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Trouble with membrane

PiganytimePiganytime Posts: 16
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
I did my first ribs tonight and they tasted great but a little chewy. I had trouble getting the membrane off cleanly when preparing them and know they needed some more time but unfortunately schedule called. Any secrets to get the membrane off baby backs?


  • Get it started with a knife, then use a paper towel to grip the membrane peel it off.  Some are tougher than others.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    And make sure you dont start at a rib, trying to take it down to the bone. Each bone is wrapped in a membrane. Then meat, then a membrane across all

    But i'll add, ribs are never tough because of the membrane. The membrane may not help, but only undercooking makes for tough ribs

    When you find them stiff and not too bendy, and you are afraid they have been overcooked, cook them some more

    I'll go so far as to say it is not possible to overcook ribs to the point where they are tough
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Don't pull right away. Kind of run your finger underneath until you can a good hold. Once started the paper towel method works great. Also, if I have trouble getting all the membrane I score between each rib with a knife.
  • bghiiibghiii Posts: 25
    I use a butter or cheese knife. And I think it works alot easier if the ribs are at room temp.
  • I use catfish skinning pliars to grip the silverskin.

    My actuary says I'm dead.
  • BOWHUNRBOWHUNR Posts: 1,392
    Butter knife and a paper towel.  Start at the small end and don't rush, take your time.  Help it along with a paring knife if it hangs up.  I usually get my wife or someone else to assist, but a second person is not a must.  I agree with the statement that room temp ribs peel easier than cold.  If your ribs were chewy they quite simply weren't done.

    Omaha, NE

    I'm ashamed what I did for a Klondike Bar!!

    Omaha, NE
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    it should come off easily.  something's wrong if it requires extra people and tools.

    do NOT try to slip a knife along the bone where you see a membrane.  that membrane is a sheath around the bone, and is under the meat.  you are after the membrane that lies only on the surface (it does go under a flap of meat at a certain point, but it's mainly on top).

    i stick a knife and inch back from the narrow end of the slab.  work it a little under the membrane, and slide the knife away from the slab so it comes out the end, making a small bit of free membrane.  grab it with a paper towel, and it will peel right off.  might need to do it a couple stimes if it splits.  but it doesn't require pliers or anything.

    truth be told, it won't make ribs tough in the least.  i almost always take them off (because they are pretty much non-permeable, and rub on them goes nowhere).  but i  left the last one on, and you can't even tell, especially if you slice the ribs into 1 or 2 bone servings
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • crghc98crghc98 Posts: 1,006
    there are some famous joints that leave it on......I don't mind it on except for as stike mentions less if it comes off easy for me I pull it (I start in the middle with the two finger technique), but if it is a tough one or splits, the remainder stays on....
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