How to Cook Ribs on a Gas Grill

There are a lot of cooking methods to produce impressive moist and tender barbecue ribs. But the only simple secret of achieving it is through slow cooking over watchfully low and indirect heat plus right preparation.


  • Smoker, gas grill (sufficient enough to finish 3-7 cooking hours) Note: cooking time depending on type and size of ribs)
  • Drip pan, like disposable aluminum baking pans, but optional
  • Rib rack, but optional
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Hygienic spray bottle, for basting, but optional
  • Aromatic wood, for smoking purposes, but optional
  • Thick type Aluminum foil
  • Salt and pepper (seasoning of your preferences)
  • Mustard, of any type
  • Barbecue sauce


  1. Remove the outer membrane on ribs.
  2. For spare ribs, remove the attached flap of dark meat on the back side of the ribs. Even the extra flaps of meat on top or along the edge of the ribs should also be cut away, in order the rack can cook more evenly. The extra meat however can be cooked separately and served separately.
  3. Marinating your pork ribs – in grilling baby back ribs, marinating is not mandatory however it can help to tenderize larger loin ribs and spare ribs. If preferred, then marinate your rinsed ribs overnight of your marinade preferences, and refrigerate. You may try this combination (citrus juice, lemon juice, vinegar, small amount of soy sauce).
  4. Preheat the grill and make sure to turn off the burner right under the ribs once they are placed on the grill. For great results, it’s important to maintain an even temperature, ideally 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit. For best monitoring, a thermometer placed at the level of the grate gives you accurate temperature check.
  5. A smoker, a charcoal grill, or a gas grill is needed to make great barbecue ribs. Either using charcoal or gas, and the grill is huge enough, allowing your ribs to cook over indirect heat is optimal.
  6. If in case indirect heat is not an option, a disposable aluminum drip pan being placed under the ribs would help to prevent flare ups that could possibly burn the ribs.
  7. For added aromatic smoked flavor, some fruit woods like cherry or apple can be added to the heat source, and some mix in a bit of hickory.


  1. For marinated ribs, remove your ribs from the marinade. Pat them dry.
  2. Lightly rub all surfaces with any preferred type of mustard. Season with salt and abundant spices or your favorite dry rub.
  3. If you want, fill a hygienic spray bottle or a clean bowl with a basting liquid or mop sauce. A combination of fruit juices like orange, apple or pineapple work well.
  4. In your preheated grill or smoker, place the ribs on the grate with bone side down position or arrange them in a rib rack. Spray or baste them with juice or mopping sauce, then repeat every time you open the grill.
  5. Tightly close the lid of the grill. Remember to only open the lid when necessary to prevent temperature to drop.
  6. Once ribs are placed on the grill there is no need to turn them but if you notice uneven distribution of heat, you can rotate them occasionally.
  7. Remove the ribs from the grill after 2 hours or until your ribs turned perfectly brown and the meat starts to pull back from the ends of the bones.
  8. Spray or baste them with your basting liquid. Then wrap the ribs using the heavy-duty aluminum foil and sealing it tightly. Note: This procedure is optional, since ribs can be cooked the entire cooking time unwrapped however it helps in keeping the ribs moist until desired tenderness is achieved.
  9. Put your foil packets back on the grill and continue cooking for one hour.
  10. Remove the ribs after one hour from the foil and place them back on the grill to form a crust.
  11. Continue cooking until desired doneness. To determine doneness, when ribs become perfect brown and the meat has pulled back from the bones by nearly half inch, and when a toothpick inserted between the rib bones easily pierces the meat, then you are adequately done; or when the internal temperature of the meat reads between 180-200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  12. Apply barbecue sauce on your ribs in the last remaining 20 minutes of your cooking time to prevent displeasing burning. Or you may brush your ribs with the sauce right after removing from the grill – whichever you feel convenient doing.
  13. Allow your ribs to rest for a few minutes then serve.


To cook spare ribs is same procedure as to cook baby back or loin except the cooking time required. Cooking time for spare ribs is usually 4-7 hours. The longer the cooking time the more tender result you get. When prepared properly, plus the benefits of marinating and cooking slowly over low heat, your cooked spare ribs can be as tender and moist as your cooked loin ribs or baby back ribs.

  1. For marinated ribs, remove your ribs from the marinade. Pat them dry.
  2. Just follow the steps and procedures in cooking baby back ribs.
  3. Cooking time required for spare ribs is usually 4-7 hours.
  4. If preferred to use foil, cook unwrapped for the first two hours before wrapping.
  5. Cook another additional 3-5 hours wrapped with aluminum foil.
  6. Finish cooking for the remaining cooking time unwrapped.
  7. Apply barbecue sauce for the remaining last 20 minutes of your cooking time to prevent displeasing burning.
  8. Allow your ribs to rest for a few minutes then serve.

Filed Under: Food & Cooking


About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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