How to Cook Country Style Ribs on Charcoal Grill: Easy Steps & Tips

Discover the mouthwatering process of cooking country style ribs on a charcoal grill as we guide you through each step to achieve that perfect smoky flavor and tenderness.

Summer is the perfect time for firing up the grill and enjoying some delicious BBQ. If you’re looking for a new recipe to try out, why not give country style ribs a go? These meaty cuts are perfect for grilling and can be cooked to perfection on a charcoal grill.

In this article, we’ll take you through step-by-step instructions on how to cook country style ribs on a charcoal grill, so you can impress your friends and family with your BBQ skills. Get ready to sink your teeth into some juicy, smoky goodness!

What Are Country-Style Pork Ribs?

how to cook country style ribs on charcoal grill easy steps amp tips

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of grilling country-style pork ribs, let’s first define what they are. Country-style pork ribs are not actually ribs at all but rather cuts of meat from the shoulder area of a pig.

They’re typically larger and meatier than traditional pork spare or baby back ribs, making them perfect for grilling.

Country-style pork ribs can be found bone-in or boneless and come in different sizes depending on how they’re cut. Some may have more fat marbling throughout while others may be leaner with less fat content.

Choosing the Right Ribs

When it comes to country style ribs, there are two types you can choose from: bone-in or boneless. Bone-in country style ribs have more flavor due to the presence of bones, while boneless ones are easier to eat and cook faster.

When selecting your meat, look for cuts that have a good amount of marbling as this will help keep them moist during cooking. You should also consider purchasing fresh pork rather than frozen if possible since fresh meat tends to be juicier.

It’s important not only to choose quality meat but also the right quantity based on how many people you’re serving. A general rule of thumb is one pound per person; however, if you’re serving other dishes alongside your BBQ meal or catering for big appetites then adjust accordingly.

Preparing the Grill

First, clean the grates with a wire brush and remove any debris or ash from previous use. Next, add charcoal to one side of the grill and light it up using a chimney starter or lighter fluid.

Once the coals are hot and covered in white ash (usually after 20-30 minutes), spread them out on one side of the grill for direct heat cooking.

If you’re using wood chips for added flavor, soak them in water for at least an hour before adding them to your charcoal fire. You can also place a drip pan filled with water under where you’ll be placing your ribs; this will help regulate temperature and keep moisture levels high during cooking.

Setting Up Two-Zone Grilling

This technique allows you to create different temperature zones, which are perfect for searing and slow-cooking the meat. To set up your two-zone grill, start by lighting the charcoal in one half of the grill only.

Once it has turned white-hot, use tongs to spread out the coals evenly across that side of the grate.

On this hot side of your grilling surface, you’ll be able to sear and brown your ribs before moving them over to cook slowly on indirect heat on cooler part of your grilling surface.

The other half should remain empty so that there’s no direct heat source under it; this will serve as an area where you can move food if it starts cooking too quickly or needs more time without being exposed directly over flames or high temperatures.

Ingredients Needed To Make The Ribs

First and foremost, you’ll need pork ribs – either bone-in or boneless will work fine. You can also choose between baby back or spare ribs depending on your preference.

Other necessary ingredients include kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika for making a dry rub that will add flavor to the meat.

You may also want to consider marinating your pork before grilling it for added tenderness and flavor depth. For this purpose apple cider vinegar works great as it helps break down the connective tissue in meat while adding tanginess.

Lastly don’t forget about barbecue sauce! Whether homemade or store-bought is up to you but having some ready-to-go sauce at hand is always recommended when cooking country-style pork ribs on a charcoal grill.

Preparing the Ribs

First, remove the membrane from the back of each rib using a sharp knife or your fingers. This will help tenderize the meat and allow for better seasoning penetration.

Next, trim any excess fat from the ribs with a pair of kitchen shears or a sharp knife. Leaving too much fat on can cause flare-ups on the grill and result in uneven cooking.

Once you’ve trimmed and removed any unwanted parts, rinse each rib under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

Making a Dry Rub

A dry rub is simply a mixture of spices and herbs that are rubbed onto the meat before grilling. This not only adds flavor but also helps to create an outer crust on the ribs.

To make your own dry rub, you’ll need some basic ingredients such as brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. You can also add other spices like cumin or chili powder for an extra kick.

Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Then generously apply it onto both sides of your country style ribs making sure to massage it into every nook and cranny for maximum flavor penetration.

