Grilling Ribs Intensifies Your Game Day Menu

Rack of baby back pork ribs on bbq grill.

Grilling ribs is absolutely the best way to make your tailgate party memorable. There are many different kinds of ribs to grill, and all of them are delicious. We’re going to feature the popular baby back ribs, pork spare ribs done with a Caribbean island style, and hearty country ribs.

A Grilled Rib Showcase for Your Gameday

Baby Back Ribs

Grilling baby back ribs requires patience using the “low & slow” indirect grilling method. The ribs can take up to four hours to finish using this method. Listed below will be the rib rub recipe and grilling instructions. You can also click on the link to get full instructions.

Ribs Done Right

To make some delicious baby back ribs, follow these easy directions using 2-3 full slabs.

Rib Rub

Season to taste, combining the following ingredients in a bowl and mix them all together:

  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cajun Spice
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Brown Sugar

Rib Prep

Once your rub is ready, it’s time to prep the ribs. You will need to remove the membrane from the back side of the ribs. The easiest way is to take a knife and start prying up the membrane at the smallest end of the ribs. Once you have it started, take a paper towel and grab the membrane while pulling it toward the larger end of the ribs. It takes practice, but once you master it, you will have no problems getting it off in one piece.

After removing the membranes, place the ribs in a large foil pan. Next up, take the rub mix and sprinkle it on both sides of the rack. Be sure to rub it in as you go along. Do the same with the other racks of ribs until they’re all seasoned. If you have any extra rub, save it until the ribs are going on the grill.

Grill Time

When the ribs are fully seasoned, light the grill using the three zone method. This requires using 15-20 briquettes on both sides of your grill. When the charcoal is ready, replace the grate. Be sure to place the two handles over the coals to allow for wood chips later. Place one rack of ribs on the grill, and take the honey and drizzle it on the top of the ribs. Take any extra rub mix you have and sprinkle it onto the honey drizzled ribs. Do the same with the next 1-2 racks of ribs, drizzling honey and sprinkling the rub mix.

Next up is adding the wood chips that have been soaking in water to both sides of the grill. Gently drop a handful of chips through the two openings onto the coals and close the lid. Place the vent halfway open directly above one end of the ribs. You will see and smell delicious smoke rising out of the vent after a few minutes.

Let There Be Smoke

Allow the ribs to smoke for 45 minutes, then “shuffle the ribs” and add more chips. Do this every 45 minutes, shuffling the ribs to get an even smoke flavor. The ribs should cook for 3-4 hours so you may need to add additional coals to keep up the heat level. When you are on your last shuffle, take a sauce brush and brush on your favorite BBQ sauce on all sides of the ribs.

Let them cook for another 45 minutes then take them off and rest for 10-15 minutes. Racks can be cut into thirds, halves, or individual ribs depending on how many people are invited.

Spare Ribs From the Caribbean

Making these incredible spare ribs requires very little grill time. You will only use your grill to finish them off with BBQ sauce. Prep the ribs the same way as the baby backs by removing any membrane from them. You will season them with the same rub — Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, black pepper, Cajun spice, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar.

You will also need a large foil pan, honey, several cans of pineapple rings, and some dark rum like Myers.

Spare Rib Prep and Baking

Take the large foil pan and line the bottom with the pineapple rings, and add the juice from one of the cans. Season your spare ribs with the rub and lay them onto the pineapple rings. Drizzle the honey onto the ribs and add 6-8 ounces of the dark rum into the pan.

Cover with foil and let sit for 30-45 minutes. Take the pan and put in your oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the ribs to rest for 15 minutes.

Grill Time

Prep your grill with the direct method using 20-25 charcoal briquettes. After the coals are ready, spread them out across the grill grate. Cover the spare ribs liberally with your favorite BBQ sauce then place them over the coals. You will only need to grill the spare ribs for about 5 minutes per side. Your goal is to caramelize the BBQ sauce without burning it. Serve these amazing ribs with your favorite island-themed drink using the remaining dark rum.

Hearty Country Ribs

Country ribs are delicious and very meaty. They’re a different kind of pork rib that is cut from the pork shoulder and come bone-in or boneless. Country ribs need the low and slow indirect grilling method to achieve that great grilled flavor. You will use the same rib rub mixture as for the baby backs — Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, black pepper, Cajun spice, cumin, paprika, and brown sugar.

Prep the country ribs by placing them in a large foil pan and seasoning them with the rub. Set up your grill with a pile of 20-25 charcoal briquettes in the center. Once the charcoal is that perfect grey, do not spread them out.

Place the country ribs in a circle around the charcoal. Allow the ribs to grill 25-30 minutes then flip them over. Do this several times until all sides are grilled evenly. Brush on your favorite BBQ sauce and grill another 20-30 minutes. Remove the country ribs and serve them to your drooling guests.

Game Day Menus

Grilling ribs is an art, but should not be feared. Ribs will leave your guests smiling and wanting them on your menu again in the very near future. You can serve your ribs with our infamous grilled potato salad and baked beans recipes. For other options to grill for your game day menu check out the previous articles by clicking on the links below. Enjoy!

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