There are some folks that don’t own a proper smoker who still want to dine on some righteous ribs. if that sounds like you then this article has you covered!
The hard part about smoking ribs on a gas grill is that you just can’t generate the right type or quantity of smoke. You can place a smoker box or a foil pouch with wood chips over a burner tube and generate some smoke but it just isn’t the same.
Since a gas grill lacks proper smoke, ribs cooked on a gas grill wont ever be as good as ones from a proper smoker.
But we can still use a gas grill to turn out some ribs that will fool most people.
The trick to smoking ribs on a Weber gas grill is simple.
Prepare Your Ribs
The technique below will work for pork spare ribs or baby back ribs. Baby back ribs will cook faster than spare ribs so adjust coking times accordingly.
The day BEFORE you want to smoke ribs on a gas grill you need to give them a little extra loving. You are going to make up a little marinade and baste it onto both sides of the ribs.
Fake Out Rib Marinade
- 2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 1 Tablespoon Morton Tender Quick
Baste the marinade onto the meat side, flip it over and baste the bone side. Repeat until all of the marinade has been used.
The Liquid Smoke is going to add a nice smoky flavor to your ribs.
The Morton Tender Quick is going to give you a killer smoke ring. Let the ribs rest in the refrigerator overnight so the Morton Tender Quick has time to act.
The Morton Tender Quick is optional. If you do not care about getting a “smoke ring” then you can skip this step and just brush the ribs with the Liquid Smoke.
In the morning hit the ribs with some dry rub and let it melt into the ribs. Here is a great dry rub for ribs. It is the same one I use to smoke baby back ribs on my Weber kettle.
Dry Rub for Ribs
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup Morton kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
Set Your Gas Grill for Low Heat
How you set up your Weber gas grill is going to depend upon how old it is.
I used an older model Genesis that had the burner tubes running from side to side. For this style of grill you want the back burners off and the front burner on high.
If you have a newer grill that has the burners running from front to back then turn the far left burner to high and leave the right side burners off.
Grill the Ribs Low and Slow
Put your ribs over the cool side of the grill where the burners are turned off.
On my grill the ribs will be cooking at about 275F. Your grill will be different so pay attention and check on things every 20-30 minutes.
Let the ribs cook for two hours.
The ribs will take on some color and the meat will start to pull back from the bone.
After two hours it is time for the ribs to get into the foil!
This time around the ribs were foiled with apple juice, liquid margarine (Parkay) and apple jelly (1/4 cup each).
I know that the Parkay seems strange. Trust me…it works.
You really can get creative with what you put in the foil.
Some folks will also add a 1/4 cup of brown sugar at this point.
There are not any hard and fast rules here.
The foiled ribs went back on the grill for another 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes I took them out of the foil, brushed them with melted apple jelly and put them back on the grill for another 30 minutes.
The end result?
Yeah…they were pretty good.
Check out that “smoke ring”.
Most people would have no idea that these “smoked” ribs came off of a gas grill!
Smoked Pork Ribs on a Weber Gas grill
- Pork Ribs Baby Back or Spares
- 2 tbsp Liquid Smoke
- 1 tbsp Morton Tender Quick Optional
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tbsp lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 tsp celery salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Coat the ribs with Liquid Smoke and, if you want a smoke ring, Morton Tender Quick.
- Combine the dry rub ingredients and season the ribs.
- Cook the ribs with indirect low heat for two hours.
- Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil with parkay, honey and apple juice.
- Cook the ribs in the foil with low indirect heat for another two hours.
- Remove the ribs from the foil, baste in barbecue sauce or glaze with melted preserves and finish cooking until probe tender.