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How to Tell if Ribs are Bad or if They’ve Passed the Test

When I buy a rack of ribs for the smoker, I try to cook them off as soon as I can. Either that, or I put them in the freezer to enjoy at a later date.  Sometimes, though, life interferes with our plans. If you’ve had some ribs hanging around in the fridge for a … Read more

Binder for Ribs: How it Can Make or Break Your Barbecue

The term “binder” might not be well-known to folks who consider grilling and smoking to be a hobby rather than an obsession. For the rest of us, it’s more than a basic term—it’s the difference between a decent-tasting cut of smoked meat and a great one.  Binder for Ribs In barbecue parlance, binder is the … Read more

Best Way to Reheat Ribs For Succulent, Juicy Results

Although I love having leftovers on hand, ribs aren’t the easiest smoker staple to reheat. They’re best enjoyed shortly after they’ve achieved the perfect internal temperature, when they can slide right off the bone with little effort. If you should find yourself with a batch of leftover ribs, though, the least you can do is … Read more

Baby Back vs Spare Ribs: The Devil is in the Details

When shopping for ribs, you might have noticed that some are labeled “baby back ribs” while others are called “spare ribs.” Aside from the pricing discrepancy, what are the differences between these two types of ribs?  Baby Back vs Spare Ribs Baby back or “loin back” ribs come from the upper segment of the rib … Read more

Button Ribs: Unbuttoning The Mystery Behind This Cut

Have you ever heard of a button rib? If you’ve ever eaten at a chain restaurant like Applebee’s, you might have seen them, even if you didn’t realize it. But what are these ribs, exactly? Are they the same thing as rib tips, or are they something else? Let’s take a closer look. Button Ribs … Read more

What To Do With Leftover Pork Rib Bones After The BBQ

Even if you’ve managed to consume all the rib meat you cooked off, you’ll still be left with the bones. Is there any way to put those to good use? Here are a few pro tips on what to do with leftover pork rib bones. What To Do With Leftover Pork Rib Bones Homemade bone … Read more

Riblets vs Ribs: A Smaller Version of the Same Thing?

Are riblets just smaller ribs, or are they a different cut of pork entirely? When it comes to ribs, the terminology can be confusing at times. That’s why we’ve put together this primer on riblets vs ribs. Riblets vs Ribs Riblets are baby back ribs that have been cut in half through the bone, making … Read more

How Long Are Ribs Good In The Fridge When Raw or Cooked?

When you prepared smoked ribs on a regular basis, you might keep them around for longer than you intended. This can be true of raw pork ribs in addition to leftovers. How long can ribs stay in the fridge before you need to cook them off? And how long are cooked ribs good for? Our … Read more

Finish Ribs In Oven: How Will This Affect The End Result?

Once the ribs have been on the smoker for a while, is it permissible to let them finish cooking in the oven? Or will that have a negative effect on the texture and flavor? Whatever reasons you might have for asking these questions, we’ve got you covered. Finish Ribs in Oven Since the ribs should … Read more

Pickled Rib Tips: What They Are And How To Make Them

“Pickle meat,” or pickled pork, is a delicacy that’s not widely known outside of the American South. For Louisiana chefs, however, it’s more than just a kitchen staple—it’s a rite of passage. Here’s everything you need to know about pickled rib tips. Pickled Rib Tips Rib tips can be pickled in a solution of water, … Read more

How Long To Smoke Ribs at 175/180 Degrees Fahrenheit

For the most part, we advocate smoking ribs at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you want to set the temp a bit lower, you’ll need a general idea of how long the process might take. Here’s our guide on how long to smoke ribs at 175/180 degrees. How Long To Smoke Ribs at 175/180 Degrees … Read more

How Long Is A Rack Of Ribs, And Will It Fit On My Smoker?

