Boil pork ribs before grilling or broiling

Bob_BJuly 27, 2010

I've got some meaty pork ribs (shoulder blade) from Safeway. Package instructions say boil first for 35-40 min., then cover with barbeque sauce and grill eight minutes each side.

I've roasted (in the oven) these before, both uncovered and wrapped with foil for 2-3 hours on low heat so they would be tender. They've never been really tender, and they are always dried out. So I thought I might try the Safeway treatment. Is there a bettr way? I can either roast or broil in oven; not prepared to grill.


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NO NO NO Dont boil them!!!! EW!

This is hands down my favorite way to prepare ribs and I know a LOT of people who are fantastic cooks will agree with me.


Roadhouse Grill Baby Back Ribs
Sue on the CF

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
2 large racks pork baby back ribs
coarse ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 Cup minced fresh onion
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Tomato paste
1/2 Cup Brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon Jim Beam whiskey
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper -- coarse
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika

To make the ribs, cut each large rack of ribs in half so that you have 4 half-racks. Sprinkle a light coating of salt and a more generous portion of coarse pepper over the top and bottom of each rack. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated 300 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.

As the ribs cook, make the sauce by heating the oil in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Add the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/4 hours, uncovered, or until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until the ribs are ready. Preheat your barbecue grill.

When ribs are finished in the oven, the meat should have pull back about 1/2-inch from the cut-ends of the bones. Remove the ribs from the oven, let them sit for 10 minutes or so, then remove the racks from the foil and put them on the grill. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes per side. They should be slightly charred in a few spots when they're finished. Brush barbecue sauce on the ribs while they're grilling, just before you serve them. Don't add the sauce too early or it will burn.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 4:48PM
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I agree, Sue's roadhouse Ribs are wonderful.

I make them and skip the "grilling" step, because I don't grill. I brush the sauce on them and put them back into the oven, letting the sauce get thicker and stick to the ribs.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 4:54PM
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Try brining them first for about 2 hours. Then dry-rub them and slow-cook (braise really) in a little liquid (orange juice, white wine?) in a 250-degree oven wrapped tightly in heavy-duty foil or in a heavy dutch oven for about 2-3 hours, or until they are tender enough for your taste. (Some like pork ribs falling off the bone tender and some prefer a little firmer and chewier).

You can continue just braising them until done, or you can broil them, not too close to the flame. If you want some crust, brush them with something with sugar (BBQ sauce, apricot jam, etc.) and return to the broiler until the sugar carmelizes and creates a nice crisp). The time under the broiler should be short. Keep an eye on them.

If you braise them short of the tenderness you wish, then grill, you can control the cooking more by putting the temperature lower and closing the grill to bake the ribs further. You'll want to be very careful as this may dry them out more than you wish.

If you braised them to desired tenderness, and want to grill them for the grilled flavor, then turn the grill up high, plunk down those babies, brush with BBQ sauce if you want, and turn them before the sauce burns (unless you like the bits of black).

If I try to cheat and not brine, I notice a big difference in moistness and taste.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 4:54PM
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another who says don't boil the ribs....I put them in my gas grill on low indirect heat with a foil packet of wed hickory chips and let them steam/smoke for at least an hour....until the meat pulls back from the bold...
Then turn upt he grill to about 4pp slop on some sauce and glaze both sides....yum!
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 5:27PM
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I've done them like Annie; when the weather is bad, ran out of gas or it's just too darned hot to grill and they come out perfect in the oven.

I loved it when I read somewhere if you boil the ribs, you're making soup. Who said that?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:21PM
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IÂve got some "Test Ribs" going now!

We are having family over to the new house Sunday and these are on the menu but I wanted a Test Run first. Last night, I took a slab and spread plain yellow mustard all over  then added the Rub. I wrapped in foil and put into a 300 oven for 3 hours (meant to go 2.5 but blew it). Tonight, we will put them on the grill with StubbÂs BBQ Sauce to finish and hopefully glaze the ribs. You donÂt have to do this in 2 days  but I wanted to see if I could get this much done ahead of time. The more I can do ahead of time the better!

