How Long Does It Take to Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?


Pellet grills are becoming increasingly popular for cooking ribs due to their many advantages over other grills. Having a consistent temperature that allows you to cook ribs slowly at low temperature for several hours results in flavorful and tender ribs and versatility that can be used for smoking, roasting, and grilling, or the unique and delicious smoky flavor, which can be explored by adding wood pellets such as hickory or mesquite. 

Cooking ribs on a pellet grill takes at most 2 hours to cook until tender but not falling off bones. The ribs are then ready to be consumed. 

Try cooking your ribs on a pellet grill to get that smoky flavor without adding oils or fat. Pellet grills have an electronically controlled hopper that feeds pellets into a fire pot. 

Ready to find out how long it takes to cook ribs on a pellet grill? Then I recommend you follow this article to find out more.

How Long Should I Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?

Ribs cooked on a pellet grill come out tender and flavorful. The cooking time for ribs can vary depending on several factors, such as the thickness of the ribs, the size and the temperature you are cooking at, and your preferred level of doneness. A general thumb rule says you can cook ribs on a pellet grill

Guide on How to Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?

Cooking ribs on a pellet way to achieve a delicious, smoky flavor with minimal effort. Here’s a basic guide on how to cook ribs on a pellet grill. Here’s a basic recipe and cooking guide for ribs on a pellet grill. There are many types of ribs, but for this recipe, we would focus on pork ribs.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 rack of ribs( baby back or spare)
  • Your preferred dry rub 
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Pepper and salt (to taste)
  • The ribs’ seasonings include garlic, onion, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, chili powder, etc.
  • Water

Equipment needed

  • Pellet grill
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil

Instructions

  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F
  • Prepare your ribs by removing the silver skin from the back of the ribs and trimming excess fat.
  • Apply your preferred dry rub or barbecue sauce to both sides of the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on the grill grate bone side down and close the lid.
  • Cook the ribs for 2-3 hours, maintaining a temperature of 225°F
  • After the first 2-3 hours, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil to help keep them moist. Add a bit of liquid, such as apple juice, to the foil for added flavor.
  • Place the wrapped ribs back on the ribs in aluminum foil to help keep them moist. Add a bit of liquid, such as apple juice, to the foil for added flavor.
  • Place the wrapped ribs back on the grill and continue cooking for an additional 1-2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches about 190°F
  • Bring down the ribs from the grill and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

This is a general guide, and the cooking time may vary based on your recipe and preferences. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the ribs reaches a safe temperature of 145°F. Enjoy your delicious pellet-grilled ribs.

What Is the Cooking Time for Ribs on a Pellet Grill

Ribs are as diverse as their cooking time. Each style of ribs has its unique recipe to ensure perfection. It is important to note that cooking times vary depending on the ribs’ thickness and the grill’s temperature. Below is a summarized table:

  RibsCooking Time
Baby back ribs2-3 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)
Spare ribs3-4 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)
St. Louis Style ribs2.5 – 3.5 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)
Beef back ribs3-4 hours at 275-300°F (135-149°C)
Country style ribs1.5-2 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)
Beef short ribs3-4 hours at 275-300°F (135-149°C)
Beef plate ribs4-6 hours at 275-300°F (135-149°C)
Rib Tips1.5 -2 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)
 Lamb’s ribs2-3 hours at 250-275°F (121-135°C)
Venison ribs4-6 hours at 225-250°F (107-121°C)

What Is the Perfect Temperature for Ribs Grilled on a Pellet?

For baby back ribs, a temperature range of 225-250°F is generally recommended. This allows the ribs to cook slowly and evenly, producing tender, juicy meat. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F, which is the minimum safe temperature for pork. Some recipes may call for a slightly higher temperature of 275°F for baby back ribs, but be aware that cooking at a higher temperature may produce drier meat.

Spare ribs, however, can be cooked at a slightly higher temperature range of 250-275°F. This is because spare ribs have more fat than baby back ribs, which can help keep the meat moist even at higher temperatures. As with baby back ribs, it’s important to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F.

Another important factor to consider when grilling ribs on a pellet grill is the type of wood pellets you use. Different types of wood can impart different flavors to the meat, so it’s important to choose a wood pellet that complements the flavor of the ribs. Some popular wood pellets for grilling ribs include hickory, mesquite, and apple.

In addition to the temperature and type of wood pellets, there are a few other tips to remember when grilling ribs on a pellet grill. First, remove the membrane from the back of the ribs before grilling. This will help the rub and smoke penetrate the meat more easily. Second, consider using a rub to add flavor to the meat. Many different types of rubs are available, or you can create your own using a combination of spices, sugar, and salt. Finally, consider wrapping the ribs in foil halfway through the cooking process to help keep them moist.

