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BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill

My friends Ryan and Melissa have been promoting my site to all of their friends and have helped increase my readership.  So in return, I decided to cook them dinner.  I asked Ryan what he wanted and without hesitation he said ribs.  This worked perfectly as I have been getting a lot of emails about cooking ribs on a gas grill. I have smoked ribs many times and posted about them a couple of times, but I have always cooked them on the smoker.  I love my charcoal/wood smoker (Old Bessie), but I also love my new gas grill (Weber). I know its not a creative name, but a grill by any other name is just a grill.  So with the help of Weber, I am going to tackle ribs on a gas grill.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Cooking them over indirect heat is the key. Ribs shed a lot of grease when cooked, so if you cook them over direct heat they will definitely burn. Burned ribs are a no-no.  Weber told me so.

The first step is to rinse the ribs.  Once they are rinsed remove the silver skin from the ribs and rinse again.  The easiest way to remove the silver skin is to start from the center and using your finger or a butter knife, gently lift the silver skin from the ribs.

Removing the silver skin allows the rub to penetrate and tenderize the ribs

Removing the silver skin allows the rub to penetrate and tenderize the ribs

Chris over at NibbleMeThis has a great video showing how to remove the silverskin from ribs.  You can view it here. http://nibblemethis.blogspot.com/2009/04/bbq-pork-loin-back-ribs.html

Next pat the ribs dry using a paper towel or a lint free cotton towel.  Linty ribs are also a no-no.

Now it is time to add the rub to the ribs.   I usually mix all of the ingredients in a big resealable bowl.  That way if I have any left over, I can store it in the same container.    No need to do dishes.  After I get the rub mixed together, I place some in a pizza shaker and use that to apply the rub to the ribs.  You can get them for $1-2 dollars at pretty much any kitchen store.

My new roommate Kate in her first Savory Reviews appearance.  Look at her rubbing down the ribs.

My new roommate Kate in her first Savory Reviews appearance. Look at her rubbing down the ribs.

Start on the rib side and generously apply the rub to the ribs.  Flip and cover the meat side of the ribs.

Let the ribs sit for 15 – 20 minutes to get up to room temperature and marinate in the rub.  During this time preheat your grill.  You should only need one burner on.  Get the temperature inside the grill to get to about 300-310 Degrees Fahrenheit.    If your grill has vertical burners, turn on the burner farthest away from your gas tank.  If your grill has horizontal burners, turn on the burner that closest to the back of the grill.

Now this is also the time to start soaking some wood chips.  These will be placed in a smoker box on the grill.  The smoker box will be placed directly over the flames.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a smoker box.  I MacGyver’d one for $0.75.  Get a disposable bread pan and fill it with the soaked wood chips.

Homemade Smoker Box

Homemade Smoker Box

Now cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Then using a knife cut 10-15 holes in the foil.  This will allow the smoke to escape from the box.  A lot easier than purchasing a $15-25 smoker box.

Add holes to the foil to allow the smoke to escape.

Add holes to the foil to allow the smoke to escape.

I started with three racks of ribs and my modest gas grill was not large enough to hold 3 full racks of ribs.  So I had to cut mine in half in order to fit them on the grill without them being directly over the flame.  I know I shouldn’t have cut them, but I needed three racks and I didn’t want them to burn.

Place the ribs meat side down

Place the ribs meat side down

Place the ribs bone side up on the grill, away from the heat.  Placing them bone side up will allow the juices to pool in the ribs and allows them to self baste.  Let cook for an hour and a half.  Then flip and cook for another hour to an hour and half.  The ribs should take between 2.5 to 3 hours to cook.  Mine took 3 as I had the grill stacked with ribs.  If you have less meat on the grill it will cook a little faster.

