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Tips on how to grill tender, moist spareribs

Updated on December 13, 2014
Photograph by Faye Mitchell
Photograph by Faye Mitchell

Mouth watering barbequed ribs

Whether you like your barbequed spare ribs blackened or just nicely caramelized – you do want them fully cooked, tender and moist.

The biggest mistake is to grill your ribs to fast. They will be brown on the outside and barely done on the inside with the meat sticking to the bone not falling off as it should.

Before you start you must decide which kind of barbeque sauce you are going to use. There are two kinds.

  • Barbeque sauce that has very little sugar or honey (about 1 teaspoon) so you can baste the ribs as they bake on the grill without burning.
  • Barbeque sauce with a large amount amount of honey or sugar (about 1 cup). This sauce should be applied toward the end of griling because the sugar will burn.

Now you are ready for the grill

The secret to tender juicy spareribs is to cook them slow. Therefore instead of putting the ribs in the middle of the grill where the heat is highest, you must put them around the edge. Put the lid on to keep the fire from getting to hot and turn them often. If you are using the low sugar barbeque sauce keep basting.

This will take 2 to 2 1/2 hours. When the fork goes through the meat easily it is time to make the finishing touches. The key here is they are fully cooked, tender and almost falling off the bone. Once they are fully cooked you may finish them off any way you like.

If you like your ribs blackened move them to the middle of the grill blacken them and then add the sauce, or put the sauce on and move them to the middle to get a blackened effect. Always keep the lid on and check often so they do not burn. Again keep the lid on because this keeps the fire from getting to hot.

If you want your ribs nicely caramelized and not blackened or burned keep them on the edge of your grill with the lid on. You may also put them in a baking pan or iron skillet and place them in the middle of the grill with the lid on until they are just right according to you.


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    • lisadpreston profile image


      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      yummy! I usually get the thicker ribs and i never have the patience to grill for 2 to 3 hours and usually have 10 or 20 people yelling, "IS IT DONE YET?", SO i BOIL MY RIBS FIRST FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES WITH MY FAVORITE SPICES, THEN I LOAD THE SAUCE AND CARMELIZE FOR ABOUT 40 MINUTES ON THE GRILL. yOURS, HOWEVER, DO LOOK PICTURE PERFECT.

    • profile image

      Gladys Wentzel 

      8 years ago

      I tried making the ribs like you said >>they turned out wonderful>>am looking forward for more recipes from you >>thank you

    • daughterson profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Mitchell 

      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Thank you jessimac I appreciate your comment.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Sounds yummy.

    • daughterson profile imageAUTHOR

      Faye Mitchell 

      8 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Thank you both for your comments. Since this is my first hub I must admit I was a little apprehensive. This positive feedback makes me feel inspired. Thank you.

    • lafenty profile image


      9 years ago from California

      Yum. I love ribs, but have always had trouble making them. You make it sound so easy. I will have to try it.

    • christine almaraz profile image

      christine almaraz 

      9 years ago from colorado springs

      Looks sooooo good.


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