How To Grill Easy Baby Back Ribs
Your beginner’s guide to making tender grilled baby back ribs at home..
It’s time to get your grill on! And while there’s nothing wrong with good ol’ hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, Nicole McLaughlin, aka;NicoleMcmom, is going to show you how to take your grill game to the next level with an easy way to make tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone grilled baby back ribs.
It starts with a spicy rub to boost flavor, moves on to a simple two-step process for grilling the ribs so they don’t dry out, and ends with a glaze of homemade barbeque sauce for a final savory layer of finger-lickin’ goodness.
To get her grilled baby back ribs exactly how she wants them, Nicole applies the rub from this recipe for Prize Winning Baby Back Ribs and cooks up a batch of this Zippy Barbecue Sauce, and uses her own tried-and-true method for grilling the baby backs. Put them all together and get ready for compliments all season long.
How Long To Cook Baby Back Ribs
How long do baby back ribs need to cook, exactly? The exact cook time for tender baby back ribs depends on the recipe and cooking method. In most cases, ribs cant be rushed in order to become tender. So if youre planning to make them for a crowd, allot more time than you think youll need.
For traditional methods that use the oven or the grill, budget about 3 to 4 hours of total cook time. For speedier methods like the Instant Pot, ribs can be ready in as little as 25 minutes.
How To Tell If They Are Done
This is the biggest issue. Too long, and they are dry and overcooked. Too short, and they are tough. I’m combining three things.
1) Temperature, I want the instant-read temperature at 190° plus range. More like 200°-205° is better. It is hard to get an accurate temperature due to the thin meat and the bones interfering.
2) I want to see some bone. This means the ends of the rib bones are sticking out some.
3) When I pick up the ribs with tongs holding them about ⅓ of the way up, they crack some.
If you use a larger rib like a St. Louis or similar, they will also take longer. DO NOT GO BY TIME ONLY HERE.
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Adams Tip: Remove The Membrane
For the most tender ribs, we remove the thin membrane covering the rack. It can be a bit tough when cooked, and since we love ribs that fall of the bone, the membrane has to go. You might find that the butcher has already removed this, but just in case, heres how to do it yourself.
To remove it, gently slide a knife under the membrane, and then use your fingers to pull the membrane away from the bones. If it is slippery or difficult to remove, use a kitchen towel to take hold of it and pull.
As I mentioned above, you may find that the butcher or shop you bought your ribs from has already removed the;membrane. Less work for you!
Also, keep in mind that removing the membrane is optional, some people prefer ribs with the membrane left intact. For ribs with some bite or chewiness, leave the membrane alone. Its all up to you!
Video: How To Make Baby Back Ribs
To see the entire process from start to finish, be sure to watch the video in the recipe card at the bottom of this post!
While I have several rib recipes already here on the site, I figured it best to start at the beginning.
The key things to remember are start with a dry rub , baste with a mop sauce while cooking and glaze with barbecue sauce until sticky and tender.
How to remove the membrane from baby back ribs:
First, start with removing the thin, papery membrane from the back of each rack by inserting a knife under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a paper towel, or pliers to secure a grip and peel off the membrane. Most times your butcher has already done, this , but its good practice to make sure!
Then dry rub your ribs with spices for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.
As they grill, brush with the mop sauce and perfection awaits. Brush again after theyre tender and cooked through with your favorite BBQ sauce, or not, and grill the ribs until the BBQ sauce is browned and bubbling, a couple minutes per side.
Remove from the grill and let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the ribs. Its that easy.
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Ingredients For Instant Pot Baby Back Ribs
- Pork Ribs Baby back or St. Louis style ribs will both work well in this recipe.
- Broth or WaterBeef broth or chicken broth will infuse the ribs with a little extra flavor but if you dont have any on hand, water also works great.
- BBQ Sauce Use your favorite bottled barbecue sauce or make your own with our Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe.;For a Whole30-friendly option try Primal Kitchens Classic BBQ Sauce.
For the Spice Rub*
- Salt and;pepper
* Feel free to use your favorite pre-made rub, if desired.
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What Do I Need To Make Baby Back Ribs On The Grill
- Smithfield baby back ribs*
- Rib dry rub
- Barbecue sauce
- Garlic powder
*I use Smithfield® ribs exclusively! Smithfield Extra Meaty Fresh Pork Back Ribs is my #1 choice for grilling ribs.
Each package is;hand-selected and hand-trimmed;so you know youre getting;the most meat;on each bone, and the flavor is irresistible. Theyre meaty, cook to fall-off-the-bone perfection, and are tender on the grill or in the oven.
Theres a reason Smithfield is the #1 rib brand in the U.S. You should eat what you love so;I always choose Smithfield products!;Their ribs, pulled pork, and pork chops are always my familys favorite to grill up quick weekday meals or smoked dinners over the weekend.
Smithfield Ribs are easy to find at your local Walmart or through the online Walmart Store. This way, you know youre getting a deal for the best ribs!
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What To Serve With Ribs
We love these ribs. Here are some of our favorite dishes to serve alongside them:
You can never go wrong with potatoes! I love our Creamy Potato Salad, but when Im looking for something a little bit lighter, I turn to this Mayo-free Herby Potato Salad. These Crispy Roasted Potatoes or even mashed potatoes are also excellent options. Here are our recipes for Mashed Potatoes or Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Anytime Im serving heartier meat dishes, I love serving them with a big salad. Throw your favorite salad greens into a big bowl and serve alongside one of these homemade dressings: Honey Mustard, Creamy Blue Cheese, or try my favorite Homemade Ranch.
