These low and slow ribs are always worth waiting for! So grab a drink and some friends, cooking these low and slow ribs is almost as fun as eating them! Be patient, this low and slow bbq method doesn’t always have an exact time frame, they are done when they’re done!
Low and Slow Ribs
For this post, I’m going old school and cooking up some low and slow ribs. These are the kind of ribs you throw on the grill, hang out on the deck with friends and a drink, and eat when they are done. No real specific time frame. Maybe 5-6 hours-ish? Honestly, my favorite kind of cooking. This method takes a little practice to know when your ribs are done based on what you and your family likes, but practice makes perfect and the pay off is juicy, smoky, rib loving goodness.
Low and Slow BBQ
This rack of ribs was cooked over indirect heat with apple wood, but any other fruit wood or mild hardwood (hickory, oak, alder) will produce awesome results. Go for a wood smoke that will complement the pork, not overpower it, especially since it will be exposed to the smoke during the entire cook.
In my 3 2 1 Ribs and my Hot and Fast Ribs, the ribs were foiled with an apple cider and butter braising liquid, there is no foiling step here so I had to keep them moist another way. Using a small saucepan heat the cider and butter and then keep it in the grill with the ribs. The steam from the liquid will keep the ribs from drying out. Also, basting the ribs every 45 minutes to an hour will really help the smoke particles cling to the meat and form a beautiful red mahogany smoke ring.
Now these ribs won’t fall off the bone like this recipe, but they do create that perfectly done bite through rib that traditionalists and competitors love to serve and eat. They were also the juiciest of all of my rib methods. With every slice, rib juice literally shot out and covered my knife. I had liquid rib love running down to my wrists by the time I finished cleaning the first bone.
Sauce at the end or don’t, it’s up to you. The smoke flavor is going to shine through either way and my “secret” rub is perfectly sweet/hot enough to carry the flavors on its own.
Low and Slow Rib Recipe
- 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.
- Season liberally with the "secret" sweet rub and prepare your grill for indirect grilling. The target temperature on your grill is 225 degrees F. Use fruit woods like apple, peach, cherry, or hardwoods like hickory or oak.
- In a small saucepan combine the butter and apple cider. Place on your grill alongside the ribs. Close the lid and cook for an hour and a half without opening the lid.
- After the ribs have cooked for an hour and a half, baste liberally with the apple cider mixture. Close the lid and continue to cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 more hours, basting the ribs every 45 minutes to an hour with the cider mixture.
- If desired, coat the ribs with desired BBQ sauce and return to the grill for an additional 30 minutes to set your sauce. Allow the ribs to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.