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Ribs and Boiling [split from Ontario]

[Note: This thread was split from the Ontario board discussion on finding great ribs in Toronto at: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40005... -- The Chowhound Team


Thanks to all for the information. I will just go to a couple of places and see what looks best.

Another question: does anyone boil their ribs first? I know that I have done this in the past and a lot of cooks I know do boil them before, and it makes them more tender, but I think that it also removes a lot of the "porky" flavour? What do you think?

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  1. I used to do the boil first method but have since changed over to a marinade (usually beer based) for a day or two, followed by dry rub and sauce to finish. Better consistency and flavour without boiling.

    One note about the No-Frills ribs. They tend to be vaccum packed and in a watery solution and I find that a dry rib works better for absorbing flavours. That's not to say I don't buy them at No-Frills when they are on sale, but for a contest you probably want the good dry ribs. Good Luck !

    1. When boiling, you lose a lot of the flavour into the water. I find that a little patience and a long low heat will prep the ribs much better, though you have to make sure you keep the ribs moist. For varations, there are some great recipes in the Carpenter/Willoughby books.

      1. For making ribs for 30 or more people, I've quite doing it all on the grill/BBQ. Instead:

        1. Boil and then BBQ, with sauce applied near the end (for around 30 people); or more commonly
        2. Sear and color in my BIG pots and then braise in the sauce, in the same pots (for large groups).

        1. I don't boil, but I get tender ribs 95% of the time using the 3-2-1 method on an indirect heat smoker at 250f (would work the same in an oven, but without the smoke flavor).
          I remove the membrane on the inside side and rub them with a dry rub. Cook for 3 hours. Foil them and cook for another 2 hours. Remove foil and add a rib glaze or bbq sauce, then cook unfoiled for 1 more hour.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Spencer

            Mila-----Take it from me> I boil my country style pork ribs in pineapple juice for
            1 hour. take them out drain off the juice. baste them with your sauce. place them in the
            broiler for 2-3 minutes, take them out and baste the other side return to broiler for
            another 2-3 minutes. then take them the third time and baste them a third time and
            let them set for 5 minutes. they are now ready to serve. and if you don`t think you
            need a spatula to pick them up they will fall apart on you. try it and see. what do
            you have to lose. you will see what I mean. i get six ribs, without bones and a
            28oz can of pineapple juice. and then your sauce.

            1. re: bigjimbray

              Thanks for the tip Big Jim. I like the idea of pineapple juice which will provide the enzyme to tenderize. Will try your recipe.

              1. re: Mila

                Throw some garlic and/or onion in there with it.


                1. re: Mila

                  Actually, the application of heat will neutralize the pineapple enzyme. That's why you can use cooked pineapple in gelatin desserts, but not fresh. On the other hand, the pineapple should add some nice flavor to the pork.

            2. Jfood used to boil the ribs before BBQ but stopped. He did not like the texture of the boil abd grill and the flavor was not as full. Now jfood just grills then low and slow.

              1. I use a dry rub on my ribs place them in a baking dish cover in foil and bake for 1-2 hours in a low (325 degree) oven. I then remove them and let them cool a bit/come to room temperature. Mainly so they don't fall apart. Place them on the grill and slather them in my favourite BBQ sauce. They turn out very tender and flavourful and I don't have to keep an eye on them well there in the oven. My mother used to boil her ribs first and I think that this may be why I never liked ribs growing up, they didn't have any flavour left and no amount of sauce could change that.

                1. I never boil ribs, but precook in the oven. Pull off membrane from the bone side, dry rub all over, wrap tightly in plastic and then foil. Bake in slow oven 'til just less than fork tender, cool on rack(s), sauce and finish on grill or under broiler. (after unwrapping.)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: OldDog

                    old dog knows what's up!!! everyone touting the boil sacrifices taste for texture, and i'm sure some people think they're great, but boiling ruins the ribs.

