How to Cook Ribs

Whether you grill them, smoke them, or bake them in the oven, cooking ribs is easy
How to Cook Ribs

There are a few principles that apply to all ribs, regardless of how you cook them.

There’s nothing like a rack of smoky, flavorful, fall-off-the-bone ribs. Whether you choose beef, pork, or lamb; regardless of whether you flavor them with a dry rub, a sauce, or both; and no matter how you cook them (be it in a smoker, on a grill, or in your oven), ribs always end up finger-licking good.

Here’s how you can cook ribs perfectly every time.

Remove the Membrane
If your ribs have a papery membrane attached, you’ll need to remove it. Stick a knife under the membrane to loosen it, then use your hands to peel the membrane off the rack of ribs.

Season the Ribs
Regardless of how you cook your ribs, seasoning is key. Make sure you rub salt on both sides of the rack of ribs. You can also add a rub (a mix of ingredients like sugar, garlic, herbs, or spices) to the ribs and let them marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking for even more flavor.

Cook the Ribs
On the Grill: Cook the ribs over indirect heat (with the lid of the grill closed) for about 2 hours, basting them with sauce during the last 30 minutes of their cook time.

In a Smoker: Cook dry-rubbed ribs in a smoker for 5 hours at 250 degrees F, brushing them with sauce every 45 minutes. During the last 30 minutes of their cook time, wrap the ribs in foil and they’ll be extra tender.

In the Oven: Cook the ribs on a wire cooling rack set over a sheet pan in a 325-degree oven, until tender. Then, brush the ribs with glaze and broil them for 20–30 minutes, until the glaze is thickened and the ribs are slightly charred.

Rest the Ribs
Always give your ribs 10 to 15 minutes of resting time before you cut into them; they’ll be juicer that way!

Get our best rib recipes.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.