Best Way to Grill Ribs

There is nothing quite like a well-marinated rack of grilled Barbecue ribs, with that rich smokey flavor.

Grilling a rack of ribs to perfection is quite easy and can make an exceptionally delicious meal; here is how;

Picking a Good Rack of Ribs

First and foremost, picking the right piece of ribs is just as important as the actual Grilling, because you want good quality and flavorful meat.

There are two basic types of Ribs that you will find, the SPARERIB and the LOIN BACK RIB.

Ribs are usually either split pork chops, cut from the loin’s blade end, or ribs cut from the shoulder, which is closest to the loin. They are good ribs, but not your classic style ribs.

When buying ribs, whichever type you choose, always make sure that there is some meat on the bones and no significant surface fat areas. Likewise, make sure that there are no exposed bones because they can fall out during the Grilling process.

The best Quality Ribs are fresh ribs and not frozen ribs if you can manage this. However, always discard Ribs discolored or have dried-out edges or any indication of freezer burn.

Another warning that I would like to give is on Enhanced Ribs, because they may taste artificial and can end up being much too salty. Rather season your ribs with your favorite spices or marinade.

Marinating Your Ribs

You can choose between marinating or just spicing your ribs, I for one enjoy a good marinated rib;

For marinating, you can use a store-bought marinade or make your own. There are plenty of marinade recipes available on the internet, and you are sure to find a good one. I like an excellent store-bought original BBQ marinade.

To marinate your ribs properly, follow these steps;

  • Adequately Defrost, inside the refrigerator for at least two days, if frozen, and rinse your ribs after defrosting.
  • Trim the membrane from the underside of your ribs, which is the paper-thin layer on the bone side of the ribs.
  • Rub the marinade into your ribs with a basting brush or spatula, or even your hands if you do not have either. Make sure all the meat is covered with a thick layer.
  • Place the marinated ribs inside a covered container and leave the container in the refrigerator for two or up to twenty-four hours to marinate.
  • You can add more marinade if the meat becomes dry.
  • Never use a leftover marinade to make and close and refrigerate store-bought marinade if the instructions indicate such.

Preparing and Grilling Barbecue Ribs

If you have not Marinated your ribs and prefer spicing only, you can defrost and rinse your ribs for the allocated times. Trim the ribs’ membrane as we have discussed, and instead of marinating, rub some oil and salt or spices of your choice into the ribs.

  • Getting the Right Temperature – The Right temperature for Ribs is a key element that needs to be perfect; you want a consistent temperature of about 225°F. So fire up your grill, whether charcoal or Gas, though I would prefer a Gas grill for Ribs, and make sure that you get the right temperature. If you have a charcoal grill, you can also add a few dry wood pieces.
  • Grilling The Ribs – Ribs need to be slow grilled on a low heat. So when the heat is just right, place your ribs meat side upwards on the Grill Grate, close the lid and let it cook for at least 20-30 minutes. When the smoke on the grill becomes less, you can add some more wood to your charcoal grill, and that is it.
  • Cooking Time – Depending on the ribs’ thickness, they will cook from anything from 3 to 7 hours before ready. A Good Meat thermometer is recommended for checking the meat. You can use the BEND test to check if the ribs are ready, do this by picking up the slab of ribs with tongs and bouncing it gently, if the surface of the ribs cracks, it is ready.
  • Ready Ribs – When your ribs are done, and you have grilled them properly, you will notice a thin pink layer beneath the surface of the meat. This does not mean that the ribs are undercooked, only that they are an amazing rack of ribs, perfectly cooked with a smoke ring, caused by the combustion of gases and smoke.

If you want more meat to grill, go for salmon to complete your occasion. Here’s the best way to grill a salmon.

Reviews: The Best Grill for Grilling Ribs

I have chosen a good Charcoal Grill for Grilling Ribs, which is slightly harder to regulate in terms of temperature, but the wood flavors are so much more rewarding;


I love the design of the Char-Griller Kamado grill for cooking Ribs. The Cooking surface is just spacious enough for long and large ribs, and the insulated design allows for much better temperature control.

  • The grill has a large 314 square inch cooking grate and a 133 square inch warming rack.
  • Because of the grill’s insulated design, you get much better heat control, and the grill uses much less charcoal or wood.
  • Cast iron is used to make the cooking grates and 22 gauge steel for the grill body, and there is also an exterior powder-coated steel finish in three color options.
  • The interior finish of the Grill is coated with porcelain and made from steel.
  • There is also a tubular steel cart with rubber wheels for portability and locking casters in the front.
  • An indexed damper is available and numbered for correct placement.

Index Table: Top Rated Rib Grill

1Char-Griller Kamado - Kamado Grill for Ribs
  • Color Options
  • Large Cooking Surface
  • Insulated

About the Author

John Max

John Max is a registered dietitian and certified strength and conditioning specialist based out of Manhattan, NY. He received his Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food studies from New York University. In addition, John also has years of practical food knowledge, and hands-on cooking led John to create this website and contribute his knowledge on healthy grilling techniques.