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Help! Need to cook 20lbs of riblets

vinosnob May 7, 2007 04:15 PM

I'm not sure how to tackle this, but I've been asked to cook 20lbs of riblets for a party. I'll be working out of a "house" kitchen and there's a gas grill at my disposal as well.

Any advice on a smart and efficient way to cook the riblets?


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  1. t
    torty RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 04:52 PM

    Are they pork? What style of prep are they expecting? Are they full length baby back (I equate riblet with a small size) or do you mean cross cut into 3 or so inch lengths? Regardless that is alot of poundage. Do you have access to them before the party so you can par-cook and then finish? Very do-able- just need to know perameters.

    4 Replies
    1. re: torty
      vinosnob RE: torty May 7, 2007 06:17 PM

      My brother bought them online and he said they appear to be boneless, individual pork riblets. I'd like to prepare them bbq style. Is 20 lbs a HUGE amount? I really have no idea...

      1. re: vinosnob
        torty RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 06:27 PM

        Well if they are boneless that is 20 pounds of actual meat. After lots of trial and error I do not advocate boiling first. I think you can bake them low and slow with the sauce on and get a good result. If you have access to large disposable aluminum pans I suggest spreading them out in one layer into however many pans, tossing with the sauce of your choice (not too too much sugar or you will get an early caramel/burn) and letting slow roast away at 275 for 2 or more hours (probably closer to 3 or 4- depends on the cut) You could do the initial cooking ahead and just re-heat at a high temp to finish them up at the party house.

        1. re: torty
          Davwud RE: torty May 9, 2007 12:00 PM

          This is what I would do with one exception. I wouldn't just "Reheat" them. I'd stick them on the grill to get that sauce good and gooey.


        2. re: vinosnob
          Quine RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 06:31 PM

          A) Since he bought them online, get the link and see what they look like..and post so we can see as well. Sometimes when I see the word riblet, I also see precooked and prefabbed. That woudl be heat and eat.
          B) If you can precook them, it is a large amount, so a Pressure cooker may help, cut down on cooking time if you have to do batches. Then store, grill off at party.

      2. chloe103 RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 05:44 PM

        I posted this recipe recently on another thread. I've made these for a party of 100 (I don't remember how many pounds I used), with great results. I would imagine it would work equally well with any other marinade, if you've got another one you'd prefer to use, but the method is, I'm guessing, one of these easiest and most efficient ways to deal with such big quantities.


        6 Replies
        1. re: chloe103
          Sam Fujisaka RE: chloe103 May 7, 2007 06:17 PM

          Funny, it has to be: a) par-boil and then grill under the salamander (as per Chloe's recipe) or b) sear and then braise. For 20 lbs, I would probably get out the big pots and do the latter--in your favorite sauce such as BBQ. Nine kg of meat is quite a lot.

          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
            vinosnob RE: Sam Fujisaka May 7, 2007 06:44 PM

            Thanks all. I will post a link of where the riblets were purchased so y'all can see what they look like.

            Also, I can't use the grill. So, that leaves parboiling and then broiling in the oven or just the oven. I won't have a lot of time since other stuff will need to be warmed or cokked in the same oven so speed is crucial.

            1. re: vinosnob
              Quine RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 06:59 PM

              No grill and have maybe a shot at using the oven..forget the broiler, you are talking 20 lbs; I'd pass on the honor if I could.

              If you can't, bring your own grill.

              1. re: vinosnob
                hannaone RE: vinosnob May 7, 2007 07:03 PM

                If you're going to parboil, try adding about 3 to 4 ounces of sliced ginger (needs to be root, not powder) to the pot. This will add a distinctive flavor to whatever you use as your final recipe.

                1. re: vinosnob
                  Sam Fujisaka RE: vinosnob May 8, 2007 06:56 AM

                  Why not sear and braise?

              2. re: chloe103
                THenderson RE: chloe103 May 8, 2007 05:56 PM

                Chloe - a BIG thank you for posting this recipe - - this is perfect for a party I need to cook for.

              3. v
                vinosnob RE: vinosnob May 8, 2007 09:37 AM

                Here's the link of where the riblets were purchased


                I'm thinking that parboiling and the grilling is the way to go. When it's time for the party, I'l keep them warm in a crock pot.

                Closing thoughts?

                Thanks all!

                1 Reply
                1. re: vinosnob
                  renov8r RE: vinosnob May 8, 2007 03:18 PM

                  Moo & Oink is Chicago institution. Their rib tips are a tremendous value BUT you have to realize that there is a LOT of fat and bone in the pack. You will NOT be able to render out all the fat by par boiling ribtips, there is actually a school of thought that believes par boiling makes the fat harder to cook off on the grill -- not sure if I go along with that.

                  The "classic" method of setting up a Weber kettle for indirect smoking with small fire on one side of the fire grate with wood chips for smoke, a water filled drip pan under the food and the temperature kept under 275 will work well for rib tips, as their large surface area helps them to cook and pick up flavor. The problem is that a regular grill only has room for about 5-8 pound of rib tips, as you need them to be in a single layer. Don't try and pack 'em in as the fat will overwhelm the drip pan and you'll have greasy mess. Figure about 3 batches and about 3 hours a batch, that probably means doing the first batch the night before and just reheating those.
                  Or get a few more grills...

                2. k
                  kleinfortlee RE: vinosnob May 8, 2007 06:56 PM

                  just checked out your link...

                  you did not get riblets, you got "rib tips"...just think of a chinese (full length) bbq rib...and think about the gnarly, connective tissue at the tip of the rib

                  the price is great, but the product is not so great

                  you got had!

                  good luck in your future endeavors

                  1. THenderson RE: vinosnob May 8, 2007 07:20 PM

                    Hey vinosnob....
                    Here's a link that might be helpful.....I don't agree that you "got had".
                    Anyway....hope this helps...sounds like they can be quite tasty. This article explains "riblets" and "rib tips" - interesting, actually :)


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: THenderson
                      Quine RE: THenderson May 8, 2007 08:21 PM

                      Nice post TH, great link. I still think it's a hard task to try to do, but posts like yours will surely help the OP rise above.

                      1. re: THenderson
                        vinosnob RE: THenderson May 9, 2007 09:05 AM

                        Thanks for the link, very helpful! Oh, and agree, not sure how I've been "had" either.

                      2. v
                        vinosnob RE: vinosnob May 14, 2007 11:54 AM

                        Just to follow up, the riblets turned out great and I got lots of compliments. 20 pounds was a perfect amount and I tackled it this way. After cutting up the riblets into smaller pieces and adding a dry rub, I placed them in two roasting pans with a touch of water and let them cook in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours at 250. For the remaining riblets, I cooked them on indirect heat (200-250) on the grill for about the same time as above.
                        Last, I finished them on direct heat on the grill to get them crispy and added a glaze of bbq sauce.
                        Definitely time intensive, but the end product was well worth it.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: vinosnob
                          THenderson RE: vinosnob May 14, 2007 12:22 PM

                          Sounds great...glad it was a success!

                          1. re: vinosnob
                            Davwud RE: vinosnob May 14, 2007 01:05 PM

                            It's always worth the extra effort of doing it right.

                            Glad you enjoyed.


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