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close up view of cooked ribs, sliced and arranged on a wood cutting board
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4.88 from 8 votes

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

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Barbecue, Party Food
Keyword: Ribs on the Grill
Servings: 3 people



  • 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