Cooking School

How to cook the most tender ribs

Photography by Jeff Coulson Image by: Photography by Jeff Coulson Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

How to cook the most tender ribs

Beef or pork?
Pork tends to be the go-to meat for ribs, but beef is becoming increasingly popular. It really comes down to your personal taste— beef ribs have a stronger flavour, while pork is milder and best suited to flavourful barbecue sauces.

Cuts to choose from
Side or spare ribs:
These ribs come from the side and underbelly of the animal. They’re less expensive because there’s less meat on the bones, but the meat has a nice beefy taste

Back ribs or baby back ribs: These ribs come from the back and shoulder area of the animal. They’re meatier and more tender—and, therefore, more expensive—than side ribs.

Short ribs: Sold as either beef short ribs or Korean-style beef short ribs, these long rectangular cuts are meaty and flavourful.

Prep and cooking instructions
Remove the membrane

Side and back ribs often have a tough membrane attached to the underside, which should be removed before cooking. To do so, use your fingers to lift up a corner of the membrane, then pull it off completely.

Precook
For best results, precook ribs in a 350ËšF (180ËšC) oven until the meat pulls away from the bones. Though this can take one to two hours, it’s the secret to tenderizing the meat. Hold off on adding the barbecue sauce until you’re ready to grill, otherwise the sauce will burn if left on the heat for that long.

You can also precook the ribs on the indirect heat of your grill. Simply heat one burner of two-burner barbecue (or two outside burners of three-burner barbecue) to medium and cook the ribs, covered, on the unlit burner until tender.

Finish on the grill
Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce (if using) and finish them off on a medium-high grill until browned and the sauce is glazed. This step is quick—10 minutes or less is all they need.

Inspired? Try some of our delicious rib recipes below!

Char Siu-Style Ribs
These saucy, tasty ribs are inspired by Chinese-style pork char siu. Serve them at your next barbecue for a crowd-pleasing main that'll have everyone coming back for seconds!

Char Siu-Style Ribs
Photography by Jeff Coulson

Grilled Korean Beef Ribs
Meaty, flavourful short ribs–a.k.a. Miami-style ribs–are marinated in a sweet-and-sour marinade for maximum flavour and tenderness.

How to cook the most tender ribs
Photography by Jeff Coulson

Five Spice–Rubbed Pork Ribs
Rubbing these back ribs with five-spice powder adds an extra layer of flavour. An orange-hoisin barbecue sauce makes them irresistibly sticky.

How to cook the most tender ribs
Photography by Jeff Coulson

Stout-Glazed Beef Ribs
Beer and ribs are a classic summer pairing. Here, beef back ribs are gently braised in full-bodied stout until meltingly tender, then brushed with stout on the grill for a double dose of flavour.

How to cook the most tender ribs
Photography by Ryan Brook

Canada's Ultimate Barbecue-Smoked Ribs
Infuse these molasses-glazed ribs with tempting smokiness by using our easy method for turning your barbecue into a smoker.

How to cook the most tender ribs
Photography by Jeff Coulson

Slow Cooker Whisky-Glazed Ribs
Your guests will fall for these sticky ribs, and you'll love how easy they are to prep! Simply cook in your slow cooker to make them tender, then quickly finish on the grill before serving.

How to cook the most tender ribs
Photography by Jeff Coulson

Find more barbecue tips, tricks and recipes here
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Cooking School

How to cook the most tender ribs

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