Flip so that the ribs are meat side up

Flip so that the ribs are meat side up

You know when the ribs are done when the bones are extending from the edge of the ribs, and when you pick them up from one end and they fold over on themselves.  You can always do the chef test and try one.  The meat should pull cleanly from the bone, but should not fall from the bone.  There should be a little give.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

When the ribs are done, serve them dry or wet.  To sauce the ribs, remove them from the grill.  Turn on the other burners to medium and let the grill preheat.  Then baste the ribs, flip and grill them until the sauce sets on the ribs.  Should take about 4-5 minutes with 2 flips.  I usually sauce the meat side and then flip the ribs.  I then sauce the bottom of the ribs and shut the lid.  After 2 minutes, I flip the ribs and then sauce the meat side.  I shut the lid and then wait 2 more minutes.  I then remove them from the grill and serve them.

Sauced and ready to go

Sauced and ready to go

I served these with some grilled potatoes, coleslaw and spicy pickles.

Comes clean off the bone

Comes clean off the bone

I hate to admit it but I ran out of prep time and purchased coleslaw.  Wow, it was horrible.  I won’t be doing that anymore.  Sorry about that Ryan and Melissa.  Besides that ,the ribs were perfectly tender and full of flavor.  The MacGyver smoke box worked perfectly.  Hopefully Ryan and Melissa enjoyed it.

BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill
 
Author:
Recipe type: BBQ
Serves: 3
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

 
BBQ ribs on a gas grill. How to cook ribs without a smoker.
Ingredients
BBQ Ribs
  • 1 rack Pork Baby Back Ribs
  • ¾ cup – Favorite Dry Rub – Recipe Follows
  • 1 cup favorite BBQ Sauce – I used Cattlemans – Best pre-packaged BBQ Sauce
The Rub
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs dry mustard
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs seasoning salt
  • 2 tsp onion (powder or granulated)
  • 2 tsp garlic (powder or granulated)
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. The first step is to rinse the ribs. Once they are rinsed remove the silver skin from the ribs and rinse again. The easiest way to remove the silver skin is to start from the center and using your finger or a butter knife, gently lift the silver skin from the ribs.
  2. Removing the silver skin allows the rub to penetrate and tenderize the ribs
  3. Chris over at NibbleMeThis has a great video showing how to remove the silverskin from ribs. You can view it here. http://nibblemethis.blogspot.com/2009/04/bbq-pork-loin-back-ribs.html
  4. Next pat the ribs dry using a paper towel or a lint free cotton towel. Linty ribs are also a no-no.
  5. Now it is time to add the rub to the ribs. I usually mix all of the ingredients in a big resealable bowl. That way if I have any left over, I can store it in the same container. No need to do dishes. After I get the rub mixed together, I place some in a pizza shaker and use that to apply the rub to the ribs. You can get them for $1-2 dollars at pretty much any kitchen store.
  6. My new roommate Kate in her first Savory Reviews appearance. Look at her rubbing down the ribs.
  7. Start on the rib side and generously apply the rub to the ribs. Flip and cover the meat side of the ribs.
  8. Let the ribs sit for 15 – 20 minutes to get up to room temperature and marinate in the rub. During this time preheat your grill. You should only need one burner on. Get the temperature inside the grill to get to about 300-310 Degrees Fahrenheit. If your grill has vertical burners, turn on the burner farthest away from your gas tank. If your grill has horizontal burners, turn on the burner that closest to the back of the grill.
  9. Now this is also the time to start soaking some wood chips. These will be placed in a smoker box on the grill. The smoker box will be placed directly over the flames. Don’t worry if you don’t have a smoker box. I MacGyver’d one for $0.75. Get a disposable bread pan and fill it with the soaked wood chips.
  10. Homemade Smoker Box
  11. Now cover the pan with aluminum foil. Then using a knife cut 10-15 holes in the foil. This will allow the smoke to escape from the box. A lot easier than purchasing a $15-25 smoker box.
  12. Add holes to the foil to allow the smoke to escape.
  13. I started with three racks of ribs and my modest gas grill was not large enough to hold 3 full racks of ribs. So I had to cut mine in half in order to fit them on the grill without them being directly over the flame. I know I shouldn’t have cut them, but I needed three racks and I didn’t want them to burn.
  14. Place the ribs meat side down
  15. Place the ribs bone side up on the grill, away from the heat. Placing them bone side up will allow the juices to pool in the ribs and allows them to self baste. Let cook for an hour and a half. Then flip and cook for another hour to an hour and half. The ribs should take between 2.5 to 3 hours to cook. Mine took 3 as I had the grill stacked with ribs. If you have less meat on the grill it will cook a little faster.
  16. Flip so that the ribs are meat side up
  17. You know when the ribs are done when the bones are extending from the edge of the ribs, and when you pick them up from one end and they fold over on themselves. You can always do the chef test and try one. The meat should pull cleanly from the bone, but should not fall from the bone. There should be a little give.
  18. Ready to eat
  19. When the ribs are done, serve them dry or wet. To sauce the ribs, remove them from the grill. Turn on the other burners to medium and let the grill preheat. Then baste the ribs, flip and grill them until the sauce sets on the ribs. Should take about 4-5 minutes with 2 flips. I usually sauce the meat side and then flip the ribs. I then sauce the bottom of the ribs and shut the lid. After 2 minutes, I flip the ribs and then sauce the meat side. I shut the lid and then wait 2 more minutes. I then remove them from the grill and serve them.
  20. Sauced and ready to go
  21. I served these with some grilled potatoes, coleslaw and spicy pickles.

