Our Best Rib Recipes for the Grill
Discover tips, tricks, and recipes for serving up the most tender ribs in town.
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Amy Burke
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
This unique stacking method from Southern Living Test Kitchen Director Lyda Jones Burnette gives you fall-off-the-bone tender results every time you grill baby back ribs.
Recipe: Grilled Baby Back Ribs
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Stylist: Lisa Powell Bailey
Apricot-Pineapple Sweet Ribs
Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q shares his recipe for tender grilled ribs. Season grilled ribs with a spice rub, marinate in a sweet glaze of pineapple juice and apricot nectar, and baste with a honey-sweetened bottled barbecue sauce.
Recipe: Apricot-Pineapple Sweet Ribs
Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Randy Mon
Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Sticky Brown Sugar Glaze
These grilled baby back ribs are basted in an addictive brown sugar glaze that has just a hint of heat from red chile powder.
Photo: Jennifer Davick
Jamaican Ribs with Sticky Rum BBQ Sauce
Get a taste of the islands by seasoning the baby back ribs with spicy jerk seasoning, marinating in rum, and basting with a tangy brown sugar and rum sauce.
Spicy Pork Ribs
Grillmasters looking to expand their horizons should check out this North African-inspired rib recipe. It get its warm heat from a marinade made from harissa (a Tunisian spice paste), lemon juice, and garlic. Basting the ribs with beer keeps them flavorful and juicy on the grill. Serve the ribs with a cool salad to balance the meat's heat.
Tip: Harissa can be found at Whole Foods stores and Middle Eastern markets.
Recipe: Spicy Pork Ribs
Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
These ribs get their great flavor from a splash of lime and our Sweet-Hot 'Cue Sauce, featuring sweet chili sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and ground ginger. Like these baby backs, most ribs need to marinate overnight in the fridge, making them the perfect make-ahead dish for grilling get-togethers.
Tip: Baby back ribs have lots of meat between their short bones and may cost a bit more per pound than spareribs.
Recipe: Sweet-Hot Baby Back Ribs
Smoky Chipotle Baby Back Ribs
Who needs prepackaged rubs and bottled sauces when you can make your own? Our Chipotle Rub's bold taste infuses the ribs with Southwestern flair, while the Smoky Chipotle 'Cue Sauce echoes the rub's flavors with a few more peppers.
Tip: Fix and freeze extra sauce if you want to use up the whole can of chiles.
Recipe: Smoky Chipotle Baby Back Ribs
Herb-rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Pair these ribs with Cherry-Zinfandel Barbecue Sauce, featuring zesty flavors of onion, garlic, red Zinfandel, tart cherries, cider vinegar, anise seeds, and cayenne. The Zin's fruity character keeps the sauce from being too spicy.
Tip: To easily cut ribs apart, hold rack firmly with tongs and slice between each bone using a serrated knife.
Recipe: Herb-rubbed Baby Back Ribs
Shay's Fall-Off-the-Bone Baby Back Ribs
For super-tender meat, marinate baby back ribs in beer and bake in the oven for three hours before grilling. These ribs grill for just 10-15 minutes, since they will have been almost cooked through in the oven.
Tip: Carefully remove the thin membrane on the back of ribs. This will make for more tender ribs and allow smoke and rubs to penetrate the meat better.
Give your ribs a unique, summery taste by basting with Blackberry Sauce made from blackberries, catsup, honey, brown sugar, and spices. The sauce will thicken to a sticky glaze while the slab cooks. Garnish ribs with blackberries and mint sprigs for extra flair.
Tip: Looking at the concave side of the slab will give a clear guide as to where the bones are when cutting them apart.
Recipe: Sauceless-in-Seattle Ribs
Pork Ribs from Crook's Corner
Grilled ribs are one of the specialties at Crook's Corner Café & Bar in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which has been called "sacred ground for Southern foodies" by The New York Times. Chef Bill Smith's signature sauce is made with blackstrap molasses and hot sauce.
Recipe: Pork Ribs from Crook's Corner
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