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Old 07-14-2006, 09:49 AM   #1
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Should I par boil spare ribs?

Well, what do you do to get falling-off-the-bone spare ribs? I've tried to par boil on top of the stove with spices, but you have to be careful, because sometimes it really dries them out.
Whose got an absolutely fantastic recipe? I do smoke them for my husband, but I really hate that smokey flavor, so I'm looking for something I can do just for me. Thanks, Deb

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Old 07-14-2006, 10:02 AM   #2
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Michelemarie gave me this advice....its how she fixes hers. I tried it and it works perfectly. Don't forget them when they are in the oven and slow bake them longer though because the meat is too tender and too difficult to handle when putting on the grill and trying to turn and baste. I never could fix ribs before....that is till now. Thanks Michelemarie!

I usually cook my ribs in a shallow pan of water covered in foil at 275 for about 2 hours. I finish them on the grill for - both sides - where I add the sauce
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Old 07-14-2006, 10:41 AM   #3
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I always parboil mine, but depending on the size/amount, not for very long - maybe 10-15 minutes or so at most. And it's more like a simmer rather than a rolling boil. I've never had them dry out, & find that the parboiling (just like pre-steam/braising duck & goose) removes a lot of the grease/fat.

I then drain & transfer them to the charcoal grill to cook through & get that somewhat crisp/chewy exterior &, of course, to cook the glaze/sauce on.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:08 PM   #4
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I don't believe in parboiling ribs or any other meat that's going to be grilled or BBQ'd. If you've watched any of the endless string of BBQ competition shows on Food TV, you'll see they don't parboil either.

The key to tender and tasty ribs is slow cooking over low heat. Ribs would take 3-4 hours at 200-225 F.

Also, I heard a judge on one of those many BBQ shows say that if the meat is actually falling off the bone, it's been cooked too long.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:22 PM   #5
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Andy M. - I've watched those shows too, & while I'm sure they're right under their own circumstances, I'm usually just cooking a small amount of ribs just for myself & am certainly not going to tend a charcoal grill for 3-4 hours at 200-225. Also, my parents always parboiled tons of ribs for large barbecues & they could barely keep up with the crowd, so they couldn't have been that bad - lol!!!

Like I said, the ribs I make by parboiling briefly & then grilling come out fabulous in a very reasonable amount of time - for me. But as with anything having to do with cooking - to each his own. : )
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:30 PM   #6
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Don't parboil them--you are just extracting all the meat juices by boiling it out of them. To shorten cooking time, I wrap in foil and bake at 250* for an hour or two.
The key to tender ribs is low and slow heat, no matter how you do it.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:30 PM   #7
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I do not parboil ribs but I do put into the oven for a couple hours to take off the excess fat. The last half hour I coat with sauce and continue baking to carmelize the sauce and add flavor.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:34 PM   #8
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Low and slow is the key. You can have the fall off the bone goodnes, and it still be held together by the "bark".
I typically don't parboil them, but I have brined them, and let them go in a low oven,250-275MAX, for about 2 hours, then uncovered and sauced for about 45min...from there you can either eat em' up, or move to a grill and really get the "bark" built up. I have seen them done a million and six different ways though, I guess it is a matter of personal taste.
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:40 PM   #9
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One question - & I'm not asking this to be snarky: if parboiling extracts "all the meat juices", why are my parents' & my ribs so great-tasting. And I don't mean just because of the sauce, etc. In fact, sometimes after the par-boil we grill them without sauce & just serve sauce on the side. That's how good they are. They are full of great pork flavor - juicy, tender, & flavorful on the inside, with a crisp skin on the outside, & minimal grease.

But again, the ribs are only in the water for 10-15 minutes - just long enough to seal the exterior & remove some excess fat. Perhaps that's the reason?

Frankly, I wouldn't automatically pooh-pooh parboiling. I've certainly had more than my share of dry &/or fatty ribs from folks just tossing them on the grill - low heat or not. I think, regardless of method, it's more of the technique than the method.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:00 PM   #10
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Breezy:

I have no doubt your's and your parents' ribs were delicious. I am not saying my way is the only way. Just offering my opinion.
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