How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (2023)

Smoke the perfect grilled pork ribs on your charcoal grill with our step-by-step recipe and guide. Cooked over indirect heat and apple wood, these smoked spare ribs will rival anything you've eaten before.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (1)


  1. equip yourself
  2. How to cook ribs
  3. Use a good rib rub
  4. How to prepare the grill
  5. How to Grill Ribs on a Charcoal Grill
  6. how to wrap ribs
  7. Stop smoking
  8. How to apply barbecue sauce
  9. Part
  10. How to hold the ribs (if not served immediately)
  11. Charcoal Grilled Ribs

Any good grill master knows how to make a good prime rib, but some fail because they don't have the proper equipment. Although ribs are traditionally cooked on a smoker or kamado grill, they can easily be cooked on a charcoal grill as well.

charcoal grillsThey are often underestimated due to their flexibility, and unlike their gas brethren, they can be transformed into brilliant smokers without sacrificing classic smoker grill flavor.

Today's guide will walk you through the steps of cooking ribs on a charcoal grill.

Do you need a prescription? look at oursTexas Baby Ribs

equip yourself

There are a few key tools and ingredients that you need to cook your ribs.

Will need:

  • charcoal grill
  • Money
  • hardwood pieces
  • Ribs (no ribs or baby loins)
  • A good rib rub (ingredients below)
  • 1 disposable foil tray about half the size of your charcoal grill
  • A meat thermometer
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil (if you want to wrap your ribs)
  • Barbecue sauce
  • a big knife
  • meat scissors
How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (2)

How to cook ribs

The key to any good round of ribs is proper preparation. This stage can affect or hinder the success of your meal, and neglecting proper preparation will result in weak and inferior ribs. Throwing them on the grill like you bought them won't work.

For your choice of ribs, I suggest you go for the pulled pork. And then there are 2 types:Pork ribs or baby back ribs.

I personally prefer replacements. They are cut from the belly of the ribs and are therefore much meatier. The baby back is a bit shorter but still a great option. Cooking time is usually 4-5 hours for leftovers and 3-4 hours for baby backs.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (3)

It's also important to remember that your grill will determine what size grill you can cook at any one time. We want so many ribs to be revealed at once, so stacking them on top of each other is not a good idea. As a result, you may only be able to get one grilled chop or two baby back ribs. Keep this in mind when preparing your ribs.

Next, you just need to cut the ribs into the rib holder. If you haven't already, check out my complete guidehow to cut cost.

Begin withRemoving the frame membrane. Not many grills do this, but it removes the thin skin from the back of the ribs, leaving them tender and full of flavor.

(Video) How To Make Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Easy

You can do this with just a table knife, inserting it between the membrane and the bone. Try to push the blade in a bit until the coating is loose enough to tear off with your hands. Use a paper towel if it's too slippery.

Once you've managed to peel off the membrane, use meat shears to trim off any excess fat. If you don't have scissors, use a sharp knife. Once you've done that, check the ribs for any loose meat. You want to remove them so all you're left with is a nice, clean rib.

Use a good rib rub

As with so many cuts of meat, using a good seasoning is a crucial cooking step. This helps add flavor to the meat as it cooks and creates a light crust on the pork that helps it crisp up when eaten.

A lot of people like to use barbecue sauce, but I prefer not to use it. For me,A good massage is better than any barbecue sauce.

Meat seasonings are widely available online or in stores., or you can even make your own by simply mixing your choice of herbs and spices in a bowl.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (4)

My landlorddry roast pork recipecontains:

  • smoked paprika
  • brown sugar
  • garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • onion powder
  • Sal
  • Oregano

Whichever mop you choose, spread it generously over the ribs. Be sure to cover the entire surface of the shelf, including the back and edges.

I always do this right before cooking. Some people make it way in advance, but there's still a risk that if you make it too early (say, a day or so), the seasoning will start to brine the meat, making it a bit more ham-like.

How to prepare the grill

Our main goal in doing this is to turn our grill into a smoker. This actually requires a bit of skill, as we need to maintain a good constant heat of around 250 F / 120 C. This not only requires the use of a good meat thermometer, buta bit of indirect cooking knowledge.

If you are not familiar with indirect cooking, it is a method that placescoalunder half of rack and leave other side clean. Then place your meat on this light side and let the heat inside the grill cook it instead of the direct heat from the flames.

For full instructions, see mine.Indirect Grilling Instructions.

Let's get a little creative with this approach and enlist the help of a disposable foil tray. We're going to fill it up with water and use it to add moisture to our grill environment and help with that.regulate the temperature. More on that in a moment.

Before grilling, make sure the grill grates and drum are clean. A spotless grill has many benefits. So if your grill is dirty I would give you half an hour to really clean it.

After cleaning, remove the grate and light the charcoal. There are a few methods to do this, so if you're not sure how to do it, check out my to light a charcoal grill.

You will need enough charcoal to cover half of the grill area and also to create 2-3 layers of charcoal.

Once the charcoal is lit, place it on the bottom of the grill and position it so that it only covers half of the grill surface. Add several large pieces of hardwood to the charcoal. It helps us create smoke throughout the cooking process.

Put the rack back on the grill. Fill your aluminum pot with water and place it in the middle of the grill, just above the coals. The idea is that this will produce a constant supply of steam, but beware: if it runs out, you'll have to charge it.

Remember that our goal is an internal temperature of 250F/120C.Open the vents in the roof of your some heat can escape. If necessary, you can leave them open to allow adequate ventilation to maintain a constant temperature.

How to Grill Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Now that our grill is ready, it's time to prepare this rib! Place the grates on the cooking grate, making sure they are in the middle of the grate with no charcoal below, next to the water pan. Place them with the ribbed side of the rack facing down.

