How Long To Cook Baby Back Ribs On Charcoal Grill

How Long Does It Take To Smoke Ribs

BBQ Baby Back Ribs on the Weber Kettle Grill~My First Slow Cook with the Slow ‘N Sear Plus

For smoking ribs, I recommend you use a meat smoker for the best effect. Using this method is a slow process . Youre going to be cooking your ribs over a low temperature. For the best flavor, I estimate approximately 1.5 hours for every kilogram of meat.

Start heating up your smoker slowly about 30 minutes. You want to aim for a temperature around 250 degrees. Place the rack of ribs in the smoker. Set the timer for 4 5 hours depending on the size of your rack. The key point to remember here is to not remove the lid off your smoker too often. This will cause your smokers temperature to fluctuate.

If youre glazing your ribs with barbeque sauce, the best time to do it is in the last half hour of grilling time.

Prepare A Great Barbecue Sauce

It doesn’t matter which cooking method you’re using: Barbecue sauce is an essential element of any great rack of baby back ribs. However, a major mistake many people make when preparing ribs is putting on the sauce way too early, resulting in burned bits of sauce and undercooked meat. For optimal results, brush your ribs with barbecue sauce during the last 30 to 40 minutes of cooking time . Start off by brushing on a few thin coats, always keeping an eye on the rack. That sugar in barbecue sauces will add beautiful caramelization and flavor, but if it cooks too long or at too high of a heat, it will burn. Just before serving, it’s OK to add even more sauce.

How Long To Smoke Baby Back Ribs On A Charcoal Grill

Cooking ribs on a charcoal grill takes about three hours. First, set up the grill for indirect cooking over low heat, about 300 F. Once coals are blazing red, push them to one side and place a drip pan in center of grill. If using wood chips, scatter about one cup directly over the coals, then replace the top grate. Arrange ribs on the center of the grate, close the lid and cook for about three hours, or until ribs are tender. Replenish the charcoal as needed to maintain a steady temperature, adding about 10 new coals every 45 minutes of cooking time. During the final 30 minutes of cooking time, brush several coats of barbecue sauce onto the ribs every 10 minutes.

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Watch How To Make Smoked Baby Back Ribs On A Charcoal Grill:

At the end of these six steps if you break into a rack of ribs and notice a thin pink layer just beneath the surface of the meat. Congratulations! That is the highly prized smoke ring. Its kind of like a pink halo around the meat, a sign of mouthwatering, succulent, and flavorful smoked baby back ribs!

Break out a roll of paper towels its time to chow down!

Debbie, reporting for David Spivey.

#1 Prep the Ribs

  • Rinse the racks of ribs under cold running water and blot dry with paper towels.
  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. The membrane is a thin, white looking skin on the back of each rack of ribs. This membrane can block out the flavor, because it creates a barrier against the seasoning.
  • To remove the membrane, lay the ribs onto a flat surface so that the curve of the ribs point up at you. Using a sharp knife, peel the membrane from one corner near the bone. Pull across the rack with firm steady pressure. If it tears, just pull up and continue where it tore off. Rinse and pat the ribs dry again.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl stir to mix. Rub the seasonings onto both sides of the racks.

#2 Prepare the Charcoal Grill For Smoking

#3 Smoking the ribs

#4 Low and slow

#5 Test For Doneness

  • The goal temperature of smoked baby back ribs is an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. Use an instant-read thermometer, such as the Thermapen by Thermoworks to take the temperature of the ribs. Be careful not to take the reading from the bone.

Video #: Smoking Ribs With Banked Charcoal Briquettes

How to Grill Baby Back Ribs on a Gas Grill

This video shows the absolute most basic way of smoking ribs in a kettle. He is using a pile of charcoal banked on one side of the grill and cooks the ribs on the other side of the grill. Although he is only cooking one slab of ribs there is enough room on the grate to easily handle two.

This cook took a little over three hours. The cook was pretty fast because he wasnt cooking at as low of a temperature as he wanted. He wasnt using a thermometer at grate level to measure temperatures and was using an educated guess as to where the grill was running.

I love the video because it shows just how simple cooking ribs can be!

Also Check: How To Cook Boneless Chicken Breast On A Gas Grill

What To Serve With Ribs

If you are going through all of the effort to cook ribs on a charcoal grill, you surely need some equally great side dishes to pair with it! My suggestion would be to cook up some grilled corn on the cob on the unused space of the grill, whip up a big batch of homemade baked beans, and some tantalizing homemade coleslaw! That right there is the perfect cookout!

