While using a smoker to cook ribs usually provides the best flavor and makes the ribs moist and tender, not everyone owns a smoker or has the time to wait the time required to smoke ribs. Many people want to use their gas grill to cook great bbq pork ribs, but end up overcooking them as those grills produce a much higher heat than a smoker. Here are some tips and ideas to help you cook pork ribs on a grill, but have them come out moist and tender. It can be accomplished with a little education and patience, and they will be flavorful.
Tips and steps for cooking pork ribs on a grill
- Prepare the ribs
- Starting the ribs
- Wrapping the ribs
- Finishing the ribs
Prepare the ribs
When purchasing pork ribs, look for racks that are flat and have an even thickness throughout. This will allow for the best and most evenly cooked meat. Next the ribs should be trimmed. While some fat is necessary to provide additional moisture, any large chunks of fat should be cut away. On the back of the rack, there may be extra fat that needs to be trimmed as well.
After trimming, a dry spice rub should be applied. This can consist of any dry spices, whatever flavors are preferred by you. The rub needs to be generously applied on the entire rack. All sides and the top and bottom should be coated with as much possible rub as the ribs will hold. Let the ribs sit with the rub for twenty minutes before placing them on the grill.
Starting the ribs
Pork ribs cook best slowly on indirect heat. Most gas grills have the capabilities of turning on certain burners. You want to turn on only one side of the burners to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Now place the ribs over the burners which are not on, as far away from the heat as possible. Place the ribs bone side down, and close the lid.
Maintain the grill’s heat at 300 degrees and cook the ribs for 30 minutes turning them halfway through. The ribs should be browned on all sides, if not you can cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes until there are no more raw pieces showing.
Wrapping the ribs
A key to getting moist ribs is wrapping them. Take a large piece of aluminum foil and place the ribs in the middle. Now pour apple juice over the entire rack, coating it generously. Fold the sides of the foil tightly around the ribs, trying to seal it as tight as possible. This process will actually steam the ribs and will make them much tenderer. Try to keep the grills temperature at 375 degrees, boiling the apple juice, and cooking the ribs quickly. Again, allow the ribs to steam for 30 minutes before continuing to the final step.
Finishing the ribs
For the final step in cooking bbq pork ribs on your grill consists of turning the grill down to 250 degrees. You’ll want to unwrap the rack and place the ribs back on the opposite side of the burners, away from the heat. For the most flavorful and sticky ribs, you should mop them with your favorite barbecue sauce. Coat one side with sauce, close the lid and let them cook for 5 minutes.
Next, flip the ribs, coat the other side and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process over and over for 30 minutes. This will give the ribs a nice coating of sauce and a flavorful bite. Remove the ribs and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Following these tips and steps will help you prepare tasty and tender ribs, without taking 10 to 12 hours like it would in a smoker. Give it a try and soon you can have championship style ribs from your own backyard.