How to Grill Ribs on a Gas Grill

If you have used a gas grill to cook ribs, you would know how hard it is to get that authentic barbecue flavor. Gas grills are good for fast and hot cooking, but they aren’t great when you need to cook ribs with smoky flavor.

Learn How to Grill Ribs on a Gas Grill

However, there are a few tricks that you can use to cook delicious ribs on a gas grill. You won’t get the same flavor as you would from cooking ribs on a charcoal grill, but you should still be able to prepare decent ribs. So without further ado, let us show you how you can grill ribs on a gas grill the right way.

Things You’ll Need

If you plan on cooking ribs on a gas grill, make sure to choose a grill that contains at least two burners. That’s because ribs need to be grilled indirectly. The heat will be off to the side, not right below the rack of the ribs. To cook the ribs, you will need the following ingredients:

Meat being grilled on a gas grill
  • Aluminum foil
  • Rack of pork ribs
  • Good barbecue sauce
  • Good rib rub
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • Fuel for the gas grill
  • Sharp knife
  • Wood chunks for smoke

Get the Rack Prepared

Store-bought spareribs are usually not properly prepared. So before you can cook them, you’ll have to do some trimming to get them in the right condition. Ideally, you want a square shape rack of ribs with even thickness throughout. Make sure to inspect the ribs carefully for any loose piece of bone, fat or meat. Cut off excessive fats and excess scraps from the rack of ribs. Don’t remove all the fat, just cut it to reduce the thickness. Fat is important to keep the ribs moist, but if it’s present in excess, you will end up with an overly fatty product that is hard to digest.

You will need a sharp knife to cut away all the excess fat from the ribs. You’ll have to pull discarded scraps away using your fingers while you are trimming the ribs so make sure to wear cut-proof gloves to avoid getting injured while trimming. Don’t worry about scraps as a garbage disposal should deal with them.

Once you are done trimming, rinse the rack with cold water and dry it using paper towels.

Apply the Rib Rub

Once you have trimmed and rinsed the ribs, the next step is to apply the rib rub. Good rib rub will add flavor to the meat but won’t overpower it. Apply the rib rub evenly over the rack of ribs. Cover all the sides, back and front and ends of the meat. Apply as much rib rub as will stick and let the excess fall off. The meat’s natural moisture will hold the rub you need while the excess will fall off.

Apply the rib rub an hour before you begin grilling – any longer would affect the meat’s texture, giving it an unpleasant ham-like texture and flavor. It is best to get the rack of ribs to the grill within 15 to 25 minutes of applying the rib rub.

Make Proper Smoke Bombs

It can be difficult to make proper smoke while cooking at low temperatures on a gas grill. While you can give the ribs a hint of smoke, you won’t be able to get a strong smoky flavor. This is why gas grill isn’t the best option for cooking ribs and most people prefer a charcoal grill to get that smoky flavor on their ribs. You could throw in some smoke bombs onto the gas grill to generate extra smoke. This is an easy way to generate smoke on a grill while cooking ribs.

Place ½ cup of small damp wood chips on an aluminum foil or get a smoke tube. Wrap the chips in such a way that one side only has one layer of foil. Poke holes through the foil, allowing the smoke out. Place these foils under the grate as close to the burner as possible. Make sure to preheat the gas grill hot enough to get the wood combustion started. Once you notice smoke coming out of the foils (smoke bombs), turn the heat down.

Place the Rack of Ribs on the Gas Grill

If you want to cook delicious ribs, it is essential that you get the grill placement right. You need to cook ribs through indirect heat while making sure that they don’t dry out or get overcooked. Temperatures of up to 190°C are required to cook ribs.

If the burners on your gas grill run front to back, you can use one of those burners on either end. If you are using the right side burner, you must place the smoke bombs over this burner directly. The ribs should be placed to the left of the burner. You can also set the rack of ribs near the burner if it is short enough to be easily placed running parallel to the grill’s burners. Otherwise, you will have to place it in a diagonal position on the grill and rotate the rack to cook the ribs from all sides evenly.

Close the lid after placing the rack on the grill and adjust the temperature to 150°C. Now allow the ribs to cook for half an hour. Keep the lid closed. This will hold the smoke in.

Wrap the Ribs in Aluminum Foils

Once you have grilled the ribs for 30 minutes, open the lid. If you did everything right, you will see brown color on all sides. If the ribs appear raw on surface, continue grilling them for another 10 minutes; otherwise, move to the next stage. In the next step, you need to steam the ribs with apple juice to make them tender. Wrap the grilled ribs in aluminum foil while keeping the juice inside the foil. Try to make the package as watertight as you can after pouring in the juice.

With a tightly wrapped foil packet, place the ribs on the grill again in the same indirect grill space. Close the lid and raise the temperature of the grill to 190°C. Apple juice applied to the ribs will boil at this temperature, tenderizing the ribs and getting them ready quickly.

Apply Barbecue Sauce

After you have allowed the ribs to steam in the foil for about 30 minutes, it’s time to turn the heat down and unwrap the ribs. The ribs should be cooked at this stage. If you notice that the ribs aren’t completely browned, close the foil up again and let them grill for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Once they are brown and ready to continue, lower the grill temperature to 120°C. Place the ribs in the same area again to finish cooking.

While smoking ribs, it’s up to you whether you want to add sauce. When you are using the gas grill for cooking ribs, it’s best to use a good quality barbecue sauce. This will add barbecue flavor to the ribs and make your meat more delicious.

Multiple coats of sauce should give you good sticky ribs. You should first apply sauce on one side of the cooked ribs, shut the lid and cook for about five minutes. Next open the lid and apply sauce on the other side. Keep doing this for half an hour and you’ll have a great, heavy coating of sauce. After putting on the last barbeque sauce coat, wait for five minutes and then take the ribs off. They are now ready and you can serve them to your family or friends.

Our Final Thoughts

Grilling ribs on a gas grill isn’t easy and you can’t always get the best flavor. This is why we generally recommend people to use a charcoal grill to cook ribs if they want that strong smoky flavor.

However, if you own a gas grill and want to use that to cook ribs on a family barbecue party, do everything we have listed above. Gas grills offer fast and hot cooking so you should be able to prepare ribs quickly and serve them to your guests in the party.

We hope you will be able to impress your guests with delicious ribs following our guidance. Stay tuned for more information about grills and how to prepare other dishes on a grill.

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