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Rib membrane

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Post Sat Jul 10, 2004 1:50 pm
BBQBean rare

Posts: 29
Location: Bear, DE
Hello. I just bought "How to Grill" and now I'm hooked :D I own a Charbroil Silver Smoker and a Kenmore propane grill. Today I was trying to pull the membrane off some ribs and found it almost impossible :? Any tips to make this easier? For now I just put the ribs on with the membrane attached but I would like the info for the future, thanks.

Last edited by BBQBean on Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Post Sat Jul 10, 2004 2:07 pm
TonyGreek medium-rare

Posts: 75
Location: Celina, Ohio
i've never had luck using a towel to pull off the membrane, as many have, but i do like the method of using pliers. much easier.

orrrrrr....i guess another thought would be to use a 6" random orbital sander and some 80 grit sandpaper. outta take it right off. i'd suggest skipping the minwax and going with a nice dry rub. :shock:


Post Sat Jul 10, 2004 7:01 pm
CharlieG raw

Posts: 9
Location: Northern VA
I've always had good luck using a grapefruit spoon to start working the silverskin
off. Once it gets, started, it's usually pretty easy to grab a tag end, and just apply
steady, even pressure as you pull the membrane away.

Just trimmed up 6 racks for the wife's study group session tomorrow. Rubbed them
down with my habanero accented rub and will get them on the smoke around
6:00am tomorrow.

Charlie G

Post Sat Jul 10, 2004 8:05 pm
gopack1 raw

Posts: 2
Location: Waunakee, Wisconsin
I find (this works for me), that once you get under it with a sharp knife, lift and do it like your fileting a fish, just nice easy clean swips with the knife ,while your pulling the membrane.
Then I found by taking a knife, and acually do a scraping motion over the membram seems to loosen it and gets it off.

Post Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:10 pm

Posts: 14
Location: Worthington, Ohio
I find that using a butter knife works very well. It is blunt enough to not stick yourself and it is wide enough to slide in between the membrane and the rib. I then usually grab the membrane with a paper towel and use firm, steady pressure to peel it off. Most of the time, it comes off in one piece.

Post Sun Jul 11, 2004 8:13 am
DarkRubiTJ medium-well

Posts: 221
Location: Livingston, TX.
Once you get under it, most of the battle is over. After you get an edge lifted, peel it off like you peel off one of those irritating little price stickers off of a product you don't want any residue left on. Just peel slow and easy like you cook 'em.
Weber "Q", Weber Performer, Weber 22.5" Bar-B-Kettle

Post Sun Jul 11, 2004 10:15 am
spfranz well done
well done

Posts: 615
Location: Minnesota

I've never really had a problem just getting it off with my fingers. Start it with a paring knife and just give it a pull.

However, if you're having problems with it, another solution is to just score it all over with a sharp paring knife.

I like vegetarians. Some of my favorite foods are vegetarians.

Post Mon Jul 12, 2004 9:30 am
irishfolker medium

Posts: 137
Location: Columbia, MD
I've found it to be much easier if I start at the narrow end, where the bones are shorter. The membrane reaches all the way to that end, but not necessarily all the way to the wide end. It's also much easier to get a full-width start at the narrow end. I stick the point of needle-nose pliers under to get it started, then grasp it with the pliers, a couple of turns around the jaws to lock it in there and reduce the risk of tearing it, and a slow, gentle pull to the other end.

Thig Crioch air an t-saoghal ach mairidh gaol is ceol

Post Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:24 am
Loene rare

Posts: 30
Location: central Texas
I just got done doing 32 ribs and it seems that using a paper towel seems to work good. I just cut across the small part of the rib and then use the knife to peel the membrane up just enough to grab it with the paper towel. I have also heard of making an 'X' in the back of the ribs and then pulling it.
Thats just my 2 cents worth, dont worry about it, I have a big full jar of pennies

Post Sat Jul 17, 2004 12:57 pm
BBQBean rare

Posts: 29
Location: Bear, DE
I just prepared 4 racks of ribs and had no problems peeling the membrane. I think the last ribs I was doing must have had an extremely thin membrane.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:49 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Yesterday the wife and I were preparing some babybacks for the grill and she stumbled upon a great technique for removing the membrane. She used the standard butter knive technique to loosen it at the narrow end, then, and here's the slick part, she wraped the membrane around the knife and rolled it right up and off the ribs. Imagine an old style sardine can. Since it was never pulling much at a time and was wrapped evenly along the blade it never tore or split like when I do it and with the butterknife there was the handle to hold onto.
I thought it was a great idea.

She's smarter than I am if you couldn't guess. Better looking too.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:16 pm
RichD medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
That's a great idea Grand. I'll have to try that the next time I do ribs.

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 3:22 pm
mudx2 medium-rare

Posts: 57
Location: St. Charles, Mo
That does sound like a great idea! :lol: I just smoked 3 racks of ribs saturday too, I guess I'll have to do some more real soon, so I can try that trick!!

Post Mon Jul 26, 2004 7:53 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
I always use a butter knife to loosen the membrane, but I never thought of rolling it around the knife. Your wife just discovered a new technique :idea: . She sure is smart. Please give her a compliment from all of us.
Mrs. G.S. rules! :)

Post Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:31 am
snapshot0729 well done
well done

Posts: 366
Location: New Lenox, IL
Hi gang,
I've been reading about how all of us deal with the membrane removal from a rack of ribs, and the impliments, and methods of how we accomplish same. I'd like to offer some advice that works great for me that I haven't seen anyone (or at least lead to) try. First most of us are using some type of thin blunt instrument to get under the membrane. This is good for 2 reasons. It keeps from ripping/cutting the membrane so you can actually get under it, and for personal safety reasons should you slip. Personally I use the back of a spoon (if only because it's the thinnest blunt device at hand), The one thing that I notice (at least in this discussion thread anyway) it seems that most if not all of ya'll are starting at an end of the rack of the ribs. I'd like to recommend that the next time you do this start in the middle of the rack. Follow your same procedure of working your impliment slowly under the membrane (following a bone as a guide) till you can start working your fingers under it. For those that have seperated fowl skin from the meat to add a rub under the skin, it's kind of like that. The beauty of starting in the middle of the rack (I've found) is that now you've got something to work with (and actually grab ahold of) , and you don't need pliers, towels, or something else to get a grip on the membrane. I think you'll find it easier than starting at an end and trying to "get a grip". For the seasoned vets you'll know that backs are easier to do this to than spares, but patience, and perserverence will garner the same results. In any case those in the know... the membrane's gotta go...

Hot grill(s) - cold drink(s) = BIG smiles



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