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Best way to BBQ ribs on gas grill in 2024


Gas grilling has gained immense popularity for its ease of use, quick startup, and precise temperature control. Whether you’re a seasoned grilling pro or just starting your culinary journey, mastering the art of gas grilling opens up a world of delicious possibilities right in your backyard.

Ever since I started writing articles , I have been getting the question “How can you make BBQ ribs on a gas grill?”People believe that the only way to grill is using a charcoal grill.

Whether you’re a barbecue aficionado or just getting started, there’s something undeniably satisfying about sinking your teeth into tender, smoky ribs that are bursting with flavor. In this article, we’ll take you on a savory journey, exploring the art of BBQ ribs from start to finish. From different rib cuts and styles to the various regional barbecue traditions, we’ll delve into the rich history and diverse techniques that make ribs a beloved staple of outdoor cooking.

gas grill

Welcome to the world of barbecue enthusiasts! If you’re looking to master the art of grilling ribs on a gas grill, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll guide you through the best techniques to achieve tender, flavorful ribs that will have your friends and family coming back for seconds. We’ll cover everything from selecting the right ribs to preparing them for the grill and applying the perfect seasoning. Get ready to fire up your gas grill and elevate your BBQ game to new heights with these expert tips and tricks. Let’s dive in!

Writing this article reminds me of the first time I witnessed the making of BBQ ribs. My sister, Sarah, a BBQ novice, nervously stood before her gleaming gas grill, determined to conquer the art of ribs. Armed with a rack of tender baby back ribs and a jar of her favorite smoky BBQ rub, she took a deep breath and ignited the grill.

With trembling hands, Sarah carefully seasoned the ribs, ensuring every inch was coated with the aromatic blend. She placed them on the preheated gas grill, closed the lid, and whispered a silent prayer for grilling success.

As the ribs sizzled, Sarah diligently monitored the temperature, adjusting the burners to maintain a gentle heat. She resisted the urge to peek too often, knowing that patience was the key to achieving mouthwatering tenderness. Every so often, Sarah lovingly brushed the ribs with her homemade BBQ sauce, infusing them with a touch of sweetness and tang. The tantalizing aroma filled the air, drawing neighbors closer, their curiosity piqued.

After what felt like an eternity, Sarah carefully lifted the ribs off the gas grill, their glistening caramelized exterior promising a flavorful reward. She took a tentative bite, her taste buds exploding with delight as the smoky, succulent meat melted in her mouth. With newfound confidence, Sarah proudly presented her ribs to us. Our eyes widened in awe as we savored each bite, our taste buds dancing with joy.

How long does it take to BBQ ribs on a gas grill

The cooking time for BBQ ribs on a gas grill can vary, but as a general guideline, baby back ribs typically take about 2 to 3 hours, while spare ribs and St. Louis style ribs require approximately 3 to 4 hours. It’s important to cook the ribs at a grill temperature of around 225-250°F (107-121°C) and ensure they reach an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) for safe consumption. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates, and using a meat thermometer to check the doneness is crucial. Adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the ribs and personal preference for tenderness.

When grilling ribs on a gas grill, it’s common to employ a low and slow cooking method with indirect heat. This allows the ribs to become tender and infused with smoky flavors. However, if you prefer a slightly quicker cook, you can increase the grill temperature slightly while keeping an eye on doneness. Remember to maintain a steady temperature and use the meat thermometer as your guide to achieving perfectly cooked BBQ ribs that will have your taste buds rejoicing.

Precautions to take while cooking ribs

When cooking ribs, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure a safe and delicious culinary experience. Here are some key precautions to keep in mind:

  • Food Safety: Follow proper food safety practices when handling raw ribs. Store them at a safe temperature (below 40°F or 4°C) until you’re ready to cook. Avoid cross-contamination by using separate utensils and cutting boards for raw meat and other ingredients.
  • Thorough Cooking: Ribs should be cooked thoroughly to ensure they reach a safe internal temperature. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. For pork ribs, the USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) with a three-minute rest time.
  • Grill Safety: If you’re using a gas grill, inspect it for any gas leaks or other malfunctions before cooking. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage, and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
  • Indirect Heat: When grilling ribs on a gas grill, it’s generally best to use indirect heat. This means placing the ribs away from the direct flames or burners. This method helps prevent flare-ups and allows for more even cooking.
  • Slow and Low: Ribs benefit from a slow and low cooking method. This means cooking them at a lower temperature for a longer period. It helps to achieve tender, juicy ribs with a delicious smoky flavor.
  • Basting and Flare-ups: When basting ribs with sauces or marinades, be cautious of flare-ups caused by dripping fats or sugars. Keep a close eye on the gas grill and have a spray bottle or water on hand to control flare-ups if they occur.
  • Resting Time: Once the ribs are cooked, let them rest for a few minutes before cutting into them. This allows the juices to redistribute and helps ensure a moist and flavorful eating experience.

By following these precautions, you can enjoy the process of cooking ribs while prioritizing safety and achieving mouthwatering results.

Ingredients Required

To make BBQ ribs on a gas grill, you’ll need a combination of ingredients for seasoning the ribs and preparing the BBQ sauce. Here are the essential ingredients:

For Seasoning:

  • Ribs: Choose your preferred type, such as baby back ribs, spare ribs, or St. Louis style ribs.
  • Dry Rub: Create a flavorful blend using spices like salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, brown sugar, and any other preferred seasonings.