(Video) How to Smoke Ribs on a Charcoal Grill (EASY!)

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (5)

Try to cook 3-4 hours for baby back ribs or 4-5 hours for spare ribs.

After an hour, check the ribs and make sure the coals are smoldering well andkeep grill warm. Also, make sure there is enough water in the pot to maintain a healthy steam supply.

Add a few more wood chips to the coals and rotate the ribs so they cook more evenly.

look at oursInstructions for smoking ribs on a gas grill

how to wrap ribs

Another hour later check the ribs. We want them to bend easily without breaking. If it's not done yet, let it cook a bit longer. However, if they do fold well, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil. We do this to increase the internal temperature of the meat while retaining moisture, making it juicier.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (6)

Place the wrapped ribs back on the rack. Check the coals and water again. Do not add any more wood chips this time as the ribs have picked up a lot of smoke.

Stop smoking

Final sprint time. About an hour after placing the ribs on the foil, remove the ribs from the foil and place them back on the grill. Cook for another 30-60 minutes. This final round of cooking involves lightly drying the surface of the ribs to add a nice texture.

The final temperature we are looking for is around 180F/80C. The reason for this is that this is the maximum temperature we can reach to keep the meat tender before it starts to fall off the bone.

Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the ribs (see my handy guide if you don't have one).Best Surface Thermometers for Grills).

Of all the different cuts of meat, pork ribs and backs are the most difficult to monitor closely due to the relatively small amount of meat that sticks to them.

Bones have a different temperature than meat, so when applying the thermometer, make sure the probe penetrates the meat without touching the bone.

If this is too difficult, you can take a more visionary approach. Raise the ribs in the middle. Pay attention to the ends of the bones. If they come loose, they're done.

When the ribs have reached the desired internal temperature or have passed the visual test with the ends hanging down, the ribs are done.

If you're going to put sauce on top, leave it on the grill and follow my next step. If not, remove the rack and set it aside.

How to apply barbecue sauce

When the ribs are almost done, drizzle with the barbecue sauce. A word of caution here: As tempting as it is to spread the sauce thickly, I recommend spreading it out in thin layers. This will give our ribs that sticky and satisfying finish.

If we apply it thickly, it doesn't dry out, leaving a disgusting wet film.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (7)

Layer carefully by applying a thin coat to one side before flipping and doing the other side. Once both sides are covered, close the grill lid and let it rest for 5 minutes before repeating the process again. Repeat 4-5 times in total. Once done, remove from heat and reserve.


If you're serving immediately (I have instructions for holding and storing in my next step if you're not enjoying right away), you'll need to carve the ribs.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (8)

Place ribs bone-side up on a cutting board. Using tongs and a long, sharp knife, push the knife evenly between the bones. This should give you an even cut of the track.

(Video) The Easiest Way To Make Great BBQ Ribs • Tasty

The ribs don't need to be chilled afterwards, as they should be cool enough when cut.

Serve with a side dish of your choice and enjoy!

How to hold the ribs (if not served immediately)

Sometimes time and circumstances do not allow you to immediately enjoy your barbecue ribs; In this case, it is imperative that you preserve and store them in a way that does not compromise flavor or quality too much.

Remove the ribs from the grill and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap the ribs tightly in a few layers with plastic wrap. It's important here that you don't use aluminum foil as a barbecue sauce and the acidic nature of the sauce allows the aluminum foil to really react.

If you plan to enjoy the ribs for more than an hour after cooking, place them in the refrigerator. See my instructions for tips on how to reheat to heat ribs.

How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill [10 Easy Steps and Recipe] (9)



Charcoal Grilled Ribs

Smoke the perfect grilled pork ribs on your charcoal grill with our step-by-step recipe and guide. Cooked over indirect heat and apple wood, these smoked spare ribs will rival anything you've eaten before.

Coursemain prairie

Cocinaamerican barbecue

construction time15 Protocol

Time to cook3 standard 30 Protocol

(Video) Charcoal Smoked Ribs Tips For Beginners

Total Time3 standard 45 Protocol



  • 1 Real Leftover Pork Ribs
  • 1 Bottle Barbecue sauce
  • 1 soup spoon smoked paprika
  • 1 soup spoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon sal kosher
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • hard blade


  • Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs and trim off excess fat. Pat the rib dry with a paper towel.

  • Combine smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, salt, and oregano in a bowl.

  • Spread the rub generously on both sides of the ribs and around the edges.

  • Light the charcoal and place it on the grill. Let it heat until the charcoal turns white with ash. Add wood chips and place the rack back on the rack.

  • Fill an aluminum saucepan with water. Place it on the grill, just above the coals. Increase the internal temperature of the grill to 80°C.

  • Set the ribs aside on the side of the grill without the charcoal underneath. Close the lid and cook for an hour.

  • After an hour, check the water and the coals. Add one more handful of wood shavings.

  • After another hour, wrap the ribs in a double layer of aluminum foil. Place back on the grill and cook for another hour.

  • Remove foil from ribs and cook for another 30-60 minutes.

  • Apply a thin layer of barbecue sauce to each side of the ribs and cook for 5 minutes before adding another layer. Repeat this process a total of 4-5 times.

  • Remove from the grill and place on a cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes.

  • Using a long knife and tongs, slice the ribs evenly and evenly along the bones.

  • Serve and enjoy!

    (Video) How To make Tender and Juicy BBQ Ribs - for beginners


1. How To Cook Ribs On Charcoal Grill. Competition BBQ Ribs at Home.
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4. How to Barbeque Ribs - Allrecipes
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