Tip: Ribs

Bacon Rubbed RibsIMG_1892IMG_1896Rib Platter & Plate

Every rack of ribs is a little different in terms on meatiness and cut.  As you gain experience, you'll be able to recognize these differences and adjust cooking times.

Pull the white membrane from the back of the ribs by pulling a corner at one end up with a pairing knife.  With a tea towel, grasp the membrane and pull away from the meat.

Smear plain yellow mustard all over ribs and then sprinkle liberally with your favourite rub.  Allow the rub to tack up and take on a slight sheen.  The mustard will help the rubs to stick to the ribs, create a protective crust, and will cook in.

Please don’t parboil your ribs.  It will cause the connective tissue in the meat to tighten and become tough and the flavourful juices will run out with the water.  Cook ribs slowly over low heat in the oven, barbecue, or smoker.  The ribs should reach an internal temperature of 180°F/82°C for 30 minutes.  This allows the connective tissue (collagen) to break down and give you moist, succulent ribs.  

When smoking ribs in a barbecue, you can use wood chips for added smoky flavour.  Use wood chips for only about half of the total cooking time.  Ribs have less meat as compared to a large shoulder, brisket, or roast, so they can become over-smoked easily.  Apple, cherry, and maple are great choices for smoking ribs.

You can also cook ribs in the oven.  Place the ribs in a roasting pan on a low rack raising them slightly off the bottom of the pan.  Pour a little liquid such as apple juice in the bottom of the pan, below the ribs.  If you don't have a low rack, you can prop the ribs up on carrots.  Seal the roasting pan tightly with foil and a firm fitting lid.  The ribs will braise slowly and become tender.  Cook at 250°F for around 2½ hours, until nearly done. 

The meat on the rib bones will begin to pull away when the ribs are nearing doneness.  They will also become flexible without tearing apart altogether.

If cooking the ribs in the oven, you can finish them on the grill right away, brushing with barbecue sauce.  You can also cool the ribs quickly on cookie sheets and keep covered in the fridge for up to a day.  Remove from the refrigerator while the barbecue heats up, cut into manageable sizes of four to six ribs.  Finish on the grill, basting with barbecue sauce.  This is a great way to prepare ribs for a large crowd and the cool ribs are easy to handle.

For lots of information on ribs, visit Amazing Ribs.

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