There’s nothing quite like the taste of perfectly grilled pork ribs. Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a beginner, grilling ribs on a gas grill is a great way to enjoy this classic dish.
But with so many different methods and techniques out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to grill pork ribs on a gas grill.
From preparing the ribs to adding the perfect seasoning, we’ll walk you through every step of the process so you can create mouth-watering ribs that are sure to impress your guests.
So fire up the grill and get ready to become a rib-grilling pro!
How To Grill Pork Ribs On Gas Grill?
Step 1: Preparing the Ribs
Before you start grilling, you’ll need to prepare your ribs. Begin by removing them from the packaging and patting them dry with a paper towel. Then, remove the silver skin from the back side of the ribs. This is optional, but it can make the ribs easier to eat and help the seasoning penetrate the meat.
Next, season your ribs with your favorite dry rub seasoning. Be sure to rub it in well on both sides of the ribs. You can also add apple juice to the bottom of an aluminum pan and place the ribs in it, covering it with foil and refrigerating until ready to grill.
Step 2: Preheating Your Grill
Preheat your gas grill to 300°F. It’s important to try to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process so your ribs don’t cook too fast. If you have a three-burner grill, keep the middle burner off and just keep the two end burners on low for indirect heat.
Step 3: Grilling Your Ribs
Place your pan of ribs onto the grill and cover it with the lid. Cook for about an hour, maintaining a temperature of 300°F during the cooking process. You may need up to 2 hours for these ribs, so plan accordingly.
Ribs are safe to eat when an inserted meat thermometer (into the thickest part of the meat – away from the bone) reaches 145°F. But by cooking it low and slow for a longer amount of time, the ribs will end up reaching a temperature closer to 180°F-190°F degrees and that creates a more tender meat.
Step 4: Adding Sauce
In a small pot over medium heat, whisk together marmalade and vinegar. Continue to whisk until it’s combined well. This should only take a minute or two. You can do this on the grill if you have a side burner attached to your grill.
Take pot off heat and baste the cooked ribs with the marmalade sauce. Make sure to coat it well. Cover grill and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then repeat the process one more time.
Step 5: Serving Your Ribs
Carefully remove the ribs off the grill and place on a large cutting board and allow the meat to rest and cool for a few minutes. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the ribs between the bones and serve!
Choosing The Right Type Of Pork Ribs
When it comes to grilling pork ribs on a gas grill, choosing the right type of ribs is crucial to achieving the perfect taste and texture. There are several types of pork ribs to choose from, including baby back ribs, spare ribs, St. Louis cut ribs, and rib tips.
Baby back ribs are the most popular and tenderest type of pork ribs. They come from the highest part of the ribcage and contain the least amount of fat and marbling. Baby back ribs are usually shorter than spare ribs and have about half an inch of pork loin meat on top.
Spare ribs are larger and meatier than baby back ribs. They come from the belly side of the ribcage and have more fat and marbling. Spare ribs are perfect for those who prefer a more flavorful and juicy rib.
St. Louis cut ribs are basically spare ribs that have been trimmed up a little more. This cut of rib is preferred on the competition circuit because it is neat and tidy for presentation.
Rib tips are considered by many to be the most tender part of the pig with a lot of fat and marbling. However, they also contain a lot of small bone and cartilage, making them a chore to eat.
Country-style ribs are from the shoulder end of the loin. They have the most meat per bone and the least amount of fat. Country-style ribs can be eaten with your fingers or with a knife and fork.
When choosing your pork ribs, look for slabs that have good fat marbling but not too much fat. Avoid slabs with “shiners” where the meat cutter cut too close to the bone so that the bone shows through the meat. Choose slabs with good meat coverage over the bones and no large areas of surface fat. For best quality, avoid buying ribs that are frozen or have been previously frozen if you can.
Experiment with different sizes and types of pork ribs to find out what you like best. But remember, every slab is unique, so even if you line up several slabs of similar size and weight, each one may be different in terms of tenderness. That’s part of the fun and variability of grilling pork ribs on a gas grill!
Preparing The Ribs For Grilling
To make the best grilled pork ribs, it’s important to properly prepare them beforehand. The first step is to inspect the ribs and choose ones with an even layer of meat across the bones. Avoid slabs with exposed bones, known as “shiners,” as they may fall out during cooking. Look for light pink meat with even marbling and avoid ribs that have been enhanced with added solutions.
Once you have your ribs, you’ll need a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a kitchen butter knife. Remove the ribs from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Lay them out on a cutting board with the meat side up and inspect them for any excess fat, loose rib bones, or silver skin.
Using a sharp knife, trim off any dangling meat or excess fat. Then, turn the ribs over and remove the membrane covering the rib bones. This is important to allow your rub to penetrate the meat. Insert a dull butter knife on top of a rib bone on the small end of the rack and push it upwards to loosen the membrane. Grab it with a paper towel and slowly pull it toward the opposite end of the rack. Repeat until all of it is off.
