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Old 06-17-2004, 04:06 PM   #21
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Ok, so what about that little membrane on the back of the ribs? I've heard it said that I should cut that off before grilling. If I were to boil the ribs first, would I cut it off before boiling? and if I don't boil them, do I still cut it off?

I've always cooked them in the oven because I didn't think our grill capable of "smoking". When I cook them in the oven, I've tried several different things from putting them in a pan with aluminum foil over it, to wrapping them in foil, and also using those oven bags. They turn out in the oven bags to taste more like pork roast than ribs, and if they're in a pan with foil over them they steam. Depending on how many pounds they are, I usually start them out around 325 and then lower the heat to 275 for a few hours. Even then they still come out tough.

I figured one of these days I'd break down and try it again, but not until I got some help.

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Old 06-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #22
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Hey, I question I can actually answer! Yes, remove the membrane before cooking. The easiest was to do it is to pull up a corner of the membrane from either side of the rack and then use a paper towel to grip the membrane (so it doesn't keep slipping out of your fingers) and gently pull. The membrane usually peels off with relative ease. :)

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Old 06-17-2004, 04:58 PM   #23
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Ok, so now you guys have me thinking that grilling ribs isn't that hard...maybe I'll convince my husband to break out the coals this weekend after all.
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Old 06-17-2004, 05:14 PM   #24
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I forgot to mention that to pull up a corner of the membrane, slide a sharp knife under the membrane, press your thumb to the membrane and pull. I don't think I've ever said "membrane" so much in one day! LOL! :D
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Old 06-17-2004, 05:38 PM   #25
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Hi Tig,
That is why some of us boil ribs first and them put them on the gril and use BBQ sauce for about 15 minutes. Who needs all that fat..and all of it doesn't cook out on the grill. My sons swear by that method. Try it both ways and let us know your thoughts on this. At least they are tender and not dried out.

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Old 06-17-2004, 06:28 PM   #26
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I would reduce the temp, cook slow. You want to render the fat, which is done by slow cooking at low temps.

Yes remove the membrane
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Old 06-17-2004, 09:02 PM   #27
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Well, if you're thinking of boiling them, think also of braising them, and adding flavor rather than letting it escape. :)

Alton's recipe produces REALLY tender ribs:
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:46 AM   #28
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The website that LMJ mentioned has a great recipe. My sister also turned me on to bbqu.net which is really not much more than an advertisement for a book from the show on PBS but has some great tips. I think the book costs $20 or a little less. For me, the holy grail of cooking ribs is to do it over fire and do it well!
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:02 PM   #29
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Babyback Ribs!

We realize most folks will have burgers and dogs for Memorial Day, but we want you to push the envelope just a little and try something different, but still on everyone's agenda. Please keep in mind what we said earlier, plan early, shop early and relax on the big day!

Today, let's go with pork spare or loinback (aka "babyback") ribs. They will be the hit of the day and you'll enjoy the process as well. We would recommend preparing 2-3 "slabs" and use a different finishing sauce on each for a unique taste experience. Again, this will make you look great, and not be too much work.

With pork ribs, we are going to make them tender, not by marinades or mechanical tenderizing units, but with low (temps) and slow (time).

Your favorite cut of ribs
1/3 cup salt

1/4 cup paprika

3 Tbs chili powder

3 Tbs freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbs ground cumin

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne (optional)

yellow table mustard

Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly. Remove the membrane from the inside (curved) side of the ribs. Take the yellow mustard and, using a pastry brush, coat the meat lightly. Sure, it looks strange, but trust us. It sets up a nice finish and helps hold on the spices. Next, rub the dry ingredients thoroughly into meat and allow to sit for 2 hours. Cook on pit using indirect heat (heat on one side of the grill and the meat on the other). Cook at 225° until done. Depending upon the cut of meat, generally: loinback ribs 3-5 hours, spare ribs 5-8 hours [properly cooked ribs should ALMOST release from the bone when twisted or bent. If it easily breaks loose from the bone, then you have probably overcooked them]. Store remainder of the dry ingredients in air tight jar and keep in freezer.
Now for some finishing sauces. Finishing sauces are the sauces you place on the meat just before you remove the meat from the grill. They are usually either sweet, tomato based or both. Each will burn if allowed to get too hot. Wait until the temperatures are lower and you are about to take the meat off the pit before applying.

You might also want to try Smoky's Scratch Finishing Sauce, your favorite barbecue sauce or maybe something simple like the following:

one stick of butter - not margarine
2 Tbs molasses

3 Tbs honey

1 tsp lime juice

Gently heat (not burn!) and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool slightly and apply to ribs about 20 minutes before removing them from the pit (after the heat in the pit has been reduced to 150° or less).
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Old 06-19-2004, 02:12 PM   #30
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From the BBQ Guru.

