How Long To Grill Pork Ribs

How Long To Grill Pork Ribs

Grilling pork ribs is a popular summer activity for many Americans. The smoky flavor and tender texture of the meat make it an irresistible treat. However, grilling pork ribs can be intimidating for beginners. How long should you grill the ribs? What temperature should the grill be? What seasonings should you use? In this article, we will answer all your questions about how long to grill pork ribs.

The Different Types of Pork Ribs

Before we talk about grilling techniques, it’s essential to understand the different types of pork ribs. Pork ribs come in two varieties: baby back ribs and spare ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller and leaner, while spare ribs are larger and meatier.

Baby back ribs cook faster and are more tender, making them an excellent choice for those who want a quick and easy meal. Spare ribs take longer to cook and require more seasoning and preparation, but the result is a delicious, juicy meal that is worth the effort.

When purchasing pork ribs, make sure to choose ones with a lot of meat and minimal fat. The fat can cause the meat to dry out and become tough during grilling.

Seasoning Pork Ribs

Before grilling, it’s essential to season your pork ribs with a dry rub or marinade. A dry rub is a mixture of spices that are combined and rubbed onto the ribs, while a marinade is a liquid mixture made with herbs, spices, and other flavorings.

When choosing a seasoning, consider your personal preference. Some popular options include BBQ seasoning, garlic, paprika, and brown sugar. It’s important to let your ribs sit in the seasoning for at least an hour before grilling to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Preparing The Grill

Now that you have your seasoned ribs ready, it’s time to prepare the grill. First, preheat your grill to 225°F. It’s crucial to cook the ribs low and slow to allow the meat to become tender and juicy.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, consider using indirect heat. This means that you place the ribs on the opposite side of the charcoal, allowing the meat to cook without being in direct contact with the flames.

If you’re using a gas grill, turn off the burners on one side of the grill and place the ribs on the opposite side. This method will also create indirect heat and allow the ribs to cook evenly.

During the grilling process, make sure to keep an eye on your pork ribs and adjust the temperature accordingly. If the grill is too hot, the meat can burn and become tough. Conversely, if the grill is too cool, the ribs may take longer to cook, resulting in dry and tough meat.

How Long To Grill Pork Ribs

The most important question is: how long do you grill pork ribs? The general rule of thumb is to grill your ribs for two to three hours. However, cooking times may vary depending on the type and thickness of your ribs.

Baby back ribs take less time to cook and are typically ready within two hours. On the other hand, spare ribs can take up to three hours to cook, depending on how thick they are.

To ensure that your pork ribs are cooked correctly, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The temperature should be around 145°F for baby back ribs and 170°F to 180°F for spare ribs.

If you’re looking for fall-off-the-bone ribs, consider wrapping them in foil during the last thirty minutes of cooking. The foil will trap in the heat and steam, resulting in tender, juicy meat that falls off the bone.


Grilling pork ribs can be a challenging task, but with a little bit of practice, anyone can make delicious, juicy ribs that will impress your friends and family. The key is to choose the right seasoning, prepare the grill correctly, and cook the meat low and slow. Remember to keep an eye on the temperature and use a meat thermometer to ensure that your ribs are cooked to perfection. Happy Grilling!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Grilling Pork Ribs

How long should I grill pork ribs?

The length of time you should grill pork ribs will depend on a number of factors, such as the thickness of the meat and the temperature of your grill. Generally, though, you should grill pork ribs for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To make sure they are cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check that the internal temperature has reached 145°F.

Can I grill pork ribs on a gas grill?

Yes, you can grill pork ribs on a gas grill. Just make sure to preheat the grill to medium-high heat, around 350°F to 375°F. Place the ribs on the grill, bone side down, and cook for about 20-30 minutes before turning them over and cooking for another 20-30 minutes. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure that the ribs have reached 145°F.

What is the best way to prepare pork ribs for grilling?

To prepare pork ribs for grilling, start by removing the membrane from the back of the ribs. This will help the ribs cook more evenly and allow the flavors to penetrate the meat. Then, season the ribs with your favorite dry rub or marinade. Let the ribs sit for at least 30 minutes before placing them on the grill.

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