How Long Does It Take to Grill Beef Ribs to Perfection?

Grilling beef ribs may seem intimidating, but with the right techniques, it can result in incredibly tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs bursting with smoky, barbecue flavors. The cooking time for grilled beef ribs depends on a few factors, but generally ranges from 1.5-3 hours.

An Introduction to Beef Ribs

Beef ribs come from the rib section of a cow. The most common ribs used are:

  • Back ribs – Cut from the ribeye section, back ribs contain a good amount of meat between bones. Back ribs are the ideal choice for grilling.

  • Short ribs – Short ribs are cut across the bone into short, flat pieces. They contain less meat and are better suited for braising.

  • Flanken ribs – Flanken or Korean-style ribs are sliced across the bone into thin cuts. They can be grilled or braised.

For grilling, opt for meaty back ribs or flanken ribs. Look for racks with around 1 inch of meat between bones. Figure on 2 racks (16 ribs) for 4-5 people.

The Keys to Perfectly Grilled Beef Ribs

Follow these tips for grilled beef ribs with incredible texture:

  • Remove membranes – Beef ribs have a tough membrane on the bone side. Use a knife to loosen it, then pull it off for tender ribs.

  • Season generously – Flavorful spices form a crust on the ribs. Use a dry rub, or just salt and pepper.

  • Slow and low – Low, indirect heat around 275°F makes the ribs tender. Higher heat will cause toughness.

  • Watch your temps – Maintain an even temperature on your grill for best results. Add coals as needed.

  • Brush with sauce at the end – Adding sauce too early will burn it. Brush it on during the last 15-30 minutes.

How Long Should You Grill Beef Ribs?

Beef back ribs and flanken ribs cook low and slow at around 275°F. The general timeline is:

  • 1.5-2 hours for medium rare ribs
  • 2-2.5 hours for medium ribs
  • 2.5-3 hours for well done/fall-off-the-bone ribs

So for super tender, pull-off-the-bone ribs, plan on around 2.5-3 hours total grilling time. If you prefer your ribs less done, start checking for doneness after 1.5 hours.

Just remember – low, indirect heat and patience are key! Resist the urge to rush the process or crank up the heat.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Grilled Beef Ribs

Follow this simple process for mouthwatering grilled beef ribs every time:

1. Prepare the Grill

  • For a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side. For a gas grill, turn burners to low on one side. Aim for around 275°F.

  • Add soaked wood chips if desired. Hickory, pecan, or apple wood work well.

  • Clean the grates and brush them with oil to prevent sticking.

2. Prep the Ribs

  • Remove the membrane from the bone side of the ribs.

  • Trim off any excess fat or flap meat.

  • Cut racks into individual ribs.

  • Generously season ribs all over with a spice rub or just salt and pepper.

3. Grill the Ribs

  • Arrange ribs meaty-side up on the cool side of the grill, not directly over the coals or lit burners.

  • Close the lid and grill for 1.5-3 hours, until ribs are tender. Maintain even heat around 275°F.

  • After 2 hours, start occasionally brushing ribs with barbecue sauce.

  • For charring, move ribs directly over the heat for just 1-2 minutes per side at the very end.

4. Rest and Serve

  • Transfer ribs to a platter and tent loosely with foil.

  • Let rest for 5-10 minutes to allow juices to absorb.

  • Slice ribs between bones and serve! Pass extra barbecue sauce.

Oven Instructions for Beef Ribs

You can also make tender, saucy beef ribs in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 300°F. Season ribs as desired.

  • Arrange ribs meaty-side up on a baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 1 hour.

  • Wrap ribs tightly in foil and bake 1.5 hours more.

  • Unwrap, brush with sauce and broil 2-3 minutes per side to caramelize.

Choosing the Perfect Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce adds sticky sweetness and bold flavor. Use your favorite bottled sauce, or make your own. Opt for sweeter, fruity sauces to complement the beef. Try recipes with:

  • Ketchup
  • Brown sugar or molasses
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Fruit purees like peach, mango or cherry
  • Warm spices like chili powder, cumin or mustard

Handy Serving Tips for Grilled Beef Ribs

  • Let ribs rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting to maximize juiciness.

  • Cut between the bones to separate ribs for easy eating.

  • Pair ribs with classic barbecue sides like cornbread, coleslaw, baked beans and potato salad.

  • Leftover ribs keep well refrigerated for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven.

  • For make-ahead ribs, grill until tender then refrigerate. Reheat quickly on the grill before serving.

More Delicious Beef Rib Recipes

If you love beef ribs, try these tasty recipe ideas:

  • Korean Grilled Beef Short Ribs – Thinly sliced across the bone and grilled with an Asian-inspired marinade.

  • Braised Beef Short Ribs – Slow cooked in flavorful liquid for ultra-tender, fall-apart ribs.

  • Instant Pot Beef Ribs – Cooked in a pressure cooker for convenient fall-off-the-bone ribs.

  • Texas-Style Smoked Beef Ribs – Rubbed with chili spice blend and smoked low and slow for hours.

  • Red Wine Braised Beef Back Ribs – Simmered in an herby red wine sauce for finger-licking ribs.

  • Beef Back Ribs with Peach Barbecue Sauce – Grilled ribs glazed with a sweet and tangy homemade peach sauce.


With the right preparation, beef ribs can go from tough to melt-in-your-mouth tender during a low, slow grill or smoke. For ultimate texture, maintain an even temperature and allow 1.5-3 hours cooking time depending on desired doneness. Brush with sauce near the end, never at the beginning. Rest the ribs before serving, then enjoy this truly finger-licking barbecue treat.

Cook the Perfect Juicy Beef Ribs Every Time | Dino Ribs


How long does it take to fully cook ribs on the grill?

Depending on the heat of your grill, your ribs should take about 1 ½ to 2 hours in total. Use visual cues to know when your ribs are done—you want them to be tender and easily pierced with a fork, but not completely falling off the bone.

How long to cook beef ribs on grill at 350?

Grilling Beef Back Ribs For fall-off-the-bone ribs, we suggest grilling these the slow way at 225 degrees up to 3 hours. Don’t forget to add the barbecue sauce for perfect caramelization. Cook them the fast way from 1 1/2 to 2 hours at 350 degrees.

Do you flip beef ribs on the grill?

Place ribs directly on clean grill grate and grill for 2 hours, rotating every 45 minutes or so to ensure even cooking. After two hours, remove ribs from the grill and wrap tightly in foil. Add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to each rib pack. Return to grill for another 2 hours, rotating every 30-45 minutes.

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