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How to Parboil Ribs

Parboiling is a simple technique and one that is so useful. In this article we’ll learn more about parboiling and how to parboil ribs including why it makes a big difference in the end.

If you’ve ever cooked ribs and wondered why the meat isn’t falling off the bone the way you’d like, chances are that you didn’t parboil them first.

Read on to learn how to make the perfect ribs every time!

Gluten Free Sticky Asian Ribs Image

What is Parboiling?

Parboiling is gently simmering a food in liquid until it is partially cooked. Parboiling is bot to be confused with boiling – which might have the effect of leaving the meat tough.

Instead, parboiling uses a low heat that leaves the food partly cooked, ready for finishing when it is close to dinner time and giving tender results.

Parboiling meat might be a strange concept, especially if you are only familiar with the idea of parboiling rice, or maybe vegetables like potatoesgreen beans, peppers or Brussels sprouts.

But once you’ve tried it with ribs – or other proteins like bratschicken or chicken wings – you’ll see this technique can really help transform meat dishes into something special!

Gluten Free Sticky Asian Ribs Picture

Why Parboil Ribs?

There are a couple of great reasons to use this technique every time you cook ribs in future.

For starters, parboiling renders down some of the fat and tenderizes the meat by softening the connective tissues.

It also makes it a lot easier to remove the inner skin from the ribs before you grill them. Parboiling ribs cuts down on the cooking time too.

Gluten Free Sticky Asian Ribs Photo

It usually takes a long time to produce tender ribs, which can put you off cooking them as a midweek meal.

But parboiling them up to 24 hours in advance greatly reduces the cooking time on the day, so you can easily enjoy dishes like Grilled Baby Back Ribs whenever the fancy takes you!

How Long Do You Parboil Ribs?

Parboiling ribs usually takes around 25 minutes or so, although this can vary a little.

The main thing to remember is that you are trying to soften the meat, rather than get it to the fall-apart tender stage.

Gluten Free Sticky Asian Ribs Pic

How to Parboil Ribs

How to Parboil Ribs Photo

First, add your rack of ribs to a large stockpot.

Note: The ribs need to be fully submerged, so you might need to cut the racks in half in order to fit them in. If you have more than one rack to parboil, you will need to use more than one pot, or just parboil one rack after another.

How to Parboil Ribs Picture

Add a large pinch of kosher salt to the pot and around 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns.

Pour in water until the ribs are completely covered. You could also try using beef stock or apple cider instead of water, either of which would add some extra flavor.

How to Parboil Ribs Pic

Heat over a medium-high heat until the water comes to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low boil.

Cook gently until the ribs are slightly soft – not falling apart – which should take around 25 minutes.

Carefully remove the ribs and pat them dry, then prepare as desired.

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How to Use Parboiled Ribs

Once your ribs are parboiled, there are so many delicious ways to use them to create dishes you’ll want to make again and again.

  • Parboil ribs before grilling for nice, even cooking.
  • Parboil ribs before roasting – find out more here about cooking ribs in the oven.
  • Parboil chicken wings before smoking – don’t miss this Smoked Ribs Recipe!