Ultimate Guide on How to Trim Spare Ribs

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Are you looking to master the art of smoking spare ribs? The key to perfecting your BBQ game is learning how to trim spare ribs like a pro. Trimming spare ribs is an essential step before seasoning and smoking them to ensure that they cook evenly and look aesthetically pleasing. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to trim spare ribs like a pro.

Why is Trimming Spare Ribs Important?

Trimming spare ribs is necessary for two reasons; it improves the overall appearance of the ribs, and it helps them cook evenly. By removing the excess fat and silver skin, you expose more of the surface area of the meat, which promotes the development of a crispy bark and enhances the absorption of your seasoning.

Tools You’ll Need for Trimming Ribs

Before you start trimming ribs, gather all the necessary tools, including a sharp knife, cutting board, paper towels, and a pair of kitchen scissors. A sharp knife and scissors are essential for cutting the fat and removing the silver skin.

Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming Ribs

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to trim spare ribs like a pro:

1. Start by removing the membrane: Flip your spare ribs bone-side up and look for the thin, translucent membrane that covers the bones. Using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, loosen the membrane from the bone and grab it with a paper towel. Carefully pull the membrane away from the meat. This step is crucial as it helps to remove tough and chewy parts of the ribs.

2. Trim the excess fat: Use your knife to scrape off any thick chunks of fat around the edges of the ribs. Be careful not to cut off too much meat. Leave a quarter-inch of fat for flavor and juiciness.

3. Remove excess meat: Look for any pieces of meat that may be jutting out or hanging off the bone. Trim them off using a sharp knife or scissors.

4. Remove the skirt: The skirt is a thin, flimsy piece of meat that juts out from the side of the ribs. Trim it off using a knife or scissors.

FAQs About Trimming Spare Ribs

1. Should I leave any fat on the ribs?
Yes, leave a quarter-inch of fat for flavor and juiciness.

2. Should I remove the silver skin from baby back ribs?
Yes, you should remove the silver skin as it is tough and chewy.

3. How should I store trimmed spare ribs?
Place the ribs in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days.


Trimming spare ribs is essential for creating mouth-watering BBQ that will have your guests begging for more. Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll be trimming ribs like a pro in no time. Remember to use the right tools, remove excess fat and meat, and remove the silver skin. You and your guests will be savoring delicious, juicy ribs with perfectly crispy bark in no time.


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