BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Hot Smoking and Barbecuing => Topic started by: scubasmoker on March 16, 2007, 04:15:11 PM

Title: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: scubasmoker on March 16, 2007, 04:15:11 PM
    I know this is probably a dumb question but I'm going to ask anyway. I've done a few batches of ribs on my DBS and there ok but just not quite what I'm looking for. I buy my ribs from the local grocery store which is a City Market (owned by Krogers). And I have no complaints about the meat. My question is about the membrane? I see in all the reply's to remove the membrane. But I just can't see it on the ribs I'm buying locally. And I'm thinking thats whats wrong with my ribs. So I'm thinking I needs some pointers on what to look for. There's nothing on what I can see that will come off the ribs. Try not to laugh to hard at my newness, but I want to make perfect ribs and I just can't figure it out. Tahnks for all the tips this is a great forum. 
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Mr Walleye on March 16, 2007, 04:45:15 PM
Here is a link that explains removing the membrane on ribs.

http://amazingribs.com/technique/skin_n_trim.html

Hope that helps

Mike
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Gizmo on March 16, 2007, 05:49:55 PM
First of all, the only dumb questions are the ones not asked and therefore never answered which cause frustration.

Mr Wallyeye's link is a nice visual on the membrane and removal.

It is possible that your membrane is already removed but unlikely.  The membrane really doesn't do much to change flavor except for some seasoning penetration, but this is on the rib bone side, not the meat side.  The membrane will add to some of the toughness with ribs but even that might be somewhat misleading if the meat is not cooked to where it is tenderized (low, slow, and for falling off the bone -Foil, Towel, Cooler).  The FTC is well publicized here so do a quick little search if you have not seen the methodology before.

Competition ribs are never cooked to falling off the bone status but unless you are entering a rib contest, that is a personal preference in my opinion.

For flavor, your choice of rub will make a huge difference as will the smoke you are using.  Several here prefer just salt and pepper and then if desired some BBQ sauce afterwards with a turn on the grill even.

Let us know if there is any more information you would like.  As you can see by my post, we can talk for hours but for some, this is just TMI.   
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: IKnowWood on March 16, 2007, 06:08:33 PM
As Gizmo said, Ribs are a real personal adventure that you need to determine what is it that you are not liking, taste, texture, moisture, feel etc...  Then from that you can see what different methods can help that.  Us on the Boards have many different methods in all these areas and many of us do them different, again Personal preference. 

Don't give in, keep experimenting, it just gets more fun the closer you get.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: West Coast Kansan on March 16, 2007, 07:51:31 PM
Iceman's Goose Bay sauce is mandatory on ribs.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: LilSmoker on March 17, 2007, 12:01:28 AM
Hi scubasmoker, yeah i think it's safe to say that ribs require a lot of practice, experimenting with various techniques, rubs, cook times, cook temps etc, even the quality of the meat, as some definately hold more meat than others.

I used to grill my ribs before i got my BS or sometimes in a charcoal smoker, they were nice but nowhere near as good as the ribs i'm now doing with my BS, i sort of got a head start doing them the BS way, as i got some great advice early on from icerat4 and iceman i use variants of their methods and experiment a little, and the ribs seem to get better each time  :)

Here's a video that you might also find usefull:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hks-J1pJ7xQ

LilSmoker(http://www.emotipad.com/newemoticons/Tip-Hat.gif)

Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Habanero Smoker on March 17, 2007, 01:57:58 AM
You may also want to check out this site. It has a lot of useful information, and tips.
http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/cook.html
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Tiny Tim on March 17, 2007, 06:35:23 AM
Hi scubasmoker, yeah i think it's safe to say that ribs require a lot of practice, experimenting with various techniques, rubs, cook times, cook temps etc, even the quality of the meat, as some definately hold more meat than others.

