Mastering Ribs: How to Remove the Membrane like a Pro

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If you’ve ever had ribs with a tough and chewy texture, then the culprit was most likely a pesky membrane. While it may seem like a daunting task to remove it, it’s actually quite easy once you know the technique. In this article, we’ll teach you how to remove the membrane from ribs with ease, so you can fully enjoy the delicious, tender meat that lies beneath it.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before we dive into the steps, let’s go over the tools you’ll need to properly remove the membrane. You’ll need a sharp knife and a paper towel, that’s it! While there are specific tools designed for this task, these two common kitchen items will do the trick.

Step-by-Step Guide

Removing the membrane from ribs requires precision and patience. Follow these steps to get the job done right:

Step 1: Locate the Membrane

Turn your rack of ribs so that the bone side is facing up. You’ll see a thin layer of membrane covering the bones. It will have a shiny appearance and will be slightly stretchy. Use your fingers to grip a small corner of the membrane and gently pull it away from the bones.

Step 2: Loosen the Membrane

Once you have a small corner pulled away, use your sharp knife to loosen the membrane along the length of the rack. Slide the knife under the membrane to separate it from the meat, but be sure to not cut too deeply as you don’t want to remove any of the meat.

Step 3: Remove the Membrane

With the membrane loosened, grab a corner of it with the paper towel to get a good grip and carefully pull it away from the rack. If it breaks off in pieces, use your knife to re-loosen it and try again.

Step 4: Trim off Excess Fat

Now that the membrane is removed, you can trim off any excess fat with your knife or kitchen scissors. This will not only make your ribs look better but will help them cook more evenly.

Grill or Smoke Your Ribs

With the membrane removed, your ribs are now ready to be cooked! Apply your favorite dry rub or marinade, and then grill or smoke them to perfection.

Concluding Thoughts

Removing the membrane from ribs can seem intimidating, but with a little practice, it becomes second nature. The key is to take your time and be gentle, so you don’t damage the meat. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you’ll be able to enjoy tender and flavorful ribs every time.

FAQs about How to Remove the Membrane from Ribs

Q: Can I cook ribs with the membrane still attached?

A: Yes, you can. However, leaving the membrane on can result in tough and chewy ribs. Removing it will allow for the meat to cook more evenly and become more tender.

Q: Do I always need to remove the membrane from ribs?

A: While it’s not necessary, removing the membrane will result in better-tasting and more tender meat.

Q: Can I remove the membrane from pre-packaged ribs?

A: Yes, you can! Just be sure to rinse the ribs under cold water before removing the membrane to remove any excess packaging material.

Q: What if I accidentally remove some meat while removing the membrane?

A: While it’s best to avoid removing any meat, accidents happen. Simply trim off any excess meat and continue with the cooking process.


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