                    I use a method similar to old dog, but i take the dry-rubbed ribs, fire up the charcoal on extremely high heat and sear in the juices. after that i let the ribs cool and then plastic wrap them and foil them, toss em in the oven at 325 or so, let the seared-in juices tenderize the meat internally, then toss 'em back on the grill, sauce and flip 'em 'til the sauce gets a nice glazed over outside. then i take em off the grill, let them again internally cook and then cut them about 20 minutes after they come off the grill and serve. The real key to winning ribs will always be the flavor unless you're chillin with a bunch of chow-chumps.

                    p.s. it's NOT a good thing to have to pick your ribs up with a spatula because they're so soft (notice i did not say tender).

                      1. re: MeowMixx

                        that was my first reaction, too, but if you wrap it well enough, it will stay intact. after heating, it stretches so thin that you barely touch it when it comes outta the oven and the saran wrap basically unwraps the ribs and balls up into a tiny lump (... kinda like when you cook something for way too long in the microwave with saran wrap on it, then remove it.)

                      2. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                        You're STEAMING the ribs in the plastic wrap!

                    1. I BAKE my ribs first with whatever sauce I am using...I leave them in the oven at 350 for atleast an hour...then throw them on grill...excellent and always tender...no loss of flavor.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: bac528

                        I improvise by putting a chunk of mesquite on one side of my gas grill, and place the dry rubbed ribs on the other unlit side. This smokes them for about 2 hours and then I put the side the ribs are on low flame for an hour or so only saucing them for the last 1/2 hour to get a lacquer type look (with extra sauce on the table). Hasn't failed yet and works great for chicken too. It makes a believer out of any gas grill critic.

                      2. I've been around a lot of barbeque in my life, being from Texas. I've heard this question come up from time to time. The answer is always the same. "You never, ever boil ribs, if you are planning to barbeque them." But, who knows? I've never boiled my ribs before barbequeing, so I don't have first hand knowledge. Here is a treatise on the variety of ribs, and how people, who are serious about their ribs, cook them. A lot of good information.


                        1. A definite no to boiling the ribs. After all what do you do when you make soup? You boil the meat to get all the flavour out of the meat into the liquid. Why ruin good ribs? The solution in my mind is as others have mentioned below is low and slow. To make sure the ribs don't dry out and you can cook them a longer period of time get the St. Louis cut. These have more fat on them and are better for the low and slow method than are baby backs.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: Jambalaya

                            I agree fully if you're cooking dinner or if you're cooking for lots of people and have professional equipment--i.e., a restaraunt set up. But if you're a home cook cooking for more than about 20 people, you might re-consider.

                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                              I disagree, I used to regularly cook up to 12 racks and a shoulder on my offset smoker (with sides, that's feeding about 40+ people) wtih no problem. Barbequed ribs should be low and slow and actually smoked, otherwise it's just meat soup and baked ribs you're making, not barbecue.

                              1. re: Dax

                                Oh, I agree completely. If I do BBQ, I do it on the grill. If I do BBQ ribs, I do low and slow on the grill, covered. The OP, however, asked about ribs in general; and I think other methods (boil then grill; or brown and then braise) can turn out great product--and certainly not "meat soup"--and are easier to manage for large numbers of people and quantities of meat.

                                On the other hand, I rarely have to do BBQ since I'm constantly doing the (other) cooking for big groups.

                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                  "Get ye to a barbeque restaurant in Texas, and lance that boil, idea."

                                  William Shakespeare
                                  123 Main Street
                                  Paris, Texas

                                  1. re: dhedges53

                                    Gal ding it, ah agree wit awl of you about Bar-B-Que. Ah do it the same way! But the OP asked about ribs; and there are different ways to do them. And again, for me and my personal set-up, it is difficult doing BBQ ribs (plated, sauced with the accompanyments) for more than about 30 people. For a hundred people, I don't BBQ unless I have a line of grills and a bunch of guys who BBQ.

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      You know, Sam, you've encouraged me to test the theory. A quick parboil, in a good liquid (possibly an apple cider/beef broth combination), if you have another idea, I'll try it, versus straight to the smoker. If the par-boiled rib wins, I've discoverd a great new method!!! It's funny, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to get my recipes to taste as good as my favorite restaurants (with the exception of my Crawfish Etouffee, and I have that one down pat), so, I'm really looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it comes out!!!

                                      1. re: dhedges53

                                        Thanks, dhedges53, Only my preference for large groups (!) is brown and then braise!

