Simmering Ribs

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Apr 29, 2006
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Ok, I'd jsut liek to hear all your thoughts on this. I simmer my ribs for about an hour before I marinade then (So usually the night before). Everytime I cook ribs that have been simmered before hand they turn out way better. Do you guys have any thoughts on simemring ribs. if so, i'd like your input.
Whatever works for you is what's important.

I've done this, and won't ever do it again.
It does help get rid of albumin and some of the excess fat and shorten cooking time on the smoker. The problem is that boiling also washes away most of the flavor from the ribs.
The texture comes out great, but the flavor is just gone.

I've quit foiling ribs and find that they render out to my satisfaction (I hate greasy meats) just fine.
I'm not sure what you mean by "Simmering" your ribs before marianating them. I hope you don't mean boiling them. I never do that. It washes out all the real flavor. Look through the posts here and use the "Search" feature to read up on the 3-2-1 method of cooking ribs. That's basically the way I do mine and they consistently come out winners. Good luck! Do the search and if any questions, let us know. There's enough knowledge here to really help ..... I know from experience.
Nick, my friend, your'e losing an awful lot of flavor. As mentioned above, read through the 3-2-1 posts. Give it a try and then let us know what you think. And if you have questions, by all means, post them. I think you are in for a real treat!
Parboiling or simmering is what you use when you cannot cook low and slow. There are several methods that you can use, like the 3-2-1 method, that will give the results that you want, but with much more flavor. I have boiled my ribs in the past, but now have seen the light!
I jsut did it because it's not quite the same as boiling, tenders them up somewhat but doesn't lose too much flavour. The 3-2-1 is what, 3 hours of no foil, 2 hours of foil, and 1 hour of no foil? If I remember correctly. It jsut somehow seems like alot of work to me. Also, I'm doing Ribs at the same time as two Beer Can Chickens, as it's for a BBQ. SO i'm doing the Ribs for roughly 4 hours, same as the chickens (I know i'm short changing the Ribs, but I need to do them the same as the ribs so they'll be done in time). I know my methods are alittle off, but soem of them are neccesary so that I can have them done in the right time frame.
Not to be a smart a$$ or anything, but if you need about 6 hours to cook ribs the right way, then start 2 hours early. To me, the time it takes to get them just right is more than made up for by the looks I get when I see people eating my ribs.

This year I am planning on smoking my ribs on sat the 1st of July, and saucing/finishing them on my gas grill at a park on the 4th. The hardest part fgor me, will be to keep the ribs from getting eaten in between.

Are you talking spares or babybacks?

It sounds like you're time sensitive, so if you can't start earlier, you'll just need to use a higher temp

But you really need to take the time at some point to go low and slow. You're asking advice from a group that thinks nothing of throwing an 18# brisket on the smoker at 9pm, to eat at 6pm the next night. I get up at 5am just for a couple pork butts.

If the 3-2-1 sounds like too much work, then do the 3-3 method and skip unwrapping.

I can guaranty you that if you give this method a shot a few times and perfect it (I use foil as a tool) there is no way you'll say simmering is more tender. When I unwrap the slab I overcook for the kids, the bones fall out.

And please tell me you peal back the membrane!!
First things first, I am new to smoking, and i'm learning. I peel back the membrane as much as I can, I find it's alittle tricky. I'm dealing with Pork Side Ribs here. I do normaly do the ribs low slow and i'm a big fan of it too, but i'm preparing these ribs to a BBQ that i'm having and are under tiem restrictions as I was unable to get off work the morning of. People are throwing alot of methods at me, but I think what it comes down to is when theres alot of food and alot of hungry people on the line, it comes down to what you know, toying with neqw methods should probably done in my spare time (which i've been doing alot prior to this.)

I thank you all for your input, and yes i'm a big fan of low and slow, but sometiems low and slow isn't a possibility.
Forgive our outbursst, if you have a time constraint, then you do what you gotta do. You can offset grill pork ribs, I have done it, with wood chunks on the fire, and they were good. Use the foil to help with the tenderness, like Bill says, the bones will fall out of the meat for those that like that.

What kind of quipment will you be using? how much time will you have for the cook process, do they have to be sauced, or can sauce be on the side. Is it possible to cook the ribs another day and just warm them up / finish them on the Big day?
This is my smoker, offset style, not huge, but big enough:

I use charcoal briquettes in a similar fashion to the minion emthod, where I build a pyramid and then only light the top ones....once those begin to cool I start some more in my charcoal chimney and then toss those on.

I use a mixture of wood chips and chunks, I used to soak them however now I don't because I haven't notice any big difference.

Another one of the reasons i'm doing these ribs quickly (like 4-5 hours) is that i'm also cooking 2 beercan chickens in the same chamber....This way I can produce more food for the BBQ, running both the chickens and the ribs at about 250f avg for about 4-5 hours will do them both nicely, i'll watch them closely and will pull one off if it's done.

All in all I realize it's controversal, but I have some of these restrictions due to tiem constraints and the amount and different types of food that I want to do.

I'll be sure to update everyone on how it goes, and how my methods go, as the BBQ is Wednesday. (BTW the BBQ is a BBQ dedicated to we've named it The CCRBQ, I'll let you all know how it goes)
As Ice said, we are trying to help, and your last post painted a much better picture, now that we know more.

What kind of smoker, and grill do you have?

When time is short, I have offset on my Weber Kettle with great results.

Another time saver is 3 hours on the smoke, wrap in foil, then into the fridge. If you know your constrained for time, smoke then wrap and in the fridge (spray before wrapping). Then on BBQ day, turn the grill on low, and lay them slabs in there, even 2 or three high, still wrapped. rotate every once in a while, and after a while, you got wibs.

Another option is to reheat the presmoked ribs in the oven. We do it all the time on long time butts and such.

Membrane tip: Start pulling just a tiny piece back, the grab it with a paper towel in your hand. Pulls off quite easily.

Again, add more info, like you just did, and hopefully we can find a tip or two that works for you
Edit, you posted while I was. Let me check your post, picture and see if I can help you out. I'm thinking my pre smoking idea is valid, as you can use wrapped ribs to reheat while smoking the BCChicken, but let me take in your post

PS, Welcome! I see you joined a while back, but I missed that

Edit 2:
Yep, I think a pre smoke is in order.

Wednesday, eh?

What you doing tomorrow night?

I think presmoking is in order.

But regardless, if you go with your tried and true (do a couple racks both ways and test on your guests) be sure to post the results!!!
Yeah I know you guys are helping, I tend to come across alittle brash sometiems lol.

I've never been a huge fan of reheated foods, but I may give it a try sometime. If theres any other specific information you need jsut let me know.
My Brother-In-Law who i credit for getting me started in smoking, grills his ribs in a unit a lot like yours. Does everything else you described, except he does not boil, but he does foil. I talked him into doing a rack with no sauce, just sprinkle a little more rub on them towards the end of the cook.
I see. Personally I marinade my ribs overnight...I've tried dry rubs, and well it just wasn't for me. I usually use a fairly light marinade and then provide sauce for me.
In the long run, it is all a matter of taste. When I cook it is to please me, the wife, and the kids. If they like it, I had a good cook. If I like it, and they didn't, I get more food to eat, but have to make changes, so they like it the next time. Boiling, precooking the ribs will take a lot of the flaovor out, but that is the way my mom made ribs, for years, I thought they were good. Now, nobody in the family thinks about cooking ribs, unless they are planning on me smoking them. Once you've had good home, backyard BBQ you never go back. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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