To properly Bar-B-Que ribs of any kind, you have to learn slow and low. Meaning, cook slowly over low heat. That’s the secret to properly Bar-B-Que anything, not just ribs but any cut of meat. If you are cooking it fast, you are grilling, not Bar-B-Queing.
RULE #1 Slow cook!
I recently posted all my secrets for slow cooked BBQ in my article about BBQ Baby Back Ribs. Feel free to read through that post for all my secrets on properly slow cooking ribs. For this post, I’ll give you a shortened version of the main points:
Cooking Time & Temperature: 225°F, so allow 3 to 4 hours for baby back ribs. If you are wanting to cook pork shoulder or thicker pieces of meat, you’ll need 8-12 hours.
Charcoal: Hardwood Charcoal. (Always better than a gas grill!) And hardwood charcoal is better than your standard charcoal as it burns better in my opinion.
Hardwood for Smoke: You have to have hardwood chips for a good smoke. Mesquite just happens to be my favorite, but lot of people also like Hickory and other flavors. Prep the Meat:
1.) Rinse. Rinse the ribs in cool water then pat dry with paper towels.
2.) Remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs if it hasn’t already been done by the butcher. If you bought this from a butcher, they can do it for you but most likely you are just buying your meat at the local grocery and they don’t bother with this step. This can be a pain, but worth it when you go to eat the ribs. (Sometimes I just get lazy and I don’t bother with this step.)
3.) Rub. Coat the meat with your favorite BBQ spice rub. If you don’t have one yet, take a look at our wide selection of BBQ dry rub recipes.
Grill Setup for proper slow cooking your Bar-B-Que Ribs:
Grill Setup for BBQ
Setup your grill for indirect cooking like the picture on the right, with 2 zones. That means the meat sits over a pan of water and not directly over the heat/coals. This the most important setup issue to properly slow cook your ribs on the grill or any meat you wish to BBQ. You want the meat to slowly cook.