Be the King of the BBQ when you learn how to make moist, mouthwatering, fall off the bone tender ribs on the grill! Your ribs will be lip-smacking, finger licking good every time when you follow this foolproof method!
Table of contents
Why you'll love this recipe
Who's ready for grilling season? If you're like me summertime means grilling and grilling means ribs! And of course ribs means cooking in the oven and heating up the house...
Not anymore, these tender spareribs are cooked on the grill!
- No slow cooker, pressure cooker or cooking the rack in the oven first!
Yes, you heard me right these ribs are cooked entirely on the grill. It's super easy to do, the hardest part is waiting for them to be done.
Ok... so today we're talking spareribs. But these aren't made in the pressure cooker, these are made entirely on the grill. That's right, no oven, no pressure cooker... no problem!
If you don't have a gas grill this can certainly be done on a charcoal grill, just cover and monitor the temperature of the grill with a heat thermometer.
- heavy duty aluminum foil - if you don't have heavy duty, be sure to double or triple wrap the slab of ribs.
- baby backs spare ribs - the meatier the better
- dry rub - homemade is great, but if you have a favorite brand, then by all means use that! The same goes for barbecue sauce!
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete instructions to learn how to cook ribs on the grill, just scroll down to the bottom of the blog post.
- Remove the silver skin from the back or bone side of the ribs. It might take a bit of doing, but be patient and remove all of it. The result is much more tender meat.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sweet dry rub a couple tablespoons per side.
- Really massage the rub into the rack.
- Cover with heavy duty aluminum foil, seal well and refrigerate.
- Preheat the grill to 325 degrees, you want low heat. Add the sheet pan topped with ribs right to the top of the grill. Don't open the grill, monitor the temperature. Keep it between 325-350. Cook for 2 hours.
- Open and remove the ribs. Take them out of the foil and finish them on the grill by slathering each side with your favorite bbq sauce. Cook to sear the sauce, only about 5 minutes per side. Remove and allow to rest. Slice the ribs. I like to mop with additional sauce. Time to feast and enjoy!!!
When you're shopping for grilling' slabs, be picky! You want meaty ribs - no shiners! Meaning don't choose slabs where the meat has been cut too close to the bone. The rack will fall apart during the grilling.
Look for ones that have good meat coverage, not large areas of fat. Fresh ribs are best, avoid previously frozen if possible
Really there's just one job - keep an eye on the grill temperature! Follow this method to learn how to make fall off the bone tender ribs on the grill!
EXPERT TIP - Monitor the temperature of the grill. Keep it between 325-350 degrees. Too high, they will cook too fast and be tough, too low and they will be undercooked and tough.
This recipe will take about two and a half hours to cook the ribs.
325 degrees is the optimum temperature for this recipe - low and slow!
The longer the better - overnight is great, even two days ahead will be great and give the rub time to really incorporate the flavor into the meat.. If you don't have time to make your own dry rub, use your favorite store-bought flavor.
I love this method by Are My Ribs Ready Yet? Use a toothpick and slide it into the meat near the bone. When it slides in and out easily you'll know they are done. Test several spots to be sure!
Yes, baby back ribs can be started in the oven rather than using the grill to bake them. You'll cook them for two hours, then finish them on the grill.
What if you're camping and want to enjoy grilled ribs? That's easy too!
- Season the ribs with dry rub and wrap the ribs in foil before leaving the house.
- Toss it right on the grill - use indirect heat and cover with a large aluminum bowl. The bowl will mimic the oven and keep the temperature consistent.
- After 2 hours, remove from foil, slather with sauce and finish on the hot side of the grill. Remember the ribs are cooked at this point, you just need to sear on the sauce!
Prefer to make oven baked ribs recipe?
Using this same method; seasoning and wrapped in foil, then bake the bbq ribs at 275 degrees for three to four hours until tender. Unwrap and slather with sauce and finish under the broiler.
If you'd really like to take these over-the-top, then slather your cooked ribs with this Plum BBQ Sauce - it has brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and chopped plums. It's cooked until thick and bubbly, sweet with just a hint of spice! It's great on this rib recipe!
Learning how to make fall off the bone tender ribs on the grill is really super easy once you get the method down. These are perfect every time!
Mmmm.... there are so many great side dishes to serve with bbq'd ribs! Because they are such a rich, heavy meal, lightening it up with a simple salad like this Mexican Coleslaw is perfect. No mayo and the flavors are bright and fresh!
Having said that, what is better with ribs than Deviled Egg Potato Salad? I love this recipe! It's been in our family for years and is always my go-to favorite!
Baked Beans are great as well - for this recipe, you can use the slow cooker or oven - either way works terrific. If you have a cast iron skillet, you can put it right on the grill as well - yummy! You can also make asparagus right on the grill - learn all my tips and tricks for how to grill asparagus here!
For dessert, what would be better than a fresh Apricot Pie?!! I love apricots, the sweet/tart flavor makes the most scrumptious desserts!
We love all things grilled and a couple of my favorites are Teriyaki Steak Marinade it makes the most tender and flavorful steak, have you tried it yet? And Shrimp Kabobs - shrimp on the barbie is always a great choice, plus they take just minutes to make.
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers - my favorite kabob, these are super flavorful and tender.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus - your side dish can be be made right on the grill also. Who doesn't love that smokey flavor?
- BEST Grilled Chili Lime Chicken Recipe! - the yogurt in the marinade tenderizes the meat making this super juicy and delicious!
I hope you found these instructions help and you'll be making fall off the bone tender ribs at home in no time!
Ribs on the Grill
- 1 rack pork spareribs
- 4 tbsp dry rib-rub
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Start with a large sheet pan. Tear off two large pieces of heavy duty tin foil, place one on the pan set the remaining piece aside.
- Remove the ribs from the packaging. Blot with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil lightly over the ribs, rub with your hands to make sure the ribs are coated.
- Sprinkle generously with dry rub - a couple tablespoons per side. Be sure to hit all the nooks and crannies and rub it in well.
- Cover with the second piece of foil and seal well and refrigerate. The rub can remain on the ribs for 4 to 24 hours.
- Remove them from the fridge and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to 325 degrees.
- Place the ribs on the sheet pan right on top of the grill. Don't open the grill, just monitor the temperature. Keep it between 325-350. Cook for 2 hours.
- Open the grill and remove sheet pan. Take the cooked ribs out of the foil and finish them on the grill. Slather each side with sauce and cook to sear the sauce, only about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove and allow to rest. Slice and serve with additional sauce and serve! I hope you really enjoy this rib recipe!
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First Published: May 10, 2019 Last Updated: April 8, 2021