How to Grill Riblets

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I’m talking about ribs today, so stock up on charcoal or wood chips and napkins, because I will be talking about the mouth-watering meaty, smoky, saucy, and lit bit of sweet yet fantastically finger-licking grilled riblets. Here is an absolutely delicious recipe on how to grill riblets which you can try at your home.

How to Grill Riblets

Equipment Required

  • Grilling kit (charcoal grill)
  • Chimney for charcoal
  • Tissue papers
  • Briquettes or wood chips
  • Hickory wood
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs
  • Disposable foil pan
  • Lighter or matchsticks
  • Knife
  • Slicing board

Preparation Time: 25 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 to 6 hours

Ribs being seasoned in a pan


  • Brown sugar – 2 tbsp.
  • Kosher salt – 1 tbsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper – 2 tbsp.
  • Garlic powder – 2 tbsp.
  • Onion powder – 2 tbsp.
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 rack baby back ribs (about 12 ribs) 
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. Prepared yellow mustard 
  • 2 tbsp apple cider or apple juice (recipe follows)

Step #1: Choose the Meat

I recommend using a grill with a 22-inch diameter to cook the ribs.

You can use your barbecue for cooking pork, beef, or lamb ribs. While I prefer beef charcoal ribs, I’ll utilize traditional pork ribs for this piece.

Pork ribs are available in three primary varieties. The popular ribs are the spareribs, which have flat bones and a lot of connective tissue. Spareribs with the rib tips removed are known as St. Louis style ribs. 

Meanwhile, baby back ribs are a smaller version of the other two, with a higher meat-to-bone ratio. In this recipe, I’ll use baby back ribs. They’re delicious and easy to get by in most supermarkets.

Step #2: Slice Through the Meat

Cut the meat to remove the tissues from the rear portion of the ribs when you buy them. If not eliminated, this can be somewhat chewy.

Let’s look at how to make ribs on a camp stove or grill now. A dry rub and barbecue sauce are included in the step-by-step instructions. The barbecue sauce is made in the same way as the main dish.

If the tissues are still clinging to the ribs, carefully pull them with a sharp blade and peel them away with the help of a paper towel.

Step #3: Mix the Ingredients

Take a glass bowl and add sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper; you can add more ingredients or increase the quantity of some elements according to your taste. Set this aside for now.

You can make the sauce while the ribs are grilling or make the preparations the day before. It stays nicely in the fridge for several days. 

Step #4: Marinate the Riblets

Spread the mustard all over the ribs. To coat the ribs, apply dry marination all over the mustard. Cover the marinated ribs and keep them aside so that they get t the grill ready.


Let the ribs sit at room temperature while preparing the grill to cook them more evenly.

Ribs grilled handled with a tong

Step #5: Set the Grill

Remove the grill’s top grate. In the bottom of the chimney, put a loose wad of newspaper.

Briquettes should be half-filled in the chimney. Wait until the charcoal is red hot before lighting the paper.

To fill the chimney, add more wood chips to the ones that are already lit. Place the charcoal on one face of the grill bottom in a pile. Place the wood pieces on top of the smoldering embers.


By combining lighted and unlit coals, the fire will burn more slowly and stay longer.

Install the grill grate and allow it to warm up. Then, use tongs and a saturated paper towel to clean it and grease the side that isn’t over the coals. Lay the foil pan over the hot embers on the grate and half-fill it with water.

Step #6: Follow the Grilling Technique

Step 6.1: Put the marinated rack of ribs on the cool face of the grill (about 230°F) with the meaty side up.

Close the grill lid and position the open vent over the baby back ribs and spare ribs. Cook baby back ribs for 2 hours and spare ribs for 3 hours.

Light another half-full fireplace of coals on a firm surface, such as your patio or gravel, 15 minutes before the riblets finish their first cook.

Step 6.2: Cook the Ribs Once Again

  1. Remove the ribs after 2 to 3 hours and set them on the second sheet of foil.
  2. Over the ribs, pour the apple cider.
  3. Wrap the foil around the ribs securely. If the flame has calmed down too much, add extra hot coals.
  4. Close the cover and lay the covered ribs on the grill—Cook for a total of 2 hours.
Riblets served in a plate

Step 6.3: Remove the foil off the riblets and remove it. Put the riblets meat side down on a baking sheet and brush the bottoms with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce. Grill for 15 minutes with the grill lid closed.

Step 6.4: Turn the riblets over and brush with 1/4 cup BBQ sauce on the top side. Cover and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the meat begins to strip away from the bones.

Step #7: Plating 

Transfer the riblets to a new cutting board and set them aside for 5 minutes to rest. Serve your riblets with french fries and coleslaw for a complete meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use a BBQ Sauce Available in the Local Grocery Store?

Yes, you can use a BBQ sauce of any famous brand to spice up your riblets on the grill.

Beginner Guide to Cooking Meat


The 3-2-1 Method is a low-and-slow cooking method for ribs that allows them to develop flavor without letting the moisture in them go away. The ribs are first smoked for 3 hours at a low temperature.

After that, they’re foil-wrapped and simmered for 2 hours. Finally, they’re coated with a marinade or glaze and cooked for an additional hour on the grill. Grilling the ribs adds a lot of flavor to the meat, which cannot be achieved otherwise.

However, food scientists suggest that grilled meat contains many carcinogenic heterocyclic amines. But, they also mentioned that consuming grilled meat once in a while can be no harm if one stays aware and careful. 

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.