Ribs are a classic barbecue item, offering the best of outside cooking. Don't shy away from making this classic dish. The process is relatively easy, and far less expensive than ordering ribs when you're at a restaurant. The key is to buy high-quality ribs. Inspect the ribs to ensure that they are meaty and don't have too much fat. Use a rub on the ribs that suits your taste and menu and let the ribs marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
Rub the ribs all over with your preferred spice blend. Use a pre-packaged blend, or create one based on your preference. Brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic make a sweeter rub. For a spicy rub, use chili powder, pepper, salt, garlic and cayenne pepper.
Let the ribs rest for 24 hours to allow the seasonings to blend into the ribs for deeper flavor.
Prepare the grill. If you are using a gas grill, use a cedar plank or smoke product to add smoke flavor to the ribs. If you are using a charcoal-based grill, don't use charcoal. Instead, use wood chips or wood products to create the fire for the barbecue.
Place the ribs on the grill, bone down, on the perimeter of the grill. Close the lid and let the ribs cook.
Put barbecue sauce on the ribs after they are nearly cooked. Use a meat thermometer to check their temperature. It should read below 145 degrees Fahrenheit as this means the ribs aren't yet done, about 20 minutes after putting the ribs on the grill.
Let the ribs cook for another 10 minutes, soaking in the sauce and smoke flavor. Add sauce periodically to suit your taste. Check the internal temperature again. Once it reaches 145 degrees F, remove the ribs from the grill. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve.