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Convert your Grill to Smoke Ribs!

On a normal barbecue, you would grill your ribs but smoking them imparts even more flavor. If you don’t have a smoker, then don’t despair it is possible to easily convert your grill to smoke ribs.

Choose the right Ribs

The best type of ribs to smoke on your Barbecue would be St Louis Style, Baby Back or Spare ribs. Have a look at the chart which gives a few details. My favorite cut is the St Louis Style as they are easier to brown, meatier and with just the right amount of fat to make them flavorful.


Choose the right Wood

Some pitmasters prefer to use wood chunks. They are less likely to flare up than when using wood chips. However, as long as you soak your chosen wood chips for at least an hour they will give an excellent smoked result.

There are various types of wood available for smoking. Look for Hickory, Apple, Cherry or oak. One of the most popular for using with ribs is Hickory.

Don’t use any sap woods like pine as they are slightly toxic.

Don’t have a Charcoal Grill? Use a Pellet Smoker Tube on your Gas Grill for a Quick Smokey Flavor! Get one here: Gas Grill Smoker Trick

Startup your Coals-Convert your Grill to Smoke Ribs

Try to use high-quality briquettes or lump charcoal, not saturated in lighter fluid.

It is important to always have a supply of lit coals to keep the smoker at a constant temperature. A worthwhile investment is a chimney starter which will allow you to keep a supply coals burning all the time.

Open the grills bottom dampers. Pile lit coals on top of it. Keep the coals to one side of the grill.

Slowly add coals until it gets up to about 250 degrees. (Very hot!) Use a laser heat gun to monitor the temperature. Alternatively, use the old-fashioned method–If you can hold your hand above the coals for three seconds then you need to add more coals!

Once the coals reach 250 degrees, return the grate. Remember one reason that you let the coals get so hot is that once you place the ribs, the temperature will drop rapidly to 220 degrees.

Place the racks of ribs on the opposite side of the coals. Put the grill’s lid on. The lids open damper should be above the ribs. The opposite position of the dampers creates a vacuum and helps to push oxygen through the coals to keep them going.


Maintain the temperature of 220 degrees adding hot coals every 30 to 40 minutes.

The ribs cook on the indirect heat. There should be no need to flip them. If you are using a grill as your smoker you will have to open the lid and lift the ribs and grate to replace the coals. Use your oven mitts and try to be as quick as possible.

Let the ribs smoke for close to four hours. The meat should pull back a little from the bones. The smoke not only imparts a great flavor but breaks down the collagen in the meat slowly creating a silky texture.

Barbecue Glaze

Pork Ribs on the Grill

Once cooked glaze the ribs. You can place them back on direct heat after saucing them to finish. Alternatively, after applying the glaze place them on the indirect side heat close the lid and let the sauce bake into the ribs for a further 20 minutes.

Here is a simple glaze that works really well with smoked ribs.

In a saucepan place :

2/3 cup of ketchup

1/3 cup yellow mustard

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of white vinegar

1 A teaspoon of black pepper

Combine all the ingredients and stir on low heat.

Allow to cool before using.


Serve the juiciest delicious smoked ribs on platters to your friends. One more tip though… get in a supply of wet wipes!

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