Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

This ribs on the charcoal grill recipe covers any type of beef or port ribs on the charcoal grill. This is a part of our Grilling on Charcoal article and also is shown in our Grilling section. Keep reading for some frequent questions answered.

This covers a ton of options for how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill. BBQ sauce or dry rub. Faster cooking, slow, or smoked. Beef or pork.
Ribs on Charcoal Grill Recipe

About Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

See the good notes in the recipe for ribs on the charcoal grill to guide you when to turn ribs on the charcoal grill, cover the grill, temps to maintain, and timings.

How to Prepare Ribs for the Charcoal Grill

To prepare ribs for the charcoal grill, you first rinse off the slab of meat. Then, you pat it somewhat dry with paper towels. After this, you rub on the seasonings, all sides. Finally, and it’s an option I use, you can carve off sets of 3-4 ribs. Or, you can carve off each individual rib. This makes it significantly easier to eat for everyone. Plus, it gives more cooked edges that add tons of flavor. After all this, they’re ready to go onto the preheated charcoal grill.

And someone else carves them individually too! And, here’s a smoking method that’s fantastic. So, check it out at “Individually Smoked Pork Ribs“. It’s by Christie Vanover at Girls Can Grill. It’s shown with easy to follow steps and great pics.

You can carve ribs individually and then apply the rub. Or, as a second option, you can carve the individual ribs, place them in a bowl, and toss them to coat with the rub seasonings.

Preparing Carved Individual Ribs on Cutting Board
Preparing Carved Individual Ribs on Cutting Board
Preparing Ribs for Apply Spices Rub in Bowl
Preparing Ribs to Apply Spices Rub in Bowl
Preparing Ribs by Applying Rub Individually
Individual Ribs Prepared by Applying Rub Individually

Questions on How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Here are some common questions regarding how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill. It covers how long and some items regarding the use of dry rubs.

How long to cook ribs on a charcoal grill wrapped in foil?

When wrapped in foil, reduce the time by about 1/3. So, while still on indirect heat, these would take about 40 minutes, if the grill cooking temp is about 350-375F. They’ll be more tender if you go for a full hour. They will cook faster if you put them on direct heat (open lid) for the first 10 minutes (in foil) and then turn them and conclude on indirect heat (closed grill lid).

How long do you cook ribs on a grill at 300 degrees?

This is how long to grill ribs at 300 degrees F. It usually is not less than 90 minutes and it will conclude after 2 hours. That’s if maintaining that temp, grill lid covered, and turning ribs once half-way through, all while on indirect heat.

Here’s our article on “How To Keep The Weber Charcoal Grill Hot” while grilling or smoking for those longer sessions.

Can you make smoking beef ribs on the charcoal grill?

Yes, you can smoke beef ribs on a charcoal grill. Also, you can smoke pork ribs. With that said, you can do any type if you can maintain the temp and keep the charcoal refilled appropriately. However, pork is faster and potentially is about 1/2 hour shorter.

You cook any type on indirect heat, at about 250-275 degrees for about 3-4 hours. Usually, you’ll have to refill the charcoal about every 1 hour and 15 minutes. So, after refilling, turn the ribs while the grill cover is open. Normally, maintain the grill with a covered lid in place during cooking. And, here’s a great charcoal grill smoking method shown on “Smoking Pork Ribs on the Weber Kettle“.

How do you have dry rub ribs on a charcoal grill?

You can follow the above recipe using no BBQ sauce. However, there’s one slight change. Initially, when placing the ribs to cook, put them on Direct Heat (on the grill over the charcoal) for about 5 minutes (open lid), turn it once and repeat for another side. Then, turn again and place onto indirect heat. Finish them out for about another 45-65 minutes, grill covered, no more turning, maintaining temp about 350-375 degrees F.

How To Manage The Sauce for BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

Manage the sauce for BBQ ribs on a charcoal grill by putting it on at least twice. But, you don’t put it on the ribs as soon as you put them on the grill. Actually, you brush on the barbecue sauce about 20-30 minutes before they’re done. That way, because of the sugar in the sauce, it doesn’t burn up. The 2nd time you apply it is a few minutes before they’re done. And this is when you brush it on and put the ribs on direct heat for about 1 minute. Then, turn them, and brush again. After 1 more minute, they come off.

Instead of regular BBQ sauce, you can use this Enhanced BBQ Sauce or this Southern FAST Vinegar-based BBQ Sauce.

Cook These Extras Alongside Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

Add this side of corn on the cob on the grill at the last 20 minutes of the ribs’ cooking time. Also, if you have grill space, you could add some Brats for indirect heat for that last 30-40 minutes.

Sides To Go With BBQ Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

Here are some good ideas for sides that go great with barbecued ribs

Nutritional Values of BBQ Ribs on the Charcoal Grill

The calories for a good serving of Pork Ribs, including the BBQ sauce and dry rub, are about a little under 700 calories. I show more nutritional values in the <Print Recipe> option.


Now you know how to cook BBQ Ribs on the charcoal grill. And, you’ve learned several options about how long to cook ribs on a charcoal grill. It doesn’t take long, following this method. So, uplift your weekend and plan to cook ribs on a charcoal grill now.

Ribs on Charcoal Grill Recipe

Recipe for How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill

This covers a ton of options for how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill. BBQ sauce or dry rub. Faster cooking, slow, or smoked. Beef or pork.
5 from 6 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 689kcal

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  • 4 lbs country style ribs country style w/bone or ⅔ amount if boneless
  • 10 oz BBQ Sauce is about ½ of 18 oz bottle

Rub Option 1: Basic Rub Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

Rub Option 2: Dry Rub for Pork


  • Preheat the grill to be able to cook around 325°-375°F. for about an hour or more (plenty of charcoal). Rinse the rib slab(s) and place on a large cutting board.
    Ribs on Cutting Board 250x200 1
  • Choose just one "Rub Option" and combine the spices into a small dish. Rub spices onto the ribs, both sides.
    1 tsp Ground Black Pepper, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp Garlic Powder
    Ribs After Spice Rub Applied 230x200 1
  • Choose 1 option: Leave as slabs (uncut), or cut into individual slabs (serving portions), or cut into individual ribs.
    Ribs Rubbed and in Bowl 200x200 1
  • Place the ribs on the grill on indirect heat (not directly over the charcoal). Close grill lid. Use vents to control cooking heat to be about 325-375°F.
    In ½ hour, turn the ribs, brush BBQ sauce (or enhanced BBQ sauce) on top, and close lid again.
    In another ½ hour, brush BBQ sauce on top, then turn the ribs and brush that side. Decide how much longer to cook, if any. It will usually be dependent on the ribs size and the temperature having been maintained. For larger, meatier ribs or lower cooking temps, cover the grill and potentially finish in 10-30 minutes. They will be more tender if you go the full 30 minutes.
    Bbq Ribs on 1st Turn 200x200 1


Options of pork or beef, bone-in or boneless.  The example uses country style, bone-in.  Ribs with bone-in generally taste a bit better than boneless.  Usually, you serve about 1 pound of ribs per person.  You can serve about 1/2 to 2/3 amount if using boneless ribs.


Calories: 689kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 218mg | Sodium: 917mg | Potassium: 1133mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 225IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us all know how it was!
SOURCE: DarnGoodRecipes.com™

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