How Long To Cook Beef Ribs On A Grill

Grilled beef ribs that fall off the bone. Discover the secret to perfect timing.

Beef ribs are a delicious and hearty dish that can be easily prepared on the grill. For best results, cook beef ribs low and slow for about 4-5 hours until they are tender and fall off the bone. Make sure to baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce for added flavor. 

In my personal experience, beef ribs take about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook on a grill. However, it can also depend on the type of grill you are using, as well as your preferred level of doneness for the ribs.

In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that affect the cooking time of beef ribs on a grill, and provide tips on how to achieve perfectly cooked and tender ribs every time.

So Let’s Get Started!

Factors That Affect Cooking Time

The thickness and size of the beef ribs, the temperature of the grill, and the type of grill you are using all play a role in determining how long it will take to cook your ribs on a grill.

The Thickness and Size

Thicker and larger beef ribs will take longer to cook than thinner and smaller ones. This is because thicker ribs have more meat that needs to be cooked through.

Temperature of the Grill

Maintaining a consistent temperature is crucial when cooking beef ribs on a grill. 

The ideal temperature for grilling beef ribs is between 225°F and 250°F (107°C – 121°C). 

This low and slow-method ensures that the ribs cook evenly and become tender without burning.

Type of Grill

Gas, charcoal, and pellet grills are the most commonly used for cooking beef ribs. Each type of grill has its own pros and cons when it comes to cooking time. 

Gas grills tend to cook faster because they have a more consistent temperature compared to charcoal or pellet grills. 

However, some argue that charcoal grills produce a better flavor in the ribs.

Grilling Beef Ribs: Cooking Time and Temperature Guide

To achieve perfectly cooked and tender beef ribs on a grill, follow these guidelines:

Step 1: Preheat the Grill

Preheat your grill to a temperature of 225°F to 250°F (107°C – 121°C). This will ensure that you have a consistent cooking temperature throughout the grilling process.

Step 2: Prepare the Ribs

Before placing the ribs on the grill, make sure to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. 

This will allow the marinade and smoke to penetrate the meat better, resulting in more flavor. You can also rub the ribs with your favorite BBQ seasoning for added taste.

Step 3: Cook the Ribs

Place the ribs on the grill, bone side down, and close the lid. Let them cook for about 4-5 hours, depending on their thickness and size. 

Make sure to check on them occasionally and rotate them for even cooking.

Step 4: Check for Doneness

After about 4 hours, start checking the ribs for doneness. You can do this by inserting a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the rib. 

The internal temperature should be at least 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare and 160°F (71°C) for medium.

Step 5: Baste with BBQ Sauce

In the last 30 minutes of cooking, baste the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce. This will add a delicious glaze and more flavor to the ribs.

Step 6: Rest and Serve

Once done, remove the ribs from the grill and let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and make the ribs more tender.

Tips for Perfectly Grilled Beef Ribs

There are a few tricks you can use to ensure that your beef ribs turn out perfectly cooked and tender on the grill:

Tip 1: Use a Meat Thermometer

Investing in a good meat thermometer is essential for achieving perfectly cooked ribs. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the rib and check for an internal temperature of 185°F (85°C).

Tip 2: Baste with BBQ Sauce

Basting your beef ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce adds flavor and moisture to the meat. You can do this every time you flip the ribs during cooking.

Tip 3: Use Indirect Heat

Placing a drip pan under the ribs and cooking them over indirect heat helps prevent flare-ups and allows for more even cooking.

Tip 4: Let Them Rest

Allowing your beef ribs to rest after grilling allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to relax, resulting in a more tender and flavorful end product.

Tip 5: Adjust Cooking Time for Different Types of Ribs

Different types of ribs, such as baby back ribs or spare ribs, may require slightly different cooking times. It’s always best to follow the recommended guidelines for your specific type of rib.

Best Practices for Grilling Beef Ribs

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when grilling beef ribs:

1: Plan Ahead

Beef ribs take a long time to cook, so make sure to plan ahead and allow enough time for cooking.

2: Use High-Quality Ribs

Selecting high-quality ribs from a reputable butcher or grocery store will ensure that you have the best possible outcome for your grilled beef ribs.

3: Keep an Eye on Temperature

Maintaining a consistent temperature on the grill is key to achieving perfectly cooked ribs. Use a thermometer and adjust the heat as needed.

4: Don’t Overcrowd the Grill

Leaving enough space between each rib allows for better air circulation and more even cooking.

Now that you know all about how long to cook beef ribs on a grill, it’s time to fire up the grill and impress your family and friends with tender, flavorful beef ribs.

How to Grill Beef Ribs to Perfection

Now that you know the factors that affect cooking time, as well as some tips and best practices, it’s time to put your knowledge to use and grill some delicious beef ribs. 

Remember to preheat your grill, maintain a consistent temperature, and follow our recommended guidelines for cooking time. 

With a little practice and patience, you’ll soon become an expert at grilling beef ribs to perfection.

Beef Rib Cooking Times for Various Grill Types

The following are approximate cooking times for beef ribs on different types of grills:

  • Gas Grill: 1 hour – 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Charcoal Grill: 1 hour 30 minutes -2 hours
  • Pellet Grill: 1 hour 15 minutes -1 hour 45 minutes

Remember, these cooking times can vary depending on factors like the thickness and size of the ribs, as well as your grill’s specific temperature settings. Use a meat thermometer and adjust cooking time accordingly for best results.

Smoking vs. Grilling Beef Ribs: Cooking Times Compared

Smoking and grilling are two popular methods for cooking beef ribs. Smoking involves cooking the ribs over indirect heat using wood chips or chunks, while grilling uses direct heat from a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill. Here’s how the cooking times compare:

  • Smoking: 3 hours – 4 hours
  • Grilling: 1 hour – 2 hours

While smoking may result in more tender and flavorful ribs, grilling offers a quicker and easier cooking method for those short on time.


Grilling beef ribs to perfection may take some practice, but with the right techniques and knowledge, you can achieve tender, flavorful ribs every time. Remember to preheat your grill, use a meat thermometer, and follow our recommended guidelines for cooking time. With these tips and best practices in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a master at grilling beef ribs. So fire up the grill and enjoy some delicious, mouthwatering beef ribs!

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