Parboiled Baby-Back Ribs

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/25 sec, ISO3200
“Rib Dinner” Cedar Park, 2020

My brother sent me a recipe for parboiled baby-back ribs a few months ago, and we liked the results so much that I’ve made them three times already! The first time, I used a plain barbecue sauce for the marinade and dipping sauce, the second time I used a Jamaican jerk rub (Walkerswood), and then this time I used a mustard-based barbecue sauce. All were good!

I found out later that parboiling ribs is considered blasphemy to many people in the barbecue community, who say it robs the meat of all flavor. I’m sure parboiling must take a bit of the flavor away, but it’s probably something like bringing it down from 100 to 90 on the flavor scale, and the advantages far outweigh any flavor loss in my opinion.

The ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, with no gristly, chewy, or rubbery bits. I’ve tried many recipes before, including baking and grilling, but this parboil/baking has turned out perfect every time, and it is so easy – you just set it and forget it. Here’s the simple process:

  1. Divide a rack of baby-back ribs into two or three pieces so it can fit into a pot of water
  2. Boil for 45 minutes
  3. Put ribs into a casserole dish or baking pan and coat all over with your preferred sauce/marinade/rub
  4. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible
  5. Bake in a 250° F oven for 3 hours
  6. Remove foil and place under broiler to brown the ribs, then flip over to brown the other side; or you can throw them on your barbecue grill

That’s it! There’s plenty of room to make it your own (for instance, lessen the baking time if you like the meat less tender) so why not give it a try?

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