Wish me luck. :-)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:41PM
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You all post this type of OP just to give me aneurysms and such, right?

Any of you want me to put your name on a bit of tape and stick it to any of my stuff? Cause if you keep it up I'll have the big one and won't be needing the stuff anymore.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:51PM
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If not grilling or smoking them Sue's recipe has been my go to recipe for several years. Usually in the winter months for me. Another who doesn't boil them first.

LOL, Shaun, I remember that too.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 6:59PM
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Bob - I will mention that before I wrap them (seal them into tightly closed packages, dont just lay the foil over them) I sometimes pour in a 1/4 cup of liquid to add some additional flavor. Favortie additions are cider vinegar, Coke or Dr Pepper or Root Beer, apple juice or cider.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 7:00PM
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Boiling is simply so that the ribs will then grill up very speedily - the ribs are cooked by boiling (and after 40 minutes, they will be boiled to death), the grilling merely adds some crust and gives an opportunity to sauce. It is not the way to make the ribs tasty, as much of the yum will be lost in the water. If you did want to achieve super speed, I'd try steaming the ribs rather than boiling. But I wouldn't even do that, really.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:08PM
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Boiling them is good if you are making stock and throw away the ribs.

Perhaps the boiling recommendation is because they want to make sure that the pork from the refrigerator is cooked well.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:16PM
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Bob - my mother used to par boil spare ribs. I rarely make the larger ribs.

I get the little rib strips, sometimes called rib tips. They are cut from Baby Back to make them a nice even length. They usually end up being about 1" high. Because of the size they cook pretty quick.

I marinated them in a ziplock back with lime juice, olive oil, slices of garlic and fresh ginger. Most often overnite. Then I drain and sprinkle with a Jerk Seasoning and grill. Once they get a nice color I put them in foil on the top rack while I finish off the rest.

Let us know what you finally did with your ribs.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 8:47PM
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I make ribs many different ways, slow baked, grilled, smoked, stuffed, and combos of all the above.....but never, ever, ever parboiled.

A totally unnecessary step that robs the ribs of flavour.

Remove the silverskin on the back ( I think this is a very important step but others may disagree), salt and pepper, wrap in foil, add some liquid if you want, and bake at 300 for 2-3 hours. To test for doneness hold the ribs in the middle with tongs and if they easily bend over they are done.

Slather with BBQ sauce of choice and finish, uncovered, in a 375 oven or on the grill until the sauce is sticky and ooey, gooey.....a very technical culinary term.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:21PM
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Well, I didn't boil the ribs. Few of you liked the idea, and intuitively I didn't either.

I wrapped them in foil and baked for 2 1/2 hrs. @ 300 degrees. I unwrapped them, poured out the liquid trapped in the foil, about 1/2 cup, and broiled them after brushing with barbeque sauce, about six minutes each side.

The shoulder blade ribs were very lean and therefore dry. Otherwise tender and tasty. The meat nearest to or with a little fat was the tastiest. Next time I'll look for cuts with more fat.

Do those of you who use foil end up with a lot of liquid rendered by the ribs?

Thanks for the many suggestions.


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:47PM
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Shoulder Ribs/Country Ribs are very different than baby back ribs or spare ribs. Meatier, and the ribs are sold separated.

Like most others here, I never boil my ribs.

I cook baby back ribs from start to finish on the grill. They only take about an hour give or take a few minutes, depending on size.

Country ribs I cook in the oven. I have a cajun recipe from Paul Prudhomme that uses Country/Shoulder ribs.

Home Cookin Chapter: Recipes From Thibeault's Table

Ribs - Country Style Ribs
This is adapted from a Paul Prudhomme Recipe.

Seasoning Mix

1 tablespoon Salt
2-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 to 4 pounds of country style ribs
1 onion chopped
1 large green pepper chopped
1 cup of chicken stock (may need more)
. Mix ingredients for seasoning together.