What Is the Doneness Level for the Perfect Grilled Ribs on a Pellet

The perfect grilled rib’s doneness level on a pellet grill can depend on personal preference. Still, a general guideline for achieving a tender and juicy result is to cook the ribs to an internal temperature of 195°F-203°F (90°-95°C). This can be achieved by cooking for approximately 4-6 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat. 

Here’s a YouTube link to assist you further on how to cook ribs on a pellet grill:

Should I use a rub or marinade for my ribs before grilling them on a pellet grill?

Rub or marinade for your ribs adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat. Apply the rub or marinade a few hours before grilling or even overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

How do I prevent my ribs from drying while grilling on a pellet grill?

Grilling is an amazing way to cook food and add a unique smoky flavor. Pellet grills have become increasingly popular among enthusiasts as they offer a versatile cooking experience. However, one of the common issues that grillers face is drying out their ribs while grilling on a pellet grill. Ribs are one of the most popular items to cook on a grill and can be incredibly tasty if cooked correctly.

1. Brine the Ribs

Brining is a process that involves soaking the meat in a saltwater solution. Brining can add flavor and moisture to your ribs, which can help prevent them from drying out.

To brine your ribs, mix salt, sugar, and other seasonings in water and soak your ribs for at least two hours before grilling.

2. Use a Water Pan

A water pan in your pellet grill can help add moisture to your cooking environment. Place a pan filled with water beneath your ribs while grilling. The water will evaporate and create a humid cooking environment that will help prevent your ribs from drying out.

3. Wrap Your Ribs in Foil

Wrapping your ribs in foil can help prevent moisture loss while grilling. After the ribs have cooked for a couple of hours, wrap them in foil to keep the juices inside. The foil will help to steam the ribs, keeping them moist and tender.

4. Use a Meat Thermometer

Overcooking your ribs can lead to dry and tough meat. A meat thermometer can help you monitor the internal temperature of your ribs, ensuring that they are cooked to perfection. For best results, remove your ribs from the grill when they reach an internal temperature of 195-203°F.

5. Apply a Moisture-Rich BBQ Sauce

Adding a moisture-rich BBQ sauce to your ribs can help prevent them from drying out while grilling. Brush your ribs with BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking. The sauce will create a glaze on your ribs, which will help to lock in moisture and add flavor.

Can I cook different types of ribs on a pellet grill simultaneously?

You can cook different ribs on a pellet grill simultaneously, but adjusting the cooking time and temperature is important. For example, if you’re cooking baby back and spare ribs closer to the heat source, cook them slightly longer to ensure they are fully cooked.

How do I know when my ribs are done on a pellet grill?

The best way to determine if your ribs are done is to check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. Another way to check is to gently tug on the meat with a pair of thongs. If the meat starts pulling away from the bone, it’s a good sign that they are done.

How to Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: moisture-rich BBQ sauce, Pellet grills

Equipment

  • Pellet grill
  • Meat thermometer
  • Aluminum foil

Materials

  • 1-2 rack of ribs( baby back or spare)
  • Your preferred dry rub 
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Pepper and salt (to taste)
  • The ribs’ seasonings include garlic, onion, brown sugar, paprika, cumin, chili powder, etc.
  • Water

Instructions

  • Preheat your pellet grill to 225°F
  • Prepare your ribs by removing the silver skin from the back of the ribs and trimming excess fat.
  • Apply your preferred dry rub or barbecue sauce to both sides of the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on the grill grate bone side down and close the lid.
  • Cook the ribs for 2-3 hours, maintaining a temperature of 225°F
  • After the first 2-3 hours, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil to help keep them moist. Add a bit of liquid, such as apple juice, to the foil for added flavor.
  • Place the wrapped ribs back on the ribs in aluminum foil to help keep them moist. Add a bit of liquid, such as apple juice, to the foil for added flavor.
  • Place the wrapped ribs back on the grill and continue cooking for an additional 1-2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches about 190°F
  • Bring down the ribs from the grill and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Video

Notes

You can use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the ribs reaches a safe temperature of 145°F. Enjoy your delicious pellet-grilled ribs.

Conclusion

Cooking ribs on a pellet grill can be a delicious and enjoyable experience, but it requires patience and attention to detail. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your ribs and your desired level of doneness. Generally speaking, ribs will take 4-6 hours to cook on a pellet grill, but it’s always best to rely on a meat thermometer to determine when they are fully cooked.

Whether you prefer a sweet and sticky barbecue sauce or a dry rub, there are plenty of ways to make your ribs taste amazing on a pellet grill. You can create fall-off-the-bone tender ribs that impress your family and friends by following simple steps. So fire up your pellet grill and enjoy some mouth-watering ribs.

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