How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Ribs Cooked On A Charcoal Grill Can Be Amazing When Done Right

As springtime starts to fade out and summertime heats up, I’m already thinking about cooking ribs on the grill. I’m talking about ribs that fall right off the bone because they’re so tender and juicy.

I want to share my method for how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill that is sure to please everyone.

When cooking ribs, I make sure I have high quality meat and the right kind of charcoal for slow cooking. The secret to tender, tasty ribs that are easy to eat is slow cooking.

Use a low heat and have some patience and your ribs will turn out great every time. It takes the right kind of charcoal to pull off a low, slow cook.

Small briquettes should do, giving you a low heat that isn’t as intense as large chunks of charcoal would create.

When cooking ribs, I like to use the largest grill possible. Remember, ribs are usually quite lengthy, and they need space to cook on the grill. For proper rib grilling, you may need to upgrade your grill to something that can accommodate a rack of ribs.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Fast

I don’t recommend cooking your ribs quickly, but if you would like to, then you should wrap them in aluminum foil. This will cut down the cooking time significantly, and while it doesn’t make the ribs taste any better, it does shorten your cooking time.

The best kind of ribs to use to cook quickly on the grill is baby back ribs. These are smaller ribs and will cook faster.  You can cook these ribs at 400 degrees Fahrenheit after you wrap them in aluminum foil.

They should cook for about an hour on a closed grill, and then you can check them with a cooking thermometer to see if their internal temperature has reached at least 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

From there, you can place them onto a hot open grill and cook them for an additional 30 minutes to give them a charred look on the outside.

This is how to cook baby back ribs on a charcoal grill, but you don’t have to cook them quite so long if you want them faster.

The shorter cook time, however, will make them less tender. You can use this method for how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill in foil.

How to Slow Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

I like my grilled ribs to be tender and juicy and to just melt in my mouth. I don’t like to have to work hard to chew them, so I prefer a slow cooking method. I’m going to show you how to cook pork ribs on a charcoal grill with low heat for a long time.

I would recommend marinating your ribs ahead of time to make them more flavorful, but that is up to you. You can buy a marinade already premade from the store or make your own.

I also keep barbecue sauce on hand to baste the ribs with. I don’t usually baste them at the beginning of the cooking process before they are placed on the grill. I wait until they have cooked for a while before I put the barbecue sauce on.

The trick for how to cook spare ribs on a charcoal grill and to ensure they cook slowly over time and don’t burn is to cook them low and slow.

So, you need to set up your grill and your charcoal in such a way that the charcoal briquettes will cook slowly overtime. We don’t want an intense heat on these ribs since we’re slow cooking them. In order to do that, just fill the charcoal chimney half the way full with briquettes.

To get a wood flavor in your ribs, then you can add a few pieces of wood, such as cherry, to your pile of briquettes. Place your briquettes to one side under the grill.

Place the cooking grate on top of the grill and put a foil pan on top of that. Fill your pan about halfway with room temperature water.

Take out the rib membrane using a butter knife, which you can do by working the knife between the membrane and the bone. Once you’ve loosened the membrane, you can pull it off entirely.

If you have marinated ribs, you can put them on the grill on the side that is away from the heat. If your ribs have not been marinated, you can rub some mustard or similar seasoning onto the ribs generously. A rib rub or salt works well as well.

Cook the ribs at a temperature of about 250 degrees and cover your grill. How long to cook ribs on a charcoal grill? How long you cook them for depends on which kind of ribs you are using.

If you are cooking baby back ribs, cook them for two hours. If you are cooking spare ribs, you should cook them for three hours.

After your ribs have cooked, you can wrap them in foil and add a little liquid inside there before you seal them shut. You can use apple cider vinegar, apple juice, or another liquid that you prefer.

If necessary, you can add another half chimney of charcoal. Cook for two more hours, keeping the grill covered the whole time.

Once the ribs have cooked, you can unwrap them and get rid of the foil. Turn the ribs over and use barbecue sauce to baste them. Cover the grill once more and cook your ribs for an additional 15 minutes.

Now, turn the ribs right side up once more and baste the top of them with barbecue sauce. Cover your grill one last time to cook the ribs for 45 more minutes.

This is my method for how to cook pork spare ribs on a charcoal grill, and you may want to change up seasonings and make minor adjustments to the cooking time depending on how tender you want them and how thick your ribs are.

How to Cook St Louis Style Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Are you interested in Saint Louis style ribs? To get this kind of rib, need to ask your butcher for a Saint Louis style cut. This means cutting them into a rectangular shape.

You can cook them the same way I showed you up above for how to cook beef ribs on a charcoal grill or pork ribs.

There’s nothing different about the Saint Louis style of ribs other than the cut or the shape of the ribs.

Once again, the taste is up to you, and you can use your own seasonings, flavorings, and barbecue sauce that you prefer.