How to Season Ribs Before Grilling

As a passionate grilling aficionado, I season ribs to elevate their flavor and tenderness to mouthwatering levels.

It's not just about adding flavor, it's about the grilling techniques that turn ordinary meats into perfectly grilled steaks sure to please the senses.

These are the steps I take to season ribs before grilling.


Removing the Membrane

Removing the membrane from a rack of ribs

Start with the overlooked yet important step of removing the membrane on the underside of the ribs.

This thin membrane can hinder tenderness and prevent flavors from penetrating the meat effectively.

To start, grab a knife and gently lift the corner of the membrane. Once you have a good grip, use your fingers to pull it away from the meat.


Choosing the Right Seasoning

Bottles of various rib seasonings

These are the different types of seasonings we recommend, depending on your preference

  1. Dry Rubs:
    • Memphis-Style Dry Rub: Typically includes a mix of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and sometimes brown sugar.
    • Kansas City-Style Dry Rub: Often features a combination of brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and other spices.
  2. Wet Rubs/Marinades:
    • Classic Barbecue Sauce: Ingredients often include ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and various spices.
    • Honey Garlic Glaze: Combining honey, soy sauce, garlic, and sometimes ginger for a sweet and savory flavor.
  3. Homemade Blends:
    • Paprika and Brown Sugar Rub: A simple mix of smoked paprika, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and other spices for a sweet and smoky flavor.
    • Cajun Spice Rub: Featuring paprika, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder for a spicy and flavorful kick.
  4. Store-Bought Seasonings:
    • Montreal Steak Seasoning: While designed for steak, many people enjoy this on ribs as well due to its blend of garlic, coriander, black pepper, dill, and other spices.
    • Dry Rib Rubs: Many brands offer pre-packaged dry rubs specifically designed for ribs.

Applying Dry Rub

Applying Dry Rub on Ribs

Dry rubs are the secret weapon for infusing your ribs with smoky and spicy goodness.

Generously coat your ribs with the dry rub, ensuring that every inch is covered. Massage it into the meat, simple!

Allow the flavors to meld with the meat by letting the ribs sit for 15-3you apply the dry rub.


Trimming Excess Fat

Trimming Excess Fat from a Rack of Ribs

Before we fire up the grill, let's take a moment to trim any excess fat and remove the silver skin.

Trimming excess fat promotes even cooking and prevents flare-ups, while removing the silver skin ensures a tender and enjoyable eating experience.

Grab a sharp knife and carefully trim away any excess fat, leaving just the right amount for flavor.

Next, locate the thin silver skin on the bone side of the ribs. Slide the knife under the skin and gently lift it away, freeing your ribs from any potential chewiness.


Additional Tips

Grilled Ribs with Perfect Seasoning

Set your grill to a temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius) and place the ribs directly on the grill grates.

Cook them for approximately 2 ½ hours, allowing the flavors to develop and the meat to become tender.

For those seeking an extra layer of flavor, consider a slow braising technique the day before grilling.

Slowly braise the ribs in the oven, infusing them with mouthwatering goodness, and then finish them off on the grill the next day.


Enjoy your meal!