How to Cut Ribs Into Riblets
Ribs are a popular meat choice among barbecue enthusiasts, and there are various ways to prepare them. One method that has gained popularity in recent years is cutting ribs into riblets. Riblets are smaller, bite-sized portions of ribs that are perfect for appetizers or as a main course. If you’re interested in learning how to cut ribs into riblets, follow these simple steps.
Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools
To cut ribs into riblets, you’ll need a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a sturdy pair of kitchen shears. Make sure the knife is sharp to ensure clean cuts.
Step 2: Prepare the Ribs
Start by purchasing a rack of ribs from your local butcher or grocery store. Baby back ribs or St. Louis-style ribs are great choices for riblets. Remove the ribs from any packaging and pat them dry with paper towels.
Step 3: Remove the Membrane
The next step is to remove the tough membrane on the bone side of the ribs. This membrane can make the riblets chewy and less enjoyable. Gently slide the tip of a butter knife under the membrane to loosen it, then grab it with a paper towel for a better grip and pull it off in one piece.
Step 4: Cut the Ribs
Place the ribs on a cutting board and use your kitchen shears to cut between each bone. Aim for riblets that are approximately 2-3 inches in length. If you prefer larger or smaller riblets, adjust the length accordingly.
Step 5: Trim Excess Fat
While some fat adds flavor to the riblets, excess fat can make them greasy. Trim any excess fat from the riblets using your knife or shears.
Step 6: Season and Cook
Once you’ve cut the ribs into riblets, it’s time to season them. Choose your favorite rib rub or marinade and apply it generously to the riblets. Allow the flavors to infuse for at least 30 minutes before grilling, baking, or smoking the riblets. Follow your preferred cooking method and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
FAQs about Cutting Ribs Into Riblets
1. Can I use spare ribs instead of baby back or St. Louis-style ribs?
Yes, you can use spare ribs to make riblets. However, they may require a longer cooking time due to their higher fat content.
2. Can I freeze riblets?
Yes, you can freeze riblets. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bags, and they can be stored for up to three months.
3. Can I cut the riblets in advance?
Yes, you can cut the ribs into riblets in advance. However, it’s best to season and cook them as close to serving time as possible to maintain their freshness and tenderness.
4. What should I serve with riblets?
Riblets pair well with a variety of side dishes, such as coleslaw, baked beans, cornbread, or potato salad.
5. How can I make the riblets more tender?
Marinating the riblets for a longer period or using a meat tenderizer can help make them more tender.
6. Can I use an electric knife to cut the ribs?
While an electric knife can make the cutting process faster, it may not provide the precision that a sharp chef’s knife or kitchen shears offer.
7. Can I use the removed membrane for anything?
The removed membrane is not typically used in cooking, but it can be discarded.
Cutting ribs into riblets is a simple process that can elevate your barbecue game. With the right tools and a bit of practice, you’ll be serving up delicious riblets that will impress your family and friends. So, grab a rack of ribs, follow these steps, and enjoy the tasty results!