How To Prepare Pork Ribs For Grilling

How To Cook Ribs On A Charcoal Grill

How to Prepare Pork Ribs

Smoking with charcoal is tricky. The main difficulty is maintaining a low temperature. Most charcoal grills are designed to give you a hot fire for cooking burgers and steaks, not for hours and hours of cooking.

You also have to set up your charcoal grill for indirect heat that means the charcoals stay on one side of the grill, and the ribs stay on the other.

Measuring and arranging the charcoal briquettes is key. If you add the same amount of charcoal you would for cooking burgers, the grill will be way too hot. Also, if you light all of the charcoal at once, it may not stay hot long enough to smoke your ribs. One recent innovation to help solve this problem is the snake method, where you arrange the briquettes in a line that slowly ignites as you smoke.

You won’t be able to regulate the temperature at the touch of a button. If the fire dies out, you’ll need to open the charcoal grill and add more briquettes. In a worst-case scenario, you’ll need to take the ribs out and relight completely. In both cases, the meat will cool down, drastically increasing your cook time.

How Long Do You Grill Boneless Pork Ribs

Place over direct heat and close lid. Flip about every 5 minutes and grill until aninternal temperature of about 145°-150°. About 20 minutes depending on grill and the thickness of the meat. Always cook to the final internal temperature and never by time alone.

How To Tell If The Ribs Are Done

To check whether or not your oven-baked ribs are done cooking, unwrap the tin foil and prod the meat with a long skewer. If the skewer slides into the meat all the way up to the bone without resistance, the meat is tender enough.

Another way to check is with an instant-read thermometer. Insert the probe into the thickest part of one of the ribs. Once it reaches 145°F, the meat is considered fully cooked and safe to eat. However, you can easily continue to cook the meat well past this temperature. In fact, its highly recommended!

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Create Some Smoke Bombs

It can be challenging to get a gas grill to generate smoke at low temperatures.

Rather than beating yourself up about this, keep your expectations reasonable, and keep in mind that losing a hint of smokiness is one of the drawbacks for the convenience of gas grilling.

Smoke bombs, though, are easy to make and a pretty effective way of getting some smokiness into those ribs.

Place ½ cup of damp wood chips onto some aluminum foil. Make sure they are not wet, though.

Wrap the wood chips in so one side is covered with just a single layer of foil. Pierce holes in the foil to let the smoke out.

Pop these smoke bombs as close to the burner as possible directly under the cooking grates. Its vital to preheat your grill so its hot enough to get the wood burning. As soon as you see smoke coming out of your homemade smoke bombs, dial down the heat, throw your ribs on the grill, and shut the lid of your gas grill.

How To Hold Ribs


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.

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What Temperature Do You Cook Pork To

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer, then allow the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming. Cross posted from the blog: On May 24, USDA made some important changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats.

How To Boil Ribs

Boiling ribs or simmering ribs is one of the most straightforward was of precooking them for grilling. You can use any liquid to boil your ribs in and add as many seasonings as you want. Or, if you just want pure porky flavor, keep it simple with salt.

  • Add the ribs to a large stockpot and add enough cool water to cover.
  • At this point you can also add any seasonings or aromatics to your water. There are so many options here, and youre only limited by your culinary imagination. Think of it like making a flavorful soup. In fact, you can even keep the leftover liquid for making other dishes later.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for about two hours, adding more water if needed.
  • Check the ribs for tenderness. You should be able to poke through the meat easily with a small knife or fork and reach the bone. If the meat isnt tender enough yet, cook for longer in 30-minute increments until it is.
  • You can speed up this process by using a pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Remember to use the natural pressure release method to prevent shredding the meat.

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    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.

    Choosing And Preparing Your Ribs

    How to Make Easy Grilled Country-Style Pork Ribs – The Easiest Way

    To cook ribs on a propane grill, your best best is to choose baby back ribs. You can make St. Louis ribs on a gas grill, too, but those may be better cooked in an oven. When picking a rack of baby back ribs, look for one that has an even layer of meat across the ribs. Make sure all ribs are evenly covered and that you can’t see any rib bone sticking out of the top or bottom. The meat should be a light pale pink with white marbling evenly dispersed throughout the meat.

    After choosing your perfect rack, remove the ribs from their packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them down, meat side up, on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to remove any excess fat or “silver skin,” which is a membrane of connective tissue that can be tough and chewy.

    After you remove excess fat and silver skin, turn the rack over to expose the rib side. Use your fingers to feel for a membrane covering all of the ribs. Slide a butter knife under the membrane and use it to pull it away from the ribs. Pull the entire membrane back and remove it completely from the rack of ribs.

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    How Do You Grill Ribs On A Propane Grill In Foil

  • Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Mix barbecue sauce, marmalade and pepper sauce until blended.
  • Place half the ribs in single layer in center of large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Bring up long sides of foil.
  • Grill 45 min. to 1 hour or until ribs are done. Remove ribs from foil packets return ribs to grill.
  • Rib Placement On The Grill

    Now, rib placement on the grill is crucial if you want the best results on your plate.

