BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill

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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 how to cook 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 it’s 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 silver skin 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 is 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 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.

5.0 from 3 reviews
BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill
Author: 
Recipe type: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
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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47 thoughts on “BBQ Ribs On A Gas Grill

  • August 20, 2009 at 3:00 am
    Permalink

    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!

    Reply
  • August 20, 2009 at 4:47 am
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    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.

    Reply
    • August 20, 2009 at 5:25 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • August 20, 2009 at 11:24 am
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    A new roommate named Kate? More info needed! 🙂

    Reply
  • August 20, 2009 at 1:23 pm
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    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.

    Reply
    • August 20, 2009 at 1:43 pm
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      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.

      Reply
  • November 10, 2009 at 4:02 am
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    So, if I am cooking, lets say a 5 pound rack this will take me 2 hours?

    Reply
    • November 10, 2009 at 2:36 am
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      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.

      Reply
  • April 24, 2010 at 4:18 pm
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    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

    Reply
    • April 27, 2010 at 8:47 am
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      Dave, since there is a lot in your comment, I am going to email you directly.

      Reply
  • June 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm
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    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

    Reply
  • June 12, 2010 at 10:38 pm
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    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

    Reply
    • June 13, 2010 at 7:03 pm
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      Glad to hear it Fred. If you have any more questions let me know. Happy Father’s Day to you too.

      Reply
  • September 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm
    Permalink

    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.

    Reply
  • July 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm
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    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.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm
      Permalink

      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

      Reply
  • July 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm
    Permalink

    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.

    Reply
    • March 28, 2013 at 5:39 pm
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      Where can I print the recipe off to my files?

      Reply
  • April 26, 2013 at 10:33 am
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    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.

    Reply
  • June 22, 2013 at 7:03 pm
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    How do you figure out the time it takes per pound?

    Reply
    • June 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm
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      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.

      Reply
  • July 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm
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    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

    Reply
  • August 17, 2013 at 7:44 pm
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    Thanks …worked perfect. Tender and tastie

    Reply
  • August 31, 2013 at 2:28 am
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    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

    Reply
  • October 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm
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    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.

    Reply
  • October 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm
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    I've made these twice in the last month and will again this weekend. I'll never go back to the smoker again. Thanks!

    Reply
  • November 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm
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    First time ever doing ribs on my weber genesis and I followed your recipe the whole way….AWESOME

    Reply
  • May 26, 2014 at 11:17 pm
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    I didn’t follow the smoker box but everything else worked really well. For my first time grilling ribs I was very pleased and my sons and I tore it up! My wife who doesn’t like pork even liked the little she ate. Thanks so much for step by step amazing advice! I’ll be checking back for future cooking advice!

    Reply
    • May 27, 2014 at 6:58 am
      Permalink

      Brandon,

      I am glad that you guys enjoyed your ribs. If you liked them without the smoke, you definitely have to try them with the smoke box next time. It adds another layer of flavor. Totally worth it.

      Rex

      Reply
  • May 29, 2014 at 10:56 pm
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    Rex,

    I have used this recipe at least a dozen times now (I first discovered it last summer)….it’s become a favorite of mine and a go to for when we have company…it has now become one of my two “signature” dishes – the other is blackened salmon…prior to reading your recipe, I had never even attempted ribs on the grill…love the recipe & method, thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  • July 6, 2014 at 9:27 pm
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    Hi,just wondering what you use to soak the chips in? im a nuby in kitchen and just started to get use to a grill.

    Reply
    • July 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm
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      Belen,

      I soak the wood chips in water in a bucket, bowl or any watertight container that I have lying around. I have even been known to soak wood chips in a red party cup.

      Rex

      Reply
    • July 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm
      Permalink

      Belen,

      I soak the wood chips in water in a bucket, bowl or any watertight container that I have lying around. I have even been known to soak woodchips in a red party cup.

      Rex

      Reply
  • July 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm
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    Ok, so I have never personally cooked ribs but I have dated many a man who would think himself a pro BBQer but Im from Texas and feel its my duty to demonstrate true BBQ to my friends here in Singapore.. I have a group of about 12 and just discovered my condo only has a gas grill.. I plan to use your recipe and hope they turn out tasty and tender to wow my friends but I was wondering if I could prepare chicken and sausages at the same time.. my grill space is not overly big so I want to make sure to prepare enough food for the group.. also.. should I put an aluminum pan of water in for added moisture?

    Reply
    • July 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm
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      Suzy,

      I don’t think that you will need a water pan for moisture. It won’t really do too much and it will take away a lot of real estate on the grill. Since the ribs will be over the indirect part of the grill that leaves the direct portion open for grilling. I would use that area to cook your chicken and sausage in the last 30 minutes of your cook. If you have a lot of chicken and sausage to cook you can cook in waves. That way you constantly have freshly cooked meat coming off of the grill. Hope that helps.

      Rex

      Reply
  • June 22, 2015 at 1:50 pm
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    I’ve used your recipe a few times now and I’m pretty sure it’s the only recipe I’ll ever use. They are amazing every time! I usually go for baby backs but today i happen to have spare ribs. Can I use the same method or do I need to increase cook time?

    Reply
    • June 22, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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      Kami,

      Glad you enjoy the recipe. You can totally use this recipe for spare ribs. However, the timing for spare ribs will have to be increased by 30-45 minutes.

      If you have any other questions let me know.

      Rex

      Reply
  • July 5, 2015 at 9:56 am
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    One question, will i need to change the wood chips out during the cook, or will one box full last? Thanks

    Reply
    • July 5, 2015 at 11:23 am
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      Shane, One box should be more than enough.

      Reply
  • October 2, 2015 at 5:56 pm
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    I tried this recipe with spareribs without using the soaked wood chips. One burner wouldn’t quite get to 300° for me so I used two and I had it at a perfect 300°. After an hour and a half the ribs seemed completely raw on the outside. Although they were a little dried out and there was some blood running from them. What am I doing wrong?

    Reply
    • October 2, 2015 at 7:02 pm
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      Cam,

      In order to get the right color and texture, you need to use the wood chips. The smoke will penetrate the meat almost curing it. It will give you the nice mahogany color that you are looking for. Also, spare ribs are larger and take longer than baby back ribs to cook. The recipe above is for baby back ribs. To cook spare ribs you will need to cook for 4 to 4.5 hours at 300 degrees. In short, at 1.5 hours the spare ribs probably should look that way, without the smoke. At 3 hours they should start to look cooked and at around 4 hours they should be nearing completion. You do not need the smoke to cook the ribs, but without it they will lack in flavor and color. Most grocery stores have small bags of wood chips in the same aisle as the charcoal. Just place some soaked chips in a aluminum foil pouch with a dozen holes poked in it. That should work fine. The next time they will be awesome!!

      Rex

      Reply
  • February 15, 2016 at 12:13 pm
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    We follow your recipe last night pretty much to a T and it worked out perfectly perfect. The rub was on point. The ribs were moist, flavorful, and the faux smoker box is brilliant. We have a Weber Genesis B grill with 3 horizontal rows of burners. We lit the last row as the main heat source, and also the front row on the lowest setting because the ribs all the way in the front were otherwise not going to cook. I cannot emphasize enough the need to soak those wood chips beforehand. That box of chips was HOT when it was done..it took hours and hours to cool down and not be a fire hazard when we were through.
    Excellent recipe all around. It will be a keeper in our house! And now we know how to smoke other meats on our gas grill. Thanks much!

    Reply
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