Make Ahead Ribs. Braised then grilled! Learn how to slow braise the ribs in the oven the day before then grill and glaze them to sticky perfection the next day.
This recipe allow you to enjoy finger lickin’ good ribs on weeknights too!
That’s because the slow, tender cooking of the meat can take place the day before. Twenty minutes or so on a low grill is all it takes to completely reheat them and glaze them to perfection.
Tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs need one most important thing to be really perfect. That thing is simply time.
Slow cooking is the only way to achieve perfect ribs. However, that requires hours of slow smoking or indirect grilling to work and most people only have time to do that on the weekends.
My solution for weekday ribs is to split the cooking into 2 distinct and very simple stages. 2 1/2 hours in the oven the night before when you are watching TV or doing housework, then dinner in minutes the next night when you finish them on a grill.
I learned this in my very short time as a line cook in my early twenties. Nobody could ever tell that they were pre-cooked.
Braising is the key to tender ribs.
The braising also allows you to separate the natural meat juices from the fat that is rendered out in the oven. You can then save this pork stock to mix 1/2 and 1/2 with your favourite BBQ Sauce to mop on the ribs as they reheat and get a little char on them.
This works incredibly well to keep the ribs from drying out as they are reheating. I used my latest recipe for Smoky Spice Honey BBQ Sauce on the ribs and they were incredibly delicious but I’d also recommend our Maple Chipotle BBQ Sauce too.
I like to use St. Louis style side ribs for this recipe because they are much meatier but you can use baby back ribs too, just note the adjustment in oven time.
One last tip is to always cook your ribs in half racks. I always do this because they are much easier to handle on the grill.
I find as they get toward the end of the grilling time a full rack is far more likely to break apart. Turning them multiple times in the glazing process is required and half racks are easier to handle
A dry rub is needed to season these ribs. You your favourite or make up a batch of my Smokin’ Summer Spice Dry Rub recipe. You’ll use that on everything, trust me!
We have some great side dish inspiration too!
Including everything from baked beans & corn bread to deliciously different potato and pasta salads. Be sure to check them all out in our collection of 35 Best BBQ Side Dishes too.
Originally published Aug 2016. Updated June 2020.
Like this make ahead ribs recipe?
You’ll find hundreds of other great recipes for the grill and smoker in our dedicated BBQ & Grilling Category.
Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too.
You can also sign up for our FREE newsletter to know immediately when we add new recipes. You’ll also get weekly suggestions for great family friendly meals and desserts too!
Rock Recipes a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Our product recommendations are almost exclusively for those we currently use or have used in the past.
Make Ahead Ribs - braised then grilled! Learn how to slow braise the ribs in the oven the day before then grill and glaze them to sticky perfection the next day.
- 2 large racks of St. Louis style side ribs, or back ribs if you prefer.
- Smokin' Summer Spice Dry Rub or other dry rub.
- 3/4 cup of your favourite BBQ Sauce
- 3/4 cup of the reserved pork stock from braising the ribs.
- Cut the racks of ribs in half. Remove the silver skin from the back sides of the ribs if you prefer. (I remove it by loosening it with the handle of a spoon then tearing it off on long strips.)
- Season lightly with salt and completely cover the ribs with a dusting of your favourite dry rub. Try my recipe for Smokin' Summer Spice Dry Rub.
- Wrap each half rack of ribs in aluminum foil, rolling and pressing the edges together to get a good seal. Now add a second layer of sealed aluminum foil to each one of the half racks as well. Place the wrapped pork ribs on a balking sheet
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F and cook the ribs undisturbed for 2 hours and 30 minutes. (1 hour and 30 minutes for back ribs)
- Carefully tear open a corner of each of the foil packets and drain the liquid off of the ribs into a small bowl or large measuring cup. Let the juices cool completely in the fridge so that the fat is easily removed from the top and discarded.
- Chill the ribs for several hours or overnight. The precooking can be done up to 2 days in advance.
- Preheat the grill to low heat and gently begin to reheat the ribs, turning often.
- Mix the BBQ Sauce and pork stock together and begin to brush the ribs with the
- mixture as you turn and reheat the ribs,
- Take your time with this. I usually take 20 - 25 minutes to get them completely heated through and fall off the bone tender. It's worth the time!
Serving Size1 serving
Amount Per Serving Calories 505Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 10gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 123mgSodium 707mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 35g