Do you like grilled ribs? Of course, you do, because who doesn’t? Making Grilled ribs is a tedious process, but there’s a reason why many people still chose to go through the hassle of grilling ribs on charcoal grill. Your taste buds could ever get such divinely delicious things.
If you’re new to grilling and not really sure how to start learning this art, don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place; we can teach you everything you need to learn how to cook the best ribs on charcoal grill: from choosing the right type of meat to the best sauce to use. All you’ll ever need to know is here.
What Charcoal is Best for Cooking Ribs
We do recommend going with Briquettes. This type of charcoal burns hotter for longer and needs less refueling than others. It can also maintain the temperature of its heat up to an hour, which steadily produces that kind of smoke you need to barbecue meat evenly.
Lump charcoal also works great. It’s more common, and available almost anywhere, so you can find it easy. This type of charcoal is purely made of wood and burns very hot.
Sadly, it also burns out faster, so if you choose to go with this type, you’ll need to stack up. It’ll require refilling every 30 minutes. Otherwise, it stops smoking your ribs.
How Do You Make Ribs Tender on the Grill
There are plenty of ways to make your meat more tender. For one thing, you can use special marinades that you can buy at supermarkets. They have unique ingredients that soften meat when you cook it, so it’ll be softer once grilled.
You can do one more thing to soften meat before putting it on the grill. This method requires you to beat meat physically to break its fibers and make it softer. It’s a weird but effective method.
Doing indirect cooking method will also help you achieve more tender meat after grilling. Cooking your rib without haste can slowly break its hard muscles and make softer. This method will take about 4-5 hours to cook, but it is worth it.
Another good way to get tender meat is to cook it on low temperature. By that, we don’t mean to store it cold, but cook in less hot grills. Aim to put your meat above a grid that’s only about 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This will increase the time that it needs for cooking, but will make it more tender.
What Temperature to Cook Ribs
While grilling may look easy, it’s not as simple as many people make it sound like. For one thing, cooking ribs on charcoal grill involves dealing with a lot of fire and smoke, which are both very uncontrollable and highly unpredictable. A good cook can deal with both of these elements easily. However, a newbie like you would have a harder time making it happen.
So what temperature do you need exactly? Shoot for 250 degrees Fahrenheit. It is, of course, if you’re slow cooking ribs on charcoal grill and trying not to burn them too much too fast.
To cook your ribs on the charcoal grill faster, then up the temperature to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit or somewhere close to that. That’ll take about 2 hours before they’re finally done. The ribs won’t be as tender than on slower and lower fire, but still pretty good. That’s the best method on how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill fast.
Just remember, that temperature will decide how long to cook ribs on charcoal grill. It will also affect crispiness, tenderness, and juiciness of that meat a lot. So, be careful when choosing your temperature.
Four Secrets to Grilling the Best Ribs on a Charcoal Grill
Putting together a trusted charcoal grill ribs recipe is no easy task. It’ll take you years and lots of attempts and mistakes before you can even produce your first decent baby back ribs on charcoal grill. It’s a hard skill to acquire, but it’s impossible to learn.
Here are some tips and basic information that everyone should know before they start smoking ribs on charcoal grill cookers. Take notes and keep at the back of your mind. They’ll affect the flavor of your future steaks a lot.
3-2-1 Rib Method
This method basically requires you to smoke your rib for three hours only, hence we have three in the name. You need to put your meat exposed on top of a hot grill for three minutes straight before taking it out and proceeding to the next step. This method takes a long time, but produces perfect ribs.
Next, wrap foil around your meat for about two hours. Then you have to place it back above your gridiron. The last step is to take it out of the foil and put it back on the grill one last time for about an hour, while you’re continuously adding marinade on both sides.
We know that this method seems kind of tiring, but it’s effective. More and more people are switching to it because of great tasting ribs. You should give it a try, even just once.
1. Know the Different Types of Ribs
You’re probably very familiar with this type of meat — it’s always advertised in restaurants. Spareribs are big steaks with large bones.
