Our Best Rib Recipes for the Grill
Low and slow is the key to achieving irresistible fall-off-the-bone ribs. These smoky and spiced recipes will make you an instant pit-master and neighborhood star. Be sure to slather your ribs with a rich and tangy barbecue sauce for an award-winning finish.
The Best Grilled Ribs
When you're in the mood to grill ribs, you're most likely looking for a magically meaty experience—and trust us, there's a reason we call these the best. The texture of these smokey beauties is everything you want. Grilling your ribs over an indirect heat gives them a crispy exterior bark, while the meat stays tender, but not completely falling-off-the-bone tender—you’re left with the perfect amount of chew. Baby back ribs are readily available at most any supermarket; when shopping, look for the smaller racks as these tend to have more tender meat.
Short Ribs with Cucumber and Orange Salad
Short ribs are typically braised, but they also hold up beautifully over low heat on the grill--the technique is a real game-changer. So, too, is the lightly charred orange, peel and all: fragrant, fruity, and removed of most of its bitterness.
Cola-and-Coffee Beef Ribs
A sweet cola barbecue sauce balances out the earthy, peppery dry rub on these deliciously rich ribs. Serve with a tangy side dish, like a vinegar-based coleslaw or potato salad.
Sweet Chili-and-Mustard Baby Back Ribs
This tangy-sweet glaze is an exciting change of pace from the usual barbecue sauce. Keep an eye on the heat when grilling these ribs—you don’t want the coals to be too hot for the initial sear. If your charcoal grill doesn’t have a temperature gauge, insert an instant-read thermometer into a vent in the grill lid. These baby back ribs will be perfect for your summer barbecue.
Memphis Dry-Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
These smoked ribs are surprisingly easy to make, even for a first-timer, and outrageously good. A Memphis-style dry rub forms a delicious crust around the meat, making them savory and tender. A vinegar wash with an extra sprinkling of dry rub at the end of the cooking process adds another layer of flavor—no sauce necessary. Be sure to add these baby back ribs to your summer barbecue menu. No messy sauce means easy eating.
Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs
These maple-glazed ribs with a subtle touch of ginger are a mainstay at Odys + Penelope restaurant in Los Angeles. At home, chef-owner Quinn Hatfield smokes them using either a Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker or a Pit Barrel Cooker. For versions of the recipe to cook on regular grills instead of smokers, go to Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs on a Gas Grill, and Ginger Rosemary Smoked Pork Ribs on a Charcoal Grill.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.