When you’re shopping for a grill or smoker, you should ensure that the cooking grates are wide enough to accommodate the cuts you have in mind. Therefore, those of you who enjoy smoked ribs might be wondering, just how long is a rack of ribs? How Long is a Rack Of Ribs? The length of … Read more

Can You Smoke Frozen Ribs Without Thawing Them First?

If you’ve put a rack or two of ribs in the freezer and you want to fire up the smoker tonight, do you have to thaw the ribs first? Or can you smoke frozen ribs and skip the thawing process entirely? Let’s find out. Can You Smoke Frozen Ribs? You don’t have to defrost ribs … Read more

Ribs Came Out Dry: What Happened? Tips and Solutions

It takes a long time to smoke a rack of ribs, which makes it all the more disappointing when they don’t turn out right. If your ribs came out dry, we’re here to tell you what might have happened—and to give you a couple of options for damage control. Ribs Came Out Dry Dry ribs … Read more

Rib Injection: Does It Work, and is it Worth The Trouble?

If you’ve ever wondered whether it was worth it to create an injection liquid for your ribs, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s explore this technique and the effect it has on large cuts of meat. Rib Injection An injection can promote flavor and juiciness, but it’s not a crucial step when it comes … Read more

What To Do With Spare Rib Trimmings Once They’re Removed

Is there any way to use up spare rib trimmings after you’ve prepared the rack for the grill? After all, you’ve worked hard to get the rack presentation-ready, and it looks like there’s some usable meat left. Let’s talk about how you might capitalize on that. What To Do With Spare Rib Trimmings You can … Read more

Cooked Ribs Left Out Overnight: Are They Still Safe To Eat?

What happens if you leave your leftover cooked ribs out on the counter all night? Is it still okay to eat them as long as you reheat them first? Despite what you may have heard—or what you’ve done in the past—the answer is no. We’re here to tell you why. Cooked Ribs Left Out Overnight … Read more

Black Veins in Pork Ribs: Is This A Dangerous Sign?

Have you ever come across some black spots when prepping a rack of pork ribs? Some people may smoke plenty of ribs and never encounter this phenomenon. However, if you do, you can still move forward with the barbecue—and we’re here to tell you why. Black Veins in Pork Ribs Once in a while, you … Read more

Trimmed vs Untrimmed Spare Ribs: Why The Distinction Matters

You can smoke spare ribs untrimmed, but it makes for a more impressive presentation if you take the time to trim the rack. To help you understand why, we’ve put together this guide that explores the difference between trimmed vs untrimmed spare ribs. Trimmed vs Untrimmed Spare Ribs Trimmed spare ribs—known as St. Louis-style ribs—have … Read more

Can Ribs Be Pink When Cooked and Still Be Safe To Consume?

Can ribs be pink even after they’re cooked? The short answer is yes. In fact, this phenomenon is fairly common with smoked meats. If you’ve done the job right, a pinkish tinge is not only safe, it’s a good sign. We’ll tell you why. Can Ribs Be Pink and Still Be Cooked Through? Pork is … Read more

Ribs Stall During the Smoke: Is This a Normal Phenomenon?

You may know that large cuts of meat tend to hit a plateau, temperature-wise, when they cook for long periods of time. Do ribs stall during the smoking process? And if so, how should you handle the situation? Ribs Stall During The Smoke During the smoking process, the internal temperature of the ribs might halt … Read more

How To Render Fat From Pork Ribs (And Related Tips)

What can you do with the fat that’s left behind after trimming a rack of ribs? It would be a shame to let all that flavor go to waste. One option would be to render the fat into lard, so you can use it as a substitute for butter or oil. Let’s find out how. … Read more

Fatty Ribs: Is This Normal, and How Should I Handle It?

Some rib types are fattier than others. This is true of beef and pork ribs alike. What’s more, the fat content can vary even within the same type, since every animal is different. Our ultimate guide to fatty ribs will help you navigate this terrain. Fatty Ribs When you’re talking about pork ribs, spare ribs … Read more

How Long Are Ribs Good For In The Fridge (Raw or Smoked)?