                                        1. re: dhedges53

                                          Hey D, how bout sharing a recipe on that Crawfish Etouffee. I don't have a recipe and the few times I've made it have been hit and miss.

                                          1. re: Spencer

                                            You bet, here it is Spencer!! My father worked for a Cajun company back in the 1960s, and he used to bring home these mason jars with "Aunt Tee's Crawfish Etouffee", frozen. Every now and then, he'd break one out, and we'd feast. She died and took the recipe with her. Can you believe it? This Paul Prudhomme recipe is the closest I've found. Also, Stansell Rice, which you can Google is a gourmet Cajun rice that works for all Cajun recipes. Has a kinda "Popcorn" scent when cooking. Although, I've found most long-grain rices will work. Good luck, and I hope you get as much enjoyment out of this as I have. The recipe is under dhedges53, near the top of this string.


                              2. re: Jambalaya

                                "After all what do you do when you make soup? You boil the meat to get all the flavour out of the meat into the liquid."

                                Not strictly true. If you start the meat in cold water and bring it to the boil, yes, that's how you make broth. But if you boil water, salt it, and drop the meat in, then the flavor stays in the meat. I don't boil ribs, I parboil them - drop them in rapidly boiling salt water for about two minutes, then take them out, dry them off, and brush sauce or sprinkle on dry rub and proceed with whatever further process I'm using, usually a slow bake and then finishing on the grill. Yes, this is fake barbecue - it's just an approximation of what you can do with an offset smoker or barbecue pit, but I don't have those things. In their absence, my priority is to produce a platter of the tastiest ribs I can manage, and this is what works best for me.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  This is an important distinction since most folks who boil them do it for much longer than 2 mins. which is where I believe the problem comes in. I don't suspect putting them in boiling water for 2 mins. will take any of the flavour out. In fact I'm wondering what good it does at all for such a short time period. Seems to me the diifference between not precooking at all and tossing them in for only 2 mins. would be very subtle.

                              3. I do not boil the ribs, I dont like the taste, or texture of boiled ribs.

                                I have a smoker, and use a dry rub. I remove the back membrane, rub the ribs down with my own rub, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

                                I fire up the smoker, I use a mix of mesquite chips, and apple chips as well as charcoal. I smoke the ribs between 225 & 250 degrees for around 3 hours. They come out perfect every time, and with a beautiful pink smoke ring.

                                I was actually going to start competing in bbq competitions this year, but I decided to take this summer, and fall to perfect my rub, ribs , and to practice on the other bbq items that are part of a Kansas City BBQ Society cookoff. At any of these events for true BBQ boiled ribs would not be acceptable

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: swsidejim

                                  We like to oven-bake ribs a day ahead. We put the ribs in a glass baking dish, rub on lots of garlic and onion, and add white wine to keep them moist. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 250 for 3 or 4 hours. We then coat them with BBQ sauce and put in the fridge overnight. Next day, fire up the grill! Yum.

                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                    This is pretty much how we do ribs too. The last lot we did took more like 5 hours before they were ready. We like hickory with pork, but sometimes use some mesquite or oak. They were tender but still had some chew, smoky and spicy. I don't think there is any shortcut to really good ribs.

                                    1. re: cheryl_h

                                      I agree cheryl h,

                                      slow and low is the only way to do ribs in my opinion, and I agree the time does vary between 3-5 hours depending on how the smoker is working, the temperature outside, and how windy it is. I will have to try some hickory chips my next time out. I also like the bags Jack Daniels has of the chopped up whiskey casks.

                                      1. re: swsidejim

                                        Hey Jim.

                                        What type of ribs do you use?? In my mind, side ribs are the only way to go. Much more tasty than that back ribs. I do plan on doing a side by side this summer. I'll do a rack of each at the same time and compare to be sure.

                                        Where do you plan on competing?? Are you looking to assemble a team??


                                        1. re: Davwud

                                          I smoke baby back ribs, I am working on my technique for beef brisket, pork butt, and chicken as well as the ribs to compete next year. I was thinking of competing at (2) local Kansas City BBQ sanctioned events this summer, but I may just attend as a spectator, to know what to expect.

