How to Grill a Slab of Ribs

by Anna Aronson ; Updated April 18, 2017

It will take at least an hour to grill a slab of ribs.

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Ribs have become a way for barbecue enthusiasts to show off their grilling talents. Don't let that discourage you from throwing your first slab of ribs on the grill, though. The basic recipe for grilling ribs does not require any advanced grilling skills. And you can customize the recipe however you like, whether you like your barbecue Memphis style, Kansas style or North Carolina style. As with anything you try for the first time, stick to the basics at the beginning. If your ribs are a hit, you can try to build on your success.

Place a drip pan under the grill rack where you will cook the ribs.

Heat your grill on high heat.

Scrape the hot grill with a grill brush to remove any food particles stuck on the grates.

Brush vegetable oil onto the grill and both sides of the ribs using a basting brush.

Sprinkle or rub any seasonings you desire on the ribs. To add more flavor, you can rub or season the meat up to two hours before you cook it.

Reduce the grill heat to medium.

Place the ribs on the grill with the meaty side facing up, then cover the grill.

Cook the ribs for 45 minutes to 50 minutes on medium heat. Keep the grill covered while they cook.

Baste the ribs with barbecue sauce, if that is how you prefer them. Barbecue sauce is best added to ribs about 15 minutes before you cook them, "Woman's Day" magazine advises.

Cook for an additional 15 minutes to 20 minutes, bringing the total cooking time to 60 minutes to 70 minutes.

Test the ribs for doneness by cutting into one near the bone. If the meat if fully cooked, it should not appear pink.


  • For extra flavor, baste the ribs with barbecue sauce multiple times during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking.

    You can also cook ribs over indirect heat, but you will need to increase the cooking time to two hours to three hours.

    Another way to check ribs for doneness is to insert a toothpick or skewer into the meaty part of a rib. If it pushes through with ease, it's ready, "Woman's Day" magazine reports.


Photo Credits

  • Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images

About the Author

Anna Aronson began working as a journalist in 2000 and spent six years at suburban Chicago newspapers before pursuing freelance work. She enjoys writing about health care topics, in particular obstetrics, pediatrics and nutrition. She received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and is now studying for a Master of Science in medicine degree to become a physician's assistant.