Fall-Off-The-Bone-Tender Barbecue Ribs



My husband is pretty handy at the grill.  In fact, I think he’s pretty amazing.  I may be slightly biased.

But in case you need some convincing give these AMAZING, fall-off-the-bone, ribs a try.  Barbecue ribs so tender they fall off the bones 397

Everyone we have EVER made these for, loves them.  Everyone wants the recipe.  So, everyone, here you are.  My husbands tender ribs.

Barbecue Ribs that are so tender they seriously fall off the bone 378

Start with the rack of ribs, we usually use pork ribs.  Lay three sheets of foil under the ribs.  (Three sheets per rack.)  The foil should be long enough to completely close around the ribs.  Then generously massage in the barbecue rub of your choice.  We have several favorites.  I like Grill Mates Cowboy rub, and their Apple-wood rub, but we have also had some great rubs from Costco.  Anyway, try a few different ones and see what you like.  Then wrap up the top and bottom sides of the foil to seal it across.  Roll the two edges together to really seal it.  Then roll in the side edges to seal those two.  Flip the rack over, so the edges you just sealed are facing down, and repeat that rolling in the edges process with the second piece of foil.  Flip the rack again, and repeat with the third piece of foil.

Step by step prep for tender ribs

Put the foil wrapped ribs on a large pan, or cookie sheet.  Cook the ribs in the oven at 250 degrees for 6 hours.  Low and slow.  The ribs should all be on the same shelf in the oven, laying next to each other.

Preheat your grill to about to 500 degrees.  Unwrap the foil and place just the racks of ribs on the cookie sheet. (See photo above)  Spread the barbecue sauce -any kind, my recipe will be coming soon!- on one side then put that side down on the grill.  Then spread sauce on the top side.  Cook each side for about a min, just long enough to caramelize the sauce.  These ribs are going to be very tender so you only want to flip them once, and handle them as little as possible.  They may even start falling off the bone before you get to flip them.  That’s not a bad thing.  Just use some tongs to get all the pieces up.
Barbecue Ribs 394We usually find that 1 rack can serve 3-4 people.  Also, it’s best to do 1-3 racks at a time.  More than 3 racks and the ribs won’t cook well in the oven.  If doing three racks, make sure they are not stacked on top of each other.  You may even want to rotate the racks half way through cooking.  (Keep them on the same shelf in the oven, but move the inside rack of ribs to the outside, so they get pretty even exposure to the heat.)  I also recommend using heavy duty aluminum foil.  It holds up better, you won’t have as many tears when handling it with the ribs.

Last point I want to make- wrap the ribs THREE times as instructed above.  My husband swears by that trick.  Friends have used this recipe, and not done that part, and they did not have great success.  So, trust me on that one.

Fall-Off-The-Bone-Tender Barbecue Ribs


  • 1-3 rack of ribs
  • barbecue rub
  • barbecue sauce
  • aluminum foil


  1. Remove each rack of ribs from its packaging, and place it on a stack of three sheets of foil. All sheets of foil should be big enough to wrap around the ribs, completely sealing it. Before wrapping the foil, sprinkle a barbecue rub over the ribs and rub it in. Turn the rack of ribs over, and repeat with the barbecue rub. Once both sides are covered with the rub, wrap the foil, one sheet at a time, by holding the long sides together and rolling the edges down, then repeat with the short side. Flip the wrapped ribs over to put the foil seam down, then repeat with the next layer of foil. Flip the rack again, and repeat with the last layer of foil.
  2. Place all the wrapped racks of ribs on a cookie sheet, or two if needed. Put those on the middle shelf in the oven and cook at 250 degrees for 6 hours. Rotate the position of the racks, if cooking 3 at a time. (Move the center rack to the outside for even cooking.)
  3. Just before removing the ribs from oven, preheat barbecue grill to about 500 degrees. Remove ribs from the oven, and carefully unwrap each layer of foil, and place the meat directly on the cookie sheet. Spread barbecue sauce on the top side of the meat. When placing the ribs on the barbecue grill, place them sauce side down. Then spread sauce on the new top side. Cook each side for about 1 minute or until the sauce is caramelized. Be careful handling, and turning the ribs, they are very tender and easily fall apart.
  4. Remove the meat from the grill and serve while still hot. Serve with additional sauce if wanted.

My favorite sides to accompany these ribs are my Potato Salad and Baked Beans.

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7 thoughts on “Fall-Off-The-Bone-Tender Barbecue Ribs

  1. Loved this recipe!! Thanks for sharing. My ribs were LITERALLY falling off of the bones! This is a keeper.

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Natalie! I love that the meat falls off the bones. Makes it easier to get those bones clean! 😉

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