oven. The advantage of this is that in an oven, the heat is cooking the ribs from all sides, making for much more even cooking. As well, you can cook more ribs in the oven than you can on a stove top simply because you have more space. You also have the option of precooking a whole slab of ribs rather than cutting the rack down into smaller pieces, which can be necessary for stovetop cooking

You can either use a large roasting pan or even buy a disposable aluminum roasting pan to cook enough ribs for a crowd. Heres how:

  • Center your oven rack and preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • To a large roasting pan, add your ribs and toss with seasonings and braising liquid or barbecue sauce.
  • How To Cut Ribs

    How To Cook BBQ Pork Spare Ribs on the Grill with Dry Rub Spice

    If you don’t want to leave the rack whole and unleash your inner carnivore by tearing the meat from the ribs with your fingers and teeth, get a sharp knife and carefully slice between the bones.

    Matt Pittman tip: Sometimes it’s hard to see where to cut the ribs to get ribs that are nice and meaty. It helps to flip the ribs over to see which direction the bones are going.

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    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:

    Do I Wrap The Ribs In Foil While Baking

    Wrapping the meat in aluminum foil reduces the amount of smoke on the surface of the meat, enhancing the color and flavor of the finished product. It also adds moisture and speeds up cooking time. Wrapping should be done about halfway through cooking or when the internal temperature of the meat is 150-160 degrees.

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    Sweet And Spicy Barbecue Sauce

    You can use any barbecue sauce you like, but for us, we like to cook up our quick sweet and spicy sauce it only takes a few minutes. It combines ketchup, brown sugar, chili sauce , and spices. Weve shared how to make it in the recipe.

    I like making a double batch of the sauce and keeping it in the refrigerator. It will last up to 5 days. The sauce is perfect with chicken, on a burger, or as a dip for fries.

    We make a similar sauce to coat our brown sugar barbecue wings. Another option is our homemade bacon bourbon barbecue sauce . We use that sauce for our bacon bourbon baked ribs.

    How Do Restaurants Cook Ribs

    Best Barbecue Ribs Recipe: Master On Every Cooking Style

    Most chain restaurants cook them in a humid environment for 2 hours and then finish them with gravy on a grill to set the glaze and place racks on top. I agree with Ricepad. Real BBQ should be done low and slow if they want to call it BBQ ribs. This method is quite rare outside of barbecue joints.

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