Once you’ve purchased a rack of ribs, how long do you have to cook them off? And how long will they keep in the fridge after you’ve cooked them? We’re here to answer all the questions you might have about storing your fresh pork ribs. How Long Are Ribs Good For in the Fridge? Raw … Read more

Dijon Mustard on Ribs Before Rub: Is There Any Point?

Wondering whether you should put Dijon mustard on ribs before rub? If you’re like us, you keep a good supply of this versatile ingredient on hand at all times. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best binder for spice rub. Dijon Mustard on Ribs Before Rub Adding Dijon mustard to ribs before applying the … Read more

Pork Ribs Cartilage: What Are All These White Tubes?

The first time you looked at a rack of raw untrimmed pork ribs, you might have been intimidated by all the fat and cartilage you saw. What exactly is that stuff, and what should you do with it? Here’s everything you need to know about pork ribs cartilage. Pork Ribs Cartilage You’ll find cartilage attached … Read more

Do Kroger Ribs Have Membrane Still Attached To Them?

When you buy ribs from a big-box store like Kroger, will they still have the membrane attached? Or will you have to remove it yourself? It’s a fair question—and one that pitmasters would love to have the answer to. We’ll attempt to explore the issue here. Do Kroger Ribs Have Membrane? When shopping for ribs … Read more

Do You Put Mustard On Ribs Before Rub? Why or Why Not?

In pitmasters’ circles, there are many topics that are hotly debated. The question of whether or not to slather ribs with mustard is one of them. Do you put mustard on ribs before rub? And if not, should you start? Do You Put Mustard On Ribs Before Rub? Pitmasters apply a layer of mustard to … Read more

Can’t Get Membrane Off Ribs: Reasons and Recommendations

What should you do when you can’t seem to remove the membrane from a rack of ribs? And is it necessary to take it off in the first place? In this guide, we’ll explore this phenomenon to help you make the most of your barbecue. Can’t Get Membrane Off Ribs If you’re having a hard … Read more

Should You Rub Ribs The Night Before You Smoke Them?

When is the best time to apply a seasoning rub to a rack of ribs? Should you rub ribs the night before, or wait until you’re ready to put them on the smoker? In this guide, we’ll go over the pros and cons of seasoning ribs in advance. Should You Rub Ribs The Night Before? … Read more

How Many Slabs Of Ribs Come In A Case? A Buyer’s Guide

If you’re buying lots of ribs for an upcoming event, you probably have a general idea of how many slabs you need. Buying in bulk can help you save money, especially if you target a big-box store that specializes in such things. But how can you tell how many slabs of ribs come in a … Read more

Can You Cook Ribs Frozen When There’s No Time To Thaw?

You’re in the mood for ribs tonight, but the only ones you have are frozen solid. Is it still all right to fire up the grill, or do you need to wait until tomorrow? Let’s find out what happens if you toss ribs on the grill without thawing them first. Can You Cook Ribs Frozen? … Read more

Can You Freeze Ribs? A Complete Guide To Longer Storage

As you may know, we prefer to err on the side of “too much” rather than risk coming up short when it comes to barbecue. In other words, we tend to buy more product than we need. This means we often have a lot of meat left over. Sometimes, we find that we don’t even … Read more

Can You Refreeze Pork Ribs? A Complete Guide To Defrosting

When you’ve thawed a large quantity of ribs–whether cooked or raw–and you aren’t going to use them after all, is it safe to refreeze them? I used to think it was dangerous to do so, but I may have been wrong about that. I hope this guide will clear things up for you as well. … Read more

How To Cook Ribs The Day Before You Plan To Eat Them

Making smoked ribs is a time-consuming process. The results are delicious, of course, but what if you just don’t have time to make them the day of the gathering? Is it okay to cook them off the day before and reheat them at serving time? In this guide, we’ll clue you in on how to … Read more

How Much Does A Rack Of Ribs Weigh? And Other Questions

When it comes to smoking meat products, the weight of the product can affect the total cooking time. Smaller cuts of meat cook through more quickly, while larger ones need more time in order to reach the right temperature. How much does a slab of ribs weigh? That’s a question that many amateurs never think … Read more

How Long To Leave Dry Rub On Ribs Before Cooking Them?

