Prepare the Meat
- Thaw the ribs, if you did not purchase them fresh.Place the rib package in the refrigerator overnight. Large ribs may need 24 to 36 hours to thaw completely.
- Remove the ribs from the refrigerator.Place them on a surface that can be easily disinfected. Choose plastic or a large platter over a wood cutting board.
- Use a small, sharp knife to slit the membrane that covers the back of the ribs.Pick up the membrane and remove it slowly. Place it in the trash can when you are finished.
Make the Spice Rub
- Decide upon what meat rub you will use.Mix the rub in advance of using it on the meat and place it in a bowl. With most recipes, you will wait to apply barbecue sauce until after the ribs have been cooked.
- You may choose to use a simple dusting of salt and pepper. This will bring the flavor of the meat out, but it will not take on the traditional barbecue flavors.
- You can also choose to create a traditional barbecue rub containing 1 tbsp. (8.1g) of chili powder, 2 tbsp. (13.8g) of smoked paprika, 2 tbsp. (23.6g) of brown sugar, 2 tsp. (6.2g) of garlic powder and 1/2 to 1 tsp. (3 to 6g) of salt and pepper. You can adjust the amounts of each according to your preferences.
- Rub the spice blend of your choice over the surface of the meat.Make sure to rub it evenly on both sides.
- Leave the spice rub on the ribs while you prepare your grill.
- For a richer flavor, place the spiced ribs on a cookie sheet and cover them in plastic wrap. Place the tray of ribs in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare the Grill
- Decide what type of grill you will be using.The cooking method will differ slightly based on the use of a charcoal grill or a gas grill. Charcoal grills give the meat a smoky flavor, but they take longer to cook.
- If you are using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal on 1 side of the pit or barbecue. Let it smolder for at least 30 minutes before starting to cook the ribs. You will want to cook the ribs over indirect heat. Place a drip pan underneath the area where the ribs will cook. Fill it with several inches of water. Place the ribs on the side of the grill that is opposite the charcoal. Cook them for 1.5 to 2 hours, with the meatiest portion downward. Turn the ribs occasionally.
- If you are using a gas grill, you can ignite one side of the grill and leave the other to cook the ribs. Place the ribs on the side that is not ignited. Grill the ribs for 30 to 45 minutes on each side.
- If your ribs are too large to cook indirectly on either a charcoal or gas grill, wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil. Place them on the grill over direct heat for 30 minutes on each side for a gas grill and 30 to 45 minutes each side for a charcoal grill. Remove them from the foil packets and place them directly on the grate for approximately 5 to 10 minutes on each side.
- You can soak wood chips in water and place them on the charcoal, if you want the meat to take on a hickory, or similar, flavor.
Serve the Ribs
- Remove the barbecue ribs from the grill with a large set of tongs.
- Place them on a platter and cover it with aluminum foil.Allow the ribs to rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut the ribs into smaller portions by cutting between the ribs with a sharp knife.
- Serve immediately after cutting along with barbecue sauce, if desired.
Things You'll Need
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
- Barbecue sauce
- Drip pan
- Smoked paprika
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Brown sugar
- Barbecue sauce
- Sharp knife
- Wood chips (optional)
- Gas grill
- Charcoal grill with briquettes