Should You Flip Ribs When Grilling? BBQ

Grilled Ribs are indeed delicious loaded with tender muscles, connecting tissues and fat. Not just they are tender, sweet and succulent but also liquid suet from fat that also have its own flavor.

But how do you grill them right? Should you flip ribs over halfway through cooking? Or should you leave them flat? The answer depends on whether you’re using direct or indirect heat on a gas or charcoal grill.

Here are the basics of flipping ribs when grilling and some tips that will help you nail it every time.

The Basics – Grilling Ribs

When it comes to grilling, there are a few things you need to know to be successful. First, you need to make sure that your grill is hot enough. If it’s not, your food will stick, and you’ll have a hard time flipping it.

Second, you must use a pair of tongs to grip the food. This will help you avoid burns. Third, when you’re flipping ribs, make sure you do it quickly and evenly, so they cook evenly on both sides.

You don’t want one side to be well done while the other is pink. Fourth, if you’re cooking chicken or shrimp, always turn them over once or twice so that they get cooked on all sides.

Fifth, remember to clean off your grill after each use by scraping it with a wire brush. Finally, try to flip food at the same place every time; this way, you can predict how long each side will take to cook.

That way, if you know that it takes five minutes for the first side and three minutes for the second side, then you know that your food should be flipped after four minutes total.

Why You Need To Flip Them

Unlike when cooking with indirect heat you need to flip your rib at the right time. It’s important to flip your ribs after cooking them because the meat will cook unevenly otherwise.

If you don’t flip them, some parts of the rib will continue to cook faster than others. That means the outside edges will become dry before the inside ones.

When cooking on direct heat, you need to to flip your ribs halfway through grilling for evenly cooked meat. This allows each side to spend an equal amount of time over the heat, so they cook evenly.

If you don’t flip them, you risk overcooking one side while the other remains underdone.

Flip Ribs – How To Do It Right.

You’ll need to use tongs to turn the ribs. Ribs are easy to turn when there’s a little bit of fat on them because the fat will act as a lubricant and make it easier for you to get a clean release from the grill.

But if you’re using leaner cuts or just want to be extra careful not to break your ribs into pieces during flipping, then use tongs or two spatulas instead.

Make sure you’re holding the tongs at an angle so that you can easily grab the ends of the ribs. Then, lift one end up and away from the grill. This will allow you to rotate the ribs without burning yourself.

There are plenty of times where you’ll find that turning is tricky, like when the ribs are thicker in parts than others. In these cases, your best bet is to cut off any parts that seem too thick before trying to flip them.

Then set them back on the grill, flesh side down, and grilled until they’re done. Don’t forget to oil up the top of the ribs with a paper towel dipped in oil before you flip.

With this method, you can avoid a lot of mess without compromising results. It’s important to note that sometimes the underside of ribs will brown faster than the topside, so be sure to watch out for this.

As always, err on the side of caution and keep an eye on your food. We recommend setting a timer to remind yourself to check on your ribs every few minutes.

If you catch anything early enough, all you have to do is adjust the heat level and cover the barbecue lid. And no matter what cooking technique you choose, it’s important that rib meat is allowed to rest before serving.

Tips For A Perfectly Flipped Rib

Tips For A Perfectly Flipped Rib

When it comes to grilling, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. One of the most common mistakes is flipping your ribs too early or too late. Here’s how to get the perfect flip every time:

  • Wait until the juices start to run clear before flipping your ribs. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Use tongs to grip the ends of the rack and carefully flip it over. Using spatula, may cause more harm than good because it need more practice to do it right using two spatulas instead of using tongs.
  • Baste with your favorite sauce after you’ve flipped the ribs and cook for another few minutes on each side (or until they’re cooked to the desired doneness).
  • If you’ve ever grilled ribs before, then you probably know how easy it is to burn yourself when flipping them. To avoid this, make sure you hold the tongs at an angled position.
  • Also, make sure you’re not using too much pressure when lifting the rib.
  • Give yourself extra space on the grill if you’re cooking two racks at once. That way, they’ll have room to cool off in between flips without touching one another.
  • Brush your ribs with a little bit of oil first so they won’t stick to the grill, and make sure not to cross-contaminate by using utensils from raw meat when cooking other types of food like vegetables.
  • Don’t forget! Once you take them off the grill, let them rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into them, so all that deliciousness doesn’t fall out onto your plate.
  • It also helps to set up an assembly line with buns, BBQ sauce, slaw, and pickles in preparation for slicing up the ribs after they’ve rested.

