How To Make Ribs On The Grill


Few things beat the taste of mouthwatering, juicy, falling-off-the-bone ribs hot off the grill. Whether hosting a backyard BBQ or cooking up a batch for a family dinner, ribs are a crowd-pleasing favorite. Grilling ribs may seem daunting, but it’s actually simpler than you might think. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to make ribs on the grill.

Choosing the Right Ribs

Before you begin grilling, you’ll need to choose the right type of ribs. There are several types of ribs to choose from, including baby back ribs, spare ribs, and St. Louis-style ribs. Baby back ribs are smaller and leaner than spare ribs, while St. Louis-style ribs are larger and meatier.

When selecting your ribs, look for meat that has a bright, pinkish color with some marbling. Avoid ribs that have a cloudy color, a strong odor, or feel slimy to the touch. Additionally, make sure the ribs have a good meat-to-bone ratio, and the bones should not be visible or poking through the meat.

Preparing the Ribs

Once you have chosen your ribs, it’s time to prepare them for the grill. First, remove the thin membrane located on the back of the ribs. Use a butter knife to loosen a corner of the membrane, then grab it with a paper towel and pull it off. If the membrane is left on, it can prevent the meat from fully absorbing the flavors from the rub and can make the meat tough and chewy.

After removing the membrane, rinse the ribs with water and pat them dry with paper towels. This step is crucial because it removes any bone fragments or debris that may be on the meat’s surface.

Seasoning the Ribs

The next step is to season the ribs with a dry rub. The rub will add flavor and create a nice crust on the meat. You can purchase pre-made rubs or create a custom blend using your favorite herbs and spices.

Apply the rub generously on both sides of the ribs and massage it into the meat. For best results, allow the rub to sit on the meat for at least 30 minutes to an hour so that the flavors can infuse.

Grilling the Ribs

Now it’s time to grill the ribs. Preheat your grill to medium heat and oil the grates to prevent sticking.

If you’re using charcoal, create a two-zone fire by placing the hot coals on one side and leaving the other side empty. If using gas, turn on one side of the grill and leave the other side off.

Place the ribs, meat-side up, on the cooler side of the grill. Close the lid and let them cook for about an hour. After an hour, check the temperature of the meat using a meat thermometer. You want the internal temperature to reach 145°F for pork, which is the minimum safe temperature for consumption.

If the ribs need more time, continue cooking them, checking the temperature every 15-20 minutes until they reach the desired temperature. Meanwhile, you can add barbecue sauce to the ribs if you prefer. Brush the sauce on the meat during the last 10-15 minutes of grilling time.

Resting and Serving the Ribs

Once the ribs have reached their desired temperature, remove them from the grill, wrap them in foil, and let them rest for 15-20 minutes. Resting the meat allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.

After resting, cut the ribs into individual portions and serve. If desired, you can serve them with additional barbecue sauce on the side.


Grilling ribs can seem intimidating, but with proper seasoning and cooking techniques, it’s easy to make delicious, fall-off-the-bone ribs on the grill. Follow the steps in this article for perfectly cooked ribs that will impress your guests and have them coming back for more.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Making Ribs on the Grill

What kind of ribs are best for grilling?

St. Louis-style ribs and baby back ribs are both great choices for grilling. St. Louis-style ribs are meatier and have more fat, while baby back ribs are leaner and cook faster. Whichever you choose, be sure to remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs before grilling.

How do I prepare ribs for grilling?

Start by removing the membrane on the underside of the ribs. Then, pat the ribs dry with paper towels and season them with your preferred spice rub. Let the ribs sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing them on the grill.

How do I grill ribs?

Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the ribs on the grill with the bone side facing down. Grill for approximately 3-4 minutes per side, or until the ribs are nicely charred. Reduce the heat to low, then wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and cook for another 1-2 hours, or until the meat is tender and falls off the bone.

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