how to cook spare ribs on gas grill

Table of Contents

1. What are spare ribs and how are they different from other cuts of pork ribs?

Spare ribs are a flavorful and meaty cut of pork ribs that come from the belly area of the pig. They are different from other cuts of pork ribs, such as baby back ribs, because they have more connective tissue and a higher fat content, which results in a richer taste and tender texture when properly cooked.

2. How should I select and prepare spare ribs for grilling?

When selecting spare ribs, look for ones that have a good amount of meat on them and relatively even thickness. To prepare the spare ribs for grilling, start by removing the thin membrane on the bone side of the ribs. This can be achieved by gently lifting the membrane with a knife or using a paper towel to grasp it and pulling it off. Trimming any excess fat from the ribs can also help enhance the flavor and prevent flare-ups during grilling.

3. What should be the ideal marinating time for spare ribs?

Marinating spare ribs is an optional step, but it can add an extra layer of flavor to the meat. Ideally, you should marinate spare ribs for at least 2 to 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the marinade to penetrate the meat and impart its flavors.

4. Which is the best marinade for spare ribs?

The best marinade for spare ribs largely depends on personal preference. However, a classic combination includes a mixture of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and various spices. You can also experiment with barbecue sauces, teriyaki marinades, or dry rubs to create your own unique flavors.

5. Should I preheat my gas grill before cooking spare ribs?

Yes, preheating the gas grill is crucial before cooking spare ribs. It helps to ensure even cooking and prevents the meat from sticking to the grates. Preheat the grill to medium heat, around 275-300°F (135-150°C), with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes.

6. Can spare ribs be cooked using the indirect grilling method on a gas grill?

Absolutely! Cooking spare ribs using the indirect grilling method on a gas grill is a popular technique. It involves placing the ribs on the grill grates away from the direct heat source, allowing them to cook slowly and evenly. This method helps to render the fat and tenderize the meat while preventing it from getting burnt.

7. How long does it take to grill spare ribs on a gas grill?

The cooking time for spare ribs on a gas grill can vary depending on the temperature and thickness of the ribs. On average, it takes about 2 to 3 hours to grill spare ribs using the indirect grilling method. However, it’s essential to use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches a safe minimum of 145°F (63°C) for pork.

8. Should I use a rib rack while grilling spare ribs on a gas grill?

Using a rib rack is not necessary but can be beneficial when grilling spare ribs. A rib rack allows the ribs to cook vertically, maximizing the available space on the grill. It also promotes more even heat circulation, resulting in uniformly cooked ribs. However, if you don’t have a rib rack, you can lay the ribs directly on the grates.

9. How often should I flip or rotate the spare ribs while grilling?

It’s generally recommended to flip or rotate the spare ribs every 30 minutes during the grilling process. This helps to ensure even cooking and prevents one side from becoming overly charred. However, be gentle when handling the ribs to avoid tearing the meat or losing too much moisture.

10. What temperature should the gas grill be set to for grilling spare ribs?

For grilling spare ribs on a gas grill, it is best to set the heat to medium (around 275-300°F or 135-150°C). This moderate temperature allows the ribs to cook slowly and evenly without the risk of burning or drying out.

11. Should spare ribs be basted with sauce during grilling?

Basting spare ribs with sauce during grilling is a matter of personal preference. If you enjoy a saucier rib, you can begin brushing the ribs with your preferred barbecue sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking. However, keep in mind that the sugars in the sauce can quickly burn, so it’s essential to monitor the ribs closely to prevent charring.

12. How can I tell if spare ribs are done cooking?

To determine if spare ribs are done cooking, you can use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch the bone. The internal temperature should read at least 145°F (63°C) for pork. Another indication of doneness is when the meat starts to pull away from the bones, revealing about half an inch of bone.

13. Is there a recommended resting time for spare ribs after grilling?

Yes, it’s crucial to allow spare ribs to rest for about 10 minutes after grilling. This resting period helps the meat retain its juices, making it more tender and flavorful. You can loosely tent the ribs with aluminum foil during the resting time to keep them warm.

14. Can spare ribs be cooked in advance and reheated?

Yes, spare ribs can be cooked in advance and reheated later. After grilling, let the ribs cool to room temperature, wrap them tightly in foil or place them in an airtight container, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat the ribs in a preheated oven at a low temperature (around 250°F or 120°C) for approximately 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

15. What are some popular side dishes to serve with spare ribs?

There are numerous delicious side dishes that pair well with spare ribs. Some popular options include coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, potato salad, grilled vegetables, macaroni and cheese, or a fresh green salad. The choice of side dishes will depend on personal preferences and the overall meal you desire.