                                          The (2) I was looking at were an event in Elk Grove, IL. I believe the 15th and 16th of June, and the Illinois State Championship in July 13 & 14th in Shannon Illinois.

                                          Right now I am focusing on a trip next March to the Mitchell Company BBQ Championship in Mobile, Alabama, and try to compete in the "backyard division". For this event you have to win the "backyard division" 2x to move up with the pros. The other events I mentioned were open to anyone who can pay the entry fee.

                                          1. re: swsidejim

                                            Jim, of course, they have BBQ competitions all over the U.S., but, I have attended one in Dillon, Colorado, in the heart of the Rockies, that was a lot of fun. I've been using Pecan, Oak, Apple & Plum (from trees in my yard), as well as the usual Hickory and Mesquite in my smoker, and have come to really enjoy the oak and pecan.

                                        2. re: swsidejim

                                          Yes yes! We found a bag of the Jack Daniels wood a couple of years ago and they were fabulous! Haven't seen any lately, but we did find some wine cask wood sold under Steven Raichlen's name.

                                          Good luck with the competitions. Are you going to let anyone know what's in your rubs and sauces? I use Raichlen's book a lot but we're always interested in anything new.

                                          1. re: cheryl_h

                                            Can you have them shipped straight from the distillery??

                                            I have bought them there.


                                            1. re: Davwud

                                              I haven't tried getting them from Jack Daniels, but now I will! Thanks for the tip.

                                            2. re: cheryl_h

                                              I have also used pecan, cherry and apple - all with great success - and yes there are subtle differences in the taste

                                              1. re: cheryl_h

                                                I have seen the Jack Daniels chips @ Wal Mart.

                                                The basics for my rub are much like others I have seen: paprika, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper, ground rosemary. I eat my ribs "dry" with just the rub, so I will have to perfect a sauce for sure.

                                        3. This weekend I grilled five racks of port ribs. On Saturday, I used a rub on the ribs, and covered each rack in tin foil. On Sunday morning, I left the tinfoil on them ( they were wrapped tightly), and put them in the oven for about 2 hours at 300 degrees. Then onto the grill, with the wet bbq sauce. Cooked until nice and sticky. They were tenderand juicy. I would never boil them first. A slow cook in the oven, and finish on the grill works great.

                                          1. someone mentioned that membrane -- am i the only one who *always* has a helluva hard time getting that stupid thing off (baby backs and spares, haven't attempted beef ribs yet)

                                            i've never boiled them (everything i've read about that points to flavor loss) but i must admit i've had much better success in a slow oven than my first attempt on the weber kettle.

                                            that doesn't mean i'm giving up though.....i shall persevere and smoke some tender ribs on the kettle!!!

                                            and if not, there's a BBQ place 5 miles from me with really great ribs.......

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: hitachino

                                              Yes! You should have seen me wrestling with two racks of ribs on Sunday trying to get that darn membrane off. Finally did, but the ribs almost hit the floor a couple of times.

                                              1. re: QueenB

                                                You should've seen me wrestling with 40lbs of ribs a couple weeks ago.


                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  It is at about 40 lbs and more that I start doing it all in giant pots: browning and then braising.

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    i'd rather not enter a competition than put my face next to boiled ribs. it's injustice to the meat.

                                                    1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

                                                      If you were replying to my post, browning and then braising is not boiling.

                                                      And let me say, := ) even though I usually hope that that is understood.

                                                    1. re: QueenB

                                                      Banquet, not competition.
                                                      3 hours on the smoker. Three hours in foil at 210*. Sauced and then grilled to sticky goodness.


                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                        I meant who won between you and the ribs in the wrestling match? ;-)

                                                2. re: hitachino

                                                  I use a paper towel for better grip. It takes a couple of good tugs but I can get that membrane off in a few seconds.

                                                  We always do ribs in big lots. The last time it was about 30 lbs, before that it was over 40. It is a big production and DH is always glad when it's all over. But we have the best ribs either of us has ever eaten. And we eat them through winter, thanks to a big freezer.

                                                  1. re: hitachino

                                                    I buy my ribs from the local butcher shop, and they remove the membrane from all the babybacks they sell.

