How to make Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

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Summer has arrived in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and it's marked by all of the great BBQ smells wafting through the air.  One of my favorite things to barbecue on the grill are Smithfield Extra Tender Back Ribs.   

The finished ribs with a bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce and the title in the lower corner.

I realize that grilling ribs can seem incredibly intimidating, but I have a foolproof method  that ensures your ribs will come out pit master perfect EVERY TIME!  You don't even need to have any fancy equipment.  You're going to love this recipe so...

Let's Get Started!

When I'm going to make great ribs, Smithfield Tender Backs are my secret weapon.  You can't go wrong with their hand-trimmed, extra tender and juicy ribs with no added hormones or steroids.  

All the items need to make the BBQ RIBS in Walmart.
I pick my ribs up from the pork section of the meat department in my local Walmart, grabbed some KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce, and some Kingsford Charcoal.  Next it was time to get home to get this backyard BBQ started!

Perfect BBQ Baby Back Ribs on a grill:
*Prep Time: 30  *Cook Time: 1 hour *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  One Rack of Ribs


The ingredients needed to make the BBQ Ribs.

  • 1 rack of Smithfield Extra Tender Pork Back Ribs
  • 1 Bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Heavy Duty Foil

To begin you will need to remove the rack of ribs from the packaging and pat it dry with a paper towel.  To make them a little more manageable for grilling, I like to cut my rack of ribs in half.

Mustard being rubbed onto the baby back ribs.

Now rub a thin layer of mustard all over the top side of the ribs.
This will help to tenderize the meat, as well as give it some great flavor.

The spice rub for the baby back ribs.

Speaking of flavor, we are going to make a delicious spice run for our ribs, so combine the brown sugar, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl.

The spice rub on the top of the baby back ribs.

Now LIBERALLY sprinkle the spice run on the top half of the ribs and rub it in (hence the name spice RUB).

The spice rub on the bottom of the baby back ribs.

Now flip them over and LIBERALLY season the bottom half of the ribs.

Okay, so this where I am about to BLOW YOUR MIND!

So often we fall into the trap of thinking that great ribs have to cook low and slow for HOURS on end to get great flavor.  I'm here to tell you that you can have these ribs done and on your table in ONE HOUR!  Yes ONE HOUR!  The trick is to fully cook the meat on the grill in a foil pouch, THEN caramelize it on the outside with the sauce.

Let me show you what I mean.

Cooking spray being sprayed on the foil for the ribs.

Get TWO sheets of HEAVY DUTY foil and place them on top of one another.

Spray the top sheet with some cooking spray.

The seasoned half rack of ribs placed on the foil.

Place the seasoned half rack of ribs, top side up, on the foil.

The first layer of foil for the baby back ribs.

Fold the foil around it into a packet.

The half rack of ribs wrapped in the second layer of foil.

And to make sure none of the juices leak out on to your charcoal and cause nasty flair ups, fold the second piece of foil around the first to form a second packet around it.

What's going to happen is the fat on the pork is going to melt and essentially steam the meat, creating the most tender and juicy ribs you have EVER put in your mouth.

Place the foil packets into the refrigerator to marinate, and head out to get the grill ready.

The grill and a bag of Kingsford Charcoal.

Remember when I told you that you didn't have to have any fancy equipment for this recipe?  Well, I wasn't lying.  Tp prove it, I purchased this inexpensive charcoal grill from Walmart ($19.99).  Then, I picked up the only charcoal we will use in this house, Kingsford Charcoal.

The charcoal lit in the grill.

Follow the instructions for lighting the charcoal on the back of the bag.

The ahed over charcoal in the grill.

Give the charcoal about 15-20 minutes to get covered with a nice, white ash color.

The BBQ rib packets on the grill.

Now place the grate over the hot charcoal and place the packets on the grate.

Before you ask, NO, you don't have to move the charcoal to one side, and cook over indirect heat, and NO you don't have to have a drip pan.  Just place the rib packets directly over the heat.

The grill with the lid closed.

Close the lid of your grill and let them cook for 50 minutes.

The fully cooked ribs on a baking sheet.

After 50 minutes you can remove the ribs from the foil.
The meat will be fully cook and the rub infused into the meat.

The ribs on the grill, with BBQ sauce being poured over the bottom of the half rack.

Now place them top side down on the grill and add some KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce to the bottom side of the ribs.

BBQ Sauce being brushed on the bottom of the ribs.