Tips & Techniques of the BBQ Guru
Kevin Taylor is know as the BBQ Guru on the RecipeGoldmine website for his expertise in the art of the Barbecue and Smoking. Over the last twenty years barbecuing has caught on fast in the UK but for most of us it is still an unexplored form of cuisine - a few chops and some sausages.

With the help of Kevin Hub-UK is hoping to bring to you a series of articles and recipes over the summer which will change your way of life and bring great pleasure to you, your family and friends as you enjoy the long summer evenings.

If you have a question or just want to contact Kevin email him by clicking here.

How Competition Cooks Prepare Ribs

First of all understand, we use "smokers" when we compete, but I will give directions for cooking ribs in the oven. The only thing missing will be that nice smoky flavor...that can be added by simply putting a small amount of liquid smoke into your sauce.

The secret to great ribs is to cook them at low temps for long periods of time. In competition, we cook all of our meats at 225°F and it takes 6 hours for ribs, 10 - 12 hours for pork butts and up to 18 hours for brisket. Not to worry, I will show you how to do it in around 3 hours!

First let’s explode a few myths about ribs:

Myth Number 1

The secret to great ribs is to boil them first!

Wrong!!!! . . . Never, ever boil your ribs!!!! I don't care what your mother taught you or what a famous chef on FoodTV did. Never, ever boil !!

OK, let me explain what water does to meat. There is a certain degree of osmosis that takes place when you boil meat in water. This is accelerated if you use even a little bit of salt in the water or on the meat. In essence, what happens is . . . the water goes in and the flavor of the meat goes out. If you doubt this, taste the water after you have boiled something in it. This is the whole concept behind making soup. So, when you boil your ribs, all that wonderful pork flavor comes out (notice how greasy the water is?)

Now, I do agree you will get a tender cut of meat. But, what does that meat taste like without any rub or sauce. Does it look good? Would you even eat it? If you were blindfolded, could you identify what type of meat it is? ( Most people have failed this test! ). Next, a simple question . . . would you boil your steaks or burgers or chops? I will gladly share the secret to making tender and flavorful ribs. By the way, a truly great rib can be tested by using simply salt and pepper . . . what is called a 'dry' rib ( a 'wet' rib has sauce on it ) ! I suggest everyone try their ribs this way first . . . then start experimenting with various rubs and sauces.

Myth Number 2

Boiling / steaming gets all the fat out.


Yes, it will get rid of some of the fat. But very rarely will it get rid of all the fat. This is the single biggest problem that folks still have with ribs . . . even after boiling, there are still pockets of fat.

A quick technical lesson ( for cocktail party banter! ) . . . . .

Fat can only be rendered in a dry cooking environment over a long period of time and at low temperatures. Here is what happens . . . the meat must attain a temperature of 160º - 170º to start the fat rendering process. At these temps, the meat temperature will 'plateau' . . . that is, it will stay at these temps for up to 2 hours on ribs and 4 and 5 hours on butts and briskets. What is happening is, the collagen (connective tissue) starts to break down . . . this process releases water, which in turn causes a cooling of the meat. So the temps stay steady. This collagen breakdown is what makes meat so tender.

Once this collagen completely breaks down, the temps will start to rise. It is this process that allows all of the fat to be rendered from a rib.

OK . . . on with the lesson!! The night before you should choose your favorite rub . . . a combination of spices . . . and apply it to the ribs. Then wrap them in Saran Wrap and refrigerate overnight. Here is a very good rub I will share . . . . .

1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1 T. salt
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. black pepper
1 T. white pepper.
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. paprika

Simply mix all the ingredients together. This may be a little hot for some folks, so simply cut down on the cayenne.

The day you are to cook, take the ribs out about 1 hour prior to cooking.

It will take about 4 hours to do.

Place a cake pan of hot water on the lowest rack. You may need to add water to this near the end.

Place the ribs in the oven bone side down . . . you will not turn these over (this allows the fat to 'travel' through the meat and leave all that flavor behind)!! Place them on a wire rack directly above the water pan and going in the same direction…you want to catch any drippings in this water pan.

After 1 1/2 hours of cooking ( not before ! ), spritz or mop the ribs with a mixture of 3 parts apple juice and 1 part oil. Do this every 1/2 - 3/4 hour until done.

To test for doneness, you can look at the bones and watch for the meat to pull back from the ends or you can use the toothpick test . . . insert a toothpick between the bones and if it goes through easily they are done.

Finally . . . always apply any sauces 20 minutes prior to eating . . . this will avoid the sugars burning and turning black . . . and believe me, there is loads of sugar in every BBQ sauce!

That's it! You're done! Like I said, this whole process will take around 3 - 4 hours depending what temp you cook at. It may take a little practice to get to your desired doneness but, hey, that's half the fun!!

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