There are as many ways to make smoked pork ribs as there are grilling enthusiasts. Everyone, it seems, has their own method for this delicacy—which is one of the qualities that makes the dish so compelling. Do you use a seasoning rub on your ribs? If so, when do you apply it? There are many … Read more

Should Ribs Fall Off The Bone When They’re Finished Cooking?

Even if you’re new to grilling, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the phrase “falling off the bone.” Amateur pitmasters often use this phrase to describe pork ribs that are perfectly done—at least in their opinion. Should ribs fall off the bone when you take them off the smoker? Let’s take a closer look. Should … Read more

Toothpick & Bend Test For Ribs: Are These Methods Reliable?

It takes a long time to cook ribs until they’re tender to the bite. The exact length of time depends on the type of ribs you buy, the size of the rack, and the reliability of the smoker temperature. That’s why it’s useful to have a trick or two up your sleeve that will help … Read more

How To Fix Tough Ribs, And How To Prevent The Issue

Perfectly smoked ribs can be a difficult skill to master. The process isn’t complicated, but since the ribs take so long to cook, there are a few things that could go wrong along the way. In this guide, we’ll help you avoid these pitfalls—and offer a few tips on how to fix tough ribs when … Read more

Where To Probe Ribs To Get The Correct Temp Every Time

Getting the temperature right is an essential part of any barbecue, but it’s of paramount importance when it comes to smoked ribs. If the meat isn’t cooked to the ideal temperature, the texture will be off. Once you know where to probe ribs for an accurate temperature readout, you’re heading in the right direction. Where … Read more

Smoking Ribs Without Foil: How To Eliminate The Crutch

Amateur pitmasters will often wrap their ribs in foil at some point during the cook. Even some professionals still resort to this technique. Although the practice is acceptable, it’s not necessary if you know what you’re doing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of smoking ribs without foil. Smoking Ribs Without Foil … Read more

Soaking Ribs in Vinegar: Why and How? The Ultimate Guide

Have you ever tried soaking ribs in vinegar? If you haven’t—or if you tried it once and were underwhelmed by the results—maybe it’s time you learned more about this marinating method. When the job is done properly, it can give your pork ribs an indulgent texture that will keep you coming back for more. Soaking … Read more

How Much Does a Rack of Ribs Cost, And How Many Do I Need?

When we’re planning a cookout, we tend to focus on important matters like what to serve, how much we’ll need to buy, and what to do with any leftovers. But for some of us, cost is also a concern. How much does a rack of ribs cost, and how many will you need to buy? … Read more

How To Keep Ribs Warm After Taking Them Off The Grill

It’s important to pull ribs off the grill as soon as they reach that precise degree of tenderness. If you cook them too long, they’ll dry out. However, sometimes they’ll be finished cooking long before you plan to serve them. What should you do then? Here’s our ultimate guide on how to keep ribs warm … Read more

Should You Marinate Ribs Before Smoking/Grilling? A Guide

Most aspiring pitmasters are eager to find the ultimate recipe for pork ribs. When they’re done properly, ribs have a delicious hearty flavor, with meat that slides easily off the bone. But is it necessary to marinate the ribs before cooking? In this guide, we’ll help you decide whether this step is worth the extra … Read more

Smoking Ribs And Chicken At The Same Time: Tips & Tricks

One of the pleasures of owning an oversized grill or smoker is the prospect of serving more than one type of meat as your main course. However, the timing can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Let’s talk about smoking ribs and chicken at the same time. Smoking Ribs and Chicken at … Read more

