Back ribs, spare ribs, short ribs….with all these options, it’s easy to get confused on how long to grill ribs. In this post, we break down grilling times for you and touch on some technique to achieve perfectly grilled ribs. When grilling ribs, there are two ways: the slow way and the fast way. For a delicious rack of ribs, most people grill them from 1 1/2 hours to 3 1/2 hours. Remember to keep those propane tanks filled for this grilling session! Keep reading to find out how long you should be grilling your ribs for optimal flavor.

grilling ribs

Grilling Baby Back Ribs

Cut from the loin section of the pigs rib cage, these baby back ribs are smaller than spare ribs and tend to be more tender. This means they can be cooked in less time. Grill ribs indirectly for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. We suggest grilling at about 350 degrees the fast way.

For those with a little more time on their hands, grill ribs at low heat, approximately 225 degrees for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. If you plan on grilling the ribs the slow way, we recommend grilling ribs for 2 hours bone side down then wrapping them in foil and grilling bone side up for 30 minutes. Add some flavoring into the foil packet! Finish off by unwrapping the foil and grilling the baby back ribs for 30 more minutes bone side down.

Grilling Short Ribs

When grilling beef short ribs, it comes down to how rare or well done you prefer your meat. The thickness of the meat is also something to take into consideration. Ask yourself these questions when preparing to grill short ribs: Well done or medium rare? Less or more fat?

If you answered “medium rare and more fat” then the grilling time for these ribs is shorter. If you answered well done and less fat, then the grilling time is a little longer. The cooking time for these ribs will change depending on thickness of the cut. Just remember, the internal temperature of short ribs should be 150 degrees for medium rare ribs and 180 degrees for well done short ribs.

Grilling Spare Ribs

Of all the ribs, spare ribs can be grilled the longest. At 225 degrees, spare ribs can be grilled up to 5 hours. These ribs are larger and tougher which means they are more of a challenge to grill. These ribs have been said to be the juiciest of all. True grill masters will know how to grill these ribs to perfection. Again, these can be grilled the fast or the the slow way. If grilling spare ribs the fast way, put on medium heat around 350 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.

Grilling Beef Back Ribs

Beef back ribs usually have less meat than the others, but are equally as delicious if grilled properly! For fall-off-the-bone ribs, we suggest grilling these the slow way at 225 degrees up to 3 hours. Don’t forget to add the barbecue sauce for perfect caramelization. Cook them the fast way from 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees. Either way is delicious if seasoned correctly.

Remember when grilling ribs, the right temperature and grilling time means juicy, delicious ribs. With all this information under your belt, it’s time to get grilling!

Flickr: Hepp/ via cc

Do you have any tips for grilling ribs? Let us know in the comments below. 

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