Pork Recipes - Basic, Basted Grilled BBQ Ribs

Pork is a perennial favorite for the grill... and always seem to get an enthusiastic response. Both back ribs and side ribs are available. Side ribs are cheaper, a little tougher but still tasty. Back ribs have more meat and are more tender (and of course cost more too).

This article may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through links on this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

This very easy recipe for barbecued pork back ribs will produce a tender rack of meat. It's not so much as in the flavoring, but in the way that it's cooked on the barbecue. Be prepared to allow several hours for deliciously tender ribs.

[Note: this recipe is meant for people who love to baste the meat as they grill, which gives it a rich colour and aroma, great for whetting the appetite if you're out socializing with friends. For those who prefer a 'lazier' method - like us! - here's another method for grilling ribs on charcoal.]

All You Need

You just need the pork back ribs, and your favorite BBQ sauce and rub. Make sure to remove the outer membrane (if it's still there - you can ask the butcher to remove it). Just stick the handle of a spoon or fork into the edge of the membrane to detach it, or carefully use a knife to scrape the edge loose. Then grab the edge and gently and steadily pull the membrane off. Use a paper towel for grip.

(Don't remove the inner membrane by the bone, as it holds everything together.)

Rub the meat with the BBQ rub a few minutes before grilling. The sauce will be used for basting while the ribs are cooking.

How To BBQ The Ribs

  • Set up your barbecue for indirect cooking.

  • Once the hot charcoal has settled and there's a layer of gray ash covering the coals, your grill is ready. Allow it to settle to low temperature, somewhere around 200 to 225 degrees F is about right. Try to keep your BBQ at this temperature for the whole cook time. You might need to add more charcoal to keep an even heat.

  • Thoroughly grease the cooking grate.

  • Place the ribs on the grate, bone-side down.

  • After half an hour, baste with the BBQ sauce.

  • Continue to baste the meat and turn frequently, about every 30 to 45 minutes for several hours until tender (we find that on average, it takes about 5 hours). Be sure to rotate the ribs every time you turn them so that they cook evenly. The layers of BBQ sauce will gradually build up and give your ribs a rich color. It's a good idea to wash out the basting brush after each use, as otherwise you could have raw or undercooked pork bacteria on it.

    Although there's not much risk of burning the ribs while cooking at such low temperature on indirect heat, we still tend to cook bone-side down for more of the time, eg. leave it bone-side down for 45 minutes, then meat-side down for 30 minutes, etc.

    Do watch the ribs carefully, though, since BBQ sauces tend to have lots of sugar in them and sugar burns easily. What we sometimes do is baste only the meat-side of the ribs and leave the bone-side with just the rub on it.

    If you think the ribs are getting too dry, you can wrap them in foil for the last 30 to 60 minutes to help keep them moist.

If you want extra smoky flavor, you can also use BBQ wood chips (or chunks). Just soak them first in water for an hour or two, drain, and then add to hot charcoal, topping them up as necessary. Make sure you keep the BBQ lid closed as much as you can while the ribs are cooking, to allow the smoky flavor to permeate them.

Tender grilled BBQ ribs are actually easy to make. Just set aside enough time to let them cook "low and slow"! You can also find more BBQ pork recipes on our website for your next cookout.



About BBQGrillingGuide.com
This website offers tips on how to BBQ as well as some of our favorite barbecue recipes. We barbecue with a charcoal grill in an outdoor kamado-style cooker called The Big Green Egg. We love food and we love the grill, and hope you enjoy our recipes!