6 Tips That Work Well to Keep Ribs Warm

Cooking ribs is almost as important as knowing how to keep ribs warm. This way you’ll keep its juiciness intact and your ribs won’t lose flavor!

There are many different methods for doing this successfully.

Most of them can help to retain the moisture in the meat and prevent it from becoming tough or leathery. But most importantly, it will still be cool enough to be eaten immediately.

Smoking ribs in preparation for a big cookout will last several hours, so it’s necessary to keep them warm during this time. But a lot of people have a problem keeping the ribs warm after cooking.

In this article, we are gonna go over the most common ways to keep ribs warm and nice.

Learn how to keep ribs warm
Source: Louise Gill (Flickr)

Best way to cook and smoke ribs

The most common way to cook ribs is in a smoker with hickory or applewood chips for four hours or more at 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

The ribs are then brushed with barbecue sauce before serving.

This method is often called “low and slow”.

Another popular cooking technique is smoking them over direct heat for about an hour per side on a grill heated to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by brushing with barbecue sauce while still hot from the grill.

A simple home smoker can be made using a large metal trashcan with a rack in the bottom.

The only other thing needed is charcoal and wood chips, but these are often readily available from local grocery stores or convenience stores at little to no cost.

How to keep ribs warm

Here are 6 tips to keep your freshly grilled ribs warm and juicy for long periods of time:

1. Wrap them in foil

After you cook the ribs, you can wrap them in foil and put them in a roasting pan with some liquid such as broth or wine. This will help keep them warm.

2. Use an oiled baking sheet and aluminum foil

Another way to keep ribs warm is to put them on an oiled baking sheet and cover them with aluminum foil.

Place them back on the grill for another 10 minutes or so to help insulate the heat of the grill while it’s still hot.

Then you can place cooked ribs in a casserole dish, pour some barbecue sauce over them, cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until heated through.

3. Keep them in a slow cooker

You can also just put them in a slow cooker filled with barbecue sauce and onions. This will give the ribs a nice flavor that everyone loves.

4. Put the ribs on a heatproof plate

You can also wrap cooled-down ribs in aluminum foil and place them on a heatproof plate.

Cover the ribs with another heatproof plate, then wrap the whole thing up in a towel or two to keep it warm.

5. Place them on a preheated grill

Another way of keeping ribs warm is to put them on a preheated part of the grill, cover the grill, and let them sit for 10 minutes.

6. Keep them in the over or stovetop

A lot of people like to put the ribs in the oven after they are done cooking them, others prefer to put them on the stovetop.

This works better on a preheated oven or stovetop. Just make sure it’s not searing hot. You want it to heat your ribs in a “low and slow” way.

7. Use low heat to warm your ribs

If you want to reheat or keep your ribs warm for longer periods of time, use low heat and cover them with some aluminum foil to avoid burning.

Pro Tip: You need to make sure that you don't heat ribs more than once. Otherwise they will get dry and lose all of their juicy flavors.

What way works best to keep the ribs warm

It really depends on what you want to do with them next and your preferences.

If I were to choose one way to keep ribs warm out of everything that has been mentioned, it would be wrapping the ribs in aluminum foil after they have cooled down.

Then, placing them in a pan containing some liquid such as broth or wine. Lastly, I’d put it in an oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until they reach desired warmth.

This will give you delicious smokey ribs that everyone loves.

How to fix overcooked ribs

When you overcook ribs, the meat becomes dry and tough.

Some of the ways to fix overcooked ribs are:

  1. Separate the bones by cutting between them with a knife, then cut along the bone two or three times to make a few short sections.
  2. After that, put your fingers into these slits and pull outwards to open up the meat. This will help you to then separate each section from one another.
  3. Put large chunks of BBQ sauce on top of them so it covers as much as possible and cooks them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until warm.


There are a lot of ways to keep ribs warm. How you choose to do it depends on what you want to do with the ribs and how long you need them for.

Just make sure that when heating ribs, you don’t heat them more than once or twice.

Another tip is to wrap large chunks of BBQ sauce on top of overcooked ribs. Heat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until warm.

That’s how I like to keep my ribs warm!

I hope this article helped you get more perspective on how to keep grilled ribs warm.