How Long to Cook Ribs on an Electric Grill?

How Long to Cook Ribs on an Electric Grill?

Grilling ribs on an electric grill can be a delicious and convenient way to enjoy this classic barbecue dish. However, achieving perfectly cooked and tender ribs requires proper preparation, temperature control, and monitoring. In this section, I will provide you with a step-by-step guide on cooking ribs on an electric grill, including the optimal cooking time and temperature.

Key Takeaways

Preparing the Ribs

Before we start grilling, we need to prepare the ribs properly. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove the membrane: The membrane on the underside of the ribs can be tough, and it prevents the seasoning from penetrating the meat. Use a sharp knife to gently lift a corner of the membrane, then use your fingers or a paper towel to grip it firmly and pull it off in one piece.
  • Season the ribs: Apply your favorite dry rub or marinade to the ribs, making sure to coat both sides evenly. You can use store-bought seasonings or make your own using a combination of herbs and spices.
  • Let the ribs marinate: For the best flavor, let the ribs marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight. This step allows the spices to permeate the meat and tenderize it.

If you’re short on time, you can skip the marinating step, but the ribs may not be as flavorful or tender.


If you’re using a sweet or sugary sauce, it’s best to wait until the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to apply it. Otherwise, the sauce may burn and become bitter.

Setting Up the Electric Grill

Before starting to cook the ribs on your electric grill, it’s important to ensure that the grill is set up correctly. This will help to ensure even heat distribution and will help to prevent the ribs from sticking to the grill.

The following steps will guide you through the process of setting up your electric grill for cooking ribs:

Step Description
Step 1 Preheat the electric grill to 225°F. This is the optimal temperature for cooking ribs.
Step 2 Arrange the heat source for indirect grilling. This means that the ribs will be cooked over a heat source on one side of the grill, and will not be in direct contact with the heat source. This helps to prevent the ribs from burning and ensures that they cook evenly.
Step 3 Adjust the temperature of the grill as necessary. If the ribs are cooking too quickly, you can reduce the temperature slightly. If they are taking too long to cook, you can increase the temperature slightly.

Once you have completed these steps, your electric grill should be set up and ready for cooking the ribs.

It’s important to remember that different electric grills may require slightly different set-up procedures. Always consult the user manual for your specific grill for the best results.

Cooking the Ribs on an Electric Grill

Now that the electric grill is preheated and the ribs are properly seasoned, it’s time to start cooking. Place the ribs on the grill, bone side down, and close the lid. Monitor the temperature and adjust as needed to maintain a consistent heat.

For the 2-2-1 method, cook the ribs for 2 hours on indirect heat, then wrap them in foil and cook for another 2 hours on indirect heat. Finally, remove the foil and cook the ribs for 1 more hour on indirect heat, brushing with your favorite barbecue sauce every 15 minutes.

It is important to flip and baste the ribs during the cooking process to ensure even cooking and flavor. Use tongs or a spatula to carefully flip the ribs and apply the sauce. Be sure not to flip too often, which can cause the ribs to fall apart.

Adjust the cooking time depending on the thickness of the ribs and your desired level of doneness. Keep in mind that ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F, according to the USDA.

Once the ribs are cooked to perfection, carefully remove them from the grill and let them rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. This step is crucial for tender, juicy ribs.

Checking for Doneness

Checking when the ribs are fully cooked is critical to achieving the perfect outcome. There are various methods to check doneness, including using a meat thermometer and performing the bend test. Once the internal temperature of the ribs reaches 145°F, they are safe to eat. It’s crucial to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.

Alternatively, you can perform the bend test by cooking the ribs until they bend easily without breaking. Hold the rack of ribs with a pair of tongs at one end and gently bounce them. If the surface of the ribs cracks, they need more cooking time, but if they bend easily and the surface cracks only slightly, then they’re ready. It’s important to note that ribs will continue cooking after removing them from the grill, so it’s best to take them off slightly before they reach their desired doneness.

After grilling, allow the ribs to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. The resting period allows the juices to redistribute, leading to tender, juicy meat. I recommend tenting the ribs with foil during this time to keep them warm and moist.

