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How Long Does it Take to Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?

By Pellet Grill Pros March 31, 2022 0 comments

Timing is of the essence when you want to cook juicy and tender ribs. If it’s your first time using a pellet grill for ribs, you might ask how will it take to cook ribs. Here’s what you need to know.

At What Temperature do you Cook Ribs on a Pellet Grill?

According to our experts, there is no standard time or temperature for cooking ribs on a pellet grill. The time and temperature vary based on the type and size of your rack of ribs. Note that the period it takes to cook your ribs also depends on the temperature you set on the pellet grill.

Cooking at 225 Degrees

This is the ideal temperature for cooking ribs. When the pellet grill temperature is set at 225°F, cook for 4 to 7 hours. 

Also gauge the size of your rack of ribs. A large rack or more racks of ribs take a little longer. Our chefs say that cooking baby back ribs at 225°F can take about 4 to 5 hours while Spares or St. Louis cut ribs can take about 6 to 7 hours.

Cooking at 300 Degrees

It takes about 2½ to 3 hours to cook at 300°F. If your ribs are tightly wrapped with foil or any other covering, cook for 2½ hours at 300°F. If you’re not using a covering, cook for 3 hours.

Cooking at 350 Degrees

If you have preheated your pellet grill to 350°F, then cook your back ribs for 2 hours. 

Cook for the first 1 hour, remove the ribs from the grill to add sauce and seasoning, and then return to the grill and cook for 1 more hour. However, if you have country-style ribs, our professional teams say they should cook for 20 to 30 minutes altogether.

Why Does it Take Long for Ribs to Cook on a Pellet Grill?

Ribs have more fat and connective tissues so they take a long time to cook on a pellet grill.  When cooking ribs, the fat needs to be rendered and the connective tissues converted into edible gelatin. These processes take time and contribute to the long cooking time.

Finding Out When the Ribs are Done 

If ribs are undercooked, they might feel like a tough and dry slab of meat. That’s why our experts say it’s important to cook your ribs properly. 

Typically, ribs are done when their internal temperature reaches 195°F. However, you can still find out when ribs are done by using the toothpick test, the bend test, the taste test, the peek test, the timing test, the visual test, or the twist test.

Rib Types Explained

There are several different types of ribs based on the part of the rib cage that they are gotten from.

Spare Rib Rack

Spare rib rack [1], also referred to as spares or side ribs, is probably the most popular type of rib. It is obtained from the further downside (underbelly) of the pig. Spare ribs extend towards the breastbone and connect to the sternum. They are straighter and flatter than baby back ribs.

Kansas City-Style Ribs

These ribs are very similar to St. Louis-style ribs. They are both spare ribs. However, St. Louis-style ribs no longer have the breastbone and cartilage, while Kansas City-style ribs have their cartilage left in place. These ribs are also thicker.

Pork Loin Back Ribs or “Baby Back Ribs”

Pork loin back ribs are obtained from the upper side of a pig’s back. They are directly attached to the pig’s backbone. They got the word “baby” because they are smaller than spares and the word “back” because they are connected to the pig’s backbone.

FAQ

1. Do ribs become soft when they are cooked longer?

Yes, ribs become softer when they are cooked longer and become more tender and juicier. Normally, your ribs are done when their internal temperature hits 195°F+, soft enough to come right off the bone. However, if they are overcooked, they will become soft and mushy.

2. How do you sustain the moisture when smoking?

You sustain the moisture when smoking by wrapping your meat completely in foil or butcher paper. Other ways include basting, spritzing the meat, or keeping a water pan in your smoker.

Conclusion

How long does it take to cook ribs on a pellet grill? If you’re cooking at the ideal temperature of 225°F, you’ll be cooking for 4 to 7 hours and your ribs should be done when the internal temperature reads 195°F. Don’t forget to always consider the size and type of your ribs.


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