1. Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

So what's the big deal with peeling the membrane off ribs?? does it make a difference??

Discussion in 'Beef' started by jstanford, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. jstanford

    jstanford Fire Starter

    I finally made some ribs that didn't make it to the garbage basket right out of the smoker, they were actually good! Anyway... you guys and gals have never steered me wrong so here it goes....

    I know everyone says to peel the membrane off ribs and it's very important... I believe it is but when I did mine, I could not get the whole thing off to save my life and I don't know that I could even tell in the finished product! What will the difference be when I finally do defeat the membrane and remove the whole thing?

    You guys rock!
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    A small piece or two of the membrane left on the ribs won't hurt.

    If you get ribs that still have the membrane intact, When you bite into the ribs it will feel allmost like there's a thin sheet of rubber on the back of the ribs. My son brought me half a rack from a local bbq joint to try and they still had the membrane on them. was like trying to bite thru a ballon.

     After we tried the ribs son told me my worst ribs from the grill were better than these smoked ribs. I'd have to agree.
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Oh yea , If you st louis cut your ribs you will be able to get all the mebrane off.
  4. davidlsi

    davidlsi Fire Starter

    I believe that the skin gets tough if left in place.  Some may enjoy the extra feel to the bite once cooked, I am not one of those.

    The silver skin does take some practice to remove and will get easier.  I use the back end of a spoon to get under and help get a starting grip on the skin.
  5. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Aside from not having to chew through the membrane, you'll have some better penetration of smoke and rub too.
  6. realtorterry

    realtorterry Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    trying using a paper towel to hold the membrane & with a little practice you'll get it all off in one piece. Eman's right about the rubbery piece. You could eat it but why?

    Those ribs are gonna get better every time!!
  7. richoso1

    richoso1 Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good advise diect from Bullhead City, Arizona. Paper towels are my choice too.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  8. jstanford

    jstanford Fire Starter

    I guess practice makes perfect.... I will keep trying to take that sucker off... would beer help, not the ribs.....Me! a few beers should make it come off a little better!!!!
  9. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    I don't cut the ribs and have found that the membrane goes up the ribs and under a flap of meat that is part of what gets trimmed off. The membrane tends to rip at that point, but if you're careful and diligent you can get most, if not all, of it off.

    And in the TMI dept: I need less dental floss afterwards if I remove the membrane.
  10. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When I first started removing the membrane I found that I was trying to take off too much of a layer. I found I can wiggle my finger underneath, lift up and peel off with a paper towel. Youtube has some videos that might be helpful.

  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Ah shucks I made it too late for I thought I might be able to tell you about the paper towels. Oh well I would recommand that you take it off for the rub won't penitrate though the mambrane either. There I got one point in. Ya Raaa Yeppiiiieee
  12. The paper towel trick works great but I've found that it's still a lot tougher to remove the membrane from beef ribs then pork. Pork it pulls right off, with beef ribs I have to really work at it. All in all it's worth the effort.
  13. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    insane in the membrane...sorry, couldn't resist.  [​IMG]

    Removal gets a little easier with practice and at times some just seem to pull easier than others. To me it's worth the extra minute or two.  I find the baby backs membrane is also easier to remove compared to the spares.
  14. bbqhead

    bbqhead Smoking Fanatic

    I agree with all above answers, paper towels work great, and if left on wont let rub or smoke penatrate. sometimes it may be hard to get all of it, but thats ok just get all you can. just a much better product when done.
  15. pokey

    pokey Meat Mopper

    And I just realized this is in the "Beef" forum. I know nothing about this, then. I take it all back. Sorry.

    [Don't you hate it when that happens?]
  16. squirrel

    squirrel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    LOL Pokey! I didn't catch that either!
  17. jstanford

    jstanford Fire Starter

    it's beef-pork forum friendly! It goes with both spares and baby's.... I am going to try another rack today... I promise Q-views now that I understand my computer a little better
  18. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I remove mine and try to remove it without a paper towel, just for fun

  19. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Getting it started correctly is half the battle.  As everyone has said, the paper towel is great.  If there is a little left on there, burn it and call it seasoning!  LOL
  20. jstanford

    jstanford Fire Starter

    I have a nice slab of Spares that I cut and trimmed and the membrane came off pretty easily actually, got them sitting in the fridge rubbed and ready to smoke, qview to follow