These grilled ribs are a perfect blend of juicy, tender, finger-lickin good meat that falls right off the bone. A perfect dinner for a BBQ gathering, a summer holiday such as Memorial Day or 4th of July. I have provided you with a detailed way to properly grill ribs. It’s different than grilling most meat, but when done correctly, they are soooooooo good!!!
My husband, a.k.a. the guy who doesn’t cook, wanted to experiment with a childhood favorite of his: Grilled Baby Back Ribs. We were hosting an American Style BBQ dinner party once early in our marriage, and he wanted to feature the best possible Baby Back Ribs. He discovered a recipe for a Kansas City Rib Rub many years ago in a Wall Street Journal article. Unfortunately, we are not quite sure the original source, but we have tweaked this over the years to make it absolutely perfect. This is the one meal he makes every year, and one of our family favorites. It’s quite a crowd pleaser, as we have made this many times for our friends who all wipe their plates clean.
So to get you started, you mix together a simple rib rub. It’s full of delicious spices and brown sugar to balance out a slightly sweet and spicy dish. You want to do this the night before, or the morning of your BBQ. To prepare the meat for the rub, you’ll need to strip the membrane (this is easily done with a paper tower). You’ll rub the ribs with the blend of spices only on the meaty side (nothing goes on the bone side of the ribs) and place back in the fridge until it’s grill time!
We have a Weber Charcoal Grill, but any grill is fine for this recipe. For a Weber, you’ll warm up your charcoal and then spread out the coals. The most important part of grilling ribs is: never place the ribs directly over the fire! Otherwise you’ll be eating beef jerky for dinner. Here are 2 different ways to grill it this way: for a propane grill, heat the outside grills and place the ribs (bone side down) on the inside burners. This allows them to cook slowly without direct heat. For a Weber, do as my husband does below:
The ribs are placed around the perimeter of the grill, avoiding the direct fire. As you can see, the meat side with the rub is facing up: another important aspect of grilling ribs. If cooked properly, it will take around 45 minutes of nice and slowly grilled meat. These ribs require nothing else, though I suppose you can add a favorite sauce. We like ours with just the rub; the spices are perfect! Serve with your favorite summer salad. Usually when we’re enjoying ribs, my German Potato Salad, Basil Lime Fruit Salad, or Grilled Sweet Potato Salad is a perfect side dish!
Make sure to get the paper towels handy!
Grilled Baby Back Ribs with Kansas City Rib Rub
- 4 lbs or 4 racks of Baby Back Pork Ribs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp Chili Powder
- 3/4 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp minced onion
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Begin by preparing your ribs. Peel off the membrane on the bone side of your rib racks. This is best done with a paper towel.
- Mix together the remaining ingredients into a small bowl.
- Rub the spices on the Meat side of the ribs and place into the fridge.
- Let sit for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- For the charcoal grill: begin by lighting your charcoal and preparing a pyramid shape. Once the coals are gray and the grill is ready, spread out the coals slightly.
- Place the ribs bone side down (look at picture in the above post) on the perimeter of the grill and avoid any direct heat.
- Slowly cook for about 45 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Meat should be juicy and tender.
- For a propane grill: light the outside burners and heat up to a medium high. Place the ribs on the inside burners that are not heated to avoid the direct fire.