11 Tips to Make the Best BBQ Pork Ribs

Updated on March 30, 2016

I hope you realize that barbecue can be a risky business. You go to the trouble of planning the event and inviting your friends and family over, but how do you know that your barbecue is going to be as good as it was the last time.

Even the best chef can sometimes make mistakes but here are 11 tips to make the best BBQ pork ribs you will ever eat in your life. And no, you don't have to go down to Texas to get them. You can create the world's best barbecue ribs right there in your back yard.

Tip 1: Buy the Right Meat

Be careful when picking out the pork ribs you are going to bbq later. You want the meat evenly distributed over the slab of ribs.

You don't want a rack of ribs with a lot of fat or meat at one end. Never buy your ribs in a closed up box as you won't know the quality of the ribs you are getting. Also you will want to avoid slabs of ribs with exposed bones.

Tip 2: Get Enough Meat

You will want to have half a slab of ribs for each adult at your barbecue. A third of a slab of ribs will be enough for most children.

Tip 3: Remove the Silver Skin (or Have the Butcher Do It)

When you are preparing your ribs be sure to remove the silver colored skin from the underside of your ribs or if possible have your butcher to do it for you.

Tip 4: Marinate Your Ribs

If you are going to cook ribs on a regular basis, you're going to want to shop around and find you a plastic pan that ribs will fit in with a lid. You will also want it to fit on a shelf in your refrigerator. Always marinate your ribs in the refrigerator and never at room temperature.

Tip 5: Pre-Cook Your Ribs

Most people like to precook their ribs by cooking them in a pot of boiling water that you have added a cup or two of apple cider vinegar to. Be careful to remove your ribs from the pot as soon as they start to get tender. Now they are ready to go on the grill. And they will be oh so tender and delicious.

6. Use Coals That Are at Medium Heat, and Oil the Grill

Before you place your ribs on the grill you want the grill to be at low to medium heat. And you will want to take a grill rag or brush and apply a generous amount of vegetable oil to your grill to prevent the grill from sticking.

7. Watch the Ribs Carefully and Keep the Temperature at 250 Degrees

Cooking meat on the grill requires constant attention. Stay close to your grill and at the first sign of your meat catching fire, spray the hot spot with a spray bottle of water.

If at all possible try to keep your cooking temperature down to 250 degrees and if you pre-cooked your ribs they should be done in 2 - 3 hours. Don't baste them with BBQ sauce until the last 45 minutes of cooking time.

If you apply the BBQ sauce too early the sugars in your BBQ sauce will get too hot and burn your ribs.

8. Use Tongs to Flip the Ribs

You will want to have a couple of sets of tongs to use on your grill to turn your meat or ribs over with. You don't want to use a fork as this will let some of the flavor escape.

9. Put the Hot Coals on the Other Side of the Grill

Keep your hot coals over to one side and cook your ribs over on the other side of the grill. Keep some hot charcoal in a large metal can in case you want to add more hot coals if your cooking temperature gets too low.

10. Rest Your Meat Before Serving

Let your cooked ribs stand for about 15 minutes before you serve them. Serve your ribs with more BBQ sauce on the side.

11. Follow These Tips!

Be sure to read the above tips and apply them and you will cook the best BBQ Ribs you will ever eat.

What Else to Serve

There's nothing that can bring family and friends together like a cookout with that great smoky barbecue flavor. And don't forget the seasonal sides you can also grill.

Buy dry Italian salad dressing and sprinkle it on things like corn on the cob and squash sliced lengthwise instead of in round slices. And you really should try slices of pineapple and apples with a light coating of your favorite BBQ sauce before you place them on the grill. Lightly grill these to caramelize the sugars and serve with homemade ice cream.

And remember that you can grill almost anything. Try grilling your chicken wings on the grill instead of deep frying them. As you grill them, sprinkle them with dry Italian seasoning and brush on your favorite BBQ sauce during the last few minutes of grilling time. These are guaranteed to be some of the best wings you and your family and friends will ever eat.