Serving and Enjoying

Now that the ribs are perfectly cooked on your electric grill, it’s time to serve and enjoy them. One great option is to sauce the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce. Whether you prefer a sweet and tangy sauce or a spicy one, the choice is yours. Brush the sauce onto the ribs during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking to avoid burning.

When serving the ribs, presentation is key. To add an extra touch of sophistication, try placing the ribs on a platter with some fresh herbs or sliced citrus fruits as a garnish. This will not only make your dish look more appetizing, but the aroma of the herbs and citrus will also add an extra layer of flavor.

When it comes to side dishes, there are plenty of options that pair well with grilled ribs. Some classic choices include coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob. For a healthier option, consider grilling some vegetables like asparagus or zucchini.

As for beverages, a cold beer or a glass of red wine will complement the smoky flavor of the ribs perfectly. If you prefer non-alcoholic options, a sweet tea or a lemonade will also do the trick.

Remember that the most important thing about enjoying your grilled ribs is to savor the flavor and enjoy the company you’re with. Electric grill cooking can produce tender and juicy ribs with ease, so let your taste buds be your guide.


In conclusion, cooking ribs on an electric grill can be a delicious and satisfying experience with the proper preparation and technique. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can achieve tender and flavorful ribs every time. Remember to remove the membrane, season the ribs, and let them marinate for maximum flavor. Preheat the grill, adjust the temperature, and arrange the heat source for indirect grilling. Use the 2-2-1 method for perfectly cooked ribs, basting and flipping them during the cooking process. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer or performing the bend test, and allow the ribs to rest before serving. Consider pairing the ribs with complementary side dishes and beverages for an unforgettable meal. With practice, you can master the art of cooking ribs on an electric grill and impress your friends and family with your culinary skills.


Q: How long should I cook ribs on an electric grill?

A: The cooking time for ribs on an electric grill can vary depending on the thickness of the ribs and the desired level of doneness. As a general guideline, you can cook ribs on an electric grill for approximately 2-2.5 hours at a temperature of 225°F to 250°F. It’s important to monitor the internal temperature of the ribs using a meat thermometer to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 190°F for tender and fully cooked ribs.

Q: How do I remove the membrane from the ribs?

A: To remove the membrane from the ribs, start by loosening it with a butter knife or your fingers at one end of the slab. Once loosened, grab the membrane with a paper towel or cloth for better grip and pull it off in one piece. Removing the membrane allows the seasoning and marinade to penetrate the meat and results in more tender and flavorful ribs.

Q: How should I season the ribs before grilling?

A: Before grilling, season the ribs generously with a dry rub or marinade of your choice. You can use a combination of spices, herbs, and seasonings to create a flavor profile that suits your taste. Make sure to rub the seasoning into the meat, covering all sides evenly. It’s recommended to let the seasoned ribs sit in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight, to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat.

Q: How do I preheat the electric grill for cooking ribs?

A: To preheat the electric grill, plug it in and turn it on to the desired temperature. Depending on the model, you may have to adjust the temperature using a control dial or digital settings. Allow the grill to heat up for about 10-15 minutes to ensure it reaches the desired cooking temperature. Preheating the grill ensures even heat distribution and helps to prevent sticking.

Q: How can I tell when the ribs are done cooking?

A: There are a few ways to check for doneness when cooking ribs on an electric grill. One method is to use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the ribs. For fully cooked ribs, the internal temperature should reach around 190°F. Another method is the bend test – when the ribs are fully cooked, they should easily bend and start to crack when lifted. Additionally, you can visually check for the meat pulling away from the bones as an indication of doneness.

Q: How should I serve the cooked ribs?

A: Once the ribs are cooked to perfection, you can serve them in various ways. Some options include saucing the ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce, either brushing it on during the last few minutes of cooking or serving it on the side for dipping. When serving, you can cut the slab into individual ribs or keep them as a whole for a more dramatic presentation. Don’t forget to garnish with fresh herbs or citrus zest for an extra touch of flavor.

Michael Davis
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