The Best Pork Ribs On A Gas Grill
My favorite meat ever will always be pork. Always. From ham, pork chops, pulled pork to delicious pork ribs like this recipe I am sharing today. I grew up near pig farms so it’s always been a familiar and comforting food to me. However, I had no idea, until recently that one-third of all the pork raised in the U.S. comes from Iowa! I have a good pork farming friend in Iowa. She has taught me a lot about how her modern family farm works.
Achieving Smoke Rings Using Sous Vide
J. Kenji López-Alt
The smoke ring? You mean that pink ring of meat that appears around the edges of a well-smoked rack of ribs or brisket? Yeah, what about it?
Here’s the fact: The smoke ring is purely cosmetic. That’s right. It signifies absolutely no guarantee of smoke flavor or proper cooking. The smoke ring appears due to the interaction of carbon monoxide and nitric oxide with myoglobin, the natural pigment that makes meat red . As meat cooks in a carbon- and nitric-oxide-rich environment, its pink color becomes “fixed,” preventing it from oxidizing and turning into metmyoglobin, the brown pigment you see in cooked meat. A red “smoke” ring will appear in any environment in which meat is slow-cooked in the presence of CO or NO, whether or not any smoke is involved in the process at all. For some deeper science on the smoke ring, I highly recommend reading this great smoke ring myth-busting article from AmazingRibs.com.
I can already hear the cult of barbecue beating a path toward my door. “That’s not real barbecue!””It may be delicious, but how dare you!””Only a Yankee would dare call this stuff barbecue!”
All I can say is, you can fret and call me names all you want. In the meantime, I’ll be over here enjoying my smoky, tender, meaty, delicious, and 100% replicable ribs. If you’d like to join me, you’re welcome to pull up a seat and grab a rack or two.
Turn Your Gas Grill Into A Smoker Using Smoke Bombs Or Grill Smoker Boxes
Cooking on a gas grill has plenty of perks, and convenience is at the top of the list. Theres no need to wait for the coals to ignite and die down to the proper temperaturejust set the flame jets to low, and youre ready to get going.
However, because these grills dont impart much flavor on their own, its in your best interest to add some natural wood smoke to the mix. If you want to learn how to cook ribs on a gas grill without sacrificing flavor, this is an essential step. Thats where smoke bombs and grill smoker boxes come into play.
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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.
Extra Meaty Ribs: 145f For 36 Hours
J. Kenji López-Alt
At this low temperature, ribs retain plenty of moisture as they tenderize. The result is an extra-meaty rib that has the texture of a moist pork chop, but is still tender to the tooth. It pulls away from the bones nicely with just a little tug. I’ve never gotten meat with this texture using more traditional means of cooking, so if you really want to see what sous vide can do, this is the way to go.
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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.
What Do You Put In Foil For Ribs
Create a bed of butter, brown sugar and honey on the foil. I recommend one handful of brown sugar, 2 good beads of butter and one nice bead of honey. Lay the ribs meat side down on the sweet concoction with the meat side downbones up. Return the ribs to the smoker and continue to cook for another 2 hours or so.
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What Is A Grill Smoker Box
A smoker box is an attachment thats specifically designed to hold wood chips for grilling. These units are sometimes affixed to the side of the grill, but they can also be placed inside the main cooking chamber. While theyre a more popular choice for gas grills, smoker boxes are available for charcoal-fueled units as well.
How Long Does It Take For Ribs To Cook On The Grill
Baby back ribs on low temperature heat take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours to cook. Ribs are cooked at 145° but they start to fall off the bone around 200°
RIBS WILL FALL OFF THE BONE WHEN THEY ARE COOKED TO ABOUT 200°
PRO TIP: If you dont have a thermometer to know when the ribs are done, the best way to tell is to use tongs to lift the ribs. If when you lift them, the bones pull away from the meat you know they are done.
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How Long Does It Take To Make Grilled Ribs
Check the grill to see if it has reached the correct temperature, 200 degrees F. Place the grill ribs on the drip pan, close the grill lid and cook for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 200 degrees F. Turn the ribs every 20-30 minutes, adding charcoal or regulating the gas to maintain a stable temperature of 200 degrees F.