Video #: Smoking Ribs With The Snake Method

This video is really different from the first video for two reasons. The first is that it shows you a completely different way of arranging the charcoal. This method is called the Snake Method or the Fuse Method. The second difference is that, after the ribs get plenty of smoke for the first couple of hours, they are wrapped in aluminum foil.

He doesnt really go into why the ribs are wrapped but pitmasters do this for two reasons. First off, wrapping the ribs in foil accelerates the cooking process and get the ribs off the pit faster. Secondly, wrapping the ribs helps protect the color and prevents them from taking up too much smoke.

Whether or not you should wrap your ribs and exactly how to wrap them is a matter of preference and debate. Dont worry about that part right now and instead take a few minutes to learn how to set up a snake!

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How Long To Grill Ribs On A Gas Grill

A gas grill is hot and suitable for fast cooking, not so much when it comes to low heat grilling. But, you can do it by making a 2-zone fire by turning off half the burners.

Once you are sure the temperature is steady at 225 °F , the cooking times should be the same as the charcoal grill, about 6 hours.

Be sure to rotate the meat and wrap it in foil using the same time guideline as above.

How Do You Know When Your Ribs Are Done

Baby Back Ribs on the Weber Charcoal Grill

Pick them up with your BBQ gloves and give them a slight bend. When the ribs easily start to break you know you are about finished. This should take upwards of 5 or 6 hours. In fact, dont be surprised if this takes 10 plus hours. It all depends on your average temperature and when you smoke on a charcoal grill you will have violent temperature fluctuations. The dome temperatures can easily fluctuate from 225, 250, 300, 275, and 177 after 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 hours of cooking respectively. So if you average in the lower 200s you will need extra time. If you average 250 or 275 you can finish your ribs in about 6-7 hours or maybe less. Just dont average over 300 degrees of you will lose the tender fall off the bone effect that makes this meal worth it!

When you have almost 1 or 2 hours left, start making your barbecue sauce. You can use any sauce you like but Ill share this sauce because it is simply the best. The recipe comes from my BBQ mentor Joe.

Ingredients in Joes barbecue sauce:2 cups ketchup¼ cup apple cider vinegar¼ cup worcestershire sauce1 tsp ground white pepper1 tsp ground ginger 1 golden delicious apple which has been peeled, cored and finely grated 1 small onion

Cut them up and they are ready to serve! Perfect baby back ribs!

If youre looking for an easy side dish to make with your ribs check out these BBQ Grilled Spaghetti Squash Rings

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Low And Slow Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Ive been really craving a nice rack of slow grilled baby back ribs lately. I didnt want to cook them in the oven and finish them on the grill like Ive done in the past. I really wanted to get than beautiful smokey grilled flavor really set into the baby back ribs. The craving had to be satisfied.

The best part of summer is grilling. I go through so much propane from grilling and the kitchen stays semi-clean for 3 months. So thats a huge win!

And yes, Ive been long converted to a propane guy. I like to taste the meat, not the heat . OK, honestly I prefer both, but most apartments look down on charcoal grills.

You cant go wrong with wood either. Traeger graciously sent me their Pro Series 34 Pellet Grill recently, and this option works quite well with this recipe. A smoker basket works will in a traditional grill. But you cant go wrong with wood burning for the whole time your ribs cook!

Its honestly the best to be grilling it up in the backyard low and slow at 225 F, with the kids playing in the back yard , and having a cold beer by your side.

Nothing says summer like some slow grilled baby back ribs.

I used my tried and true texas style barbecue rub for this one. I have another rub in the works, but sometimes when I have a craving I need to just play it save and go with what works! I let it sit in my Traeger for about 5 hours or so at 225, until the internal temperature of the ribs hit about 195-205F.

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

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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!

  • The Twist Grab a rib in the middle of the rack, and pinch its tip. Use a small amount of force to twist the rib. If the meat starts to fall off, the ribs are done.
  • The Bend Take cooking tongs and grab the rack at the middle. Carefully lift it and watch the meat. If small rifts appear, and the meat breaks apart, the ribs are ready.
  • The good old Toothpick test This test is used in the kitchen a lot, and it applies here as well. Take a toothpick and poke the meat between the ribs. If the meat shows no resistance, the ribs are ready. Just make sure to poke around, and not in a single spot only.
  • How To Hold Ribs

    Smoked Baby Back Ribs Recipe

    Sometimes time and circumstances wont allow you to enjoy your BBQ ribs immediately, in which case its imperative that you hold and store them in a way that wont heavily impact flavor or quality.

