General Question

blueknight73's avatar

How long should ribs boil before i put them on the grill?

Asked by blueknight73 (2706points) May 27th, 2010

im going to do some ribs tonite on the grill, and wanted to boil the ribs first, how long do they need to boil?

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19 Answers

MissA's avatar

Let them simmer overnight to be tender…but, boiling removes a lot of the flavor.

dpworkin's avatar

I find I get better results if I don’t boil them.

CMaz's avatar

Oven 350 for two hours.

dpworkin's avatar

I prefer cooking them at a lower temperature for a longer time, to get that very tender, falling-off-the-bones result.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

It depends on the type of ribs they are IMHO. I definitely like to low boil my southern style/country ribs for about an hour in water, beer and brown sugar. Then, I grill them for about 10 minutes on each side and slather on bbq sauce and grill about 5 more minutes. These are my favorite type of ribs. The boiling helps rid them of a lot of unneeded fat that would normally flare up on the grill. I don’t have a problem with them being dry and the brown sugar gives them a great sweet taste if you choose not to use sauce and I also think the brown sugar helps lock in moisture.

betterdays's avatar

I’ve tried both boiling them and cooking them overnight in a crockpot, and the crockpot ribs
were very tender and had a better taste overall. If using the crockpot method, cover the ribs with water and add diced carrots and celery. Turn the ribs off in the morning and let them sit in the water mixture in the fridge the next day until you need them. Discard the water/celery/carrot mixture and pat the ribs dry before putting them on the grill. I received this cooking method from a local chef. His sauce consists of KC Masterpiece basic BBQ sauce with raspberry preserves (seeds removed) added to suit your taste. Good luck!

Otto_King's avatar

Don’t boil them!!! Use a steaming grill, what you can put on the bottom of the pot, put some water underneath, and let the steam do its work. If you soak them in the water, you lose the most delicious taste of it. After approx. 20–25 mins steaming, you can put them on the grill for an other 10–15 mins. Bon apetit! :)

wenn's avatar

When we make ribs we cook them in the oven for about 4 hours (dont know what temp though) and then throw them on the grill for 30 minutes.

charliecompany34's avatar

uh, boiling is not the answer. people boil ribs because they do not know how to BBQ ribs in the first place. novice cooks fear undone meat or lack of tenderness, seeking that “fall off the bone” result.

seasoned BBQers know it all happens on the grill and the heat should be just right. this takes practice and years of mistakes and triumphs.

my advice: ribs should never be boiled to gain that perfect BBQ rib.

charliecompany34's avatar

it just cant be rushed.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m horrible at grilling so I’m one of those who simmers the ribs and then broils them to finish, about half an hour in water (I like the idea of simmering in stock or beer) then brush with sauce and under the broiler for about 7 minutes on each side or until there is glaze.

Buttonstc's avatar

Ribs should never be boiled. Period.

If you absolutely must do something like that, steaming is best (or a very very low simmer).

This will still remove the excess fat, but I think you can get just as good results in a crockpot.

But if you’re short on time, then steam them before grilling.

No meat should ever be boiled, not even for corned beef and cabbage. Simmer? yes. Boil? NO

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If I want to start steaming instead of simmering then should I used a casserole sized pan with a raised rack on the bottom of it and put it in the oven? I’ve got a few of those in different sizes.

Buttonstc's avatar

Yes. That would be one way of doing it if you don’t have a dedicated food steamer.

Presumably, the pan has a tight fitting lid? If not, use tinfoil.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Will do, thanks for the mention of covering them up too. I think I’m going to try steaming over a broth of some sort. Yuuuuuuuuuuum.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

I love all of the answers that say “you shouldn’t ever….bla bla bla…”. I am a purist in many ways and I am an accomplished BBQ’er having won several local awards, but I am always open to new ideas and can’t understand those who think there is only one way (theirs) that works. My guess is that if you tasted my country style ribs you’d be quite pleased.

Buttonstc's avatar


So, are you saying that you boil your ribs and get good results?

That’s the ONLY thing that everyone agrees upon as a big DONT. There is a big difference between boiling and simmering. I’ve known several people who say they boil their ribs when they actually meant simmer.

Every single cookbook I’ve ever read or every cooking show I’ve ever watched cautions against boiling ANY protein because it toughens it.

Everyone from Jacques Pepin to Julia Child to Martha Stewart and Alton Brown plus America’s Test Kitchen are unanimous on that point so they must know something.

If you claim to getting great results by boiling your ribs, my guess would be that you are, in actuality, simmering them while terming it as boiling.

There are many cooking recipes and methods which are matters of opinion, but there are some techniques and profibitions which are solidly backed by years and years of experience as well as backed up by solid scientific principles as well. I see no reason to keep reinventing the wheel.

I’m very comfortable in stating that boiling toughens meat. It’s just plain true. Its totally unnecessary and one should never do it no matter how much of a rush one is in.

I don’t understand why you perceive that as being a problem. It’s not my opinion that I just pulled out of the air.

Every chef whose opinions and techniques I respect has said one should never boil ribs. But if you want to do differently, go ahead. Bon apetit.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Simmer it is. Geez….

Buttonstc's avatar

Geez, what ?

You aren’t the only person reading this thread and these are two separate and distinct terms.

There was a time in my younger life when I didn’t know any better and wondered why the ribs turned out so tough.

Well, once I found out, then it made sense.

Nowadays, a few racks of ribs are really really expensive. Why not be precise so that someone new to cooking doesn’t end up spending money for nothing.

I’m still puzzled as to why most of the info and opinions in this thread are such a burr under your saddle ?

She asked a question and people were answering from their own experience and knowledge as well as a few opinions.

If you’re already happy with the way you make yours that’s terrific. Why is it so irksome to you that others have methods differing from yours ?

The person posting the question is perfectly free to ignore every single thing said about ribs here, as are you.

I’m still trying to figure out why you are so obviously annoyed.

This isn’t solutions about how to end war, retire the National debt or clean up the BP oil disaster. It’s ribs, for crying out loud. And boiling and simmering give VASTLY different results. Why is accuracy of terminology so upsetting to you ? I didn’t create the terminology ; I am just relaying info here. Get a grip willya?

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