I used to grill my ribs before i got my BS or sometimes in a charcoal smoker, they were nice but nowhere near as good as the ribs i'm now doing with my BS, i sort of got a head start doing them the BS way, as i got some great advice early on from icerat4 and iceman i use variants of their methods and experiment a little, and the ribs seem to get better each time  :)

Here's a video that you might also find usefull:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hks-J1pJ7xQ

LilSmoker(http://www.emotipad.com/newemoticons/Tip-Hat.gif)



Nice video...only wish I'd seen that before the first time I smoked some ribs...wouldn't have made the mistake of leaving it on.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: coyote on March 17, 2007, 07:46:27 AM
Hey Guys, LilSmoker , Habs , Mr.Wallye , Great links , thanks a lot :)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on March 17, 2007, 11:37:57 AM
Iceman's Goose Bay sauce is mandatory on ribs.

What he said only put on a hot charcoal grill for a couple of minutes after adding the sauce. ;)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: smokin stu on April 09, 2007, 07:01:47 PM
I tried peeling off the membrane but it was too tedious.  I use a serated steak knife and diamond slash the membrane and then rub.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: LilSmoker on April 09, 2007, 11:37:05 PM
smokin stu : I sometimes us a butter knife to just tease under the membrane to get it started, then grip with some paper towel and it's like pulling off a large sticker.

Sometimes bending the the slab is said to help loosen up the membrane, i must say though, that i've had a few stubborn ones, but after a bit of coaxing they get done  ;)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on April 10, 2007, 09:20:16 AM
Worth the effort IMHO!
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: IKnowWood on April 10, 2007, 09:40:43 AM
I agree with wildcat.  I used to do ribs on my grill for a couple years and never knew about the membrane.  I end up with a good rib but it had this crunch or tough part to them. 

When I started using the Bradley I had a good rib but it was not as tender and fall off as well.  But good ribs.

When I saw and tasted the difference.  Well worth it.  Meat comes off easier and the task is more balances.  And texture is better.  And Better Ribs as result.

When I the babybacks form the butcher, somne slabs already have it removed but the majority still have the membrane.  I have gotten real good at taking them off.  First couple times was a fight.

I learned myself thru practice.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: iceman on April 11, 2007, 03:56:13 PM
Worth the effort IMHO!
Yup :P ;) Sure is.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Cajun on April 13, 2007, 07:34:22 AM
   After sliding the ribs ALL over the counter top putting one foot on one end and pulling like hell I fineally got it on the floor and chased it through the kitchen, picked it up and went out in the shop and put them in the vise and pulled some more. I got it (the membrane) off now it looks like I don't need no rub looks like it's seasoned already :-\
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Tiny Tim on April 13, 2007, 07:38:35 AM
lol

Next time, epoxy a 9x13x2 glass dish to the counter top...that ought to keep the slab contained enough to get the membrane off. :D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Gizmo on April 13, 2007, 08:42:26 AM
Cajun,
Next time we want video. ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: LilSmoker on April 13, 2007, 09:07:53 AM
   After sliding the ribs ALL over the counter top putting one foot on one end and pulling like hell I fineally got it on the floor and chased it through the kitchen, picked it up and went out in the shop and put them in the vise and pulled some more. I got it (the membrane) off now it looks like I don't need no rub looks like it's seasoned already :-\

(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif)(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif)(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif)(http://www.emotipad.com/newemoticons/Funny-Above.gif) Now that's funny!
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: CHUCKWAGON on April 13, 2007, 10:31:29 AM
lol

Next time, epoxy a 9x13x2 glass dish to the counter top...that ought to keep the slab contained enough to get the membrane off. :D
  I THINK I'LL TRY THIS I AM DOING ABOUT EIGHT RACKS THIS WEEKEND ::)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: iceman on April 13, 2007, 11:53:16 AM
Shoot guys, I just break out the nail gun and zap them babies to the counter! ;D
Makes the boss lady madder then a wet hen replacing the counter tops all the time but what the heck! :D ;D ;)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: CHUCKWAGON on April 13, 2007, 11:59:18 AM
   NOW THAT'S AN IDEA ;D :D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: LilSmoker on April 13, 2007, 11:59:49 AM
Shoot guys, I just break out the nail gun and zap them babies to the counter! ;D
Makes the boss lady madder then a wet hen replacing the counter tops all the time but what the heck! :D ;D ;)

