Pre-Boiling Baby Back Ribs – fast help

I’m grilling ribs today for the first time. I’ve read to boil them for an hour and then grill for 10 minutes appling BBQ sauce. I’m on some time restraints today. Can I boil them now and then refrigerate until I’m ready to grill, which will be this evening?

33 Answers

  • Becca Porter Jun 19, 2005

    I don’t like to boil my ribs. You lose so much flavor into the water. If you can’t bbq them completly, I would cook them in a low oven for at least 5 hours or so. Then put them on the grill. You could find recipes on the web. Sorry I’m no help on the boiling question.

    • Val Jun 19, 2005

      I agree with becca…slow roasting, covered at 250 degrees for 2-3 hrs, THEN finishing on the grill is the way I’ve always done it….please let us know how your ribs come out with boiling/simmering technique…I’d love to know!

      • Nyleve Jun 19, 2005

        Do you use this method for regular ribs too? I really don’t have the grill room to slow cook a whole lot of ribs, so I always do some sort of pre-cook. Usually steam. But if oven is better, I’ll try it next time.

        • Val Jun 19, 2005

          For country style spare ribs, I usually just bake them; a few times, I’ve browned them in a nonstick skillet first and drained off the fat but I never boil this type of rib either. I believe I’ve read recipes saying to boil the country style ribs first to draw off the fat before roasting or grilling but it just seemed…well, wrong to do it! I definitely would not boil baby backs; though my curiosity is piqued at the original post. Ribs these days are pretty lean and I scrutinize whatever I’m buying to make sure there isn’t a 2-inch layer of fat on the bottom where I can’t “see” it before purchasing.

      • Lillydu Jun 19, 2005

        Great, thanks. I’m going to stick them in the oven now. I’ve always oven cooked ribs because I don’t have a grill. We’re taking them to my dad’s house, who does have a grill. 250? that low, huh?

        • Candy Jun 19, 2005

          Never put meat in water unless you want to make soup or stock. Put your seasoned ribs in heavy duty foil seal and slow roast in the oven at 250 for several hours. finish on the grill.

        • erica Jun 19, 2005

          You can boil them and then refrigerate..the refrigeration does not hurt in my experience. But you do not have to boil them for a whole hour…try simmering for half an hour instead.

          • Aluna Jul 11, 2021

            I agree if I don’t have the time (or too hot to use the oven).. I boil them briefly… maybe 20 minutes.. Take them out of the pot and cool them… than I rub seasoning all over them I use garlic powder, paprika, a little soy sauce, a little worshteshire sauce (whatever you have)… then I refrigerate them… bring them to a party and throw them on the grill to cook on each side…and they are delish! I am not a big fan of barbeque sauce.

          • Chino Wayne Jun 19, 2005

            Of course the best way is to really BBQ them in a pit, or a Webber kettle, etc. But I understand that is not possible for many people. When I have been forced by circumstances to prepare my babybacks sans smoke I put them inside a Reynolds foil cooking pouch, after seasoning them and pouring on some BBQ sauce, and putting in a little Liquid Smoke. Then the pouch gets sealed really well (just fold it over a few times) placed on a tray and put in an oven at about 300 for about an hour and a half. They come out tender and as flavorful as they can, without being really smoked.

            I imagine you could do variations with the foil pouch techique and baby backs or regular ribs producing “Asian style” ribs or maybe throwing some saurkraut and bacon in with the ribs.

            What ever you do, DO NOT BOIL RIBS, you will destroy everything that is good about them if you do.


            • LizR Jun 19, 2005

              I totally understand the logic of folks who are anti-simmer, but in my experience, parboiling regular ribs (not baby backs, which are too lean) works well. Especially if you boil them in a seasoned stock. The New Basics cookbook has a recipe for Jimmy Schmidt’s Rattlesnake Ribs that involves par-simmering, marinating in a rub overnight, and then grilling. The ribs are flavorful, tender, and not too fatty. I’ve made them many times with great results. Once, I brought them to a party and a guy from Memphis actually got on his knees in front of me to tell me that they were the best ribs ever. That was really a cooking highlight for me! So, the point is that it is not always a terrible idea to par-simmer fatty ribs. Please let us know how the oven bake works out.

              • Lillydu Jun 20, 2005

                They were great. I placed the ribs in 2 stoneware bakers, covered with foil and baked them for 3 hours, flipping them around every hour. Then dipped into BBQ sauce and grilled until they sauce carmelized (or whatever you would call that). YUM. Thanks for all of your help.

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