Trim off any loose fat or membrane, and then apply your favorite dry rub seasoning generously across both sides of the ribs. Be sure to rub it in well so that it sticks to the meat.
With your ribs now prepared, you’re ready to start grilling!
Seasoning The Ribs For Maximum Flavor
One of the most important steps in grilling pork ribs on a gas grill is properly seasoning the meat. Seasoning your ribs overnight allows the meat to absorb all of the seasoning’s flavor before it’s cooked, resulting in a more flavorful and tender meat.
To create a delicious dry rub for your ribs, gather the following ingredients: paprika, lemon pepper, brown sugar, black pepper, white pepper, onion salt, garlic, and chili powder. Mix all of the ingredients together and store the rib seasoning in an airtight container in a cool dark place.
Before grilling your ribs, remove them from the packaging and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, remove the silver skin from the back side of the ribs. This is optional but can help the seasoning penetrate the meat. Next, apply your dry rub seasoning to both sides of the ribs and rub it in well.
For an extra burst of flavor, you can also add apple juice to the bottom of an aluminum pan and place the seasoned ribs in it. Cover it with foil and refrigerate until ready to grill.
By properly seasoning your ribs before grilling them on a gas grill, you’ll achieve maximum flavor and create unforgettable, epic ribs that people will be talking about for days to come.
Setting Up Your Gas Grill For Ribs
Setting up your gas grill for ribs is key to achieving tender and flavorful results. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Turn all burners on your gas grill to low. Leave the grill covered and let the temperature rise to 300°F. This will create the ideal environment for cooking your ribs.
Step 2: Where you place the ribs on the grill is most important. You need indirect heat to cook ribs without drying them out or overcooking them. If you have a grill with the burners running front to back, you will need to use one of the burners on either end.
Step 3: Let’s say you are using the left side burner. This means you place your smoke bombs directly over this burner (and under the cooking grate). The ribs will be placed on the grate to the right of the hot burner. If the rack of ribs is short enough to be placed running parallel to the burners, set it near the hot burner but not over it. Otherwise, you might have to place it in a more diagonal position on the grill, which will require rotating the rack of ribs occasionally to even out the cooking.
Step 4: Place the rib rack bone-side down on the grill, close the lid, and adjust the grill until it holds a temperature of 300°F. Let the ribs cook for 30 minutes. Don’t open the lid as keeping it closed will hold in as much smoke as possible.
Step 5: After 30 minutes, you can start checking on your ribs. Use a meat thermometer to check their internal temperature. A medium-sized rack of ribs should take about three hours at 300°F. If they’re a bit small or you’re unsure about your grill setup, start checking at about two hours. A thick slab may take four hours.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to set up your gas grill for ribs and achieve delicious results every time.
Grilling The Ribs To Perfection
To grill your pork ribs to perfection, you need to follow a few crucial steps. First, preheat your gas grill to 300°F and try to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process. Next, place your seasoned ribs onto the grill and cover it with the lid. Cook for about an hour, maintaining a temperature of 300°F during the cooking process. You may need up to 2 hours for these ribs, so plan accordingly.
The only way to know when your ribs are perfectly cooked is by using a meat thermometer. The perfect temperature for ribs is going to be 195°F-200°F. This temperature will ensure that the collagen has had enough time to break down and give that tender & buttery rib texture we love.
Once your ribs are cooked, it’s time to add sauce. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk together marmalade and vinegar. Continue to whisk until it’s combined well. This should only take a minute or two. Take the pot off heat and baste the cooked ribs with the marmalade sauce. Make sure to coat it well. Cover the grill and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Then repeat the process one more time.
Finally, carefully remove the ribs off the grill and place them on a large cutting board and allow the meat to rest and cool for a few minutes. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the ribs between the bones and serve! By following these simple steps, you’ll have perfectly grilled pork ribs every time!
Checking The Temperature And Doneness Of The Ribs
Checking the temperature and doneness of your pork ribs is crucial to ensure that they are safe to eat and cooked to perfection. While the USDA recommends cooking pork ribs to an internal temperature of 145°F, this temperature is not ideal for achieving tender and juicy ribs. Instead, aim for an internal temperature between 190°F-203°F.
To check the temperature, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone. Be careful not to touch the bone, as this can give you an inaccurate reading. If the temperature reads between 190°F-203°F, your ribs are done and ready to be removed from the grill.
Another way to check for doneness is by using the “bend test.” Pick up a rack of ribs with tongs and gently bend them. If they start to crack or tear, they are done. If they still feel stiff or rigid, they need more time on the grill.
It’s important to note that ribs should not “fall off the bone” when cooked. This means they are overcooked and have a mushy texture. Instead, aim for tender meat that still holds its shape when bitten into.
By using an instant-read thermometer and performing the bend test, you can ensure that your pork ribs are cooked to perfection and ready to be enjoyed by all.