FoodMaster the grill: How to achieve fall-off-the-bone tender ribs

Master the grill: How to achieve fall-off-the-bone tender ribs

Grilled ribs
Grilled ribs
Images source: © Adobe Stock

11:18 AM EDT, May 6, 2024

Juicy and tender grilled ribs, effortlessly falling off the bone, with a slightly crispy glaze and spicy notes... you can achieve this American dream right in your backyard using a simple grill. With this flavorful marinade, let the ribs work their magic on the grill for a while. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Grilled ribs primarily need time - first, to marinate overnight, and then to cook. This process is worth dedicating several hours to, ranging from two to even six hours for larger, meatier pieces. Keeping a low temperature is also crucial. Armed with patience and this knowledge, you'll create dream-like ribs.

Choosing the right ribs for grilling

Look for meat that's light pink with even marbling. Ensure the meat isn't overly fatty, nor too lean or thin (where the layer of meat is less than about 0.4 inches thick). If it is, the grilled ribs may turn out dry and tough.

How to make fall-off-the-bone ribs on the grill?

Marinating the ribs ahead of time is a wise move. Below is a recipe for a simple, yet tasty sweet and spicy marinade ideal for ribs. You can apply this marinade during grilling but only do so 30 minutes before the end of cooking to prevent burning due to the sugar content.

To achieve ribs that fall off the bone, cook them long and at a low temperature, ideally between 225 to 300°F. The cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the ribs, but usually, at least 2 hours are necessary. Make sure the meat isn't placed directly over the fire (to avoid burning). To check if the ribs are ready, use tongs to gently tug on one end of a rib bone. If it loosens easily, the ribs are done.

Recipe for tender and juicy grilled ribs in a sweet and spicy marinade


Perfectly juicy grilled ribs
Perfectly juicy grilled ribs© Pixabay
  • 2.2 pounds of pork ribs,
  • 3 tablespoons of honey,
  • 10 tablespoons of soy sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice,
  • 6 tablespoons of olive or canola oil,
  • 2 teaspoons of hot paprika ground + 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika.


  1. Cut the ribs into smaller pieces. Optionally, remove the membrane on the bone side.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients. Submerge the meat in the marinade and let it sit for a few hours, ideally overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. For best results, grill the ribs at a low temperature (between 225 to 300°F) for several hours.
  4. Place the meat on the grate or in trays, ensuring it is not directly over the fire. Cover the grill and maintain a low temperature.
  5. Turn the meat every hour, adding an extra layer of marinade only before the final moments of grilling.
  6. Continue grilling the ribs for at least 2 hours. The meat is ready when the bone detaches from it easily.
Related content