Once you’ve applied your dry rub let them sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before placing them on the grill.

Marinating the Ribs

Marinating is a crucial step in adding flavor and tenderness to your meat. You can use any marinade of your choice, but we recommend using a mixture of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder for an extra kick.

To marinate the ribs properly, place them in a large resealable plastic bag or container with the marinade mixture. Make sure that all parts are coated evenly with the marinade by massaging it into each rib piece.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight if possible to allow enough time for flavors to penetrate deep into the meat fibers.

When ready to grill remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature while preparing grill setup as per instructions above before placing on hot grates over indirect heat source (opposite side from coals).

Using a Rib Rack

A rib rack is designed to hold multiple racks of ribs upright, allowing them to cook evenly and freeing up valuable real estate on the grill grates. To use one, simply place the ribs in the slots of the rack and set it on top of your grill grates.

When using a rib rack, it’s essential to make sure that there is enough space between each slab so that they don’t touch or overlap during cooking. This will ensure even heat distribution and prevent any sticking or burning.

Using a rib rack also allows for more smoke exposure as all sides are exposed equally which results in better flavor penetration into every inch of meat surface area.

Regulating Grill Temperature

You want to make sure that your grill stays at a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process, so your ribs cook evenly and don’t dry out.

To regulate grill temperature, start by setting up two-zone grilling. This means you’ll have one side of the grill with direct heat (where you’ll sear or brown your meat) and another side with indirect heat (where you’ll finish cooking).

Use a thermometer to monitor both sides’ temperatures regularly.

If using charcoal, adjust airflow by opening or closing vents on top and bottom as needed. If using gas, adjust burners accordingly.

Adding Smoke for Flavor

The smoky aroma and taste will make your mouth water before you even take a bite! To add smoke, you can use wood chips or chunks on top of the charcoal. Soak the wood chips for at least 30 minutes before adding them to the grill so they don’t burn too quickly.

You can also wrap them in foil with holes poked through it to create a smoking packet.

Different types of woods produce different flavors, so choose one that complements pork well such as hickory or applewood. Place the smoking packet directly on top of hot coals or over indirect heat if using two-zone grilling method.

Grilling the Ribs

Place the ribs on the grill over indirect heat, with bones facing down. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about 1 hour at 250°F (120°C).

After an hour has passed, flip the ribs over so that they’re bone-side up.

At this point in time, you can add some barbecue sauce if desired. Brush it onto both sides of each rib using a basting brush or spoon.

Be sure not to apply too much sauce as this can cause flare-ups on your grill.

Continue cooking for another 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches around 145°F (63°C) when measured with an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat near but not touching bone.

Applying Barbecue Sauce

This is where you can really customize the flavor of your ribs and make them unique to your taste. You can use store-bought BBQ sauce or make a homemade one from scratch.

To apply the barbecue sauce, use a basting brush or spoon and generously coat both sides of the ribs with it. Be careful not to let too much drip off as this will cause flare-ups on the grill.

Let the first layer of BBQ sauce cook for about 5 minutes before adding another layer if desired. Keep in mind that sugar-based sauces tend to burn quickly so keep an eye on them while grilling.

Testing for Doneness

Undercooked pork can be dangerous, so it’s crucial that the meat is cooked all the way through. The best way to check if your ribs are done is by using a meat thermometer.

Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of one of the ribs without touching bone or fat and take a reading.

The USDA recommends cooking pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). However, many pitmasters prefer their country-style ribs cooked low and slow until they reach an internal temperature between 190-200°F (88-93°C) for maximum tenderness.

If you don’t have a meat thermometer on hand, there are other ways to tell if your country style ribs are done. One method is called “the bend test.” Pick up one end of a rib with tongs and see how much it bends under its own weight; when fully cooked, they should bend easily but not break apart completely.

Another method involves checking how easily bones pull away from each other – when ready these will come off cleanly with little resistance.

Resting and Serving

This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and ensures that each bite is tender and flavorful. To rest your ribs, remove them from the grill and place them on a cutting board or platter.

Cover loosely with foil or another heat-resistant material like butcher paper for about 10-15 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, slice between each bone into individual portions or leave as whole racks if preferred.

Serve alongside some classic BBQ sides such as coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread or potato salad. Now that you know how easy it is to cook country style ribs on a charcoal grill – get grilling! With these simple steps in mind along with our tips and tricks section below – you’ll be able impressing everyone at your next backyard barbecue gathering!

