Fall-off-the-bone BBQ spare ribs that are so easy! The key is wrapping these babies up in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and letting them cook on the grill low and slow.

I am so thrilled to partner with Reynolds Wrap® Foil for this post! It is the best foil and is essential for this recipe because the Heavy Duty Foil is thicker, more durable and perfect for grilling ribs!

a photo of a rack pf grilled spare ribs broken apart on a wooden cutting board. there is a box of reynolds wrap next to the ribs and a small bowl of bbq sauce on the side as well as a sauce bottle with bbq sauce in it.

Ribs have always been a summertime staple in our family, but that doesn’t mean that we were making them. We were in a constant struggle to find a way to cook the ribs so that they were so tender the meat would fall off and the bone slips clean out, but it never happened.

3 Secrets to Fall Off the Bone Ribs

There are 3 things that will absolutely ensure that your ribs are tender and completely fall off of the bone when you go to take a bite.

  1. Spare Ribs. Cade is a big baby back ribs fan because there is more meat but they tend to not turn out as tender. Though with longer cook and resting time you can still achieve tender meat, but no one has time for 13 hours.
  2. Reynolds Wrap®. Wrapping your ribs in heavy duty foil locks in moisture and acts almost like a steam oven which keeps your meat delicious!
  3. Finally, time. Time is ESSENTIAL! You have to give the ribs plenty of time to not just be cooked but

    but to rest so the meat pulls away from the bone and breaks down connective tissue. TIME!

a photo of a wooden plate piled high with juicy ribs.

What Ingredients are Needed for Grilled Spare Ribs?

Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is crucial to getting the right cook on the ribs to get the juicy tender meat falling off the bones. So here is your grocery list and don’t forget the Reynolds Wrap®!


  • Kosher Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Thyme
  • Cumin
  • Nutmeg


The measurement for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

a photo of a grilled rack of ribs sitting on a sheet of foil on top of a baking sheet.

How to Make Grilled Spare Ribs

Here are the step-by-step instructions for the easiest ribs you’ll ever make! These instructions can also be found in the recipe card down below.


Ok, first things first, you need to buy good quality meat.  We prefer spare ribs compared to baby back ribs. There is more meat on the spare ribs and the low and slow grilling makes the meat so tender.

Next you need to prep the meat. Depending on where you bought it, you may need to remove the membrane off the back of the meat. Here’s a great little “how to post” on removing the membrane.

Combine the mustard, apple juice and apple cider vinegar and slather the mixture all over the ribs.

Pro TIP!

If you’re in a hurry, you can skip this part and only do a dry rub. !

Dry Rub

Combine all the ingredients for the dry rub in a jar and shake it. Label the jar and write the date on it. Dry rub will be good for around two months.

A dry rub adds so much flavor to the ribs. Massage that delicious spice rub on both sides of the meat. You won’t use all of the rub, so save some of it for the next time you grill.

PRO TIP: So many readers are over-seasoning ribs. More is not better! The backside doesn’t really need the rub but I do it anyway. The rule of thumb with rub is, however much rub naturally sticks to the ribs is all you need. Whatever falls off after rubbing it in is over-seasoning.

a photo of a plate of grilled ribs coated in a dry rub.


Alright, now that your meat is prepped, it is time to heat the grill to 225 degrees F. You want to use indirect heat to cook the ribs. So only light half of the burners on your grill if you can. Add the ribs to grill on the side where the burners are off and close the lid. Check the grill every hour to make sure the heat is staying around 225 degrees F. Let the ribs cook for 4 hours.

Now it is time for the Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil. This will allow the meat to cook without browning or caramelizing the meat. It’s all about keeping the moisture and juices with the meat.

Wrap your ribs in the Heavy Duty Foil and cook the ribs for another 1-3 hours, depending on how thick the meat is.

PRO TIP: I like to test the doneness of the ribs by lifting the ribs with the tongs and letting them bend a little. The bones in the meat will feel loose and the meat will start to break apart. Then they are ready to go!

Why Use Heavy Duty Foil?

As a Reynolds Wrap® Ambassador, I’m excited to show you how to use the Heavy Duty Foil in this recipe. It keeps all the juices inside, and it’s so sturdy and doesn’t tear easily which makes for a super easy cleanup.