    Remove the ribs from the grill and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Using plastic wrap, wrap the ribs tightly in a few layers. Its key here that you dont use aluminum foil as BBQ sauce and foil can actually react due to the acidic nature of the sauce.

    If you are going to be enjoying the ribs any later than an hour after cooking then put them in the refrigerator. For tips on how to then warm them back up again, check out my guide on how to reheat ribs.

    Read Also: Do Traeger Grills Use Propane

    How To Cook Baby Back Ribs: Memphis Style

    There are several ways to cook baby back ribs the best way is totally subjective and completely up to you. Baby back ribs can be smoked low and slow like these smoked spare ribs. They can be baked or broiled if you prefer to cook ribs in the oven. This blog, however, is about grilling baby back ribs, and theyll be done in 90 minutes.

    Today were grilling baby back ribs hot and fast directly over charcoal, no wood, just like they do at the world-famous Rendezvous BBQ joint in Memphis, Tennessee. Theyve been using this technique since the late 1940s at this iconic restaurant, and the key to this style of cooking is keeping the ribs high enough above the coals so that they dont burn.

    Jump to Recipe |

    Thats a challenge for most grills on the market today just given their design, and may be why the technique isnt as popular as the low and slow technique. Im going to be using the Shokunin Kamado, which uses an adjustable fire grate system, allowing me to cook the ribs high above the coals. This style of cooking can also be done on a drum style smoker if you have one, or even a Weber Smokey Mountain.

    First, lets answer a few questions that seem to be asked quite a bit when it comes to cooking ribs. Then Ill cover a few tips for cooking baby back ribs on the grill. Finally, Ill share my recipe for Memphis baby back ribs, cooked Rendezvous style.

    How To Keep Your Charcoal Grill At 225f

    The length of time required to cook ribs will depend on both the meatiness of the ribs and your grill temperature. And your grill temp can vary based on things like the outside air temperature, moisture inside the grill, air flow, type of charcoal, etc. But if using a Weber 22 kettle with standard Kingsford briquettes, the following is an almost foolproof process for controlling the temperature:

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    How To Make Ribs Without Bbq Sauce

    If youre not a fan of BBQ sauce, or you are watching your sugar intake, the recipe Im sharing here uses no BBQ sauce. The key is to make an amazing rub for the ribs that complements the pork. Ill share mine below I love it, and its been given high praise by those who have tried it. Its both sweet and savory, and with the mop sauce these pork ribs are delicious.

    How Long To Cook Ribs On A Grill

    How To Make Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Easy

    Everyone likes to nib on a tasty rib! There are many recipes, from slow cooking and smoking to straight on grilling ribs, and the latter turned out to be the favorite of many. The main reason is, of course, the chance to get into it without having to worry about grease and rules in general. There is no special fork for ribs, and the whole grill cookout is interactive and fun for everyone, not just the cook.

    In this guide, we will go through the most important info you need to get to that delicious and fun experience of eating nicely cooked ribs. People often think that grilling is easy, especially when it comes to larger pieces of meat, but that kind of attitude will only leave you with a chewy or charcoal-like meal, which no one likes. Not to mention the time invested, let alone the money for the meat and everything in between.

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    Selecting Your Rack Of Ribs Affects Your Grilling Time

    Most of the time when people refer to ribs theyre referring to pork ribs.

    Even though there are the popular beef short ribs and even other cuts of beef ribs, as well as lamb ribs, the vast majority of smoked barbecue ribs are pork. And there are three popular types of pork ribs you can buy:

  • Baby back ribs
  • Spareribs
  • Louis-style ribs
  • Learn how to tell your different pork ribs from each other in this video from the BBQGuys:

    Baby backs refer to loin or pork loin back ribs. They are cut from where the rib meets the spine. The upper portion is named baby backs because theyre shorter in length compared to spares.

    There are about 10 to 13 curved ribs from 3 to 6 inches in length. Theyre usually tender and lean.

    St. Louis-style and spareribs are cut from the pork belly .

    The slab shape is rectangular because the hard breastbone and cartilage are removed. Its flatter in shape compared to the baby back ribs and theyre easier to brown because they contain a higher amount of fat.

    Theyre moist, juicy and very flavorful if cooked properly.

    All pork ribs require low and slow cooking, otherwise theyll be hard and chewy.

    Does it make a difference to the cooking time which cut you choose?

    Yes, if you cook spares instead of baby backs, you will need to add more cooking time because baby backs are smaller compared to spares.

    For example, if you cook both at 225 °F:

  • Baby backs 4 to 5½ hours
  • Louis-style / spares 5 to 6½ hours
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