This Foolproof Grilled Ribs recipe is simple, delicious, and foolproof. It gets rave reviews every time I make them. This recipe serves ten and costs about $18.52 to make. That’s just $1.85 per serving!
Want to make some ribs without using the grill? We recommend our Instant Pot Country Style Ribs recipe.
Easy Grilled Ribs
Is this your first time cooking ribs on the grill? Then this recipe is for you! We are sharing our secret to foolproof ribs on the grill that folks will rave about every single time you make them!
Whether you’re new to grilling or have been around the block a time or two, this recipe is for you!
Our secrets to foolproof and easy ribs:
- ALWAYS remove the silver membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Always cover the ribs with a dry rub for at least an hour before grilling (overnight is better).
- Lastly, always use a rib rack. The $20-25 investment is well worth it. Not only does it help the ribs cook more evenly, but it also will keep you from having to babysit the ribs while they cook.
If you want a hands-off recipe that gives you tender ribs every single time, then you must use a rib rack.
Just like an Instant Pot or Crock-Pot are life-changing, so is a rib rack!
If you don’t have a rib rack, don’t worry. We provide instructions for grilling without a rib rack in the recipe below.
Our grilled ribs recipe is like running a marathon and not a sprint. It takes some time to get the perfect tasting ribs. But if you have some patience (and a rib rack!), you will have amazing tasting ribs that people will love!
PRO-tip: Look for ribs when they are on sale or Buy 1 Get 1 Free. Stock up on them and freeze them for later. They generally go on sale before Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and the 4th of July.
How long does it take for ribs to cook on the grill?
If you are using a rib rack to grill the ribs, which we highly recommend, you will cook the ribs for 4 1/2 hours on the rib rack and then an additional 40 minutes wrapped in foil on the grill. If you are not using a rib rack, the ribs will cook for 3 1/2 hours on the grill and then an additional 40 minutes wrapped in foil on the grill.
How do you prepare ribs for grilling?
The first step is to pull the silver membrane from the back of the ribs (don’t skip this step!). Then you will rub the dry rub all over both sides of the ribs. Cover the ribs with foil and set them in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight. Now the ribs are prepped, and you are ready to get grilling!
Do you wrap ribs in foil when grilling?
You should wrap your ribs in foil for the last 30-40 minutes of cooking. I like to slather mine with BBQ sauce and then wrap them. You should also cover the ends of the ribs with foil if they start to get well-done during the cooking process.
Covering them after they have been on the grill for a few hours will then help to lock in that moisture and savory grill flavor while the ribs finish cooking.
How to Make Easy Grilled Ribs Recipe:
- First, make the rub.
- Next, prep and rub the ribs.
- Then prepare for grilling.
- Next, grill the ribs.
- Finally, let the ribs rest for 15 minutes before enjoying.
How to get the kids involved with this recipe:
Ages 2-3: Let the help make the rub.
Ages 4-5: Have your kiddo help prep and rub the ribs. Also, let them brush the ribs with BBQ sauce.
Ages 6-8: Teach grill safety and let them help you put the ribs in the rib rack.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe. You will probably have to turn the grill on and off for them. Also, teach them (or remind them) of grill safety before they begin.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!
Discover why we love getting the kids involved in the kitchen and more tips in our How to Get Kids Involved In Cooking article.
The flavor and Recipe Variations:
Feel free to use any type of BBQ sauce or sauce for meat (honey mustard, Asian-style sauces, etc) the last 40 minutes of cooking.
What Side Dish Recipes to Serve with Easy Grilled Ribs:
- Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots
- Corn Muffins
- Easy Garlic Bread
- Fresh Green Beans Almondine
- Instant Pot Mac and Cheese
- Large Batch Chicken Pasta Salad
- Mexican Fruit Salad
How long is this good for:
Serve: You can keep the ribs at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours before they will need to be refrigerated.
Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freeze: Place the cooked ribs in an airtight container or freezer-safe Ziploc bags. Stored this way, they will keep for about four months in the freezer.
To Reheat: Thaw the ribs in the refrigerator overnight. Then, wrap them in foil and warm them on a grill heated to medium heat, or in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
How much will this Easy Grilled Ribs recipe cost:
RECIPE COST: $18.52
PRICE PER SERVING:$1.85
- 10 pounds pork spare ribs – $17.40
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar – $0.24
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder – $0.16
- 2 Tablespoons paprika – $0.20
- 2 Tablespoons salt – $0.06
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin – $0.10
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce – $0.36
To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained.
- rib rack
- medium bowl
- rimmed baking sheets
Foolproof Grilled Ribs
- rib rack
- Medium bowl
- rimmed baking sheets
- pastry brush
- 10 pounds pork spare ribs from 2 racks
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons paprika
- 2 Tablespoons salt
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ cup barbecue sauce
- In a medium bowl, combine sugar chili powder, paprika, salt, and cumin.
PREP AND RUB RIBS:
- Pull the silver membrane from the back of the ribs.
- Transfer ribs to 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Use your hands to distribute the rub over both sides of the ribs and rub it into the ribs.
- Cover the baking sheets with foil and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
PREPARE FOR GRILLING:
- 15 minutes before grilling, remove ribs from refrigerator and preheat grill to medium-low with the lid closed.
GRILL RIBS (RIB RACK INSTRUCTIONS):
- Place rib rack on the grill. Place ribs in the rack. Grill for 4 ½ hours. At the end of the 4 ½ hours, move to the "COOK RIBS IN FOIL" instructions.
GRILL RIBS (NON-RIB RACK INSTRUCTIONS):
- Lightly oil grates, and place the ribs (meat-side up) on the grill. Grill for 1 hour.
- Flip ribs so they’re meat-side down. Close grill and cook 30 minutes. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for a total of 2 ½ more hours.
COOK RIBS IN FOIL:
- Remove the ribs from the grills. Increase the grill temperature of 350°For medium-high and close the lid.
- Place each rack on a piece of heavy-duty foil. Brush both sides of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Seal the ribs in the foil.
- When the grill reaches 350°F, place the foil packets of ribs on the grill and cover. Cook for 40 minutes longer.
- Take the ribs off the grill and let them rest for 15 minutes before removing the foil, slicing, and serving.