Cooking Beef Ribs on the Grill: How-To Guide

You don’t have to be a professional chef to make delicious beef ribs on the grill – actually, that couldn’t be further from the truth! You can achieve finger-licking results with a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill, and below, we’ll talk you through how!

 
    1. Types of Beef Rib
    2. Should you use a marinade or rub?
    3. How to Cook Beef Ribs on the Grill
    4. What type of wood pellets work best for beef ribs?
    5. What’s the best type of grill for beef ribs?

    Types of Beef Rib

    There are a few different cuts of beef rib, and which you choose will change how long you need to cook your beef ribs for. The bigger the cut, the longer your ribs will take to reach the right internal temperature. Here are some of the different cuts:

    • Beef Back Ribs – on a full rack, flat, doesn’t often yield a huge amount of meat
    • Dino Ribs/Plate Short Ribs – these are huge, with 3-4 bones on a rack
    • Short Ribs – short ribs can be an alternative name for the above, as well as English cut ribs and Flanken cut ribs.
    • You may find all of these with or without the bone (though it’s unlikely with beef back ribs). In most cases, how you cook them will be the same, the only thing that changes is the cooking time since denser cuts will take longer. Some cuts may lend themselves to some recipes better than others.

    Should you use a marinade or rub?

    You can choose to follow any recipe you like! Search through our recipes for something that gets your mouth watering, or use one of the suggested recipes below:

    Umami Marinade Recipe

    Combine:

    • ½ cup soy sauce (don’t use dark soy sauce!)
    • ½ cup red wine
    • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1 cup beef stock
    • ¼ cup hot sauce
    • ¼ cup honey

    Adjust to taste.

    To marinate your beef ribs, put them in a freezer bag with your marinade and massage the bag to cover. Then leave it on the side or in the fridge to marinate. Do this for at least 15 minutes, but ideally you’ll be thinking much further ahead so you can give them 4+ hours or even overnight to marinate.

    If you prefer, brush the marinade over the ribs in a shallow dish and then cover with foil.

    Rub

    Combine:

    • ¼ cup paprika
    • ¼ cup chili powder
    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • Up to ¼ cup black pepper (adjust for your preference)
    • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp salt

    Combine all ingredients and then rub all over your ribs before leaving them to sit for at least 15 minutes, but ideally 4+ hours or overnight.

    How to Cook Beef Ribs on the Grill

    How you cook beef ribs on the grill varies very little from grill to grill, but we’ll guide you through each of the three most popular grill types; gas, pellet, and charcoal.

    What doesn’t change from grill to grill, is the temperature you need to cook your beef ribs at, so fire up your grill and set it to 275F. The length of time your beef ribs will take to cook will vary depending on your cut, but regardless, wait until the internal temperature reaches 205F before you consider them done – even if you plan to sear them afterward.

    This takes 1.5 – 2 hours, so it’s important to have a temperature probe handy so you can monitor your beef ribs.

    When it’s done, consider searing or charring the outside. Turn the grill up to high (375-400F) or use your sear plate to sear each side for 3-5 minutes.

    Once they’re done, allow the ribs to sit for 5-10 minutes to let the flavors settle before digging in.

    How to Cook Beef Ribs on a Gas Grill

    To cook your beef ribs on a gas grill, follow the above steps (set to 275F, allow beef to cook to 205F internal temperature). The only difference is you’ll need to add wood for a smoky flavor (see point below), and it’s best to sear directly over the burners. We recommend wrapping your ribs in foil about half way through the cooking process.

    If you want a smokier flavor, buy some wood pellets or chips and put them in a smoke box or foil pouch to infuse your beef ribs with smoky flavor. It won’t be as flavorful as using a pellet grill, but you’ll still get good results.

    How to Cook Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

    Using a pellet grill to cook beef ribs (or just about anything!) is super simple. Set the temperature, add your ribs to the grill, and allow them to cook, wrapping them in foil about half way through.

    How to Cook Beef Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

    Using a charcoal grill follows a similar process, but you’ll usually have to work a little harder to maintain the right temperature. Wrap your ribs in foil half way through to prevent your ribs from getting smoky. If you’re not sure about the quality of your charcoal, it may be worth wrapping earlier than that to you don’t get that chemically taste some charcoal smoke can give.

    Use the vents on your grill to carefully control and monitor the temperature.

    What type of wood pellets work best for beef ribs?

    You can really try any type of pellet because beef is fairly forgiving, whereas other meats can be overpowered by the stronger wood pellets. Stick to something light like Fruit wood pelletsto pay it safe, or try something like Oak wood pelletsfor a deeper, smoky flavor.

    What’s the best type of grill for beef ribs?

    There’s no grill that’s best for beef ribs – but the different types of grill will make a dramatic difference to your grilling experience. Pellet grills are by far the best and easiest to manage and get incredible, smoky results with. Our Z Grills are enjoyed by newbie grillers and those with decades of grilling experience behind them. Z Grills grills perfectly maintain the temperature you set them at, so you can set them and forget them, easily walking away for hours if necessary. They’re made with the highest quality materials while offering great value for money, so if you’re looking for somewhere to start your grilling journey, or are sick of micromanaging your grill, it’s time to browse our latest deals here.