Cooking isn’t always a fun activity due to the amounts of preparations involved with traditional grills like the ones using coals to generate their heat. Still, with each passing year more and more and more people are turning towards gas grills for their weekend cooking nights and that requires us to help people learn certain cooking techniques like knowing how to smoke ribs on a gas grill. In this article we will go through some of the preparation steps needed to make the perfect tender ribs and what it takes to actually grill them on a gas model.
When it comes to cooking ribs, we can separate the process in two simple parts – preparation, and grilling. The preparation itself consists of many other steps that you will have to go through to ensure a tasty result. Now, let’s jump straight into it!
The Preparation Process
When it comes to preparing the ribs, there are a few procedures that you will have to go through. Those are:
- Choosing What Ribs To Buy
- Rinsing And Cutting
- Marinating The Ribs
- Applying A Dry Rub
Now let’s go through each of those steps individually…
Choosing What Ribs To Buy
You might think that there are countless of ribs types out there but all it boils down are really those three kinds…
Those are the side ribs. They are taken from the sides of the rib cage and are between the sternum area ribs and the baby back ones. They have less meat and more fat compared to other types. They are also the most common rib type as they are priced the best in most cases.
These are also called back ribs or loin ribs and are taken from the top part of the rib cage. They are shorter and have more meat than the spareribs. They also take less time to cook making them a good choice for emergency cooking choices.
St. Louis Style Ribs
Those are essentially spareribs coming with the sternum bone and the cartilage to it. They have a well-known rectangular shape.
Rinsing And Cutting
This might be obvious but you should always rinse your ribs in cold water to remove any fats or meat pieces. Afterwards dry the ribs with a dry paper towel. Make sure that you leave no extra pieces dangling from the ribs as they will burn during the cooking process and will leave burn-marks.
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Marinating The Ribs
Not all people marinate their ribs before cooking or smoking them but here are a few tips on the process:
- Put the ribs in a large bowl
- Pour a few cups of apple cider vinegar making sure they are all covered
- Squeeze 1 lemon in the mixture
- Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for up to 2 hours.
Applying A Dry Rub
This step is essential to the taste of the ribs. We’d like to use a combination of sugar, herbs, salt, and spices that make the end flavor so much better. That dry rub also creates a tasty crust over your ribs. Here are the ingredients for a tasty rub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup hot paprika (you can also use normal one)
- 4 tablespoons of salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- garlic powder (as much as you want) or squished garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons celery seeds (again optional)
Apply the rub after you remove the ribs from the fridge. Before applying coat them with a thin layer of vegetable oil as it will help the flavor spread all over the ribs. After you are done marinating place the ribs back in the fridge for one more hour.
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The Grilling Process
There are a few types of grilling such as grilling on indirect heat, grilling on a gas grill or smoking on a gas grill using wood chips. We will focus on the last method.
The best wood chips for smoking are hickory or mesquite (even apple). Soak the wood chips in water before placing them in your smoke box as they will burn very fast otherwise. Dry wood chips also create ashes and less smoke resulting in a bad flavor.
Preheat the burner to maximum temperature before you start seeing smoke coming out of the smoke box. Then turn the heat to medium and place the ribs. Try cooking them at around 220-250 degrees as that is the best temperature for the process.
Every 1 hour open the lid and spray the ribs with apple cider vinegar. We’ve found that this is the best way to keep the ribs from drying out!
The whole process shouldn’t take more than 5 hours and if you want to add some more seasoning or sauce, do it 20 minutes before the ribs are done.
Find out the perfect way of cooking a brisket over your gas grill by clicking here.
How long does it take to smoke ribs on the grill?
When cooking at around 220-250 degrees, it won’t take you more than 4 to 5 hours to smoke the ribs perfectly on a gas grill. It still depends a lot on the grill itself and the method but those numbers are the standard ones.
What Is The 3 2 1 Method For Smoking Ribs?
This is a very famous and well-known method by cooks all around the world. It is also a method that will definitely make the meat fall off the bones. It consists of smoking the ribs for three hours, then wrapping them with liquid for two more hours, and then finally saucing them for the last one hour. The results are very delicious and if you haven’t tried this method you should definitely give it a try!
Should you boil ribs before grilling them?
Boiling your ribs is another way of preparing them ending on the grill. This is a method different from smoking and consists of boiling them for roughly 25 minutes and then putting them on the grill (with the fat side up, if possible). Grill them for a good 10-15 minutes and if you decide to glaze them, you will need to grill them for another 3-4 minutes.
Knowing how to smoke ribs on a gas grill is a powerful tool in any chef’s arsenal and will make your evening with friends that much more delicious. This is why we’ve laid out the steps you need to go through in order to perfect this craft. And remember that you can only get better through practicing and the better you get the more personal touch you will add to any recipe out there!