When it comes to making boneless pork ribs on the grill, there are two general ways to cook these hearty slabs of meat, cut from the rib end of the sirloin muscle. Country-style pork ribs, which come both boneless and bone-in, are meaty enough to cook with a few minutes on a hot grill.
However, boneless country-style ribs on the grill also become extremely tender when allowed to cook slowly over indirect heat, melting the fatty connective tissues in the meat. Choose a method based on the amount of time and patience you have.
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Prepping the Ribs
Step 1: Add a Rub
Drizzle canola oil lightly onto the boneless country-style ribs, then cover them generously with a dry rub, pressing it firmly into the ribs to help it stick.
You can use a prepared dry rub or you can make your own, starting with an equal amount of sugar and salt, then adding in flavorful dry seasonings, such as garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric and cayenne pepper, by the teaspoonful.
Step 2: Make a Marinade
Place the seasoned ribs in a large dish. You can also use a marinade for pork ribs on the grill, as an added layer of flavor. As an added benefit, using marinade reduces the amount of carcinogens produced during grilling, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
To make a marinade, combine an equal amount of olive oil and an acidic component, such as wine, citrus juice, or vinegar, then add in seasonings and aromatics like black pepper, minced garlic and fresh herbs to your taste.
When using a marinade, avoid placing your meat in a metal bowl. The acid from the marinade can interact with the metal to cause chemical poisoning, according to Michigan State University.
Step 3: Cover the Meat
Cover the dish holding the ribs with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Remove the ribs from the refrigerator an hour before you light the grill to allow them to fully come to room temperature.
Make Quick Grilled Pork Ribs
Step 1: Prep the Grill
Prepare your grill for medium-high direct heat, filling the bottom of a charcoal grill with charcoal and brushing the grill grates with canola oil. Light the charcoal and close the lid, using the vents to adjust the temperature.
If you are using a gas grill, you only need to turn the burner to a medium-high temperature, about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and close the lid.
Step 2: Grill the Meat
Place the ribs on the grill, directly over the flames. Grill for about 8 to 10 minutes on one side, then turn them over using barbecue tongs and grill the other side for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 3: Add Some Sauce
Brush the ribs with a prepared barbecue sauce on both sides a few minutes before you take them off the grill. The ribs must be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145 F for safe consumption, according to the USDA. Use a meat thermometer to get an accurate reading.
Try Low and Slow Grilling
Step 1: Set Up Indirect Grilling
Prepare your charcoal grill for indirect heat by placing a drip pan in the center of your grill's bottom, filled partially with water, then pile charcoal on either side of the pan. For a gas grill, turn on one side of the grill only.
Bring the temperature of the grill to about 250 F. Keep the lid closed and use the vents to maintain the grill's temperature. Brush the grill grates for either type of grill with canola oil.
Step 2: Cook the Ribs
Place the ribs on the grill over the drip pan on a charcoal grill, or on the unlit side of a gas grill. Close the lid and cook for about 90 minutes.
Step 3: Turn and Brush
Turn the ribs over after 90 minutes. At this point you can brush the ribs with a barbecue sauce of your choice, on both sides. Continue basting the ribs every 30 minutes or so.
Cook for a total of 3 to 5 hours, including the first 90 minutes, until the ribs are extremely tender and just starting to fall apart.
Things You'll Need
Dry rub seasoning
Cooking the ribs on a medium temperature in the oven before adding them to the grill is a faster way to get very tender country-style ribs.
To impart a smoky flavor to the ribs, add damp wood chips on top of the charcoal, once they ashen, or in a smoker box placed on a gas grill. Pork works best with slightly-sweet flavored woods such as birch, cherry and applewood.