Before we go any further, we have to let you know that we love slow smoked ribs packed with hickory flavor cooked on the smoker for hours, and hours, and hours.
On the other hand we have to admit that sometimes there isn’t the time for an overnight smoke session. Here’s the good news! – Pork ribs can be prepared on the grill with only a few hours of cooking time and minimal prep work.
The Problem: The problem with ribs in general is that the meat tends to toughen when cooked too fast. That’s really true with many meats. Ribs, and barbecued pork butts, bring this problem to the surface. Grilling is cooking over a high heat source for a limited or short period of time. Think of it as outdoor oven broiling… only outside… and on a grill. Barbecue is slow cooking in an enclosed smoker using low heat, smoke, and long cooking times.
The difference is the way fat and connective tissue is rendered. Grilling cooks meat but tougher meats tend to get tougher. With barbecuing using a low and slow method the cooking time is prolonged and the tough meat becomes tender. So the question is how to do this on a grill? Don’t worry – it’s simple!
Our Rib Recipe / Method: Get ready because this is almost too simple. First clean the ribs, remove the membrane, rub it down, chill the ribs overnight with the rub, grill the ribs over high heat for about 30 minutes with wood chips as you flip them to ensure they are golden brown, wrap each rib in layers of foil, reduce the heat source, close the lid, cook for about 2-3 hours, flipping and turning about every 20 minutes until done. Here’s all you have to do in a simple step by step form
- First – Get your pork ribs and either remove the membrane from the back side or simply score with a knife using an “X” pattern
- Season the ribs with your favorite store bought ribs or your own rib rub. Place in a foil pan and cover tightly with foil. Rest in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
- Prepare your charcoal grill, or gas grill, for high heat using wood chips as directed by your grill manufacturer.
- Place the ribs on the grill and cook each side quickly to a golden brown. Keep the cover closed as much as possible to keep the wood chip smoke in. Make sure each side is nice and golden. NOTE: These ribs are not cooked – only golden.
- Wrap each rib in a couple of layers of foil.
- Reduce the heat and move wrapped the ribs to the higher rack.
- Walk away and play lawn darts with your friends.
- Flip the ribs every 15 to 20 minutes for about 2-3 hours until rendered fat drips out like crazy. Keep the lid closed as much as you can.
- When done open up the foil and baste with your favorite barbecue sauce. Shut the heat off, close the lid and cook for about ten additional minutes in the warm grill. This will heat the sauce and allow the ribs to rest for a few minutes.
- Serve them up!
Rib Notes: This method is very simple and easy but it varies. Every grill is different, every stack of charcoal is different, every barbecue sauce is different. So give this a try and adapt to your needs.