Foolproof Baby Back Ribs

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr

These are done completely on a gas grill and is the first recipe I have found that result in tender ribs without having to boil/steam/ or bake them first. Don't lift the lid for at least an hour while grilling! That is the secret to these ribs that end up tender and delectable. Uses simple ingredients with your favorite barbecue sauce to finish off the recipe and you will be in rib heaven.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat gas grill for high heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and salt and pepper Mix well.
  3. Trim off the membrane sheath from the back of each rack.
  4. You can do this by running a small, sharp knife between the membrane and snip or"shimmy" off the membrane as much as possible.
  5. Don't skip this step because it prevents the ribs from being chewy.
  6. Sprinkle or "throw" as much of the rub onto both sides of the ribs as desired.
  7. Do not rub the spices in, because the ribs will turn too dark and spicy.
  8. You may have some spices leftover, depending on your taste.
  9. Place aluminum foil on lower rack to capture drippings and prevent flare-ups.
  10. Brush grate with oil, and lay ribs on top rack of grill.
  11. Reduce heat to low, shut grill, and leave undisturbed for 1 hour.
  12. Do not lift lid at all during this time period!
  13. After one hour check for doneness, depending on your grill you may need to continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes (our grill takes one hour exactly). Brush ribs with barbecue sauce and grill an additional few minutes until sauce is slightly absorbed and a little brown around the edges.
  14. Serve ribs as whole rack or cut between bones and pile individual ribs on the platter.


Most Helpful

This review is for the cooking method only as I make and use my own rub and sauce based on Recipe #83678 . I see absolutely no flaw with the rub and at some point I will try it and I will update the review when I do.

I have used this method several times on a few different grills and always with great success.The cooking method works just fine but remember, the times are just a guideline. If your racks of ribs are on the lighter side check them earlier. A good indicator for ribs is when 1/4 of an inch of the bone ends are exposed they should be pretty much done and ready for finishing with sauce. In my opinion and based on experience, if they are "falling off the bone" they are overcooked, if the bone ends are not exposed by at least a quarter inch they are undercooked.

Also remember that this method is for Baby Back Ribs. Spare Ribs (From the underside of the rib cage) are a much tougher cut with more connective tissue and will require long slow cooking to achieve the desired results. I have not tried this method for "Southern Style" ribs yet but I plan to

I noticed one reviewer had a bad experience and they are probably correct in thinking the grill was too hot. I am wondering if maybe they either forgot to turn down the heat or didn't put the ribs on the upper rack of the grill. It is important to Know Your Grill!!!

Bottom Line, This method has not let me down yet and it is the only method I use for grilling Baby Backs.

Isabella's Can Opener July 25, 2012

These were FABULOUS!!! I had never tried to make baby back ribs before because all the other recipes I had seen just seemed like so much work. The only minor adjustment I made was to use a rib rack set on top of the main grilling surface because my top rack was not large enough for all the ribs. We have a 3-burner gas grill and I placed the ribs over the center burner and turned it off, leaving the other 2 burners on for indirect heat. I kept an eye on the temperature (about 280 degress) for the hour that the ribs were on the grill, but I didn't open the lid. They were some of the most tender ribs that I have ever had...anywhere!! I will certainly make these again. Thanks so much for taking the intimidation of ribs away!!!!!!!

momof2sweeties July 05, 2007

Great ribs! I was highly skeptical of the recipe, as others have mentioned. I've always cooked via indirect heat and preferably with either a charcoal or wood burning grill. Well what do you know, this REALLY works. Naturally people can tinker with spices and sauces, but it is the ~1 hour cooking time that is the charm. It seems to take me about 1 hr and 15 minutes, and I'm trying 2 racks at the same time today, so we'll see what that does to the cooking time. For those commenting on "2 levels" of a grill and not ever hearing about this, I've never seen a grill without a 2nd rack. You might think of it as a bread warming rack, it's only 4-5" wide and isn't a whole "second level." Also, for those asking about indirect or not, it's not indirect in this recipe. But by putting tin foil down under them, it is semi-indirect as the heat is somewhat deflected initially, and certainly protected from flare-ups. Many thanks for the great recipe, it's changed my rib grilling technique going forward!!

Seth May 21, 2016

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