The membrane is a very thin piece of cartilage that is attached to a rack of ribs. This will add time to your preparation time, but it is worth the time to get the membrane off. You can remove the membrane by peeling it off.
OK for those grillers that don’t know the membrane on pork ribs which lies on the interior side of the rack. It is edible, and some barbecue cooks do leave it on when they prepare the ribs. Most cooks including myself will remove the membrane because seasoning will not penetrate the tough membrane. The best way is to use a sharp knife “Be very careful with it” and slip it under the membrane at one end of the rack of ribs and peal back enough to get a good grip on the membrane. This takes some practice so just keep working at it.
Detailed Instructions on removal of the Membrane
1. Slide the tip of a paring knife underneath the membrane along the widest end of the ribs, right next to the first bone. If you are working with baby back ribs, start underneath the second bone of the rack.
2. Carefully rock the paring knife back and forth until there is a space big enough to insert a thumb. With a piece of paper toweling in your hand, grasp the membrane gently pull up the membrane until you can insert two fingers.
3. Pull the membrane off of each bone until you reach the end. The membrane should come off in one piece. If the membrane breaks, slide the knife tip underneath the next bone, and start again until all the membrane is removed.
Once again the main reason for membrane removal is that spices and smoke cannot penetrate the membrane so you lose some of the flavor you are trying to get into the meat. So, once the membrane is removed season your ribs with a good rib rub.
“Barbecue Rib Rub”
Do you want to prepare your own barbecue rib rub? “Also a Great Smoked Pork Rub” Any leftover rib rub can be left in air tight container.
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of onion powder
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Mix ingredients together thoroughly and rub on your ribs. Fully coat the ribs with the rub.
Smoking Ribs slowly is in my opinion an art form. One of the most distinctive differences between cooking styles is the rub that is used. Rubs can be sweet, savory, spicy, hot, and of course, perfectly suited to your tastes. Finding the rub that is right for you can seem like a daunting task but it is well worth the time.
I am big on experimenting with your own recipes. This is no different with rib rubs. Start with the basic recipe above then try adding some of your favorite spices like Oregano, Garlic, Cumin, Cinnamon or ground Lemon Peel, etc.
Write down the ingredients of your barbecue rubs in a notepad. Believe me, you will not remember later exactly what you put in and in what amounts. Besides, if you want to increase or decrease amounts of something later you will have to know how much you used originally.
Tip: I coat my meat with yellow mustard before sprinkling on my barbecue dry rub to help it stick better. The mustard loses its flavor during smoking and creates a really nice crust.
See you at the Triple-B BBQ Festival and Cook-Off on Saturday – In Downtown Crestview Fl. For a Great Day of Family Fun and BBQ “Starts at 10 am”