(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif)(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif)(http://smileys.on-my-web.com/repository/Laughing/lol-049.gif) Hey stop it iceman, before i ruin another keyboard!  ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Gizmo on April 13, 2007, 02:49:26 PM
Hey Iceman, Thanks for clearing that up on the wood counter tops.  I use to use Formica Contact Cement on Formica counters but now I use Liquid Nails for Granite counters to "glue" the food down so it wont move around.  Keeps the salmon down too when I use the wind tunnel fan for forming the pelicle.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on April 13, 2007, 07:19:13 PM
Shoot guys, I just break out the nail gun and zap them babies to the counter! ;D
Makes the boss lady madder then a wet hen replacing the counter tops all the time but what the heck! :D ;D ;)

Can't understand the anger. ???  Seems like she does not have to worry about cleaning up since your just going to replace it anyway. ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Cajun on April 19, 2007, 06:59:43 PM
   I agree once you get the end started use a paper towl to grasp the membrane and start working your way down in one good straight pull use a kitchen knife to get under the membrane and the bone and start working your fingers in...
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: dewy on April 23, 2007, 04:50:56 PM
I found out they come off much easier if the ribs are just thawed a little bit but mostly frozen.Take an ice pick and work it in under one side untill theres enough roo to get your finger under it and start pulling real slow and easy and it should come off in one piece.For fresh unfrozen ribs I send the kids outside and use a lot of profanity to get the membrane off ;)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on April 23, 2007, 05:10:14 PM
I have never purchased frozen, nor have I ever froze ribs.  May have to give it a try sometime if it really helps.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: dewy on April 23, 2007, 06:41:39 PM
Just tried it the other day and it worked pretty slick, both membranes came off in one piece with very little effort.It was a frozen rack that had been taken out and let sit in the fridge overnight.Im gonna be doing some more here in the next week and theyre frozen as well, if it works that good a second time Ill definately let you know.The ribs dont need to be completely frozen i dont believe just so the meats stiff and theres a litle frost forming on them.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: smokin stu on April 27, 2007, 10:42:30 AM
oh all right, I will cook up a bunch of ribs this weekend and try and take the membranes off.

I will burden myself with trying a new technique......  this dog can learn a new trick......

Of course, that means I have a pile of ribs to eat this weekend as well.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: icerat4 on April 27, 2007, 10:46:41 AM
Just use a towel or napkin to pull the membrane off its easy.Youll be a pro in no time stu. ;D ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on April 27, 2007, 02:32:57 PM
Even if it is a little difficult at first, great ribs are worth it! ;)
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: fatandhappy on May 01, 2007, 12:23:06 PM
when removong the membrane i use a philip head screwdriver i have yet to find a tool that works better.  Plus it gets a good reaction from my wife.  getting what you want out of ribs can take a while it is such a personal preference thing.  You can learn alot about a man from his ribs haha.
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: dewy on May 02, 2007, 05:11:25 AM
Wildcat, tried it again with frozen ribs last weekend, didnt come off very well, but they werent quite as thawed as the first batch I did either.They also had a lotta fat on them where the first bunch were very lean, dont know if that made any difference.I still they work better half froze but apparently you gotta get em just right or it wont make a difference, Ill just have to keep experimenting I suppose ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: icerat4 on May 02, 2007, 07:05:14 AM
RIBS must be completey thawed when trying to get the membrane off.Just my 3 cents ;D
Title: Re: baby back ribs and the membrane?
Post by: Wildcat on May 02, 2007, 12:37:29 PM
I bet the fatty ribs turned out tender!