How Long To Let Ribs Rest? Everything you need to know

Resting your ribs after you finish cooking them is an important step that you should always pay attention to. The resting period plays a significant role in elevating the flavor of the ribs by allowing for the juices’ reabsorption, hence preventing the meat from drying after slicing.

So, how long should you let the ribs rest? While there are factors that influence the duration to rest your ribs, you should rest your ribs for at least 10-15 minutes. Factors such as the size of the meat and your taste and preference will influence how long to rest the ribs.

Although resting the ribs is essential in preserving their juiciness, you should not rest them for a long time because you do not want to serve them cold. Read on for more refined details on resting your ribs for the best results.  

How Long to Let ribs rest

Like I said above, you should let your ribs rest for 10-15 minutes to allow for the reabsorption and redistribution of the juices. If you fail to rest the ribs, the chances are that most of the juices will escape when slicing the meat. Hence, you will end up with dry meat.

Of course, all you need to do to ensure that all your sauces get together is to let the ribs Rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

While the waiting game can be frustrating, especially when you are hungry, it is necessary if you want to serve a delicious meal.

Also Read: How Many Ribs in a Rack? [COMPLETE BEGINNER’S GUIDE]

What Happens when you Rest the Ribs?

To understand what happens when you let the ribs rest, you must first understand what happens when cooking them.

When cooking the ribs, the muscle fibers constrict, pushing the juices away from the heat source towards the center of the meat. The concentration of the juices in the center of the meat leads to it pouring out when slicing.

Here is what happens when you let your ribs rest before slicing;

  • As the meat rests, the meat fibers relax
  • The pressure on the juices is released, resulting in the redistribution of the juices throughout the entire meat.
  • Overall, resting the meat helps make the entire ribs moist and delicious.

How Long to Let ribs Rest in Cooler

One of the common methods of resting ribs is to rest them in a cooler. The cooler is advantageous in the sense that it prevents the loss of heat from the meat. Also, it ensures the even distribution of the juices within the ribs.

If you use a cooler to rest your ribs, you can rest them for 30 minutes. Once the ribs have achieved the desired level of doneness, wrap them in aluminum foil before placing them in a cooler and close the lids. Allow the ribs to rest for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Resting your well-cooked ribs in a cooler is also advantageous because it allows carryover cooking. Additionally, it makes it easy for the juices to redistribute fast. Further, when you use a cooler, you are sure the meat will be hot until you are ready to serve it.

How Long to Let Ribs Rest in Foil

To rest ribs in the foil, you need to be careful so that you do not end up serving your ribs cold. Even though resting the meat after you are done cooking is critical in ensuring you serve moist and delicious meat, resting it for a long time will result in them getting cold.

The best duration to rest your ribs in an aluminum foil is 10-20 minutes, depending on the size. When using the aluminum foil to rest the ribs, ensure that you do not wrap it too tightly, as this can easily destroy the delicious and attractive bark on the ribs.

How Long to Let Ribs Rest After Smoking

Smoking the ribs is an ideal way of making them delicious. Besides, when smoking the ribs, you are at liberty to use the wood for your preferred flavor, which is another incredible way of elevating the flavor of the ribs.

Whether you grilled or smoked your ribs, you should let them rest for at least 10 minutes. Wrapping your smoked ribs in a foil as they rest is an ideal way of ensuring that they remain within the perfect temperature when serving.

However, you need to ensure that you do not wrap the foil too tightly, as the steam inside the foil will destroy the bark of the meat.

Tips for Preparing Delectable Meals

While resting the ribs the right way is a significant step to making them more delicious, there are several other techniques you need to embrace to cook the best ribs. Here are some of the essential tips that you should always remember whenever you want to prepare your ribs.

Buy the Right Meat

Even if you embrace the best smoking/grilling techniques, if the ribs’ quality is , you are not likely to achieve the best results.

Therefore, anytime you want to cook ribs for your family or even friends, ensure that you invest in the best quality. For instance, you should always ensure that you know the quality of the meat you purchase.

Related: Beef Ribs Vs Pork Ribs: [Top Differences]

Remove the Sliver Skin

Removing the silver skin from the rib is another incredible tip that you can use to enhance the taste of your ribs. When you remove the sliver skin, the seasoning easily penetrates the ribs to make them more delicious. 

Further, it becomes easy for the smoke to penetrate and influence the flavor profile of the ribs.

Marinate your Ribs

If you want to elevate the flavor of your ribs, then marinating is one of the significant steps that you should always pay attention to. 

However, you should ensure that the marinades you use do not overpower the ribs’ intrinsic flavor but complement them instead.

Clean your Grill/smoker

It is also important to ensure that you clean your grill/smoker. The leftovers of previous meals on the grill can easily distort the flavor of your ribs; that is what you need to avoid. Furthermore, cleaning your grills before you start cooking is a nice way of elevating your cooking hygiene.

Get the Right Gear

For the best results, always use quality gear to prepare your meals. Cooking on a poor-quality grill may result in difficulties in preparing delicious meals.

Test for Doneness

While it  hard to tell when your ribs are done, it is important to understand that undercooking or overcooking them can easily tarnish their flavor. The best way to tell whether or not your ribs are done is to deploy a digital meat thermometer during the entire process of cooking your ribs.

The ribs are done when the digital meat thermometer reads 195 degrees F. Further, it is also important to understand that the temperature of your ribs will continue rising for about five minutes after you get them out of the fire source in a process known as carryover cooking. 

Therefore, it is important to factor in carryover cooking when determining the doneness of your ribs.

How to Know When Ribs are done?

Besides using a digital meat thermometer to determine whether or not the ribs are done, there are other methods on how to tell when ribs are done of your ribs. They include;

  • The color – Well-done ribs take the color of mahogany. However, it is important to note that this method can be misleading, and the best and most reliable method is using a digital meat thermometer.
  • Bones – When ribs are done, they bend towards the ground, becoming flexible but not falling apart.
  • Tooth-pick Test – The toothpick test entails sticking a toothpick on the ribs. If the toothpick penetrates with little resistance, then it means that they are done.
  • Flexibility test – You can use your hands to gauge the flexibility of the ribs and therefore determine whether or not they are well done.

6 Ways to Cook Delicious Ribs

When it comes to cooking delicious ribs, you have several methods that you can embrace to prepare delicious ribs. Some of the common methods include;

  • Barbecue
  • Roast, then grill
  • Roast then broil
  • Braise, then fry
  • Braise, then broil
  • Smoke

Also Read: Pellet Grill Spare Ribs: [STEP BY STEP GUIDE]


Smoking delicious ribs is a simple process that you should enjoy. You need to make sure you buy quality ribs, pick the best method to cook them and rest them before slicing and serving.

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