Do you love ribs, but don’t know how to cook them on a pellet grill? You’re in luck! In this guide, we will walk you through the process of cooking delicious and tender ribs on your Pit Boss pellet grill. We’ll provide tips and tricks for achieving the perfect results every time. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
How to Cook Ribs On A Pit Boss Pellet Grill?
Whether you’re smoking or cooking the ribs, the process is the same. The best part is the Pit Boss pellet grill makes it extremely easy and does most of the hard work. Once you’ve grilled ribs on the pellet grill, you’ll never order them from a restaurant ever again.
This tutorial is geared towards the Pit Boss pellet grill but will work for any brand grill. To cook fall off the bone ribs, here’s what you’ll need:
- Pit Boss pellet grill (or any other brand)
- Rack of ribs (there are several cuts of ribs, but I prefer baby back)
- The right cooking technique
- Your favorite seasonings and rubs
- Spritz bottle with water or apple juice
- Handheld thermometer
- Your favorite sides everyone will enjoy
We’ll go over each one in more detail below, but first, let’s answer some of the most common questions.
Can You Cook Ribs On A Pit Boss?
Yes, the Pit Boss is a versatile cooker that makes it easy to cook almost anything in it. If it can be cooked on a gas, charcoal, propane, or your oven, it can be cooked in the Pit Boss.
You’ll want to remove the top rack (if you don’t use them), close the flame broiler, so you’re cooking on indirect heat, and set the temperature to 250°F (121°C).
Can You Smoke Ribs On A Pit Pit Boss?
The Pit Boss pellet grill makes it easy to smoke the ribs. The process is similar to cooking the ribs, the biggest difference is you’ll set the grill to the “SMOKE” setting. This setting will infuse the ribs with smoke flavor and give them a beautiful smoke ring.
I recommend smoking the ribs at 150-175 degrees for 3 hours. This is part of the cooking process in the 3,2,1 ribs cooking method. The process consists of cooking the ribs unwrapped for 3 hours, wrapping then cooking 2 more hours, then cooking one more hour unwrapped.
It’s a very popular method for cooking BBQ and it’s the same method I used when cooking ribs for the first time on my Pit Boss. Here’s how to do it.
What Temperature to Cook Ribs On A Pit Boss?
225 – 250°Farenheit is an ideal temperature for cooking ribs on a Pit Boss pellet grill. Cook using the low and slow method. The lower cooking temperature means less moisture loss and will ensure the tough connective tissues dissolve.
Leaving you with mouth-watering ribs that fall off the bone.
How to Prepare Ribs for the Pit Boss?
First things first, you’ll want to clean the ribs. This doesn’t involve washing them in the sink. Instead, you’re going to remove the membrane and trim off any excess fat or meat that needs to be trimmed off the edges.
The reason being is you want a nice even consistent-looking rib that will cook evenly, and won’t burn or fry up on the tips.
Removing the membrane
Remove one rack from the packaging and place it on the cutting board. Flip it over, to the reverse side of the rib. Next, use your hands or paper towel to remove the membrane. Start off by pulling a small section and getting your finger underneath it.
Once you have a small section pulled away from the ribs, pull the rest right off the back of the rib.
Removing the membrane is vital because it won’t dissolve during the cooking process. Therefore, leaving you with chewy ribs.
Trim Loose Meat and Fat
Grab a sharp knife (I like Cutco) and carefully trim up any excess fat and excess meat on both the back and front sides of the ribs. Make sure you keep the trimmings as you can use them for stews or other dishes.
Once the ribs have been cleaned, add your favorite seasoning or rubs. I always clean and season my ribs the night before. But, you can do it right before throwing them on the grill.
Use yellow mustard to help get the rub to stick. The yellow mustard not only helps the seasoning stick to the ribs, but it acts as a tenderizer as well.
That said, make sure you season the ribs at least 30 minutes before cooking. The longer the marinade is allowed to sit on the ribs, the better tasting ribs you’ll end up with.
Cooking Ribs on the Pit Boss Pellet Grill
I made a video of me cooking ribs using the 3,2,1 method and you can watch it here. I’ve also detailed the method step by step below.
Preheat the Pit Boss
While prepping the ribs, preheat the Pit Boss to 250°F (121°C). This will ensure the grill is hot when you put the racks on them. Make sure the sear plate is closed, as you’ll be cooking over indirect heat.
If you want to smoke the ribs, then set the grill to the smoke setting, which is 180°F. Follow this guide for the 3,2,1 ribs cooking method.