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!
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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 To Bbq Ribs On A Gas Grillseptember 4 2021
It can be tricky to impart an authentic BBQ flavor when youre cooking ribs on a gas grill.
Why is this?
Well, a gas grill is designed for cooking hot and fast, but they are not so efficient when it comes to cooking low and slow. For this reason, you typically cook ribs in a smoker.
That said, there are a few simple hacks you can use to get the very most out of barbecuing ribs on your gas grill.
If youre using a full rack of properly trimmed spare ribs, youll need from 90 minutes to 2 hours for total cooking time. If you use baby back ribs instead, youll need to slash the overall cooking time by roughly 5 minutes per stage.
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How To Prepare Your Rack Of Ribs
One of the drawbacks of picking up store-bought spare ribs is that they are seldom properly prepared.
Fortunately, all you need to do is take care of some trimming before you grill your ribs.
The optimum rack of ribs for grilling will be square shaped and of an even thickness throughout.
Remove all loose pieces of fat, bone, or meat from the rib before you get started.
Next, cut away excessive fat from the rib rack, but dont go over the top and carve it all away. All youre looking to do here is reduce the mass of the thicker parts of fat rather than attempting to remove it all. Where youll be cooking your ribs much faster using a gas grill than a smoker, you wont notice such a distinct benefit from the fat anyway.
Your overarching goal here is to keep enough fat intact so the meat stays moist, but not so much that the finished product is overly fatty.
With trimming complete, rinse your rack of ribs with some cold water then pat it dry with some paper towels.
Go Low And Slow For Fall Off The Bone Ribs
There are other rules though and perhaps they are all important or why would we do them, right? Each of them adds a little bit of something special to making this recipe delicious.
Here are the tips to get fall off the bone ribs:
Grab all my tips and tricks in the recipe below! And, as an extra bonus, you can find a recipe for how to cook ribs in the over for the same great taste and flavor!
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.
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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Its Time To Rub The Ribs
A great rib rub will add flavor without dominating the meats natural flavor and overpowering the dish.
When youre rubbing meat, make sure to apply it evenly over the front and back of the meat, as well as the sides and the ends.
The ribs moisture content will hold as much rub onto the meat as you need. The excess will fall away.
Feel free to apply your meat rub up to 1 hour before cooking. Dont apply it any earlier than this, though, or youll end up with the texture and flavor of ham rather than ribs.
The sweet spot it to get your rack of ribs on the grill with 15 to 20 minutes of applying the meat rub.
Next, time for some fun and to streamline grilling at the same time.
How To Create The Perfect Grilled Bbq Ribs
Okay so here is how we made our ribs turn out to pure perfection.
First when you remove your ribs from the pack, pat them dry. Then flip them over and remove that thin membrane that is on the back. Just start peeling you will see it. It peels off easily. Removing this will help your ribs cook better.
Now, from this point, you can sprinkle on a delicious dry rub. This is my favorite that I create at home with pantry ingredients.
Now on my portion of this recipe, I slow roast these in the oven for about an hour and a half. This ensures that when they go on the grill they will be tender and juicy when they come off.
I wrap in foil and put them in the oven.
Once they come off, my husband fires up the grill and unwraps them and places them on the hot coals. As they are on the grill, we baste them with bbq sauce and as it cooks, the sauce caramelizes and creates this amazing delicious, crunchy crust.
You can cut them up to make them cook faster, or you can leave them in a long slab. We do it both ways. Some people in our home like to have a huge slab for themselves, and then some, like my daughter like to have them in smaller portions.
Once they come off the grill, allow them to rest for a few minutes. This will help the juices redistribute and ensure you have the most succulent ribs you have ever placed in your mouth.
I serve these ribs with a side of my homemade mac and cheese and coleslaw.
For more recipes like this one, visit the Smithfield website.
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How To Cook Barbecue Ribs On A Gas Grill
I love to host friends and family for backyard get-togethers, but the standard menu of hot dogs and hamburgers can only go so far. Thats what prompted me to expand my grilling repertoire. If youd like to learn how to cook ribs on a gas grill so that they come out perfectly every time, youve come to the right place.