You can even save some sauces for later by putting them in separate bowls labeled 1st and 2nd. And just remember, whatever you do, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT SKIPPING OUT ON THE RESTING TIME.

All those delicious juices will come running out when you cut into them if you do – especially if you want to enjoy the perfect pulled pork sandwich experience.

Grilling Ribs on Indirect Heat

When grilling ribs, you want to cook them on indirect heat when you want to leave the meat alone. This means that you’ll not need to purposefully flip ribs once you set up your grill for two-zone cooking.

This can be easily achieved with grill smokers. Once your grill is preheated, place the ribs on the grill. Cover it and let the ribs cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, flip the ribs ( if you like a nice grill marks on both sides ) and continue cooking them for another 5 minutes.

At this point, if you like a more caramelized taste, put some sauce on the meat before flipping it again.

If you’re using direct heat, it’s best to put the sauce on the meat before flipping it over onto the hot side of the grill. The sauces will burn when they come in contact with direct flame.

You can also do both sides at once by placing the ribs on direct heat first, then rotating them so that they cook indirectly for about 15 minutes each.

Getting Indirect Heat on a Charcoal Grill

Indirect heat cooking is a method that uses a combination of direct and indirect heat sources to cook food. The burner heats up the air above the grate, creating a hot zone where food cooks.

To get indirect heat on your charcoal grill one needs to set up your grill for two-zone cooking. This means you’ll have a hot side and a cool side. Further To use an indirect grill, you needs to cover your grill with a lid.

Place a drip pan in the middle adding coals on either side of the drip pan leaving the middle charcoal-free. Thus creating a hot side and a cool side for indirect heating using circulation of hot air.

Now your grill is ready for indirect grilling. Position the ribs over the drip pan with more space between each rib. Cover it with the lid and cook for 45 minutes or until tender.

Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill

Getting Indirect Heat on Gas Grill

When you’re grilling with gas, you’ll want to set up your grill for indirect heat. This means that your food will not be cooked directly over the flame but rather off to the side.

This is accomplished by turning on only half of the burners on a two-burner grill or all of the burners on a three or four-burner grill and leaving one side empty.

Once your grill is preheated, place your food on the unlit side and close the lid. Remember to keep an eye on the temperature so that it doesn’t go above 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 Celsius).

If it does, shut off one burner if you have a two-burner grill or turn off any unused burner if you have a three or four-burner grill. The best thing about cooking indirectly is that there’s no need to flip your meat at all.

How to Tell When the Ribs Are Done

The first step is to preheat your grill to medium heat. Then, you’ll want to cook the ribs for about 15 minutes per side. To check if they’re done, use a fork to pierce through the meat.

If it’s easy to pierce and the meat is cooked through, they’re ready! If not, give them a few more minutes on the grill. You may need to flip them over and repeat this process.

You can also insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the rack of ribs to measure their temperature, but be careful not to poke through or touch any bones with it.

When it reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, you know they’re done. When checking the temperature on an instant-read thermometer, always wait at least three seconds before removing it from the meat.

And don’t forget to brush your rib racks liberally with barbecue sauce before grilling them. BBQ sauce will make them deliciously saucy, juicy, and flavorful.

Be sure to take the ribs off the grill as soon as they are done so that they don’t overcook while waiting around.

Ribs are best served when hot out of the oven, so leave some time in between cooking sessions so that you can rest them before serving.

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Sonu Monu

Fitness Instructor, hobbyist, and Chief Editor For this site I take pride in writing have a deep interest in Grills/BBQ, and Love to personalize my home workspace.

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