For BBQ Sauce:

  • Ketchup: A base ingredient that provides a tangy and sweet flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: Adds sweetness and caramelization.
  • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth and umami flavor.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Provides tanginess and balance.
  • Dijon Mustard: Adds a hint of sharpness and depth.
  • Garlic Powder and Onion Powder: Enhances the overall flavor.
  • Liquid Smoke (optional): Provides a smoky flavor, especially if you don’t have access to a smoker.
  • Hot Sauce (optional): Adds heat and spiciness, according to your preference.

These ingredients can be adjusted and personalized based on your taste preferences. You can also add other herbs, spices, or ingredients to tailor the flavor profile of your ribs and sauce to your liking.

Step by Step Process for making BBQ Ribs

  • Selecting Ribs:
    • Choose your preferred type of ribs, such as baby back ribs or spare ribs.
    • Look for ribs with good marbling and a pinkish color for optimal flavor and tenderness.
    • Estimate approximately 1.5 pounds (680 grams) of ribs per person.
  • Preparing the Ribs:
    • Remove the membrane: On the bone side of the ribs, locate the thin membrane and peel it off using a paper towel for better texture and flavor penetration.
    • Trim excess fat: Optionally, trim any excess fat from the ribs to prevent flare-ups and achieve a more balanced taste.
  • Seasoning the Ribs:
    • Create a dry rub: Combine your preferred spices and seasonings, such as salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, brown sugar, and chili powder.
    • Generously coat both sides of the ribs with the dry rub, pressing it into the meat for better adherence.
    • Place the seasoned ribs in the refrigerator and let them rest for at least one hour (or up to overnight) to allow the flavors to meld.
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  • Preheating the Gas Grill:
    • Preheat the gas grill to a medium heat, around 225-250°F (107-121°C).
    • If your grill has multiple burners, only light the ones on one side, creating an indirect heat zone.
  • Setting Up the Gas Grill:
    • Clean and oil the grill grates to prevent sticking.
    • Place a drip pan filled with water under the gas grill grates on the side opposite the lit burners. This helps maintain moisture and prevent flare-ups.
  • Grilling the Ribs:
    • Place the seasoned ribs, bone side down, on the indirect heat zone of the grill.
    • Close the grill lid and cook the ribs for approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on the thickness of the ribs and desired tenderness.
    • Maintain a consistent temperature by adjusting the gas burners as needed. Aim for a steady temperature between 225-250°F (107-121°C).
  • Adding Smoke (Optional):
    • Enhance the flavor by adding wood chips or chunks soaked in water to a smoker box or foil pouch.
    • Place the smoking device directly on the lit burner to create smoke that infuses the ribs with a delightful smoky aroma.
  • Basting with BBQ Sauce:
    • After the ribs have cooked for about 1.5 to 2 hours, start basting them with your favorite BBQ sauce.
    • Use a brush to apply the sauce generously on both sides of the ribs, ensuring an even coating.
    • Repeat the basting process every 15-20 minutes for the remaining cook time.
  • Checking for Doneness:
    • To determine if the ribs are done, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The target temperature for pork ribs is 145°F (63°C).
    • Alternatively, you can perform the “bend test” by lifting the rack with tongs. If the ribs slightly bend and the meat tears between the bones, they are likely done.
  • Resting and Serving:
    • Once the ribs reach the desired doneness, remove them from the grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes.
    • Resting allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more flavorful ribs.
    • Cut the ribs between the bones into individual servings and serve them hot with additional BBQ sauce on the side.


BBQ ribs are a mouthwatering delight that requires the right combination of ingredients to achieve that perfect balance of flavors. The seasoning blend for the ribs, consisting of various spices and herbs, adds depth and enhances the natural taste of the meat. The BBQ sauce, with its sweet, tangy, and sometimes smoky notes, complements the ribs and adds a delightful glaze.

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By carefully selecting and combining the ingredients for both the dry rub and BBQ sauce, you can create a customized flavor profile that suits your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a sweeter, spicier, or smokier taste, these ingredients provide the foundation for a delectable BBQ rib experience.

Remember, feel free to experiment and adjust the ingredient quantities to match your personal preferences. The beauty of BBQ ribs lies in their versatility, allowing you to create a flavor profile that truly tantalizes your taste buds.

So, gather your ingredients, fire up that grill, and embark on a culinary adventure that will result in tender, juicy, and flavorful BBQ ribs that will have your friends and family coming back for seconds. Enjoy the journey and savor the delicious rewards of your BBQ rib mastery.

Can I cook ribs on a gas grill without a smoker box?

Yes, you can still achieve great results on a gas grill without a smoker box. Soaked wood chips can be placed in a foil pouch with holes poked in it or directly on the grill grates, next to the burners. This will produce smoke and infuse the ribs with a smoky flavor.

Should I wrap the ribs in foil during cooking?

Wrapping the ribs in foil, also known as the “wrap” method, can help tenderize the meat and retain moisture. This is typically done during the later stage of cooking for about an hour. However, it’s a matter of personal preference, and you can achieve great results without using the wrap method.