                                                  2. I will admit to boiling. I boil the ribs in Dr. Pepper (with bay leaves and garlic) for 1 hour. Then I grill and baste with sauce.

                                                    It might get out some of the flavour, but it also boils away a lot of the fat. Otherwise, I don't eat ribs because I don't want to be huge.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mrbunsrocks

                                                      Cooking low and slow also renders a lot of fat. If you roast your ribs on a rack, the fat drips into the pan below, and you can pour it off. Tastes a lot better than boiling, too.

                                                    2. Here's another good site where you can get a pretty good idea on how to cook your ribs. I've never used their dry rub, so this isn't a SPAM, but they have photos and ideas that I have incorporated into my smoking techniques.


                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: dhedges53

                                                        This question seems to surface about once a year here.

                                                        I agree that the idea of baking them makes more sense, but I challenge anyone who is high and mighty about not ever boiling to try the Jimmy Schmidt's Rattlesnake Ribs recipe out of the New Basics cookbook. They are boiled in a very flavorful liquid and they are absolutely delicious.

                                                        Oh, and searing does not "seal in the juices". This is a myth. See "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee for further scientific clarification.

                                                        1. re: LizATL

                                                          Boiling ribs in Detroit (where Jimmy Schmidts retaurant is located) is like eating Mexican food in New York, or French cuisine in Paris, Texas. If I ever go to Detroit, I'll try his ribs. But, I've eaten "unboiled" ribs all over the south, and I guarantee you that "Jimmy Schmidt's" (whoever the heck he is), would have to be a God to beat the ribs I've eaten. I don't think he is a God.

                                                          1. re: dhedges53

                                                            Well maybe, but I still dare you to try them. Perhaps not like dry smoked ribs, but great, just the same. I actually had a guy from Memphis get on his knees and bow to me after I brought these to a party a few years back. Just saying.

                                                            And I have lived and and eaten ribs in Atlanta for about 20 years - not the best rib town but definitely in the south. Jimmy Schmidt's beats the original Dreamland as far as I am concerned.

                                                      2. i think that when this was split the original query was lost, maybe? most of the replies seem to be pseudo-bbq related, so of course the freaking ribs would never, ever be boiled, except in one place i won't mention. but was it a question about a rib braise, where a quick blanching would make some sense?

                                                        14 Replies
                                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                                          Gads! Thank you! The OP asked about ribs. There are various ways to do ribs! Then the thread was "hijacked" by the BBQers. Right! I would never boil if I'm doing BBQ (rarely), but would entertain browning and braising or boiling and grilling if doing ribs for a hundred people--and plating and saucing.

                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                            heh, who better to 'hijack' a thread about to boil or not to boil ribs than BBQers?! ;o)

                                                            fact, boiling is a timesaver and possibly a tenderizer to some extent, but it is not, as most would agree, a flavor enhancer.

                                                            low and slow smoking.....talk about your flavor enhancer AND tenderizer.

                                                            so if time's an issue, i don't suppose it'll kill anyone if you decide to first boil or braise your ribs.

                                                            1. re: hitachino

                                                              If time is an issue, you ain't a BBQer!

                                                              1. re: ricepad

                                                                Time is not the issue: space on the grill relative to the amount of meat that needs to be BBQed is: ribs for 50 people can be difficult on the home grill.

                                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                  There's another solution, tho...a bigger cooker! There's something primeval about cooking with a real fire...and tending a big ol' braising pot isn't the same. A wood fire and a (lot of) cold beer just seem to go together, ya know?

                                                                  1. re: ricepad

                                                                    rice pad, I like the way you think. I know i will be out on my deck this weekend smoking some ribs in the smoker on my avitar, cold one in hand.

                                                                    my mom used to boil the ribs when I was growing up, but then again she had only salt and pepper in her spice regimine when cooking ... ; )

                                                                    1. re: swsidejim

                                                                      I'm with you both. We have a huge set of grills available at a friend's very large backyard. I still don't do BBQ ribs (low and slow) over wood for more than about 25 people, however. Keeping the wood embers at the right temp for the right amount of time is too much for me. We take large groups of Colombians up to the finca and BBQ the hell out of piles of meat because they prefer very thinly sliced marinaded pieces BBQed ("grilled" to you BBQers) quick to a dry, leathery consistency. This I can do.

