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Should You Boil Ribs Before Grilling? [FIND OUT HERE]

Should You Boil Ribs Before Grilling? [FIND OUT HERE]

Mastering the perfect recipe for grilled BBQ ribs can be challenging. The best BBQ ribs are the ones, which effortlessly fall out from the bone, are juicy, tender, and melt in your mouth. Unlike the traditional way of smoking ribs for long hours, some grillmasters prefer boiling ribs before grilling.

Low and slow grilling or smoking of BBQ ribs is always preferred over the boiling technique. However, if you use the right cooking procedure or parboil the ribs for a few minutes before grilling, you not only preserve the natural juices and the unique taste of the ribs but also reduce the overall cooking time. 

One requires to plan at least 6-8 hours in advance to smoke ribs in the traditional way. However, if you do not have enough time, then the boiling technique is definitely a preferable alternative. Boiling ribs before grilling not only reduces the grilling time but also the overall fat content of the meat. This guide will help you understand why and how you should boil ribs before grilling.

boil ribs cookIs It Better To Boil Ribs Before Cooking?

Grilled BBQ ribs are supposed to be flavorful, juicy, and tender. The rationale behind boiling ribs before putting them on the grill is to tenderize the meat. However, quite contrary to this, boiling ribs before grilling may slightly bring down the taste. Pre-cooking ribs are optional, however, if you must, then here are some advantages of boiling ribs:

The Pros

Boiling ribs before baking or grilling has the advantage of reducing the overall cooking time, especially if you have big-sized or several batches of ribs to prepare. It also becomes easy to remove the inner skin before you finally grill them. Parboiled ribs ensure nice and even cooking.

If you are health conscious, then boiling ribs before grilling will render off extra surface fat from the meat and thus reduce your overall calorie consumption or fat intake. Ribs made with the parboiling method would roughly have a nutritional value of 440 calories per serving.

As explained later, when you parboil spare ribs, the meat gets tenderized naturally and the juices can be preserved to a great extent.

The Cons

If you do not want to risk having grilled ribs that taste dry and chewy, you should preferably consider cooking them traditionally. Boiling removes the fat and the natural juices, which are the key essentials for that extravagant taste of bbq ribs. The wrong boiling technique can even produce rubbery and mushy ribs with absolute loss of the inherent smoky flavor of the ribs.

So whether you want to boil ribs before grilling or not is completely your choice.

How To Boil Ribs Before Grilling

If you want your boiled BBQ ribs to taste as good as when they are grilled low and slow, then the right cooking technique may help. A batch of BBQ ribs with this method is prepared in less than an hour. The goal is to boil the ribs until they are partially soft. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to boil and grill BBQ ribs:

Step 1: Place the ribs in a big pot and add roughly chopped onions, salt, pepper, and choice of bbq sauce. Pour in enough water so that the ribs are completely immersed.

Step 2: Bring the water to a light boil and avoid overboiling. The boiling temperature should be medium heat or preferably low heat for producing perfectly tenderized ribs. High temperatures will destroy the collagen and the juices, resulting in meat that lacks flavor.

Step 3: Remove the ribs from the grill and pat dry. You can add some dry rub at this stage if desired.

Step 4: Preheat the grill to 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (or 176.6℃ to 190.55℃).

Step 5: Lightly oil the grate and place the boiled ribs one by one on the grill. Keep the meatier side down.

Step 6: Add your choice of BBQ sauce.

Step 7: Baste, turn, toss, and grill the ribs until they are nicely browned.

The Difference Between Boiling And Parboiling Of Ribs

The boiling of ribs should not be confused with parboiling. While direct boiling quickly draws away moisture from the meat and turns them drier, parboiling will preserve the juices, the collagen, and the natural flavors of the meat to the maximum extent.

How Long To Boil Beef Ribs Before Grilling

Beef ribs should be parboiled for around 30 to 45 minutes, followed by grilling them for about 15 to 20 minutes on each side. Brush with some bbq sauce and place on a medium-hot grill to complete cooking.

How Long To Boil Pork Ribs Before Grilling

Parboiling pork ribs is really a good alternative for cooking BBQ ribs. In the parboiling method, just immerse the bbq ribs in boiling water and simmer them for about 25 to 30 minutes. The pork ribs should be partially cooked and should not fall off the bone. Parboiling the meat under low heat.

Follow by grilling or baking the pork ribs in an oven or grill for about 10 to 15 minutes. Finish off by basting the ribs in your favorite BBQ sauce.

What Are The Best Type Of Ribs For Boiling & Grilling?

Baby back ribs and St. Louis ribs are the best cuts of ribs for boiling and grilling bbq ribs. Since these cuts are expensive, you should judiciously choose the cooking method.

How Long To Grill Boiled Ribs?

The boiled ribs should be grilled for an average of 15 minutes, depending upon the size, the tenderness of the ribs, and the desired degree of doneness. Once the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (or 73.8℃) you can remove them from the grill. Wait for about 5-10 minutes before serving. The resting period ensures that the juices are infused evenly into the meat.

ribs bbq servedHow To Enhance The Flavor Of Boiled Ribs?

Uncontrolled temperatures and overcooking will completely remove the surface fat and leave you with flavorless ribs. Since the taste of ribs usually goes down after boiling, there are certain ways you can enhance it during the cooking procedure:

  • During the boiling process, you can add some apple juice to enhance the flavor.
  • Brining is another way to enhance the flavor of the meat. Make a simple salt and water solution and add in some onion or garlic. Soak the meat in the brine overnight for tender and juicy BBQ ribs.
  • Add vinegar, molasses, and coffee to the BBQ sauce to enhance the texture, flavor, and color of the ribs.

Some Additional Tips For Boiling Ribs Before Grilling

  • Do not simmer the ribs for more than an hour as there would be a huge loss in flavor.
  • The boiled water can be used as a broth for cooking other recipes.
  • Cool the boiled ribs slightly before placing them on the grill.
  • If you are using a pellet smoker, then applewood, cherrywood, hickory wood, or mesquite can be used to introduce a smoky flavor to the meat.
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest setting when you are boiling the ribs.
  • If you do not wish to slow cook, you can even try using marinades or the steaming method to tenderize the ribs.
  • Braise with more BBQ sauce than usual, or use your favorite dry rub to replicate the flavor of perfectly smoked meat.
  • Never pre-cook country-style ribs as they tend to be very dry post-grilling.

If you have got sudden BBQ plans, then the boiling technique can be a great alternative to cooking BBQ ribs, however, they can never be a competition with the authentic version of the dish. Once the ribs are parboiled, you can also try experimenting and preparing a wide variety of other dishes.

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