How Long To Grill Ribs In Foil


Few things can beat juicy and tender ribs hot off the grill, especially during the summer season. Grilling ribs can be challenging, especially when you’re uncertain of how long to cook them. Foil-wrapped ribs are a popular and effective cooking technique that can help keep the meat moist, tender, and juicy while infusing it with delicious smoky flavor. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of grilling ribs in foil to help you achieve juicy, tender, and flavorful ribs every time.


Preparing your ribs for grilling is the first step to achieving perfectly cooked ribs. First, remove the membrane from the back of each rib rack. This step is critical as it ensures the seasoning penetrates the meat, and it prevents the ribs from curling. Then, season the ribs with your preferred rub, which can either be a store-bought blend or your homemade recipe.

After seasoning the ribs, wrap them tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Make sure to wrap them securely to prevent any air from escaping during the grilling process. This helps create a steam chamber in the foil that infuses the ribs with moisture and flavor. You can also add some apple juice, beer, or any other liquid of your choice to the foil to create additional steam.


When it comes to grilling the ribs, there are two primary methods you can use. The first method is direct heat grilling, where you place the foil-wrapped ribs directly on the grill grates. This method is best used for thin cuts of ribs that need to cook quickly and for those who prefer a crispy char on their ribs.

The second method is indirect heat grilling, where you place the foil-wrapped ribs on the cooler side of the grill away from the direct flames. This method is best used for larger cuts of ribs that require more extended cooking times to become tender. It’s also ideal for those who prefer a more tender, less charred texture to their ribs.

Regardless of the grilling method used, the cooking time for foil-wrapped ribs will vary based on several factors, including the type of ribs, the thickness of the meat, and the desired level of doneness. For instance, baby back ribs may take less time to cook than spare ribs due to their smaller size and meat’s tenderness.

How Long to Grill Foil-Wrapped Ribs

The cooking time for foil-wrapped ribs varies based on the grilling method used, the type of ribs, the thickness, and the desired level of doneness. However, as a general rule of thumb, foil-wrapped ribs should grill for approximately two to three hours at an average cooking temperature of 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. Here, the low cooking temperature and extended cooking time help break down the meat’s tough fibers and produce tender and juicy ribs.

For direct heat grilling, the ribs should ideally grill for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on their thickness. Conversely, for indirect heat grilling, larger cuts of ribs may take up to three hours to grill fully. It’s important to note that ribs can quickly become overcooked, leading to dry and tough meat that falls off the bone. Therefore, it’s best to keep an eye on the ribs and check for doneness periodically.

Checking Doneness

Checking the doneness of foil-wrapped ribs is simple and straightforward. A basic method is to use a meat thermometer to check the rib’s internal temperature. For baby back ribs, the ideal internal temperature should be between 190-203 degrees Fahrenheit, while for spare ribs, the temperature should be between 185-195 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another method to check the doneness of ribs is the bend test. Hold one end of the rack of ribs with your tongs and gently bend it. If the meat starts to crack and separate from the bone, it’s done. Tender ribs will usually bend without cracking or breaking.


Grilling ribs in foil is an effective way to achieve juicy, tender, and flavor-packed ribs. The key is to prepare the ribs adequately, season them well, and grill them at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Whether you prefer direct or indirect heat grilling, ensure you keep an eye on the ribs to prevent overcooking. With these tips, you’re well on your way to becoming a pro at grilling delicious and irresistible ribs!

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How Long To Grill Ribs In Foil

How long do you grill ribs in foil?

Grill ribs in foil for 2-3 hours on medium heat, or until they reach an internal temperature of 145°F.

Do you wrap ribs in foil when grilling?

Yes, wrapping ribs in foil when grilling helps to keep them moist and tender. It also helps to cut down on cooking time.

Can you grill ribs without foil?

Yes, you can grill ribs without foil. However, it may take longer and the ribs may not be as moist and tender compared to when they are wrapped in foil.

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