Grilling Tips and Tricks

With the right tips and tricks, you’ll be able to grill like a pro in no time! Here are some of our favorite grilling tips and tricks for cooking country style ribs on a charcoal grill:

  1. Keep the lid closed as much as possible during cooking to maintain consistent heat.
  2. Use tongs instead of forks when handling meat to avoid piercing the meat and losing juices.
  3. Don’t overcook your ribs – use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (not touching bone) until it reaches 145°F for safe consumption.
  4. Let your cooked ribs rest for at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into them so that they retain their juices.
  5. Experiment with different wood chips or chunks (such as hickory or applewood) added directly onto hot coals while grilling for extra smoky flavor.

Common Grilling Mistakes

Even the most experienced grill masters can make mistakes from time to time. Here are some common grilling mistakes you should avoid when cooking country style ribs on a charcoal grill:

1. Not Preheating the Grill: Failing to preheat your grill properly can result in unevenly cooked meat.

2. Opening the Lid Too Often: Every time you open your lid, heat escapes and slows down cooking times.

3. Overcooking or Undercooking: Cooking times vary depending on many factors such as temperature control and thickness of meat cuts.

4. Using Lighter Fluid Incorrectly: If not used correctly lighter fluid can leave an unpleasant taste in your food or even cause flare-ups which could burn your food.

5.Not Letting Meat Rest Before Serving : Allowing meats like country-style pork ribs rest for 10-15 minutes after removing them from heat allows juices inside it redistribute evenly throughout making it more tender.

Nutrition Facts (per Serving)

One serving of grilled country style pork ribs (approximately 3 ounces) contains around 250 calories and 20 grams of fat. However, they also provide a good source of protein with about 18 grams per serving.

To make your meal more balanced, consider pairing the ribs with some healthy sides such as grilled vegetables or a fresh salad.

It’s worth noting that nutrition facts can vary depending on how you prepare the meat and what ingredients you use for seasoning or marinade. If you’re looking to cut down on calories or fat content, consider using leaner cuts of meat or reducing the amount of oil used during grilling.

Slow and Low Country Ribs

This method involves cooking the meat at a lower temperature for an extended period of time, allowing it to become more tender while still retaining its moisture. To achieve this, set up your grill with indirect heat by placing the coals on one side of the grill and placing the ribs on the other side.

Cover with a lid to trap in smoke and heat.

Cooking times will vary depending on how many ribs you are grilling but expect around 2-3 hours for slow-cooking country-style pork ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 195°F (90°C). Be sure to use a meat thermometer to check that they have reached their desired doneness before removing them from the grill.

Slow-cooked country style pork ribs are perfect if you want fall-off-the-bone tenderness without sacrificing flavor or texture.

Photos of Grilled Country Style Ribs

That’s why we’ve included a section in this article dedicated to photos of grilled country style ribs. These images will give you an idea of what the finished product should look like and inspire you to get grilling! From perfectly charred edges to juicy meat that falls off the bone, these pictures are sure to get your taste buds tingling.

So take a moment and feast your eyes on these stunning visuals before diving into our step-by-step guide on how to cook country style ribs on a charcoal grill.


How to cook country style ribs on a Weber charcoal grill?

To cook country style ribs on a Weber charcoal grill, brush both sides with oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill over direct medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning four times to brown each side, then let rest for 5 minutes after removing from the grill.

How long to grill ribs on charcoal?

To grill ribs on charcoal, cook them over indirect heat for 2 hours and 15 minutes.

How do you keep country style ribs moist on the grill?

To keep country style ribs moist on the grill, use a rib spritz consisting of equal parts apple cider vinegar and apple juice or water, and apply it to the ribs during cooking to maintain their color and texture.

What temperature do you grill country style ribs?

Grill country style ribs at a temperature of 350-400°F.

What are the best seasonings and marinades for country style ribs on a charcoal grill?

The best seasonings and marinades for country style ribs on a charcoal grill include a dry rub mixture of paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, and onion powder, and a marinade featuring apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and your preferred barbecue sauce.

Should I wrap country style ribs in foil during any part of the grilling process on a charcoal grill?

Yes, wrapping country style ribs in foil during the grilling process on a charcoal grill can help keep them tender and moist.

How can I achieve the perfect smoky flavor for country style ribs on a charcoal grill?

To achieve the perfect smoky flavor for country style ribs on a charcoal grill, maintain low and consistent heat, and use soaked wood chips for additional smoke.