posted July 10, 2023
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
These grilled baby back ribs are the perfect ribs to cook for a summer BBQ. They’re infused with classic BBQ flavor and are ready in a few hours’ time. If you’re on the hunt for the best recipe for baby back ribs on the grill, this is the one for you!
Baby Back Ribs on the Grill
These are some pretty dang amazing, true backyard-style grilled baby back ribs. The process is relatively simple, but each step adds an immense amount of flavor to these ribs.
We start with high-heat searing to add awesome texture, grilling indirectly for some smokiness, braising with butter and honey to layer in some sweetness, and finally caramelizing a healthy glaze of BBQ sauce to finish. These ribs will have you licking your fingers (and those rib bones) clean.
Ingredients for Baby Back Ribs on Grill
Here’s what you’ll need to pick up at the store to make these grilled baby back ribs.
- 2 racks of baby back ribs
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ cup Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub
- ½ cup apple juice
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup Hey Grill Hey Texas Style BBQ Sauce
Beef Rub and Texax Style BBQ Sauce can be purchased from the Hey Grill Hey Store. If you don’t have any Beef Rub on hand, you can use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I also have a recipe for my Texas BBQ Sauce here on this website if you want to make this sauce from scratch.
How to Grill Baby Back Ribs
Let’s jump into the process of how to grill baby back ribs. In order to make these ribs you need to know how to prep your grill for two different zones. Brush up on this technique with my post on How to Cook with Two-Zone Grilling.
- Preheat. Fire up the grill and preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Prep. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs and drizzle with vegetable oil. Next, season well with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub.
- Sear. Place the seasoned ribs over direct heat and grill for 8-10 minutes. Flip, and grill for another 8-10 minutes on the other side.
- Grill. Move the ribs over to the indirect heat side of the grill. Close the lid and cook until they reach 165 degrees F.
- Wrap in foil. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil with apple juice, honey, and melted butter. Seal tightly.
- Fining grilling. Return the wrapped ribs to the indirect heat side of the grill and finish grilling. Remove the ribs when they reach 198-200 degrees F.
- Sauce. Remove the ribs from the foil and place them back over the direct heat. Brush a liberal amount of Texas Style BBQ Sauce over the ribs and finish grilling for 5-10 minutes to set the sauce.
- Rest and enjoy. Remove the ribs from the grill and rest for 5 minutes. Slice the ribs up into individual rib bones and serve with extra BBQ sauce on the side.
How Long to Grill Baby Back Ribs
Plan on approximately 2 hours to grill baby back ribs.
Begin by searing the ribs for 8-10 minutes per side (15-20 minutes total), then grill them over indirect heat for 45 minutes. Last, grill them for a final 45 minutes wrapped in foil.
This time is just an estimation, as every rack of ribs cooks differently from the last. Be sure you’re tracking the internal temperature of the ribs while cooking. The temperature will give you a better gauge of doneness rather than looking at the clock.
Tips for Grilling Baby Back Ribs
Before you dive into the recipe at the end of this post, I’ve got a few more nuggets of knowledge to share with you. Here are some tips for grilling baby back ribs.
- Pick your flavors. This recipe is loaded with Hey Grill Hey rubs and sauces, but you can absolutely use your favorite rubs and sauces at home (or make my bottled version at home with my free recipes for Sweet Rub and Texas Sauce).
- Use two-zone heat. This recipe works great on charcoal or gas grills. The secret is having a higher heat zone for searing and a low temp zone for low and slow cooking. If you want to add smoky flavor, add wood chips directly to your hot charcoal or make a foil pouch of wood chips with holes poke all around the foil to place on the high-heat burner of your gas grill. For more information on this process, read my How to Smoke on a Gas Grill post.
- Test for doneness. An instant probe thermometer in the thicker part of the meat will give you the best indicator of rib doneness, but you can also check other things to help you know when your ribs are perfect. Check to ensure the rib meat has pulled back about 1/3 inch from the bones at the edge of the rack and bends easily when you lift it with tongs. For more info, check out my post all about How to Know When Pork Ribs are Done.
More Grilled Ribs Recipes
Ribs are great on the grill, and if you’re as big of a fan of ribs as I am, you need to check out these other posts to ensure you cook the best grilled ribs around.
Baby Back Ribs on the Grill Recipe
This recipe was created for you, backyard griller! Here at Hey Grill Hey, we’re in the business of helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. Over at the Hey Grill Hey Store, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when you’re busy at the grill. Check it out today!
Grilled Baby Back Ribs
- Preheat. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees F with two-zone cooking (one half of your grill is hot and the other half has no heat).
- Prep and season. Remove the white membrane from the bone side of your ribs using a paper towel. Drizzle the ribs with the vegetable oil and season on all sides with Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub.
- Sear. Place the ribs on the high-heat side of the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes per side. Your ribs should have some nice grill marks from the high heat.
- Grill. Move the ribs to the indirect heat side of the grill and close the lid. Cook for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of your ribs reaches 165 degrees F. If desired, you can add wood chips directly to the coals if cooking on a charcoal grill or you can create a foil pouch with wood chips, poke holes all around the exterior, and add it to the high-heat side of your grill for smoke flavor.
- Make a foil packet. Tear off two large sheets of foil, big enough to wrap completely around your ribs, and set them on a large work surface. Set your ribs, meat side down, in the center of each piece of foil. Fold up the edges to create a boat and pour in the apple juice, honey, and melted butter. Seal the foil packets tightly, pressing out the air and keeping the foil as close to the ribs as possible.
- Continue grilling. Return the ribs to the indirect heat side of the grill, close the lid, and cook for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your ribs reads around 198-200 degrees F. You’ll also want to see the ends of the rib bones exposed and the ribs will be fairly flexible and easy to bend without shredding apart.
- Baste. Remove the ribs from the foil and return to the high-heat side of the grill. Baste with BBQ sauce and cook for 5-10 more minutes, flipping as desired, to caramelize the sauce.
- Rest, slice, and serve. Transfer the ribs to your cutting board and rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
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