Place ribs in a ungreased baking pan and rub the meat with the
seasoning mix. Rub meat with a small amount of oil and roast in a 500°
oven for 30 minutes turning often until the ribs are brown and the fat
is crispy. Reduce temperature to 350° and sprinkle the meat with the
onions and green peppers and add the chicken broth. Return the pan to
the oven and roast additional hour or until meat is tender. Check
occasionally and add more broth as needed.

Serve over white rice.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 9:49PM
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Nope. I would never boil ribs either. Sue's Roadhouse Ribs are the only way I make ribs anymore. They are the best I have ever had!

(Metaxa...Huh? I don't get it.)


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:12PM
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Oh those stuffed ribs are another fave of mine. Have to thank Sharon, Ann, and Janet for that method. I'll be making those later this fall/winter for a football game for sure. Guessing it's a Canadian thing and one me and my group have enjoyed for sure. Thanks again ladies!!


    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:16PM
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I have to disagree with some of the others.

Having done them both ways for years, I have found that there is no lost flavor, by boiling them.

But you can't boil them vigorously, just Simmer them, very slow, just about bubbling.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

LouÂs Broiled Spare Ribs and Finger Licking Good , Sauce

I use Country Style or Sizzlers , cut a little thicker than 1/2 inch,I like a little meat with the bones.

For about 3 1/2 lb. of meat.
Put a pot of water to boil, on the range top, with just enough water
To cover the Ribs.
1/3 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning , Garlic Powder and Onion Powder.
An Italian pinch of Ground Cloves , Basil and Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
2 Bay leaves
Simmer for about 90 minutes ( very low , not boiling )

Meanwhile, put in a small bowl :
1/2 cup of Bullseye or Krafts Original Barbecue Sauce
1/2 cup of Ketsup
1/2 teaspoon of Mustard
1/4 teaspoon of Old Bay Seasoning
1/3 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder & Onion Powder
An Italian pinch of Cloves , Basil and Oregano
Black Pepper - to taste.
2 tablespoons of Brown Sugar and Maple or Pancake Syrup
2 Heaping tablespoons of Grape Jelly and Strawberry Jam
Smooth out the Jelly and Jam with a fork and mix well.

This may sound like overpowering sweetness but it is not and
Caramelizes perfectly.
- - - - - - - - - - - -
I use a 9x 13 SS pan and lay some Sauce on the bottom.

Then I lay in the simmered Ribs and spoon the Sauce on them.
If there is some sauce left over , save it for basting when the ribs are almost done.
I cook them in an electric range Broiler, set on Low,
Placed on a shelf about 8 inches below the burner.
They will cook in about 25 minutes. Test after 20 minutes
Ummmmmmmeemm Gooooooooood !!!!!!!!
PS: There are many who will dissagree with this method but have never tried it.
And some say they don't like the sweet sauce but have never tried that either.

I've gotten great feedbacks.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 10:26PM
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Eeeewwww - boiled meat just gives me the creeps. I have made the roadhouse ribs indoors (with slight modification) and they turn out great - no boiling required. I've now moved on to cooking entirely on the grill with a rub applied the night before. 250 degrees for two hours in a rib rack sitting inside a drip pan - I use apple wood chips in the grill. Then I add apple juice to the bottom of the pan and cover the whole thing with foil and cook another hour or until meat is pulled away from the end of the bones. Then take them out of the rack and pan and place on the grill with a light brush of sauce to finish them off. They are absolutely fantastic if I do say so myself - and others have said the same. Falling off the bone tender but still have substance. You do have to have a grill that you can keep going at a low temperature for three or more hours - not difficult if you cook with gas - which I don't.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:55AM
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Fori is not pleased

My father-in-law used to parboil in pineapple juice. I don't remember if they were tasty but they were certainly tender.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 2:25PM
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My test ribs were a *huge* success! Yea!

The Stubs BBQ sauce was very good, but I think I prefer the Big Als KC Bar-B-Q Sauce from AllRecipes that I use when we sell Tri-Tip sandwiches at the Jazz Competition hosted by the High School. But itÂs nice to know I can grab Stubs from the grocer in a pinch.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 2:52PM
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