Grilling Ribs for Legendary Cookouts

A man and his grill share a special relationship. The relationship is forged over the course many years and is the basis of a legacy that many fathers pass on to their sons. The art of grilling ribs for legendary cookouts is the pinnacle to which the male species strives in his relationship with his grill. Whether you recently embarked on this journey or you’re an old pro, it must be admitted that men are always perfecting their grilling techniques-especially for ribs. With that thought in mind, consider how you can become a rib-grilling master, impress your guests and make your next cookout a legendary cookout.

The key to mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone ribs lies in the preparation. Preparation methods vary, but there are two methods that excel. The amount of time you have to dedicate to the task dictates your choice. First, consider the quick method.

Quick Method

Just because you don’t have lots of time to spend at the grill doesn’t mean that you cannot produce delicious ribs for your cookout. Start by selecting your ribs and removing the tough membrane from the back of the slab. Removing the membrane allows flavor from the seasonings to penetrate the meat better. Cut the ribs apart, two ribs per section. Next, season the ribs with garlic powder, salt and pepper; you can use your own special blend of seasonings if you like.

Fill a large pot half way with water and bring the water to a boil. Salt the water with a tablespoon of salt and add the ribs. Allow the ribs to boil for approximately 20 minutes. The ribs need to be tender but not falling apart. If the ribs need more time to tenderize, allow them to boil longer, but keep close watch so they do not overcook.

Remove the ribs from the pot and season them again. The ribs are now ready for the grill.

Slow Method

You spend more time with the slow method, but the slow method pays off with an intensely smoky flavor that makes your ribs stand out. The starting point is the same as with the quick method. Choose your ribs and remove the tough membrane. Set the ribs aside. Take two onions, one bell pepper and six cloves of garlic and chop them up. Place them in the blender and grind them into a paste. Take the paste and spread it all over the ribs. Place the ribs in a shallow pan and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Put the ribs in the refrigerator overnight or for at least six hours.

Season the ribs, front and back, rubbing the seasoning into the meat. The ribs are now ready for the grill.


Start your grill. Add a handful of hickory chips if you are using a charcoal grill. Ribs cook best over indirect heat. This is especially important when using the slow method. Place the ribs on the grill and close the cover. Check the ribs every 10 minutes if using the quick method and every 30 minutes if using the slow method. Turn the ribs as needed to ensure even cooking. Grilling time for the quick method takes no longer than 30 minutes. The slow method takes three to four hours.

Some prefer to cook their ribs with sauce. If this is your preference, brush your favorite sauce over the ribs 10 minutes before they finish cooking. When the sauce becomes glazed and sticky, remove the ribs from the grill and serve.

Grilling ribs is an art that requires ongoing practice, so have cookouts as often as you can. Before long, your guests will start asking you to help them with their rib-grilling techniques.