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Ribs: Direct vs Indirect

johnl350johnl350 Posts: 125
edited 1:24PM in EggHead Forum
Before I knew any better I used to cook ribs direct at 250 degrees for 4 hours... the last two hours wrapped in foil. Now since I have learned a lot more about the BGE (and gotten the platesetter, etc) I have been cooking them indirect but I cant make them as good as when I cooked them direct. Anyone else cook ribs direct? I feel like I should never cook them direct knowing what I know now, but dang I cooked my best ribs ever not knowing what i was doing :ermm: .


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,551
    raised grid direct for me when i have the time to watch them
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    I've always been a low and slow indirect guy but in the last couple of months I've been cooking them direct at 350 dome. Had some mixed results but generally good ones. -RP
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,565
    The problem I have with doing ribs direct is that sometimes they get scorched. I have to take time basting and flipping them. If everything works right, they turn out both crisp and tender.

    Indirect with a platesetter, they're never scorched, but they seem to take considerably longer, and I too often pull them before they are really done.

    So usually I do a minimal indirect. I've found a shallow aluminum pan that covers 85% of the lower grill. I place that in between. Earlier I've used pie plates, or just some HD foil. The metal seems to re-radiate much of the heat from the coals, while providing a block of the scorching IR. Usually only requires one or two mistings towards the end to keep the surface from being too dry (I only have sauce on the side.)
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,603
    I have always done indirect and I am fairly new so I am still tinkering with the process. It sounds like you had a process that worked using the direct/foil method; so if you like them that way I say go back to it! No law that says a plate setter is a must.

    If you want to perfect your method that includes indirect, maybe you just need some more tinkering. Have you tried a 3-1-1 method?

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

  • DavekatzDavekatz Posts: 763
    I've had good luck doing them direct. See Robust Ribs.

    The trick seems to be to use a raised grate and a low, even fire. They end up crispier and not as "fall apart tender" but I like them that way.
    Food & Fire - The carnivorous ramblings of a gluten-free grill geek.
  • John-

    I do my ribs with the rub only, indirect. After a few hours I pull them off and wrap them in foil. After a few more hours I take them out of the foil and go for another 45 minutes or so.

    The last 20 minutes I take them off, I take out the platesetter, baste them, crank the heat some, and cook them direct.

    My wife won't let me try them any other way. They're moist but with a good crispy bark.
  • GregCGregC Posts: 53
    I do indirect,

    1. First I rub with olive oil and dry rub. The BGE will be at 250deg. (with apple wood Chunk for smoke) with plate sitter and a pan of apple juice, ribs go on a rack; 2hrs.

    2. Remove and place in tin foil, making a tent, add about 2-3oz of apple juice and coat with honey, 1hr..

    3. Remove from tin foil place direct on grate still indirect heat and slap the BBQ sauce for 30-45 minutes,

    4. Remove and let sit under tin foil for 15 minutes.

    Has been good so far. B)
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