Ribs on the Grill

April 14, 2015

Don’t have time to wait for the ribs on the grill to cook? This post will teach you all you need to make ribs on the grill in a time crunch. Cooking ribs on the grill doesn’t have to take all day!

Ribs on the Grill


How to Grill Ribs

So you’re a little short on time but you still want super tasty ribs that won’t break your teeth? No worries, friend, I got you covered. Let me introduce you to my hot and fast ribs. From fridge to your face in 4 hours. The secret is in a higher cooking temperature and a short stint wrapped in foil with sweet braising liquid and butter. They are not super traditional, but they are super tasty. You won’t get a thick pink smoke ring cooking faster at higher temperatures, but the rub and braise will infuse the meat with so much delicious porky flavor.How to Grill Ribs

Cooking Ribs on the Grill

These ribs will fall off the bone, but they also have a little bit of a crunchy chew on the exterior from the caramelized sugars in the rub, braising liquid, and sauce. If you are looking for tender, moist, fall all the way off the bone ribs, invest a little more time and try my 3-2-1 ribs recipe. This recipe will get the job done and yield tasty tasty results in less time. I’m cooking St. Louis trimmed spare ribs. If you’re cooking baby backs, congratulations! Your ribs will take even less time!

This post is the 2nd in a 3 part series all about ribs and finding the perfect method for you and your family. Some people like saucy, tender ribs, some people like them simple and quick, and others (the purists) like them to bite through but stay on the bone. However you like your ribs I’ve got a recipe for you.Cooking Ribs on the Grill

Ribs on the Grill Recipe


close up view of cooked ribs, sliced and arranged on a wood cutting board

Hot and Fast Ribs: Flavorful and Tender in Under 4 Hours

4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 4 hrs
Total Time : 4 hrs 5 mins
Servings : 3 people


  • 1 rack St Louis pork ribs
  • 2 tbsl "secret" sweet rub
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce


  • Start by rinsing your ribs under cold water and patting dry with a paper towel. Trim down any excess fat and remove the thin membrane on the back of the ribs.
    one hand holding an uncooked rack of ribs down while other hand is pulling off the membrane with paper towel in hand to help grip the membrane
  • Season liberally with the "secret" sweet rub and prepare your grill for indirect grilling. The target temperature on your grill is 300 degrees F. Use fruit woods like apple, peach, cherry, or hardwoods like hickory or oak. Place the ribs on the grill, close the lid and cook for 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.
    full rack of ribs directly on grill grate in the process of cooking
  • After your ribs have cooked for 2 1/2 hours, place a large sheet of tin foil on a flat surface. Remove the ribs from the grill and place on the foil bone side up. Fold up the corners of the foil to create a well around the ribs. Top with the brown sugar, butter, and pour on the apple cider.
    aerial view of brown liquid being poured over a full rack of ribs inside aluminum foil with sides folded up, and four slices of butter resting on ribs
  • Close the foil tightly around the ribs and crimp to seal. Return the ribs to the 300 degree grill for another hour to hour and fifteen minutes.
    full rack of ribs inside completely closed sheet of aluminum foil, on grill grate inside grill
  • Remove the foiled ribs from the packet (watch for steam) and return to the grill.
    full rack of fully cooked ribs atop a sheet of aluminum foil and a small amount of liquid
  • Liberally brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and grill for 15 more minutes to set the sauce. Don't leave on any longer than 15-20 minutes or the sugars in the sauce will burn. Let the ribs rest for 10 minutes then slice and serve.
    full rack of ribs on grill grate inside of grill, being brushed with barbeque sauce
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26 thoughts on “Ribs on the Grill

  1. We just burned two racks of ribs following this step: “Place the ribs on the grill, close the lid and cook for 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees.” Is this temperature wrong? So upset… The only other recipe I have followed on your page was the Poor Man’s Burnt Ends and found out, after following the recipe, that the temperature in the recipe was wrong, and that the one in the video was more likely the correct temp. I’d love to keep trying these recipes, but I’m worried I will end up with more overcooked meals. Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong. (I’m using a Green Mountain Grill – Jim Bowie model).

