How to BBQ Ribs on a Gas Grill

Freshly cooked pork barbecue ribs on a plate

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How to Grill the Best Pork Ribs on a Gas Grill

Grilling pork ribs on a gas grill may not be as easy as you think. It requires concentration and good cooking skills to achieve the perfect taste and tenderness in the ribs.

A well-cooked rib rack will be juicy, tender, and brown on all sides. Before you begin, you should have basic knowledge of gas grills so you can comfortably cook the ribs.

What You Need

To begin with, you need an efficient gas grill for quick cooking. Charcoal barbecues are usually used for this purpose, but you can also get the task done with gas grills.

We suggest getting a 4-burner gas BBQ gas grill to ensure the ribs are tender on each side. However, having a gas grill with at least three burners is preferable if you plan on cooking pork rib racks. Moreover, it should have ample space to fit the entire rib rack; otherwise, you will have to cut the rack down into smaller pieces.

Hence, the first step is to get a suitable gas grill to fit and cook a pork rib rack.

Image: 4 Burner Gas BBQ: The BillyOh Huntsville

Once you are sorted with the grill, you need to collect the following;

  • Propane fuel.
  • Pork rib rack.
  • Apple cider vinegar.
  • Unsweetened apple juice.
  • Pork seasoning rub.
  • A sharp knife.
  • Aluminium foil.
  • Wood chunks.
  • A cutting board

Prepare the Rib Rack

If you brought the ribs from a store, you’ll need to do some basic preparation before they are ready to go on the grill. Firstly, inspect the rib rack and remove any loose pieces of fat or bone using a sharp knife. You do not want to grill a rib with excessive fat; just a small amount would be enough to give great texture.

Next, remove the tough membranes from the bone since it hinders the flavour of pork ribs. You can easily pull away the membrane layer with a knife. Removing the membrane enhances the flavour since the pork rub can penetrate the meat more efficiently.

Lastly, wash the rack and let it sit for a few minutes. Dry the meat using a paper towel with gentle taps and allow the moisture to dry before applying the rub.

By the end of this step, the pork rib rack should have a uniform thickness and a preferable square shape. 

Rub the Ribs

This is one of the essential steps to getting a deliciously grilled BBQ rib. If you season the ribs properly, the outcome should delight your palate. Moreover, you can get a store-bought pork seasoning rub or prepare your own according to your taste preferences.

To make a Texas pork rib rub, add light brown sugar, paprika, chilli powder, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt, black pepper, Mexican oregano, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Mix the ingredients well using a fork.

Now, sprinkle the rub evenly on the dry rib rack. Though it is not essential, you can use a small amount of hot sauce to ensure the rub sticks to the meat. Make sure you apply a good quantity of rub on all sides of the rack, especially the meaty areas. The inside of the rib should not taste bland.

The key to a flavourful pork rib is the proper seasoning. Press gently with your thumb to make the rub holds on nicely to the rack.

Making Smoke

Let us tell you beforehand that creating smoke on a gas grill may not be easy, especially when cooking at low temperatures. And to evenly BBQ the ribs, you need to cook them at a low temperature so the meat is appropriately tender and juicy.

Coming to the smoke, remove the cooking grates from the gas grill. You will now have direct access to the burner. Take a handful of wood chunks/chips and place them in a rectangular piece of aluminium foil. 

On a side note, it’s helpful to know that wood chips produce smoke faster but burn off quickly. But, on the other hand, wood chunks take longer to make smoke but last longer.

Create aluminium foil balls with the wood chunks inside them. Next, make tiny holes within the balls using a sharp knife. It will give the smoke an outlet. When making the smoke balls, place them on the lit burners on high flame. However, reduce the heat intensity when you see visible smoke. A clean smoke is good for bringing in distinct flavours. It is now time to place the ribs on the grill.

Place the Ribs on the Grill

Remember that the rack will be cooking on indirect heat throughout the process. Place the rib rack away from the lit burner since the smoke will be enough to cook them. Ensure that no part of the rib comes in direct contact with the burners as, if it does, it will not be edible.

If you use a 4-burner bbq gas grill, place the ribs between the two burners. Ideally, you should have a large barbecue with at least three burners. Also, space the rib racks some distance apart so the smoke can reach all sides of the rib.

In addition, maintain an internal temperature of 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) throughout the grilling. The smoke balls should be leaving smoke around the rack at this temperature. 

Once everything is set and the rib racks are in place, close the gas grill lid. Let the pork ribs cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lift the lid and see if the rib rack is brown on all sides. If they are not evenly coloured, rotate the rack and let it cook for another 10 to 15 minutes until you get the desired appearance. 

When you see a consistent brown colour on all sides, it indicates that the rib rack is ready to be wrapped.

Wrap the Ribs

But why do you have to wrap the ribs? Wrapping pork ribs in an aluminium foil will allow them to cook faster. Furthermore, you will enjoy more tender pork ribs with a beautiful brown colour.

So, take a piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover the whole rib rack on each side adequately. Place the rib on the cut-out foil and pour 1 ½  cup of warm apple juice over the rack. Wrap it nicely to create an airtight seal. Thanks to the seal, the moisture will stay intact to produce brilliant flavours in your rib rack.

Next, take the ribs back to the grill and place them gently. However, increase the heat intensity so the temperature reaches 190 degrees C (375 degrees F) for this step. Close the lid and let it cook for another 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, check on the ribs again using a thermometer. If it is ready to serve, you will notice the signs below;

  • The internal temperature is around 75 degrees C (195 degrees F).
  • There is a clear pull-back (a small part of the bones peeking through the rack).
  • Bending the rack using a tong will cause it to crack.
  • The appearance is evenly brown.

If you notice the majority of these signs, remove the ribs from the foil and place them on the grill to ensure consistent cooking at 120 degrees C (250 degrees F).

Barbecue Sauce

When the ribs appear dry on the surface, apply warm BBQ sauce to them. To allow the sauce to penetrate the meat, use it in multiple steps. For instance, apply the dressing in a thin layer every 5 minutes. Repeat the step twice or thrice to give the ribs maximum flavour. 

Wait for another 5 or 8 minutes, and then take off the rib rack from the grill.

Slice the Ribs

Place the cooked rib rack on a cutting board and carefully slice through it. Hold the ribs with a tong on each side and cut between the bones with a sharp knife to serve nice and clean pieces.

Also, remember not to cut the bones since it ruins the presentation and food experience.


Wrapping it all up, the method discussed in this article is among the easiest ways to BBQ pork ribs on a gas grill. Although, you have to be careful with handling the rack because you want it in one piece till it is perfectly cooked. 

Gas BBQ grills will make a good investment if you love BBQ food. Since the food is simmered at low temperatures on the grill, it ensures that the outcome is according to your meat preferences. 

So, what are you waiting for? Get grilling to devour yourself in the smoothly cooked pork rib racks.