Learning how to make ribs at home is a trial-and-error endeavor. It’s not quite as easy as slathering a rack of ribs with sauce and flopping them on the grill. The good news is that once you dial in a method and recipe there are few dishes as crowd-pleasing. Nothing else has the ability to bring your guests together like a meal of well-seasoned and fatty meat still on the bone and just off the flame. There’s something almost primordial about the whole experience that fits perfectly at a backyard barbecue.
The beauty of a great rack of ribs is found in the versatility. You can go a lot of directions during each step of the process –from picking out the best meats, how you pre-season, your sauces, and then how you slow-cook and eventually sear the rack. You can go big or more nuanced with flavors. The options are virtually endless.
To help you make these big, meaty decisions, we thought we’d assemble a list of the tried-and-true tricks and practices we like to employ when grilling up a rack or two of ribs. Are these hard-and-fast rules? Not so much. Think of these tips more as guidelines that will help you find your own path and dial in your favorite recipes.