The Secret To Moist, Tender, Fall-Off-The-Bone Ribs Every Time

Cooking ribs can be tricky. Do it right, and you’ve got flavorful, tender meat that is pretty much what dreams are made of — but one false move and you’ll be stuck eating rubbery, tough flesh that’s too chewy to even enjoy.

Rib meat is fairly tough to begin with, and it needs a long time to break down and become tender. Which is why everyone can agree that it’s important to master the art of perfect ribs. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some tips from the pros on how to have mouth-watering ribs each and every time–no matter if you use the oven or the grill.

On The Grill

Tip #1: Precook the ribs
Most people place their ribs directly on the grill after they marinate. Though this will produce delicious ribs, we recommend precooking them in the oven first. Wrap the ribs in foil, and place them in the oven at 300 degrees F for 45 minutes. Precooking them helps intensify the flavor and naturally brings out the juices, ensuring your ribs will be anything but dry.

Tip #2: Use Indirect Heat
Place the ribs over indirect, medium heat on your grill. The temperature should be about 325 degrees F. Cover the grill, and cook the ribs for approximately two hours.

What is indirect heat? The cooking does not take place directly over the heat. If you’re using a gas grill, turn on half the burners, and place the ribs on the unheated side. If you’re using a charcoal grill, wait until the coals are nice and gray with no flame but still hot. This allows them to cook more slowly and evenly and makes it less likely for them to burn.

Do not check on the ribs for the first 30 minutes — this is crucial! If you open the grill too many times, you put the ribs at risk of drying out.

After the two hours are up, use a fork to make sure the ribs pull off the bone easily. If so, they are done. If you’re using barbecue sauce, now is the time to slather the ribs in it.

In The Oven

Tip #1: Add A Bit Of Smoke
One thing that you don’t get with the oven method is the smoky barbecue flavor you’d get on the grill. Sad, but true. So, in order to capture a bit of that delicious smokey flavor, add some extra smoked paprika to your spice rub or mix some liquid smoke to your marinade and you’ll be set.

Tip #2: Broil and Bake
It’s important not to just “bake” the ribs. Adding a combination of broiling and baking makes the rips come out juicier and more tender.

First, arrange an oven rack a few inches below the heating element and heat the broiler. Make sure the meaty side of the ribs is facing…