This type of rib is aptly named. They’re called baby back because they’re the smallest types. Although they are the meatiest and the chunkiest ones.
This type of meat are the ones that look like a block of meat. They’re rectangular shaped and incredibly thick, which makes them harder to cook on the inside.
2. Enhance Flavor by Thinking Ahead
Adjust your recipe before putting your bbq ribs on charcoal grill cookers. Aim for a specific flavor and research beforehand on how you’re going to achieve it. Once you have everything that you need, then prep your meat.
You can do this an hour before grilling, or even half a day, but for the best results, do an overnight preparation. This will allow flavor to sink deeper into meat and produce better.
3. Cook Low and Slow
To properly get the best barbecue ribs on the charcoal grill, you need to give it a lot of time to cook. Patience is the number one thing that you should arm yourself with when learning how to smoke ribs on a charcoal grill. Good meat takes a really long time to cook.
The best and most widely used method for cooking ribs is indirect, when you don’t actually put meat above heat. Instead, you put it beside a smoker or somewhere close to it where you can still get the heat, but not a lot of it. It’ll take a longer time to cook, however, tastes better in your mouth.
On average, you need to allow about half a day to cook your ribs. They really take that long to cook, but this is what will give them the best flavor. If you want to get more delicious meat, then you have to work on it.
A low fire, about 250-ish degrees Fahrenheit, needs about 5 hours to cook your meat; a hotter grill at 35-ish would take only about 2 hours. They won’t taste as good as the slow-cooked ones, and their edges will be a bit burned, but at least you can already eat them. So, if you’re hungry, go for the hotter option.
4. Know the Right Way to Test for Doneness
What is doneness? It’s a measure of how you can determine a cooking stage of your meat. Knowing how to gage the real doneness of your meat can help you achieve better-cooked pork ribs on charcoal grill. It’ll also help you put together more delicious bbq ribs recipe charcoal grill style.
So how is it done? It’s not that complicated. You just have to be super observant about anything and everything while cooking. Pay attention to color, temperature, exterior, etc.
A working method on how to do it is to watch bones at both ends of meat — once it starts exposing itself, it’s a good indication that your meat is almost ready. Another thing that you can do is to eat it, of course. If it tasted good, then it’s really done.
It will help to poke meat every once in a while. Well cooked meat should never return to its original shape because it’s already tender. So if your meat stays in its place when you stab it with a fork, then it’s almost ready.
How to Make BBQ Ribs?
The first thing that you should do to make barbecue ribs properly is to use indirect heat. This means that you’re not going to put them directly on top of the flame. Instead, you’ll place meat on another side where only the hot smoke can reach them.
This method will take a really long time to get meat ready, but it will make it taste better. Don’t let your meat stay on one side for longer than 30 minutes. Flip them around to let the other side cook as well.
You’d want to do this a couple of times while the meat cooks, so if you can, get another person to supervise the ribs for them not to get too well done on one side and raw on another. After a while, your meat will start looking cooked so you’d want to add the marinade that you prepared several times before it’s finally ready.
Should Ribs Fall off the Bone?
You shouldn’t let that happen. It’s a popular saying, and it sounds great theoretically, but in reality, it’s not a good sign for your dish. The moment your ribs started falling off their bones, might mean that either they’re badly cooked, or that you got rotten meat from the market.
Trust us, we’ve all tried to achieve this glorious and delicious sounding recipe. It’s not as good as it sounds, and we were highly disappointed by the results. The meat almost lost all of its flavors, and we had a hard time scooping up any meat with our good steak knives.
What to Serve with Ribs?
We recommend red wine. You can’t find a better match for those grilled ribs than a good quality wine and a nice toasty fireplace. It’s the best treat you can ever get.
If you like this article and you think that you know how to grill ribs on charcoal grill cookers, then check out our review of the best charcoal grill and the best natural gas grills in the market. See if any of those products would match your style. For more helpful tips browse through our articles and see if we could help you out some more.