16. Can spare ribs be cooked using a charcoal grill instead of a gas grill?

Definitely! Spare ribs can be cooked with equal success on a charcoal grill. Simply follow the same steps and techniques mentioned earlier, adjusting the temperature by adjusting the vents and adding charcoal as needed. The indirect grilling method works exceptionally well on a charcoal grill too.

17. Are there any alternative cooking methods for spare ribs if I don’t have a gas or charcoal grill?

Yes, there are alternative cooking methods for spare ribs if you don’t have a gas or charcoal grill. Spare ribs can be baked in the oven at a low temperature (around 275°F or 135°C) for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Another option is using a slow cooker or a smoker to achieve tender and flavorful ribs.

18. Can spare ribs be cooked using a marinade injection method?

While the marinade injection method is more commonly used for larger cuts of meat, such as whole hogs or briskets, it can also be applied to spare ribs. By injecting a flavorful marinade into the meat using a meat injector syringe, you can infuse additional flavors and moisture. However, this method is optional and not necessary for deliciously grilled spare ribs.

19. Can spare ribs be cooked using a glaze instead of sauce?

Yes, spare ribs can be cooked using a glaze instead of a traditional barbecue sauce. A glaze is a shiny, sticky coating made by reducing a flavorful liquid, such as fruit juices, honey, or maple syrup. Glazing the spare ribs during the last few minutes of grilling adds a glossy finish and a touch of sweetness without burning easily.

20. Can spare ribs be cooked using a sous vide method before grilling?

Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing the food in a bag and cooking it at a precise temperature in a water bath. While it is not a common method for cooking spare ribs, you can certainly use the sous vide method to partially cook the ribs before grilling. This technique helps to tenderize the meat and retain its natural juices before placing the ribs on the grill for a final touch of flavor and char.

21. Can spare ribs be frozen after cooking?

Yes, spare ribs can be frozen after cooking. If you plan to freeze the ribs, allow them to cool completely, wrap them tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by aluminum foil, and place them in a freezer-safe bag or container. Properly stored, the cooked ribs can last for up to 3 months in the freezer. To reheat, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and follow the reheating instructions mentioned earlier.

22. Are spare ribs only suitable for grilling or can they be cooked by other methods?

Spare ribs are versatile and can be cooked using various methods other than grilling. They can be slow-cooked in the oven, braised on the stovetop, or even smoked to achieve different textures and flavors. Additionally, spare ribs can be coated in a dry rub and cooked in the oven for a delicious alternative to traditional grilled ribs.

23. Can spare ribs be cooked using a sweet and tangy glaze?

Absolutely! A sweet and tangy glaze can be a delightful addition to spare ribs. The combination of sweetness and tanginess adds a balanced flavor profile that complements the natural richness of the meat. Consider using ingredients like honey, ketchup, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and a touch of Worcestershire sauce to create the perfect glaze.

24. Can spare ribs be brined before grilling?

While brining is not a common practice for spare ribs, it can certainly be done to enhance the tenderness and flavor of the meat. Brining involves submerging the ribs in a saltwater solution, along with optional herbs, spices, and sugar, for several hours to overnight. The brine helps to break down muscle fibers, resulting in juicier and more flavorful spare ribs.

25. Are spare ribs the same as St. Louis-style ribs?

No, spare ribs and St. Louis-style ribs are not the same. St. Louis-style ribs are actually a specific cut of spare ribs. They are trimmed to remove the rib tips and the sternum bone, leaving a rectangular-shaped rack of ribs. The removal of these parts creates a more consistent cooking surface and removes some of the excess cartilage. St. Louis-style ribs are highly popular in barbecue competitions and are known for their meatiness and tenderness.


I'm William from America, I'm a food lover, often discovering and making new recipes. I started my blog to share my love for food with others. My blog is filled with delicious recipes, cooking tips, and reviews about restaurants and products. I'm also an advocate for healthy eating and strive to create recipes that are easy to make and use fresh ingredients. Many of my recipes contain vegetables or grains as the main ingredients, with a few indulgences thrown in for good measure. I often experiment with new ingredients, adding international flavors and finding ways to make dishes healthier without compromising on flavour. I'm passionate about creating simple yet delicious recipes that are fun to make and can easily be replicated at home. I also love sharing my experiences eating out with others so they can get the best out of their dining experiences. In addition to cooking and writing, I'm also an avid traveler, often visiting new places to discover local delicacies and explore different flavors. I'm always looking for a new challenge – whether it's trying an exotic food or creating a new recipe using unusual ingredients. My blog is a reflection of my passion for food and I'm always looking for new ways to share it with the world. Join me on my culinary journey and let's explore delicious foods together!

Related Articles

Back to top button