 

This goes to show you that if you are a real fan of Savory Reviews, you may get invited to a personal dinner at the source.  Well, if you live around and/or are visiting the DC area.


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Comments
  • comment avatar Ryan Alexander August 20, 2009

    Thanks for inviting Melissa and I over. The ribs were awesome man.

    Our friends were so jealous that we got to eat with the Choco-Bacon man!

  • comment avatar Melissa August 20, 2009

    Thank you for dinner. It was amazing! Great food and great company!

    I have never seen Ryan eat so many ribs in such a short period of time.

    • comment avatar Rex August 20, 2009

      Melissa and Ryan it was my pleasure. It was a lot of fun having you guys over. We will definitely have to do it again. You guys need to start thinking about what you would like next.

  • comment avatar Aunt Heidi August 20, 2009

    A new roommate named Kate? More info needed! :)

  • comment avatar Chris August 20, 2009

    Excellent tutorial. Well except for that Chris guy, he doesn't know what the **** he's talking about ;)

    You pretty much nailed the technique I used to use back when all I had was a gasser. Those cheap smoker boxes do a great job on the gas grill for ribs, chicken and salmon.

    Man….I'm craving ribs now. Oh well, maybe Sunday. I'm smoking a turkey breast bone in with applewood for "Thanksgiving In August" for Saturday.

    • comment avatar Rex August 20, 2009

      Haha, too funny Chris. Now you are making me hungry for Thanksgiving. Is this some way to get back at me for making you hungry for ribs. If so, it is working.

  • comment avatar David November 10, 2009

    So, if I am cooking, lets say a 5 pound rack this will take me 2 hours?

    • comment avatar Rex November 10, 2009

      David, I would say 2-2.5 hours would be about right. Make sure to cook them over indirect heat and leave the lid closed as much as possible. Also monitor the heat so that it is around 300-310 Degrees Fahrenheit inside the grill. Happy Grilling.

  • comment avatar Dave April 24, 2010

    Ha Rex, I enjoyed reading your process, Oh and Im Dave nice to make your aquaintance Rex the reason Im writting is to ask your opinion about the basic difference between the parboil, slow roasting in oven and your slow cook method of smoking I am a white boy from cincinnatti living in the southwest (Albuquerque) been an avid cook most of my life but I have found (for me) ribs can be pricy and dont have the funds for to much trial and error within reason thanks Rex please school me if you can Dave

    • comment avatar Rex April 27, 2010

      Dave, since there is a lot in your comment, I am going to email you directly.