    Youll need indirect heat if you want to grill ribs without overcooking them or drying them out. Your target temperature is 375F.

    If your grill has burners positioned from front to back, use one of the burners at each end. If you use the left-hand burner, pop your smoke bombs under here, beneath the cooking grates.

    You should position your ribs on the grate to the right-hand side of the hot burner.

    Put your rack of ribs bone-side facing down on the grill. Shut the lid.

    Adjust your grill until it holds a steady temperature of 300F.

    Allow your ribs to cook for 30 minutes.

    Resist the temptation to open the lid of your grill as this will let the smoke escape and will serve no benefit. That said, you shouldnt expect a deluge of smoke using this method as smoke production is pretty limited.

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    Slow Cooking Pork Ribs On A Gas Grill

    The benefit of low and slow cooking pork ribs on a gas grill is that a gas grill can monitor temperature for you. Low and slow works best for grilling pork ribs, and you can quickly turn up or turn down the burners to make adjustments. Using gas grills can be much easier compared to traditional charcoal grills.

    How To Cook Pork Ribs On A Pellet Grill

    How to Grill Ribs in Foil

    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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    Pork Spare Rib Nutrition

    Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection defines spare ribs as the cut of meat at the bottom portion of the pig’s mid-section from the fat back side of the belly, including portions of the rib cartilages and possibly a part of the split breast bone.

    Loin back or baby back ribs are cut from the top of the rib cage and are meatier, bigger and require a longer cooking time. Each full slab of spare ribs contains 12 bones, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Cooked pork spare ribs are high in calories and fat. According to the USDA, 100 grams or a 3.5-ounce serving, delivers 397 calories that’s about 20 percent of the daily value . In comparison, pork back ribs provide 292 calories or 15 percent of the DV for the same amount.

    Most of the calories in pork ribs come from fat. Pork spare ribs are meatier than back ribs and contain 30.3 grams of fat plus a hefty amount of cholesterol 121 milligrams or 40 percent of the DV. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that if you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you should limit your intake to 200 milligrams a day.

    Any carbs or sugar you get from pork ribs will come from the sauce and other ingredients you add to the mix. The meat is carb-free. Spare ribs are a good source of protein, offering 40 percent of the daily recommended value for this nutrient in each 3.5-ounce serving.

    How To Prepare The 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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    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.

    The Dry Rub Method For Ribs

    How to Cook BBQ Pork Ribs | Traeger Staples

    You’ll need around a 1/2 cup of rub for a rack of ribs. Apply your rib rub directly to the slab by seasoning the meat evenly on both sides. Let it rest on the rack for at least 30 minutes, then cook them on your wood-fired grill.

    Rib Rub Tips –

    • Pour the rub high for even application.
    • A binder is not necessary
    • Leave rub for 30 minutes at room temperature
    • Chads favorite rub: Pork & Poultry Traeger Rub

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    Dont Forget The Bbq Sauce

    To finish cooking, set your gas grill to between 250F and 265F. 265F is the temperature at which sugar burns.

    Put your ribs back into the same spot to finish them off.

    Adding a sauce to smoked ribs is optional, but when youre using a gas grill, its always a smart idea to use some great BBQ sauce. This will add the flavor you might otherwise find lacking, and it will also improve the meats surface texture.

    Try applying some BBQ sauce to one side of the ribs only at first. Close the lid and cook them for 5 minutes on the lower heat.

    Next, open the lid of your grill, flip the ribs over, and repeat the process on the other side.

    Over the following 30 minutes, keep repeating these steps, so you end up with multiple coats of BBQ sauce all over your tender grilled ribs.

    You should remove your ribs from the grill 5 minutes after applying the last coat of BBQ sauce.

    Cut them down to size and serve.

    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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    Should I 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.

    How To Buy Ribs


    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.

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    Cooking Ribs On The Stovetop

    The key to succulent pork ribs is a lengthy cook time and a simmering temperature low and slow which is easier to control on the stovetop as opposed to grilling. Adding salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, a clove of garlic or ginger, and other herbs, such a sprig of rosemary or thyme, to the water will enhance the flavor.

    Slowly boiling ribs submerged in a pot of water may take one and a half hours per pound of meat, according to a recipe from the Splendid Table. Cooking boneless ribs will not take as long.

    The USDA states that meat should reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 F to be safe for consumption. However, you might have to bring it to a higher temperature for optimal tenderness. The meat is done when it pulls back and exposes a bit of bone at the thinner ends of the ribs. Also, the ribs should bend slightly at the center when picking them up with tongs but should not fall apart.

    When the ribs are ready, remove them from the water and pat them dry. Brush the ribs with BBQ sauce or flavor them with a spicy dry rub of your choosing. Place them in the oven at 400 F or on a hot grill.

    Cook, turning once, until the sauce sticks to the ribs, becomes golden brown and caramelized with just the right amount of crispiness around the edges. Once they’re done, remove them from the oven or grill and let them rest for at least three minutes before cutting them into portions.

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