rib membrane removal

Discussion in 'Beef' started by bxl4, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Does anyone have any tricks for making the removal of the membrane on the back side of beef ribs (especially) easier to remove? I know everyone says "lift the edge with a sharp object and peel it away by holding it with a kitchen towel or paper towel."

    Well, that never works as easy as it sounds for me. The membrane either slips out of my grip or breaks or tears off in a partial layer or something. It feels like I'm spending as much time removing membrane as I am in doing all of my other prep combined.

    Would brining or a hot water rinse or something else make this faster and easier? I love the flavor I'm getting from my ribs but this part of the prep is holding me back from cooking them more often.

    Thanks for your wisdom.

  2. daddio

    daddio Meat Mopper

    i use a dull butter knife and then pull with paper towels always works good for me work your knife up under there a bit to loosen it up,also heard of people using catfish skinning plyers.
  3. I start on the smaller side using a sharp pareing knife. Slip it under the bone to the other side then bend the knife up with a good hold on the ribs. That will give you a flap to work with. Get your paper towel and grab that flap, then SLOWLY peel. If it starts splitting then stop and use your knife to make it whole again but cutting the part on the meat.

    Whole operation should only take 2 mins.


    BTW, NEVER brine ribs. Meat will be mushy
  4. blacklab

    blacklab Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I'll take a oyster knife underneath the middle rib work it till you can get two fingers under it and pull. Paper towels help alot for your grip if it's in peices. gl hope it helps
  5. master_dman

    master_dman Meat Mopper

    I've only done ribs a couple times so far.. but I must be getting really lucky.

    I've had no problem whatsoever. Just put a knife between the membrane and a rib to loosen it up a bit, and pull it right off.

    The entire membrane came off every time, with my bare fingers.
  6. cinnamonkc

    cinnamonkc Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Paper towels for sure!! I was losing the battle until I started using the towels for the grip!
  7. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You can also dust the membrane a bit with some table salt. That helps add something to your grip as well.
  8. reddog

    reddog Fire Starter

    Josh that a great idea! I like beef over pork but the beef membrane is tuff. I use a fork, phillips screwdriver and work like h***. This past fathers day I smoke 2 racks and work the membrane down to the meat between the bones. I think this helped with the smoke, rub and mop get to the meat.

    There seams to be 2 layers of membrane one removes o.k the second really takes the work.
  9. I had the same problem with my beef ribs, that second layer you mentioned was almost impossoble to remove.
  10. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    i idnt know about a second membrane, i did some beef ribs a cuple weeks back and removed membrand which had to work it a bit but it stripped rite off once u got a hold of it. anyway they turnt out great except..... dang i thought i removed the membrane. almost like there still was a thin one there. aside from that they were geat. next time i gonna have to see about that second membrane and try to remove it.
  11. earache_my_eye

    earache_my_eye Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    There is only one membrane that is removable one either pork or beef ribs. For the most part, it should come off in one piece.....it doesn't ALWAYS work that way though. Have to pay close attention because sometimes the membrane is already removed when you buy your ribs. If all you can get off them is tiny little slivers of membrane, then it has already been removed, and you are trying to remove the connective tissue that holds everything together. As stated earlier....a couple minutes (or less) is all you should have to spend on removing the membrane.

    Oh, and, I just use my fingers most times.....sometimes a butter knife.

  12. seboke

    seboke Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I now use the handle end of a soup spoon after pushing the butter knife through the membrane almost every time. Also have no problems using paper towels for grip..
  13. supervman

    supervman Smoking Fanatic

    I scored huge today. Got Hormel Pork Baby Backs for 99 cents a pound.
    Bought all he had.
    Bout 22 lbs but hey it's 22 lbs more than yesterday ! :)

    Basically they were half racks with some meaty end sort of pieces. Some membranes gone and some on.

    One was tough as all get out to get off.

    I started with a boning knife then used a clam knife (more flexible than oyster) and a paper towel. It was work but worth it. Got em in some rub and smokin tomorrow.

    Can't wait.

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