  • comment avatar Fred June 12, 2010

    Howdy,
    Trying out the Gas Grill for BBQ ribs,ST Louis and Babies.The Baby isn’t quite a 1Lb and the other is 2 1/4.So I figure min 2hrs.I have only one problem and it’s trying to keep the smokinjg temp @ 215.It flucuate between 220 and
    240. Should I be concerned. The food is just reaching 180 after an hour.
    THXS
    Fred

  • comment avatar Fred June 12, 2010

    Rex,
    The meat was tender and the bone looked a little white but the meat came clean.Bark crisp,the bast was done liked you said and perfect glaze.Now,I’ve got get ready for “Father’s Day”.Because of the amount I’m starting Friday thru late Saturday and will foil wrap and top off Sunday.
    THXS again.
    Fred
    Happy Father’s Day

    • comment avatar Rex June 13, 2010

      Glad to hear it Fred. If you have any more questions let me know. Happy Father’s Day to you too.

  • comment avatar Carey Kaltenhauser August 18, 2010

    Thank you for the good summary

  • comment avatar Sac Chlo¨¦ Outlet September 10, 2011

    Routinely, we have to stand still so that you can deliver ourselves with chances to get up to date. Expect your hiatus leaves you refreshed, revitalized, with your arsenal of insight refurbished.

  • comment avatar Rick Otton November 7, 2011

    certainly like your web site however you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to inform the truth nevertheless I will definitely come again again.

  • comment avatar Brian July 8, 2012

    We usually do our ribs on the Weber Kettle, after a good starting cook in the oven. It's too hot for that, so I am taking your tips and doing a rack totally on the gasser. So far so good.

    Great tips on which burner to use. Also, this is the first time I've done bone up first. There is indeed a "pool of juices" that I'm sure will be a great baste.

    Footnote: after 50 minutes, still no smoke from the chips packet. Poked more holes in bottom to get things moving.

    • comment avatar savoryreviews July 8, 2012

      Brian,

      Glad you are trying out the ribs on a gas grill. If you have a weber kettle you should try out my method of smoking on the kettle. It requires two fire bricks. Keeps 275 for 6 hours. No tending required. http://www.savoryreviews.com/2012/04/03/beef-ribs

      I have done this a bunch of times and had smoldering ashes each time. No problem getting smoke. Do you have the smoke box directly over the flame?

      Rex

  • comment avatar Brian July 9, 2012

    We usually do our ribs on the Weber Kettle, after a good starting cook in the oven (I know, for some, that's Heresy!).

    We followed your tips and did the ribs totally on the gasser. They came out great.

    Thanks for the well thought out tips.

    Brian.

    • comment avatar Linda March 28, 2013

      Where can I print the recipe off to my files?

      • comment avatar savoryreviews March 28, 2013

        Linda, I updated the recipe to be printable. Sorry about that.

        Rex

  • comment avatar nadinesim April 26, 2013

    The thing about being on a diet is, I need to avoid websites like yours!
    Don't get me wrong, this recipe is fantastic, but it's playing havoc with my stomach.

  • comment avatar Kevin June 22, 2013

    How do you figure out the time it takes per pound?

    • comment avatar savoryreviews June 23, 2013

      Kevin, I usually cook it for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the bones start to pop out and loosen up. There is no set time for ribs. Each rack cooks differently.

  • comment avatar Emile Heskey July 30, 2013

    I find it is 10 times better doubling the temperature and cooking for an hour at the most. It tasted way better than this recipe

  • comment avatar Mark August 17, 2013

    Thanks …worked perfect. Tender and tastie

  • comment avatar billi boast August 31, 2013

    very great side It’s arduous to seek out knowledgeable people on this matter, but you sound like you already know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • comment avatar Attatudy October 8, 2013

    I made these tonight also but instead of cooking them on the grill for 2 hours I cooked them in the crock pot for 2 hours on high and one hour on low. Then made my own bbq sauce and put them on the grill for about an hour turning frequently and moping with the sauce… sometimes lack of time works out well.

  • comment avatar Matt October 17, 2013

    I've made these twice in the last month and will again this weekend. I'll never go back to the smoker again. Thanks!

  • comment avatar Brian November 17, 2013

    First time ever doing ribs on my weber genesis and I followed your recipe the whole way….AWESOME

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