Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jun 4, 2014 11:20 AM

Pork rib membrane - remove or not?

OK............. now I'm confused. The cooking shows I remember about making pork ribs all said to remove the membrane along the back of the rack before cooking. Then I read this:

It says DO NOT remove the membrane: " Don’t remove the membrane that runs along the bone side of the ribs; it prevents some of the fat from rendering out, leading to more tender results."

So which is it??????

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you are smoking the ribs for a long time then removing the membrane is unnecessary.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Shazam

      Remove the membrane. Thus spaketh Whole Hog Productions.

    2. Get rid of it. It's tough & sinewy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: thymeoz

        i kinda like the texture of cooked membrane...adds a nice texture to meat and fat.

      2. The debate rages; Ruhlman and Zimmern side with the "don't remove it" camp, while nearly every competition BBQ-er says "remove it".

        The membrane will certainly aid in fat retention, and at the same time hinder rub/smoke penetration on that side.

        In the end, unless you're working up to a competition, or looking to impress BBQ Aficionados, it's personal preference.

        1. Up to you. I prefer to leave the membrane intact, because I like the *snap* (similar to a good hot dog casing) when I bite into a rib. I don't think the presence of the membrane hinders smoke penetration appreciably.

          1. I remove the membrane, but you can try experiment for yourself by removing the membrane from half a rack to see if there is a noticeable difference.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dave_c

              I just love good solid logic and common sense. Of course I'm a tester by trade. Thanks dave_c!