    1. Hey Krista- I’m so sorry we have to meet under sad circumstances! Burned ribs are a tragedy. I have cooked ribs this way many times (on a pellet grill) and have never dealt with them burning. The only thing I can think is that maybe the ribs were quite a bit thinner than the racks I used and that caused them to over cook. Another possibility is that you were cooking in colder weather and it caused your temperatures in the grill to be a bit hotter than the thermometer reading on the grill said.

      As for the poor man’s burnt ends, either temperature works for the chuck roast as long as you’re cooking to the correct internal temperature of the meat. I’ve actually had lots of people loving this recipe lately cooking them at both temperatures without issues. I’d love to help you troubleshoot this one, if you’re interested.

      I test all of my recipes multiple times, hopefully to prevent issues like this from happening. I know it is a bummer to feel like you wasted money on meat. I’m really sorry there were any issues at all. Let me know if you think there is any way I can help.

    2. Sounds to me like Krista may have been cooking these on a regular grill. A pellet cooker cooks with indirect heat, you cannot follow this recipe unless you have your grill setup for indirect cooking. On a gas grill, this would mean not turning on all the burners, and putting the ribs over the side with the burner turned off.

    3. 225 degrees 3 hrs bone side down pull rap ribs 2and a half hours meat side down brush with favorite sauce cut serve meat to thin to rest doc holidays world famous bbq rap with foil but I use rub refrigerate over night allways

    4. I have a GMG crockett and have a temp differential of 50 degrees on either side. Your temp Probe is at the lowest temp point unfortunately. You were prob at 350-375.

  2. I cooked today the hot and fast ribs for my family, it was a huge succes, thx grillers and smokers, grtz from Belgium

  3. Last minute decision to smoke up some ribs for dinner and this was perfect. 4 Hours and the ribs were awesome! Definitely doing again!

  4. Simply laid out step by step instructions for someone that isn’t the best cook/grill master ended up making some VERY full & happy people. Thanks for making me look good lol highly recommend this method

  5. These ribs aren’t just good. I have always smoked my ribs on a WSM, but I thought I’d give grilled, fast ribs a shot and boy am I glad that I did. Tender, juicy, and tasty and with absolutely no fuss, they made a believer out of me. Thanks for the recipe and the great technique!

  6. Followed this recipe last Friday and they turned out great. Don’t think I will do the other methods for a while. This is another winner recipe from Hey Grill Hey!

  7. Have made these a few times. I have a pellet smoker. I have had to start turning my smoker down to 250 when I put it in foil. @ 300 the vinegar & sugar in the foil was almost candied. So I turned it down to 250 the next time & they were awesome. Best method & recipe I have found for ribs & have tried many!!!!

  8. Used this recipe tonight on a cheapo smoker grill. Turned out fantastic. I don’t usually have this much luck in controlling the temp but this method was very nice for someone who doesn’t usually do slow on his pit. Thank you–Wifey was very impressed.

  9. One day I forgot to remove the silver skin, when it was done in the smoker I pulled off the skin and turned it meat side up, holding it by both ends and the bones fell right out. I see no down side to this but I haven’t repeated it as it might have been a fluke.

  10. 1st time doing St Louis ribs and pressed for time. Ribs were AWESOME!!!!!!
    Only 2nd time ever I even smoked ribs. These were absolutely fantastic!. Nice smoke ring and ribs were not tough.
    Will use this recipe again!
    Can’t beat 4.5 hours!!!!!!

  11. I filled the recipe as best I could. A few time the smoker got up to 330 while I was out, but, these ribs were fall off the bone tender. I was thankful I saw this recipe as I was a few hours late getting started on the traditional method, so this had us eating before bedtime!


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