Don't forget to serve your BBQ meal with great homemade potato salad and a real good coleslaw. And what ever you do, don't forget to serve some really good garlic bread with your meal.

Keep in mind that most people like some bread with their meat. Another real favorite to serve with your BBQ meal is homemade banana pudding.

BBQ Tips, Hints or Questions

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    • profile image

      Lisa Davis 7 months ago

      There is absolutely no need to boil ribs before grilling them

    • profile image

      Ross Summers 12 months ago

      I prefer to precook my ribs, foil wrapped with a rub or marinade in a low degree oven. The process of boiling may make them tender but it also contributes to a bland flavor as you're pouring out the taste of the ribs when you drain them.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love barbecued ribs. I'll have to give these tips a try!

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 3 years ago from East Coast , United States

      They are wonderful ribs. Thanks for the comment. I do appreciate it.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 3 years ago from West By God

      Oh Good!! I love BBQ ribs. Thanks for the tips! You have my mouth watering already and it is just morning!

    • profile image

      Baldy1969 3 years ago

      One way to keep your ribs from drying out is to use a spray bottle full of either apple juice or apple cider and spray it on your meat about every 30 minutes. I didn't see that tip on your list, but everything else was excellent advice.

    • profile image

      Judy Brooks 4 years ago

      Would like to learn. About cooking good ribs.

    • SolveMyMaze profile image

      SolveMyMaze 4 years ago

      Amazing hub! I love BBQ ribs and just reading this hub has made my mouth water! In all honesty, the hardest part of preparing the ribs yourself is the 15 minute waiting period to let it rest. I'd want to eat it right away, even though you need to need to let it rest anyway for a better dining experience.

    • Lifefusion profile image

      Josh Woods 4 years ago from United States

      I really appreciate the BBQ rib tips. I have actually never prepared ribs in my life, but love to eat them of course. I am planning an Independence Day get together with friends and family and will be smoking ribs. Could you recommend a good home smoker or send me to a how-to on how to make one? I hope my first try produces some really great ribs.

      I was also wondering if you have any good baked beans recipes? I usually take the easy way out and get a few large cans of Bushes Baked Beans and add bacon, brown sugar and chili sauce. I would like to use a homemade recipe this year.

      Thanks for the great tips, I’ll let you know how they turn out.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Crazyhorseghost, I really loved the picture at the end. Mouth watering. Your tips were very useful and practical.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 4 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Your very welcome.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      My husband loves BQ ribs, me not so much. Lots of good information here will show it to him. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      Tommy Arizona 5 years ago

      I learned a lot here. This is one of the best articles I have ever read. Thank you. I am going to be making ribs.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Another for me to save into my ever expanding recipe book.

      Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.


    • profile image

      Rib Lover 48 5 years ago

      These have to be the best ribs I have ever eaten in my life. You really know what you're doing. Thanks a lot.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 6 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Thanks for all the nice comments. I love BBQ ribs. They are so delicious.

    • profile image

      kayal 6 years ago


    • reversecharles profile image

      reversecharles 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My mouth is watering!

    • profile image

      chris 7 years ago

      awesome guys learned way more then i ever knew about cooking ribs

    • profile image

      Rick 7 years ago

      I am buying a smoker and I really liked the info.

      ty for making it easy to understand.

    • profile image

      Douglas Stein 8 years ago

      I never boil my ribs (or any meat for that matter). I season them, tightly wrap them in aluminum foil, and put them in the oven at 325 degrees for two hours. If you want the meat falling apart, add a little more time. Two hours gets them tender but not falling apart. Then, I put them on the grill to finish them and get them sauced up. You can't screw this up it is so simple.

    • danbr7777 profile image

      danbr7777 8 years ago

      Wow. Lots of great information here. Thank you for sharing it. The BBQ sauce looks good. I will be trying it this weekend. I will let you know.