How To Grill Ribs On Charcoal Fast


Grilling ribs over charcoal is a time-honored tradition that requires patience and skill. However, sometimes you need to cook ribs quickly, without sacrificing flavor or tenderness. While grilling ribs on charcoal traditionally requires low and slow cooking, there are ways to speed up the process without compromising the end result. In this article, we will share tips and tricks for how to grill ribs on charcoal quickly and deliciously.

Prepare Your Ribs

Before you start grilling, it’s essential to prepare your ribs properly. Cut slabs of ribs into sections, season them with your favorite seasoning, and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes before grilling. Marinating the ribs helps add flavor and helps to achieve the perfect tenderness once cooked.

Set up the Grill

When cooking ribs on charcoal, you need to set up your grill properly. Start by lighting charcoal in your grill and waiting until the coals are hot and glowing. Arrange the coals on one side of the grill to create two cooking zones – one hot and one cooler – to allow for more control over the cooking process.

Grill Your Ribs

Once the grill is hot and the ribs are prepared, it’s time to start grilling. Place the seasoned ribs on the hot side of your grill, directly above the coals. Flip the ribs every 20-30 seconds, giving them a quick char. This technique is called “flash grilling,” and it helps to achieve a crispy exterior without overcooking the meat.

After a few minutes of flash grilling, move the ribs to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook them indirectly for the next 30-40 minutes. This indirect cooking will allow them to cook through without charring, and the ribs will become tender and juicy.

Baste Your Ribs

During the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, baste your ribs with your favorite sauce. Using a brush, apply the sauce to the meat on both sides every 5-10 minutes until the meat is fully cooked. Basting the ribs will add more flavor and create a crusty exterior, enhancing the overall taste of the meat.

Add Some Smoke

For an added smoky flavor, you can add wood chunks or chips to the charcoal. Soak the wood chips in water for 30 minutes before adding them to the charcoal. Place them directly on top of the hot coals, and the wood will start to smoke, infusing the ribs with a delicious, smoky flavor.

Check the Temperature

When grilling ribs, it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature of the meat. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature at the thickest part of the meat. Pork ribs should reach an internal temperature of 145°F to be considered safe to eat. Depending on the thickness of your ribs and the heat of your grill, this could take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes of total cooking time.


Grilling ribs on charcoal is a labor of love that delivers incredible results. Once you master the basic techniques of grilling ribs quickly, you can enjoy deliciously tender and juicy ribs in no time. Remember to set up your grill properly, flip your ribs every 20-30 seconds to get a quick char, and cook them indirectly to achieve the perfect tenderness. Basting with your favorite sauce and adding smoke will enhance the flavor of your ribs, creating an unforgettable dining experience. With these tips, you’ll be able to grill mouth-watering ribs in no time.

Geb's BBQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to prepare ribs for grilling?

The first step to preparing ribs for grilling is to remove the membrane (silver skin) from the back of the ribs. This can be done by using a knife to loosen one end of the membrane and then pulling it off with a paper towel. Next, rub the ribs with a dry rub seasoning mix or a marinade of your choice. Let the ribs sit in the seasoning or marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling.

How do you set up the grill for fast grilling?

To set up the grill for fast grilling, start by lighting a chimney starter full of charcoal. Once the coals are hot and glowing, dump them out onto one side of the grill. Place a drip pan on the opposite side of the grill and fill it with water. This will create a two-zone fire, with direct heat on one side and indirect heat on the other. Place the ribs on the indirect side of the grill and cover the grill. Check the ribs after 30 minutes and flip them over. Check them again after another 30 minutes and brush on any sauce, if desired. Let the ribs cook for another 15-30 minutes until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

How do you know when the ribs are done?

The best way to know when the ribs are done is to use an instant-read meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch the bone. The internal temperature should reach 165°F. Another way to tell if the ribs are done is to use the bend test. This involves picking up the rack of ribs with a pair of tongs and seeing if the meat starts to crack and pull away from the bone. If it does, the ribs are done.

[page-generator-pro-related-links post_status=”publish” radius=”0″ output_type=”list_links” limit=”2″ columns=”2″ delimiter=”, ” link_title=”%title%” link_anchor_title=”%title%” link_display_order=”link_title,featured_image,link_description” link_display_alignment=”vertical” orderby=”name” order=”asc”]

You May Also Like

About the Author: Staff Reporter