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!
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.
- 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.
- Reynolds Wrap®. Wrapping your ribs in heavy duty foil locks in moisture and acts almost like a steam oven which keeps your meat delicious!
- 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!
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
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Chili Powder
- Smoked Paprika
- Spare Ribs
- Apple Juice
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
The measurement for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
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.
If you’re in a hurry, you can skip this part and only do a 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Traeger Smoked Ribs
- Smoky BBQ Instant Pot Ribs
- Instant Pot Country Style Ribs
- Easy Beef Short Ribs (Oven Braised)
- Sticky Instant Pot Bone-In Beef Short Ribs
- Asian Sticky Slow Cooker Ribs
- Mustard Carolina BBQ Sauce Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs
- Korean Oven Braised Short Ribs
- Blackberry Hoisin BBQ Ribs
Our new book is now available!
This unique cookbook guides the way through every step, including meal lists and easy-to-follow recipes, and features dollops of heartwarming family stories.
Easy BBQ Ribs
- 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
- 1 Rack Spare Ribs (or St. Louis Style) Pork
- 1/4 Cup Apple Juice
- 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Mustard
- Reynolds Wrap® Heavy Duty Foil
For The Rub
- Combine all the ingredients in a jar, and give it a good shaking.
- 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.
- In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, apple juice, and apple cider vinegar.
- 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.
- 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.
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