How To Keep Ribs Moist and Tender While They’re Cooking

Pork ribs are a barbecue staple, and with good reason. The succulent flesh contains just the right amount of fat, and they lend themselves well to a host of superb flavor combinations. However, the meat may dry out if you’re not careful. Here’s our primer on how to keep ribs moist when they’re cooked on … Read more

3-1-1 Ribs: Do You Really Need That Extra Hour? A Guide

Although the 3-2-1 rib method is exceedingly popular, some pitmasters prefer to speed the process along. Does the 3-1-1 method yield similar results? If so, what’s the point of waiting an extra hour? By the time you’ve finished reading this guide, you should be able to decide whether this technique is right for you. 3-1-1 … Read more

How To Tell If Membrane Is On Ribs—And Why It Matters

Some big-box stores—and maybe even some smaller butcher shops—sell their rib racks with the membrane still attached. What exactly is that thing, and is it all right to leave it in place during the smoke? Here’s a primer on how to tell if membrane is on ribs when you buy them—and what to do about … Read more

Apple Juice Substitute For Ribs: Ideas and Preparation Tips

Pork and apples are a classic combination, and one that takes on new life when combined with a savory hit of smoke. That’s why apple juice turns up in so many rib recipes, whether it’s used as a marinade ingredient or a simple spritzer. However, if you don’t have any apple juice on hand, you … Read more

Kansas City Style Ribs vs. St. Louis Style Ribs—A Showdown

The world of barbecue is a huge and enticing place. Even if you decide to narrow your menu options down to include just pork ribs, you might have a hard time deciding. In this guide, we’ll look at Kansas City style ribs vs St. Louis style ribs to help you discern the difference between these … Read more

Smoking Pre Cooked Ribs: How To Recapture The Magic

Since we’re barbecue fanatics, we prefer to make things from scratch as often as possible. That doesn’t mean we’ve never dealt with precooked meats before. If you’re pressed for time, or can only find ribs that are already cooked and seasoned, all is not lost. Here’s our primer on smoking pre cooked ribs. Smoking Pre … Read more

How Long To Smoke Ribs at 225 Degrees: The Ultimate Guide

225 degrees is our go-to temperature when smoking ribs. It’s a low enough temperature to yield perfect results, but not so low that you have to worry about food safety issues. In our ultimate guide, we’ll talk about the best methods for smoking ribs at 225 degrees. How Long To Smoke Ribs at 225 Degrees … Read more

How Long To Smoke Ribs at 200 Degrees For Tender, Juicy Meat

Can you set the smoker to 200 degrees when making pork ribs? Sure, but you’ll have to add a hearty dose of patience to the recipe. At this temp, the ribs will take a while to cook. Fortunately, the results should be worth the wait. How Long To Smoke Ribs at 200 Degrees Fahrenheit A … Read more

How Long To Smoke Ribs at 300 & 350: Cranking Up The Heat

When you’re smoking ribs, a low temperature is the way to go. 225 to 275 degrees is the norm, but is it possible to speed things up by going a bit higher? Let’s talk about how long to smoke ribs at 300 and 350 degrees without ruining the texture of the dish. How Long To … Read more

Do Ribs Need To Rest, and If So, How Long Is The Wait?

Large slabs of meat—like beef brisket and pork butt—need to rest for a significant amount of time before you can dig in. Do pork ribs play by the same rules? And if so, how long should you wait before you serve them? In our guide, you’ll learn how long to rest ribs after taking them … Read more

Wrapping Ribs: What Temp, How Long, and Other Queries

You’ve probably noticed that some pitmasters wrap their ribs in foil or butcher paper at some point during the smoke. Perhaps you’ve even tried it yourself. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, it’s important to understand the science behind the technique. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at the rib … Read more

Ribs Bone Up or Down—Which Will Yield Better Results?

