Whether you’re cooking ribs for a family meal or a large group of friends and co-workers, you’ll want to make sure they end up tender, juicy, and delicious. The best way to achieve that is to boil your ribs first in a mixture of spices and lemon juice before throwing them on the grill. This technique allows the meat time to absorb the flavors while it cooks slowly.
Grilling ribs is a summertime classic. If you’re one of the many people who enjoy cooking with charcoal, even though charcoal can be dangerous to your health, you know that getting the right charcoal grill can be confusing whether it is weber or stok.
When grilling or smoking ribs, there are two options for cooking them: baking them in the oven or boiling them before grilling. While both methods have pros and cons, there is a clear winner when it comes to taste. Boiled ribs can be very tasty because they cook up with a lot of moisture inside of them.
Should You Boil Ribs Before Grilling?
Grilling the perfect rib is more difficult than it appears. Your ribs may be rough, chewy, or even undercooked. One way is by boiling ribs before grilling them. Every recipe requires some knowledge and abilities, and practice leads to perfection. Grilling ribs is the same way.
To achieve the best tenderness, the ribs should be cooked gently. To help tenderize the meat, ribs are frequently cooked or oven-steamed before grilling. Fill a pot halfway with salted water, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost soft.
Ribs are fatty, so cooks prefer to boil them before grilling them to render the fat. In the long run, though, this may cause the meat to dry up. Boiling ribs also makes it easier to remove the inner skin or membrane that some chefs believe creates difficult ribs.
The pros of boiling ribs before grilling are:
- The boiling procedure helps render excess fat, making the inner skin easier to remove before grilling.
- Produce delicate meat while retaining flavor.
- A shorter cooking time reduces the amount of fat on the surface.
How to Boil Ribs Before Grilling?
BBQ ribs should be tasty and tender, with meat that easily falls off the bone. Here’s what you should do if you want to boil the ribs first but still want them to have a delicious flavor without having to grill them for three hours.
To start, place the ribs in a big pot with normal water and cover them. At this point, there’s no need to add anything else. Bring the water to a mild boil, but don’t let it boil all the way through. Collagen can be destroyed by cooking at too high a temperature, resulting in tough meat and a major lack of flavor.
The idea is to cook the ribs until they’re slightly soft. It should take roughly 25-30 minutes to complete this task. Don’t go any further than this. While this is going on, go outside and preheat the grill. After the ribs have finished boiling, add barbecue sauces, rubs, or any other seasonings that are part of your famous ribs recipe.
Place the ribs, meaty side down, on a hot grill and cook for 20–40 minutes, allowing each side equal time on the grill. Your barbecue classic is ready to eat when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
Reasons to Avoid Boiling Ribs Before Grilling
Boiling the meat takes off the fat while also releasing the natural juices of the spareribs, both of which are vital for preserving the ribs’ true flavor. Although parboiling does not eliminate much of the natural flavor, it does cause some loss.
- The natural, pleasant, smokey flavors of ribs slow-cooked on the grill may be diminished by boiling.
- If you use the improper approach, your ribs will be mushy, rubbery, and tasteless.
- When it comes to succulent spareribs, BBQ fans advocate old-fashioned patience and affection.
- Those who boil ribs before grilling them swear they can infuse them with many flavors. It’s possible, but it won’t have the same flavor as slow-smoking and then grilling the ribs.
Alternative Tenderizing Methods to Boiling and Grilling Ribs
The choice is yours, although boiling spareribs is not suggested for the optimum flavor and moistness. Long, low-heat cooking achieves the same tenderizing and fat-rendering results without sacrificing flavor or moisture. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including:
1. Slow Smoking
Smoking is like a more intense version of barbecuing: you’re cooking the meat with smoke from smoldering chunks or chips of hickory, mesquite, apple, or cherry, each of which imparts its taste to the meat.
Smoking takes place at a lower temperature than barbeque to ensure that the smokey taste permeates the meat while also cooking it thoroughly. Your grill should be set between 125 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit to smoke food. Much hotter, and the exterior sections of the meat will cook too quickly, generating a barrier that the smoke cannot pass through.
Cooking at this temperature results in cooking periods of up to 24 hours.
2. Treating With A Brine Solution
To keep ribs moist and tender, most cooks recommend brining them overnight. Making a salt and water solution and adding your ribs to it is the first step. Add a cup of salt to every liter of water to make the brine solution. Some cooks will boil this solution before adding the ribs, while others dissolve the salt in hot water. The ribs are then chilled overnight to allow the brine to work its magic.
If you’re a creative cook, spices like peppercorns, mustard powder, cloves, chiles, and anything else that strikes your fancy can be added to the brine solution if you’re a creative cook.
3. Tenderizing Marinades
Tenderize difficult proteins by soaking them in a marinade made with lemon or lime juice, vinegar, buttermilk, or yogurt. The idea is not to keep the meat in the marinade for too long, as acids can break down its protein structure, making it soft and mushy.
White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are both known for tenderizing meats, so make sure to include both in your marinade. Fish sauce, orange or lemon juice (also great for tenderizing tough meats), spices, onion and garlic powders, honey, and brown sugar are possible additions.
The ribs are marinated for up to 24 hours in the marinade sauce in the refrigerator. Marinades help tenderize harder meat slices while also adding deep, rich flavors.
The steaming procedure is another way to tenderize ribs before grilling. This approach not only yields soft meat but also adds moisture and flavor. Fill a saucepan halfway with water and add apple cider vinegar or beer. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and add the ribs.
Place the roasting pan in a 350°F preheated oven for about an hour to steam the ribs. Remove them from the oven and lay them on a hot grill to cook for about 30 minutes. Flip the ribs a couple of times to ensure even grilling.
Additional Grilling Tips for Tender Ribs
- One way to make excellent, tender ribs is to slow-smoke the meat. Many cooks use this low-and-slow cooking method to achieve the ideal texture and flavor. If you’re going to smoke your ribs, plan on smoking them for 6–8 hours on low heat.
- If you use the steaming method, you can get soft, juicy ribs. Simply place the ribs in a roasting pan with water and apple juice, cider, or beer. Before transferring them to the grill, cover them with aluminum foil and bake them in the oven.
- Simmered and braised ribs are a popular alternative to grilling them over charcoal. You’ll have great ribs to serve right away if you low-simmer your ribs with your favorite barbeque sauce, then braise them with either more barbecue sauce or your favorite dry rub.
It’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to parboiling your ribs. Barbecue fans are split on this issue, with some claiming that boiling tenderizes rib meat, while others claim that it destroys natural tastes and makes the meat harder.
Many procedures, like basting, steaming, smoking, and boiling, can be used to prepare ribs ahead of time. If you decide to use any of these ways, keep in mind that you’ll be cutting down on overall cook time, so keep an eye on the state of your food while it cooks. We recommend that you give it a shot and see which way suits your palate the best.