Why Baby Back Ribs On A Pellet Grill
Not a lot of people are aware of this but the pellet grill produces some of the most sumptuous smoked ribs ever. In fact, even expert cooks would agree on this. Whats even great about using pellet grill in smoking ribs is that the process is so easy. You dont need to take up cooking lessons to achieve great results! When you do a search online for tips on how to smoke ribs on a pellet grill, youll surely find a lot of information.
Indeed, there are so many different ways to smoke ribs. Regardless of the process that you choose to follow, it all basically comes down to rubbing the seasoning and brown sugar, cooking low and slow, and then brushing with sauce.
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How To Grill Baby Back Ribs
Plan for about one pound of baby back ribs per person. The ribs can sometimes come with a membrane along the backbone that you can remove, or you can have your butcher remove it for you.
Can I Cook The Baby Back Ribs In The Oven
Yes, you can. The process is exactly the same for the grill or for the oven.
Place a sheet pan under the foil packets to catch any juice that may find its way out of the packet.
Finish the ribs under the broiler after saucing. You wont get the pretty grill marks under the broiler but the barbecue sauce will still caramelize adding extra flavor to the ribs.
You can also finish the ribs on your grill if you want to make everyone think you made Grilled Baby Back Ribs.
Any way you cook up these ribs, theyre going to be fall-apart tender, moist and oh so delicious. Making ribs at home will not only save you money but impress your friends and family will your grilling prowess!
And the best part is there are no pans to clean up afterward. Just toss the used foil and enjoy the ribs and your evening!
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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.
Grilled Baby Back Ribs With Sweet And Spicy Rub
In Sponsorship with;Smithfield®.
Our;Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Sweet and Spicy Rub;will;change your grilling game forever!;This is the juiciest, most delicious pork rib recipe, thats fall-off-the-bone tender with barbecue sauce and a homemade dry rub.
I believe grilling with family and friends is one of lifes simple pleasures I love easy recipes on the grill when entertaining! BBQ baby back ribs is one of my absolute favorite grilling recipes.
My family makes this recipe at least once a month and I am talking year-round. After all, thats one of the perks of living in Florida: Its always grilling season!
And let me tell you, thats my favorite part about living in Florida. Its easy to feel like a superstar behind the grill. There is nothing like the feeling of grilling up a dish that has everyone saying WOW!
My secret to getting everyone excited about what Im cooking starts with the ingredients which means picking the perfect fresh pork ribs!;Smithfield® Fresh Pork Ribs;are my choice.
Pork ribs on the grill smell so incredible your neighbors will come knocking at your door hoping for a dinner invitation. Pick them up at your local Walmart and;GRILL ON!
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Can I Make Baby Back Ribs In My Slow Cooker
Absolutely! If you dont have an Instant Pot, these can be made in the slow cooker with just a few adjustments namely the amount of liquid and the cooking time. Slow cookers require less cooking liquid so youll want to reduce the water or broth to ½ cup. Plan to cook your ribs for about 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high or until tender.;
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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How To Prep Baby Back Ribs
Making baby back ribs can be an all-day affair, so make sure to read your recipe closely before diving in. Decide what tasks need to be done ahead of time, and what can be saved until the day of your cookout or meal. Below, find a breakdown of tasks and ingredients you might want to prepare before you start cooking your baby back ribs.
How To Choose And Prepare Ribs For Grilling
Baby back ribs are my favorite for grilling because they are meaty and lean while still being delightfully tender. Once you bring home a rack from the store, be sure to remove the membrane over the underside of the ribs if your butcher hasnt already done this for you. This is known as the silverskin and is easy to detach. Simply slip a knife between the membrane and the meat at one end of the ribs. Then work your fingers under the skin to loosen it and begin to firmly pull it away from the meat. If it feels a bit slippery, using a paper towel can help secure the grip.
Once the ribs are ready to finish over the grill, use caution when basting with the remaining sauce. The sugars can caramelize quickly and sometimes just a few minutes can be the difference between deliciously charred grill marks and unpleasantly burnt ribs. You will know the ribs are done when the meat begins to peel away from the ends of the bones. The meat should move easily from the bone, but not fall off the bone, as this is an indicator that the ribs are overcooked. If using an instant-read thermometer, the ribs should reach an internal temperature of about 190°F.
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How To Gas Grill The Best Pork Ribs Ever
So now, let’s get to this delicious grilled pork rib recipe! I know that grilling pork ribs can seem intimidating. I hesitated to grill ribs for a long time. I just thought there were too many steps and that I needed to learn how to use a smoker or to create some sort of makeshift smoker. All of that is well and good, but it’s not absolutely necessary to create delicious, tender, flavorful pork ribs. And yes, you can do it on a gas grill! Just make sure your propane tank is full and I’m gonna show you how you can do this without any fancy tools or tricks.;
How Long Do You Cook Pork Ribs On The Grill
Normally I would recommend using an instant read thermometer to gauge the doneness of meat on the grill; however, that method can be a little tricky with this method.; Its recommended that pork is done around 145°F, but you need to cook pork ribs to around 190°F to 200°F to really break down fat and collagen, resulting in a tender finished texture.; Also, given that the ribs are wrapped in foil, its hard to figure out where to put the thermometer without unwrapping the ribs.
Ive tested this recipe several times and have found that 1 hour over direct medium heat will give you tender ribs that dont fall off the bone .; Just make sure youre maintaining 350°F 400°F within the covered grill, and the ribs will turn out great every time.
In this recipe, the ribs go back on the grill uncovered for 10 to 12 minutes longer to allow them to soak up hickory smoke and a barbecue sauce baste.; Youre not really cooking the ribs during this phase just infusing them with flavor.
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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.