                                                                      Good BBQ over wood for a big group--no can or no want to do. Nicely browned, then fat drained, then braised--provides a good compromise for me to serve 50-100 people at about the same time with hot plated dishes that look, smell, and taste good and leave me sane.

                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                        There is a big difference between barbecuing and grilling. Quick and leathery is from a grill, which is not a barbecue. And yes, I am a bit of a barbecue snob.

                                                                        Off to Memphis Friday

                                                                        1. re: Dax

                                                                          cookin, eatin, or both? i'm SO jealous either way. . .

                                                                          1. re: soupkitten

                                                                            Headed to Memphis in May with some friends for a bachelor party weekend. I foresee lots of eating 'cue and drinking, but not much cooking.

                                                                          2. re: Dax

                                                                            "off to Memphis Friday"

                                                                            I am jealous... enjoy that great Memphis BBQ

                                                                    2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                      yes, i see now that you've been posting all along here about making the ribs for a large crowd. (insane without huge smokers/grills)

                                                                      unless i missed something from the initial board that this thread was moved from -- which is highly possible seeings how i don't ever read the ontario board ;0) -- people were just debating the boiling or not boiling thing for their own home cooking, and if that's the case - boiling is out according to most answers.

                                                                      i haven't yet been able to master my bbq ribs for 5-6, much less 50.....

                                                                      1. re: hitachino

                                                                        Right. Way above I agreed 100% on low and slow BBQ if for a small group.

                                                                        But if numbers of people and quantities of ribs increased, either a) brown and braise or b) (par) boil and grill.

                                                                        Around here, other guys do the BBQ for manageble groups while I cook. I get called on to do ribs if the numbers are more than about 40 people.

                                                                        I learned my lesson after two times trying to do real BBQed ribs for 70-100 people over real wood flame!

                                                                        Too bad we can't do a throwdown. I'd do my browned and braised with my Kansas City BBQ sauce! Even if I lost we would all win! Mmmmmm!

                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                          Maybe I missed it, but no one does their ribs the way I always have.

                                                                          I rub them (sugar/salt/paprika/garlic/cayenne), refrigerate overnight, bake uncovered at 250-275 (depending on which of my ovens I use; they do not agree) for ~4 hours, put them on the grill for 20-30 minutes, sauce them about halfway through that grill time. I like the meat just short of falling off the bone. (Falling off into my mouth with the gentlest of tugs.)

                                                                          Sweet Baby Ray's "Hot" sauce is my favorite storebought kind, but I tone down its sweetness by combining it with sauteed onion in reduced pan juices. I've also found at TJ Maxx a super BBQ sauce called "The Original Australian Hot & Spicy", packed in Sydney.

                                                            2. I boil mine first and I dont feel it ruins any flavour. L. from Ottawa

                                                              1. My point before was just that the boilers, or anti-boilers, or braisers, or bakers should have had experience making ribs all ways before weighing in definitively. I agree that boiling sounds like a bad idea, but in practice it can be very tasty, especially if the boil is highly spiced.

                                                                I have made ribs numerous ways numerous times and all have their pros and cons. Boiled or braised ribs are more tender and less fatty (generally), grilled ribs tend to be tough if the heat is not low enough, and brasied/baked ribs may combine the best of both worlds. I still challenge any non-boilers to try the Rattlesnake Ribs from the New Basics and report back with their impressions.

                                                                1. Hmm, the original post this was split from was where to buy ribs in Ontario. An Asian recipe was mentioned in the OP so --
                                                                  Many Asian dishes require boiling or par boiling of ribs prior to what ever cooking style finishes the process. Usually it's a type of stir fry or a simmered dish.
                                                                  The boiling can be done in any type of flavored liquid - say with lemon, ginger, or ginseng for some Korean dishes, then finished in a stir fry with sesame oil, onion, grated carrot, lots of garlic, soy sauce, a heap of red chili powder, and garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chopped chives or spring onions.