It’s a simple quandary, but a common one: Is it better to put the ribs on the smoker with the bone side facing up or down? Newbies might be tempted to think that it doesn’t make any difference. The truth is, the answer can affect the results of your barbecue. If your goal is to … Read more

Baby Back vs. St. Louis Ribs: Which Ones Come Out On Top?

To a beginner, all pork ribs look about the same. To a seasoned grilling aficionado, meanwhile, the difference between them is obvious. In fact, the more you learn about the various types of pork ribs, the easier it is to choose between them. Our baby back vs St Louis ribs matchup will help you decide … Read more

How Long To Smoke Ribs at 250 and 275 Degrees Fahrenheit

If you know the first thing about smoked ribs, you understand that the meat needs to be cooked over a low fire for a long time if you want it to turn out right. Many recipes call for a smoker temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit, and that’s a good rule of thumb to follow. However, … Read more

How Many Ribs in a Rack: A Griller’s Guide to Serving Sizes

When you’re deciding how much meat to serve at your next gathering, you’ll need to know how many guests to expect. The next step, which is just as important, is to determine what the appropriate serving sizes are. When it comes to bone-in meats like ribs, this question can be a tricky one. Ribs are … Read more

How To Grill Ribs Fast and Still Make Them Taste Good

Because they contain a lot of bone and connective tissue, pork ribs benefit from low-and-slow cooking applications. But what if you don’t have that kind of time? Whether you’ve waited too long to defrost the ribs or you just decided to pull them off the supermarket shelf, here’s how to grill ribs fast so that … Read more

How To Defrost Ribs: 3 Easy Methods for Your Next Cookout

Buying frozen pork ribs can be a real money-saver if you purchase the meat in bulk. The only problem is that you lose valuable time defrosting the meat. Fortunately, the process doesn’t have to put a damper on your barbecue, particularly if you plan ahead. Here’s our how-to guide on how to defrost ribs in … Read more

Smoking Baby Back Ribs 2-2-1: An Easy Method For Beginners

Some newbies are daunted by the prospect of preparing baby back ribs on the smoker. After all, you want to get the perfect combination of smoky flavor and mouthwatering texture. Fortunately, there are ways to achieve this even if you don’t have a ton of grilling experience. Take a look at our guide to smoking … Read more

Beef Ribs vs. Pork Ribs: Which is Better On the Grill?

When most of us say “ribs,” we’re referring to pork ribs. But did you know that beef ribs can be just as enticing when they’re done right? It’s literally a whole different animal, which opens up a new world of flavor possibilities. That’s why we’ve decided to compose this primer on beef ribs vs pork … Read more

3-2-1 Rib Method: What It Is And How To Perfect It

If you think you aren’t a fan of smoked pork ribs, it might be because you’ve never had good ones. The hard truth is, there are a lot of ways to mess up ribs–the meat might be too tough or unpleasantly dry, or the fat hasn’t had a chance to render. Enter the 3-2-1 rib … Read more

How To Tell If Ribs Are Done: Tips & Tricks for Grilling

You probably already know that ribs are at their best when they’re cooked for a long time at low temperatures. But how will you know when they’re ready to come off the grill? There are several different methods, and most experts can’t agree on which one is best. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of … Read more

Pork Loin Back Ribs vs Baby Back Ribs: Is There a Difference?

With their robust flavor, succulent texture, and overall finger-licking goodness, ribs are an ideal partner for the grill. Choosing what type of ribs to cook, on the other hand, can be a tricky prospect. Depending on the butcher, the meat might be packaged or labeled in ways that make it difficult to understand exactly what … Read more

How Many Ribs to Cook Per Person? All You Need To Know

Entertaining can be difficult enough without worrying about whether you’ll have sufficient food on hand to feed everyone. When it comes to ribs, the issue can get even trickier. You’re in luck, though—there are guidelines to help you ensure that your guests won’t go home hungry. Read on if you’re wondering just how many ribs … Read more