Place The Ribs on The Bottom Rack
Once the ribs have been prepped, place them directly on the bottom rack. Place them so the meaty side is facing up. You want the bone (membrane side) sitting on the grill.
Push the ends of the ribs together, as that will get more meat on each bone (not sure if it’s true, but I do it).
If you’re cooking more than one rack, leave enough room so they’re not touching. This will allow them to cook thoroughly throughout.
Use the Pit Boss meat probe, to help you monitor the temperature without opening/closing the lid. Every time you open the lid, it will cause the grill to fluctuate and take longer for the ribs to cook.
Leave the ribs on the grill for about 3 hours or until they pass the “smear test”. The smear test is when you can take a finger none of the seasoning or very little seasoning gets on your finger.
What P-Setting to Use?
Unless you’re cooking in the cold weather, cook the ribs at the default P-4 settings. All the food I cook is cooked on the P-4 setting. I’ve written an article to help you understand the Pit Boss P-settings and when to change them.
Do You Flip the Ribs?
No, the ribs will cook evenly without you flipping them. Trying to flip the ribs will cause them to fall apart, as they’re tender and moist.
However, you can flip them if you want to get some sear marks on the meaty side of the ribs. If so, only do it once during the final 30 minutes of cooking time.
Spray the Ribs
As the ribs sit on the grill, they will start to dry out after about an hour. Grab a squirt bottle and fill it with plain water, apple juice or etc. The last time I cooked ribs I sprayed them with a combo of apple cider vinegar and apple juice.
Spritz the top of the ribs, making sure you get all sides (except the bottom). Then close the lid and then continue spraying them every hour, until they cooked. This will prevent them from drying out.
Do You Wrap the Ribs?
After 3 hours take the ribs off the grill and wrap them in aluminum foil. We made a butter bath recipe that we poured over the ribs. This helps keep the ribs moist during the cooking process.
- Apple juice
Use a basting coat on both the bottom and top sides of the ribs with the butter bath. Then coat them with brown sugar, honey, and Traeger seasoning to help give the ribs an amazing flavor.
We always use two pieces of aluminum foil, as the bones in the ribs will easily penetrate one piece of aluminum.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Ribs On A Pit Boss?
If you’re following the 3,2,1 method, then expect it to take around 6 hours to cook the ribs. The cooking time will fluctuate depending on how many racks you’re cooking, the thickness of the ribs, outside temperature, and the grill temperature.
Regardless of how long it takes, you don’t want to rush the process. Doing so will cause the ribs to tough and chewy. Or worse, they’ll be undercooked which can cause foodborne illnesses (salmonella).
Webmd.com has several other tips for cooking ribs that can help keep you safe.
How Do You Know When The Ribs Are Cooked?
You’ll know the pork or beef ribs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 190-205°F. When using a handheld thermometer, carefully open the foil to get an accurate reading.
Best Pellets to Use for Cooking Ribs?
Pit Boss recommends using Hickory, Apple, Cherry, Whiskey Barrel, or the Competition Blend. I always use the Competition Blend or the Apple.
I’ve used several different wood pellets in my smoker such as; Lumberjack, Traeger, etc to experiment with different flavors. But I always find myself going back to the Pit Boss pellets.
That said, don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavors. I’m sure you’ll find one that your family loves just as much as mine does.
How Long Do I Let The Ribs Rest?
Once the ribs are cooked to the proper temperature, remove them from the grill. Wrap them in a new sheet of aluminum foil. Some people prefer to let them rest in the juice, however, I prefer rewrapping them.
Let them rest for 20-25 minutes, then open the aluminum foil slowly. The aromatic smell of the ribs will fill up your house and make everyone drool.
Cut the Ribs Into Sections
Grab a sharp knife and cut them into sections. This makes it easy to serve them on plates so people can pick and choose which ribs they want.
Now it’s time to sauce them up! We like to use a sweet and spicy sauce on our pork ribs. You can either buy one from the store or make your own.
What Sides to Serve With Ribs?
Barbecue ribs go great with almost any side. We personally love eating ours with french fries but check out some of these great sides for ribs.
What To Do With Leftovers?
We hardly ever have any leftovers, but if you do, don’t worry. Put them in an air-tight container and they’ll stay good in the fridge for 3-4 days. That said, they won’t taste as good the second time around, especially if you heat them up in the microwave.
The secret to making mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs is to cook them low and slow. This guide is packed with information that will help you cook the best ribs on your Pit Boss pellet grill.
Feel free to tweak the type of pellets you use, temperature, or any other aspect in this guide to get the results you want.