How to Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill Fast

When it comes to learning how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill fast, speed is relative. After all, you don’t want to compromise flavor for speed. The good news is, you can learn how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill fast without sacrificing flavor.

Pork and beef ribs are both delicious BBQ staples, but for fast grilling, we recommend pork, since they are smaller and have more fat. Since the fat is where the magic happens, it will take less time than beef for the pork ribs to become fall-off-the-bone tender and juicy.

Our favorite way to cook ribs is to smoke them, a process that’s much easier than you think, but since that can take a long time, here are instructions for how to cook ribs on a charcoal grill fast.

How Long Does it Take to Cook Pork Ribs?

8 pounds of baby back ribs will take approximately 3-4 hours to grill. The more meat you use, or the thicker the muscle, the longer the ribs will take to cook.

How Do I Cook Ribs on a Charcoal Grill?

  1. Prep the meat. Use your favorite rub or make your own. Remove the membrane and trim any excessive amounts of fat.
  2. Prep the grill. Use about three layers of charcoal, plus wood chips or wood chunks. Make sure you soak the wood chips in water for half an hour before you use them. Place an aluminum pan under the ribs to catch the drippings and place another aluminum pan filled with water on the grate, next to the ribs. This will create steam so that you can build a smokey flavor in your ribs.
  3. Start grilling. Keep your grill covered. You want to keep it at about 250 to 300 degrees for 2-3 hours. The goal is low and slow, which will create tender, juicy ribs full of flavor.
  4. Finish the ribs. You can apply multiple light layers of BBQ sauce if you’re planning on saucing your ribs, or you can wrap your ribs in foil for the last hour or so.

To check for doneness, pull gently on a rib; if it slides away easily, the ribs are done. Take off the grill, tent under aluminum foil to allow the meat to rest for ten or fifteen minutes, and serve. Enjoy!