Learn how to make BBQ ribs so tender and mouthwatering that you'll be craving them all summer long. Easy to make, and perfect for sharing!
Choose baby back ribs or spareribs
Baby back ribs are cut from higher up on the pig, and are leaner, meatier and cook a little faster than spare ribs.
Spare ribs are cut from the lower belly side of the pig. They’re fattier and less meaty than back ribs, but they’re more affordable – great for when you’re cooking for a crowd.
Rub on some flavour
A dry rub is an easy way to give ribs a flavour boost before they hit the heat.
Here’s a basic dry-rub spice mix:
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl.
Pat the ribs dry with kitchen roll paper, then sprinkle both sides generously with the dry rub. Store leftover rub in an airtight container for the next time you barbecue.
For best flavour, let the ribs sit with the dry rub from 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.
Heat the barbecue
Ribs are mostly bone and muscle so cooking them slowly is the ideal method for producing juicy, tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.
Preheat your gas bbq on high for 10 minutes with the lid on.
If you’re using charcoal, fire it up until there’s a good coat of ash.
When the bbq is heated, clean the grates with a wire brush.
Wipe with oil to keep the ribs from sticking.
Make a place for the ribs to cook over indirect heat.
On your gas bbq, turn off the middle burner and set the side burners to medium-low.
On your charcoal bbq, push the hot coals over to one side, or clear them away from the centre.
On with the ribs
Place the ribs bone-side down on the grate. Close the lid and let the low heat do the rest.
It’s hard to resist checking them, but try not to open the cover more than once or twice an hour.
After one hour, you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. You can also look for clues: the meat pulls away from the bone when they are cooked, and you can easily slice a rib off the end of the rack.
The total cooking time for ribs depends on the ribs and the bbq itself. But, in general, it takes from one and a half to three hours to barbecue ribs. This may seem like an eternity but the slow barbecue time is what makes ribs so delectable.
Brush on the sauce
Barbeque sauce adds the final layer of flavour. Wait until the last 30 minutes of cooking to start brushing it on.
When your ribs are cooked and sauced, use a pair of tongs to transfer them to a clean chopping board. Cover with foil so they can rest for 10 minutes before you slice and serve them.