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Ribs on a Charcoal Grill (4 Servings)

  • Author: Bobby


  • 1 rack of pork ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard (or as needed)
  • ¼ cup of dry rub for ribs (or as needed)
  • ¼ cup of BBQ Sauce (or as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple juice (water or coffee can also be substituted)

For the Charcoal Grill

  • 1 chimney of charcoal briquettes (divided)
  • 1 foil pan
  • 3 chunks of smoking wood (optional)


  1. To ensure a slow burn, fill your charcoal chimney halfway with briquettes and light only a bunch of them. Arrange the briquettes on one portion of the grill in a pile. If desired, add 3 bits of smoking wood, cherry is a good option.
  2. Place a foil pan on the grill grate over charcoal and place the cooking grate on top of it. Half-fill the pan with water.
  3. By inserting a butter knife between the membrane and the bone, you can extract the membrane from beneath the ribs. Move the knife gently around the membrane to loosen it and pull it off completely. For increased grip, a paper towel works great.
  4. Distribute the rib rub generously to both surfaces of the ribs, also spread some mustard around both of their surfaces. Season the ribs with salt if you opt against using a rib rub.
  5. Ideally, you should cook ribs on the furthest side of the grill, away from the fire, at 225-250 degrees. If you’re working with spareribs, cover and cook them for 3 hours; if cooking Baby Back Ribs, then ensure to simmer them for 2 hours.
  6. Wrap the ribs in foil and close the wrapping firmly after 3 hours, applying 2 tablespoons of a liquid, a good choice is apple juice. If necessary, add an additional half a chimney-sized stack of charcoal, then cook your ribs for another 2 hours with the grill covered.
  7. Remove the foil from the ribs and discard it. Turn the ribs over and brush their bottoms using barbecue sauce. Cook them further for 15 minutes on a covered grill.
  8. Return the ribs to their upright position and brush the tops with BBQ sauce. Cover and cook for another 45 minutes.
  9. Take the ribs off the grill and set them aside to cool slightly before serving.

This recipe yields well-cooked and flavorful pork ribs, and it’s one you should definitely try out next time you’re in the mood to play with your charcoal grill. The entire cooking duration for the recipe is 6 hours and 15 minutes, with a prep time of 15 minutes and a cook time of 6 hours.

If you’d like to see more ideas for grilling ribs on a charcoal grill, we recommend this video recipe for you to watch for some cooking inspiration.