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Sweet, spicy and tender--that's what your ribs should be. Learn how to make baby back ribs on the grill that are flavorful and crowd pleasing.

How to make baby back ribs on the grill

You don't need to be a pitmaster to make these baby back ribs on the grill. Fall off the bone tender and just the right amount of sauce, you'll be amazed at how I do it. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 647kcal
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 full rack of baby back ribs
  • 2 tablespoons dry barbecue rub I used Bub's Rub, but it's optional
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce of your choice


  • Bring 2 1/2 to 3 quarts of water to a simmer in a large pot. Remove skins from garlic and smash once but don't chop up. Add to the water along with the bay leaves, onion powder and salt. Allow to simmer while you prep the ribs. 
  • Turn the rack over, bone side up and starting at one end, loosen the layer of connective tissue that lays against the bones. Using a dry paper towel, grasp it and pull in the opposite direction, removing it from the length of the ribs. Cut away any excess fat, and cut the ribs in half so they will fit in the pot. 
  • Add the ribs to the simmering water and cover. Cook on low for an hour to an hour and a half if your ribs are really thick or meaty, or until your ribs are slightly tender when a fork is inserted. Transfer the ribs to a plate to cool for a couple of minutes. You may refrigerate them now, or start your grill. 
  • If grilling them right away, brush with your favorite sauce and cook over medium high flame or coals until just starting to char on one side--about 6 minutes--then turn and cook another 6 or until the ribs are hot throughout. 
  • Allow the ribs to rest 5 minutes before cutting and serving. 


Calories: 647kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 65g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 251mg | Sodium: 1413mg | Potassium: 1090mg | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2.9mg