Brush so that the entire bottom of the rack is covered with the sauce.  

The ribs cooking for 5 minutes with the sauce on the bottom.

Cover the lid, and let it cook for 5 minutes.

The top of the ribs on the grill.

Now flip the ribs over.
See how they have already started to caramelize?

The tops of the BBQ ribs bruised with BBQ sauce.

Now brush the top side of the ribs with the delicious sauce!  

The ribs cooking for 5 more minutes.

Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes.

The finished BBQ ribs on the charcoal grill.

And now you are ready to eat!

The sauce rack of BBQ ribs on a tray with a bottle of sauce.

Look at this beautiful rack of perfectly cooked BBQ Smithfield Pork back Ribs.  Tender, juicy, full of flavor.

A pile of cut ribs on a try with a bottle of sauce.

And can we talk about that KC Masterpiece sauce for a minute?  Sweet, spicy, tangy, sticky goodness!  EVERYTHING you want in a great rib sauce.

A single rib being help over a bottle of sauce.

And look at how juicy and perfectly cook they are!  No one will believe that you did this over a $20 charcoal grill in an hour!  So don't let the idea are barbecuing intimidate you this summer.  Head to Walmart, pick up your Smithfield Pork Back Ribs, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, Kingsford Charcoal, etc and give this fool proof recipe for How To make Perfect BBQ Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Recipe a try!  And as if the recipe isn't great enough, with all of your new found grilling skills you are definitely going to want check out The Hogwild Smithfield Throwdown!  It's a fun contest Smithfield is having with LOTS of great prizes!

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy living, 
~The Kitchen Wife~

Perfect BBQ Baby Back Ribs on a grill:
*Prep Time: 30  *Cook Time: 1 hour *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings:  One Rack of Ribs


  • 1 rack of Smithfield Extra Tender Pork Back Ribs
  • 1 Bottle of KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • Heavy Duty Foil
  1. Pat the rack of ribs dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Cut the rack in half. 
  3. Rub both halves with dijon mustard. 
  4. Combine the smoked paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, salt, and oregano in a bowl.  
  5. Sprinkle LIBERALLY over BOTH sides of the ribs. 
  6. Get TWO pieces of foil.  Spray the first one with non-stick cooking spray.  
  7. Wrap the first piece of foil around the ribs, into a packet.
  8. Now wrap the second piece of foil around the rib packet and place in the refrigerator.  
  9. Preheat your grill.  Add charcoal to the grill and light according to the instruction on the bag. 
  10. Let the charcoal heat until it is covered in a white ash.  
  11. Place both rib packets on the grill, close the lid and let cook for 50 minutes. 
  12. After 50 minutes remove from foil and place top-side down on the grill.  
  13. Brush BBQ sauce all over the bottom of the ribs, close the lid, and let cook for 5 minutes. 
  14. Flip the ribs, brush the top side with the BBQ sauce, close the lid, and cook for 5 minutes. 
  15. Serve and Enjoy!
**Even though I cooked these on a charcoal grill, the same steps can be used on your gas grill as well.**


  1. Those look awesome. You definitely need a good sauce for ribs!

  2. YUUUUUM! Yum. I love Summer bbq season!

  3. Oh your step by step tutorial is just what my bestie needs for his first ever cook out he is hosting next weekend.

    1. YAY! I hope she finds this super helpful!

  4. WoW, this was so helpful and loved the step by step tutorial. The Ribs look so juicy n delicious.

  5. These ribs sound amazing! I'm thinking a good rack of ribs might need to show up on our grill this weekend, too. Thanks for sharing! #client

  6. i dont eat pork..but this looks soo good.

  7. I love this recipe; used it today. I slightly altered the plan. I poked holes in the top of the foil packet so the ribs could capture more of the smokey flavor; I didn't have smoked paprika. It took 30 minute (thin rib sections) to 45 minutes longer to cook to get the ribs "falling off the bone done," but the flavor made it worth it. And, I only had to fill my chimney starter once--no adding more hot charcoal to get it done. I used a generic barbecue sauce, but the ribs were the best I ever cooked. Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial and pics.

    1. Hi Leslie! So glad you like this recipe. Sorry for the time difference, but sometimes grills and cuts of meat factor into that. I will make a note of it on the post!

  8. I tried your trick with wrapping my beef ribs in double foil and they came out great and yes just like you i used my $20 grill to which i am always grilling up something.


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