I used to double wrap the ribs until I discovered this foil. It is perfect for cooking heavier foods like ribs. I’m totally sold! Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil is also available in the wider 18-inch roll which is amazing for grilling!

Just place the ribs in the middle of the foil and then fold up the sides, rolling the foil together on the top to lock in the moisture.

Reynolds Wrap® even recently added a new easy open and close tab on every foil box, so once you’re done wrapping the ribs, you can easily keep the box closed in storage. Look for the blue Heavy Duty Foil package.

a photo of a baking sheet with a rack of ribs wrapped in foil on it.

What Type of Ribs is Best?

Spare or St. Louis style are best. Baby back can be used if that’s all you can find. I prefer spare ribs as they are more tender and fall off the bone and don’t require as long on the grill.

Can Spare Ribs Be Made Ahead of Time?

Ribs can be made a few hours ahead of time, but eating them fresh is my favorite. If you need to keep the ribs warm, wrap in foil, then in two towels and place in a cooler until time to eat.


a photo of a wooden plate on a wooden table and the plate is full of grilled ribs.

Can You Make Ribs in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can prepare ribs in the slow cooker. Our Asian sticky ribs are made in the slow cooker and so good and easy!

Prepare the ribs with a rub of your choice, and cook, covered, on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

When the ribs are nearly falling off the bones, carefully remove from slow cooker and slather with BBQ sauce.

What is the Membrane on Ribs?

The membrane is tissue that is attached to the underside of ribs, and it will not soften when cooked, and will be tough and hard to eat. It should be removed before cooking ribs.

How Long Will Ribs Last?

If you keep ribs in an airtight container, they will last in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

It is time for spare ribs on the grill! I know ribs can be a little intimidating, but if you follow this recipe and use Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil, I guarantee you will have the most tender and juicy ribs every time!

More Ribs Recipes You Should Try:

Easy BBQ Ribs

3.08 from 14 votes
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 10 minutes



  • 1/4 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 1 Pinch Nutmeg



For The Rub

  • Combine all the ingredients in a jar, and give it a good shaking.
    1/4 Cup Kosher Salt, 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar, 1 Tablespoon Pepper, 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder, 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder, 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika, 1 teaspoon Thyme, 1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin, 1 Pinch Nutmeg
  • It doesn't matter what order you go in. Make sure you label the jar with the date you made the rub. Typically two months is a good shelf life for your homemade rubs. Enjoy!

For The Ribs

  • Flip the ribs over and using a knife, pierce the silver skin of the ribs and pull it up a little. Use a paper towel and a firm grip to pull off the membrane. 
    1 Rack Spare Ribs (or St. Louis Style)
  • In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar. 
    1/4 Cup Apple Juice, 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 Cup Mustard
  • Slather the ribs in the mustard mixture then coat evenly with spices. Do not use all of the dry rub as it makes a lot. Just save the rest in a jar for another day.
  • Heat the grill to 225 degrees F. If you can have indirect heat by not lighting certain burners on your grill, this is best. Add the ribs and close the lid, checking every 30-60 minutes just to maintain the heat. Cook the ribs for 4 hours, then wrap in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil and cook an additional 1-3 hours, depending on how thick the meat is.
    Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
  • To test if the ribs are done, use tongs to lift the ribs and bend them. You should feel the bones loose in the meat and see the meat easily bend and break apart.
  • If you need to keep the ribs warm, wrap in foil, then in two towels and place in a cooler until time to eat. 

Oven Baked Method

  • If you do not have access to a grill you can use the oven. Prepare the ribs per above. Heat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Wrap the ribs tightly in Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil. Use a top and a bottom piece for easier opening. Place the ribs on a baking sheet.
  • Cook the ribs, meat side up for 3 1/2- 4 hours.
  • Remove the ribs from the foil, increase oven temp to 500 and cook the ribs until the outside is crispy, about 1-4 minutes.


Grilled ribs will keep in a tightly covered dish in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.


Serving: 3RibsCalories: 699kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 37gFat: 55gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 182mgSodium: 7474mgPotassium: 745mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 1508IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 4mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: All of the Best Pork Recipes on the Internet, Over 50 Easy Grilling Recipes
Cuisine: American

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a photo of a plate of grilled ribs coated in a dry rub.