                                                                  BBQ isn't the only way to go.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: hannaone

                                                                    I am sorry I haven't come back to this spilt post sooner. I am the OP and the original question was about where to get the best baby backs in Toronto. I then went on to ask if anyone boils their ribs prior to grilling, as many of my friends do. I always thought (as many of you have confirmed) that it simply sucks the flavour out of the ribs.

                                                                    So tonight is the competition which is small, only 5 entrants. I have purchased nice baby backs (not too lean, nor too fatty), removed the fell (the back membrane), put the dry rub on (a combo which includes cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, garlic, and others), and let them sit covered in a pan in the refrigerator overnight. I am going to bring them down to room temp., place them on indirect heat on the grill (covered or uncovered is undecided) for about 2 -3 hours. Then I am going to move them to the heated side of the grill and baste and turn often, until I fell that they are ready (thinking 30 mins. to 45 mins.). Basting sauce is an Asian style with hoisin, oyster sauce, chili, a little sesame oil and honey. I 'll post back how I fare (only if I'm in the top 3!!!!!!)!

                                                                    Oh yeah, add toasted sesame seeds at end (not too many) and serve with chopped scallions and cut lemon wedges on the side.

                                                                      1. re: elasticwaistband

                                                                        Wow, I wish the computer had taste-o-vision so I could try some of those. They sound great! Good luck to ya!

                                                                    1. My best ribs are dry rubbed and set to soak in the flavors for about 12-36 hours, then I cook on low in the crock pot with no additional liquid for 6-8 hours. Follow that up with BBQ sauce and grilling (or broiling) until they're charred to perfection.

                                                                      1. All my rib cooking is done on the grill (rigged up for indirect heat and smoking). I have absolutely no use for boiling water or ovens when I'm making ribs. It just seems.... wrong. Barbecue in the oven is just.... wrong.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: AbdulSheikhMohammed

                                                                          Sometimes it's more like "the art of the possible". You obviously don't live in the frozen north where it's either cook them mostly or partly in the kitchen or go without ribs most of the year.

                                                                          1. re: PhoebeB

                                                                            Living in chicago - I love the challenge of grilling below freezing temps - my better half and kids think I am crazy -

                                                                        2. This is really timely, I tried a little experiment along the lines of boiling ribs today. I slow cooked some country ribs in a crock pot and then finished them off on the grill. Though I like the long smoked method it is not always convenient. I used the 'Chinese Country Rib' recipe from a Rick Rodgers crock pot cookbook. Overall, it was very flavorful and I used the reduced liquid from the crock as a baste/mop. They tasted very porky and I really liked how the sauce permeated the meat. I also got some lovely carmelization. It needs more tweaking, especially for other ribs but it might have potential for when both time and cravings are in competition.

                                                                          1. As stated before, you should never boil ribs, for many reasons. If cooked properly, your ribs will be just as tender without boiling, and a lot moister. If you don't have a smoker, you can precook them in the oven, then finish them off on the grill. I used to do this fairly often before I became a hardcore BBQer, and they were always pretty good. Still, it doesn't compare to a slow smoke over charcoal indirect heat and plenty of smoke.

                                                                            Ever since since I got this: http://www.bbqgalore.com/charcoal//16... here's what I've been doing:

                                                                            After removing the membrane, I use a mustard slather, then a generous amount of dry rub, then slow smoking them at about 225 degrees for about 5 hours, along with lots of one of the following woods: applewood, hickory, oak, or cherry for smoke. Attached is a before and after of one of my recent efforts.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Moose

                                                                              Moose, I agree 100%, I never boil, and am lucky to have a smoker on my deck.

                                                                              I have also started using the yellow mustard slather on the ribs, as well as rinsing the ribs in white vinegar before applying the dry rub, they come out better than ever with this method. . I also use hickory chips, as well as applewood chips, and sometimes mesquite.

                                                                            2. Funny story- I never boiled ribs before- but having 10 men come over to do my roof and working, i used a recipe from allrecipes to save some time. So boil ribs in onion and peppercorns and garlic for 30 min- then marinade and put in fridge for at least 24 hours- then grill for 30 min. Well the big boys are doing my windows this weekend and i told my husband that i would make ribs like I used which means slow cooking for the day. Guess what the boys want the exact same ribs I made the last time they were around. HMM thinking there might be something to this boiling method.