"Hot and Fast" Pork Ribs Recipe on My BBQ42 Charcoal Grill

In this story, I'll show you how you can use our best-selling BBQ42 charcoal grill to smoke pork ribs using a hot-and-fast method.

If you've been dreaming of owning a BBQ42 Chicken Cooker, but haven't been able to justify the cost, you may not realize all the things you can cook with it:

  • Bone-in Chicken: This grill was originally built to simplify grilling bone-in chicken. The double-sided pivoting grate lets you turn an entire case of chicken with a wave of your arm.
  • Thick Cut Meats: The double-sided grate works for other cuts of meat that are usually cooked over direct heat if they are roughly 1.25" thick.
  • Burgers and Steaks: The optional flat grate is perfect for thinner cuts of meat that would slide around in the double-sided grate. These are cooked with the charcoal pan in the raised position.
  • Ribs: You can build a fire in the bottom of the grill and cook these directly over the fire or offset the fire and put the meat on the opposite end of the grill. I'll be talking about this method more below.
  • Pork Butts and Briskets: You can cook larger cuts of meat that are usually cooked with indirect heat by using the optional 10" lid and flat grate. You'd probably want to build your fire in the one end of the grill and set the meat on the grate opposite the heat source. The optional charcoal pull-out would be handy for adding more fuel throughout the cook as needed.
  • Fried Foods: The optional griddle is perfect for frying pancakes, eggs, bacon, fajitas, and more. Throw in a couple of handfuls of flavor pellets and close the lid to give your meal a delicious wood-fired flavor.

As you can see, there are many ways to use a BBQ42 outside of grilling chicken. In my opinion, any serious backyarder needs one of these for entertaining guests, putting meat in the freezer for the family, or helping with small events.

"Hot and Fast" Ribs Recipe

Here are the steps I used to cook these ribs on my BBQ42 Charcoal Grill. I'm cooking 6 racks of baby back ribs. They should take a total of 2 to 2-1/2 hours to cook.

  • Season the ribs with Meadow Creek Black Pepper Brisket Rub or your favorite rib seasoning. 
  • Fire the grill with 20 pounds of charcoal briquettes (bottom vents and lid open). Mound the charcoal in the center and light half of the coals with a propane torch. Use a garden hoe or shovel to mix the coals and spread them evenly. Toss in several chunks of smoking wood.
  • Set the flat grate in place on the grill.
  • Close the lid and top vents and adjust the bottom vents to 1/2" open. After 15 minutes, check the temperature and adjust the bottom vents as needed to stabilize the temperature at roughly 275 degrees F.
  • Arrange the ribs on the grate meat side up and immediately close the lid. You don't want to give the fire too much air. Check on them every 15-20 minutes to make sure the bottom sides are not charring too much.
  • After 1 hour, flip them to meat side down to keep them from burning on the bottom before they are done. Close the lid and only open it to check them every 10-15 minutes to make sure they are not burning on the meat side. 
  • Once they have the color you are looking for on the meat side, flip them back to meat side up, glaze the tops, and close the lid.
  • Remove them from the grill when they are tender or reach 200 degrees F between the bones. Slice and serve.
What About the Smoke Flavor?

Ribs cooked using this method will have a delicious char-grilled flavor, but less smoke flavor than you might want. I found that some of the ribs got very dark on the bottom side, but the meat remained tender and delicious. If you are worried about them lacking a distinct smoke flavor, you could use one of these methods:

  • Make More Smoke: Use twice as many wood chunks to generate a heavier smoke when the meat is cold or toss in several fistfuls of flavor pellets when you add the meat.
  • Lengthen the Cook: You could use less charcoal to lower the temperature in the grill so the meat has more time to absorb smoke. You could also build a fire only in the one end of the grill and set the meat in the end of the grill opposite the fire for more indirect heat, which would lengthen the cook.

Are you looking for a BBQ smoker trailer like this one that can both smoke and grill a variety of meats for a crowd? We'd love to build you one! It's easy to customize these with the upgrades that are right for your needs and budget:


I used two full 11-pound bags of 100% hardwood charcoal briquettes

Charcoal mixed and spread evenly in the pan.

Bottom sliding vent open

Now the grill is ready to close and stabilize at 275 degrees. Refer to my list of steps above for specific instructions.

You may fire the grill before or after you season the ribs.

I'm cooking baby back ribs, which don't usually require much trimming. I like to remove the membrane and trim off any loose pieces of meat and thicker portions of the ribs to help them cook more evenly.

Dust the entire surface of the ribs with Meadow Creek Black Pepper Brisket Rub or your favorite rib rub.

I like to let the meat sweat for at least a few minutes after seasoning it before putting it on the smoker.

My BBQ42 charcoal grill is mounted onto a TS250 barbecue smoker trailer, but you can also get them as a stand-alone grill.

The BBQ42 is a practical and attractive add-on for these trailers.

This is how I like to arrange the ribs on the grate. You could get more on, but for your first batch, I recommend doing no more than 6.

In my experience, ribs often don't cook at the same speed, so I chose to use the flat grate, which makes it easy to treat each rack individually.

Aren't they looking pretty?


I glazed these with the fantastic Killer Hogs BBQ Sauce as they were finishing on the grill.

Look at that beautiful finish!

Sliced and ready to serve!

Just look at the beautiful color of these ribs...

I'm getting hungry. What about you?


Are you ready to take the plunge and upgrade to a smoker trailer with lots of room that you can pull behind your truck for events or roadside vending?

Check out the TS250 and customize it with some sweet upgrades, such as a front-mounted BBQ42, stainless steel shelves, trim package, insulated firebox, charcoal basket, and live smoke in the warming box:

The trailer is well-balanced and pulls like a dream.


Contact your nearest dealer using our dealer locator here:

About the Author

Lavern is the online brand ambassador for Meadow Creek Welding and founder of StoryQue magazine.

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