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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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  • mad mike
    Club Member
    • Jul 2015
    • 79


    Sometime ago I asked about removing the membrane from baby back ribs, Smithfield Ribs to be exact. I said I was having a difficult time removing it. Some of the "experts" told me that Smithfield Ribs don't have a membrane. I bought some at Costco, some at HEB and some at Walmart. Guess what guys? They all have a membrane.
  • CRO
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 245
    • Northern Illinois
    • 22.5" Weber Performer
      Slow 'N Sear with Drip 'N Griddle
      18" Weber Jumbo Joe
      Pit Barrel Cooker
      ThermoWorks Smoke
      Maverick ET-733
      Coleman Roadtrip Grill LXE (for Tailgating at Packer games)
      Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter
      Favorite Beer - New Glarus Moon Man or Spotted Cow

    Paper towels and a butter knife


    • shify
      Club Member
      • Jun 2017
      • 454
      • Westchester County, NY

      The baby back ribs I have gotten from Costco never had a membrane. The St Louis spare ribs from Costco always had a membrane


      • Docooker
        Former Member
        • Nov 2018
        • 10
        • West Peoria, IL

        The easiest way I have found to remove the membrane from ribs is to use a pair of catfish skinners


        • THE Humble Texan
          THE Humble Texan commented
          Editing a comment
          you mean a pair of plyers?
      • Santamarina
        Club Member
        • Aug 2018
        • 733
        • Wildomar, CA

        Baby backs from my local Costco always have a membrane. I’ve always used the pulling it with a paper towel method. A couple beers and a few swear words later and it’s off! Maybe I should reevaluate my methods too :-)


        • rodkeary
          Club Member
          • Jan 2017
          • 199
          • Pacific Northwest
          • Weber Genesis
            Bradley Smoker

          The Costco’s here in Canada that I’ve visited always have the membrane on their back ribs. Getting that sucker off in one pull has to be one of the best feelings ever. I’m batting about .500 which ain’t to bad I figure.


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            It's not unlike making the one last swath with the lawn mower that catches the same width of uncut grass. So satisfying! Yep, I'm a dad. 😀
        • Ahumadora
          Club Member
          • Oct 2015
          • 2069
          • Pilar Buenos Aires, Argentina

          When the membrane has dried it is a s.o.b to get off. Wet it down and wait 1 beer to remove it.


          • Frozen Smoke
            Club Member
            • Nov 2017
            • 1528
            • Northern Mn

            I use to buy Smithfield and the membrane had always been trimmed off but the would miss some. I would always take the edge of a spoon and scrape the rest of it off. I now buy Seaboard brand by the case they say "peeled" right on the case so I know the membrane is gone.

            Some people say they leave it on and can't tell the difference.


            • JeffJ
              JeffJ commented
              Editing a comment
              It can be left on. If you do leave it on it should be scored.

            • shush
              shush commented
              Editing a comment
              I usually give it a 2 minute attempt... if I cannot get it in 2 minutes, then scoring and moving on.
          • new2smoking
            Club Member
            • Aug 2018
            • 167
            • Seattle, WA

            When I've bought my baby back ribs at Costco (they have pretty large babies from Swift) they have had the membranes (pleura) already removed. Since Costco repackages the Swift 3-racks-per-vacuum bag into 2-racks-per-Costco-styrofoam-tray, it's possible that Costco removes the membrane (and not Swift).


            • lonnie mac
              Club Member
              • Jul 2016
              • 1345
              • Bacliff, TX
              • Motovlogging for the freedom of old Hippies...


                Home of Brutus Ten!



                Weber Performer Deluxe W/ SNS, Craycort CI grates

                WSCGC (Weber Summit Charcoal Grill Center W/ SNS Plus, DNG

                Texas Original Pits Offset Smoker

                RecTec 590

                WSM 18" W/ Upside-down door mod

                Camp Chief Flattop, The big one...

                Weber Genesis II S-335

                Texas Fire Pit


                Maveric's Most all of em...
                FireBoard W/ Fan Control, GURU Fan
                ThermoWorks, most all of em...

              Lotta beautiful membranes going in the trash here. I find that stuff to be delish!


              • holehogg
                holehogg commented
                Editing a comment
                I'm totally with you. Nice crispy crunch adds another dimension.

              • Mr. Bones
                Mr. Bones commented
                Editing a comment
                They's practically a delicacy, in some locales, Brotha!...
            • jfmorris
              Club Member
              • Nov 2017
              • 3013
              • Huntsville, Alabama
              • Jim Morris

                • Camp Chef FTG900 Flat Top Grill (2020)
                • Weber Genesis II E-410 w/ GrillGrates (2019)
                • Weber Performer Deluxe 22.5" w/ GrillGrates & Slow 'N Sear & Drip ‘N Griddle & Party Q (2007)
                • Custom Built Offset Smoker (304SS, 22"x34" grate, circa 1985)
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                • Lodge L8D03 5 quart dutch oven
                • Lodge L10SK3 12" skillet
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                • Thermoworks Smoke w/ Wifi Gateway
                • Thermoworks Dot
                • Thermoworks Thermapen Classic
                • Thermoworks RT600C
                • Whatever I brewed and have on tap!

              The Costco Smithfield baby backs I’ve bought here had the membrane off about 90% of them, but I’ve had it in every other slab of ribs I’ve ever bought. That said, I don’t think I’ll ever get them at Costco again. Last couple of times I had lots of broken ends of bones on some of the slabs, and lots of sharp bits of bone embedded in the ends of some of the slabs. I had to do a lot of trimming, I’ve never seen that with the ribs from Sam’s Club.


              • Steve R.
                Club Member
                • Jul 2016
                • 2317
                • Elizabethtown, KY
                • Current line-up of cookers: Weber 26" kettle w/ SnS and BBQ Guru adapter; Weber Smokey Mountain 22" w/ Guru adapter.

                The ones at my Sam's always have the membrane removed. My Walmart has Tyson ribs, which should be avoided like the plague.


                • SmokeyGator
                  Club Member
                  • Jul 2016
                  • 827
                  • Miami, FL
                  • Primo XL
                    Cyberq controller
                    Sierra Nevada IPA

                  I buy from BJs wholesale, because Costco is further away and in a hellish spot for me to get to traffic wise. But my experience is hit or miss as far as the membrane goes. Sometimes it is removed, sometimes not. I buy the store brand, which comes as one package with 2 full racks. A few times I opened a package to find one rack with the membrane gone but the other rack needing peeling.

                  So I just assume the membrane is there until I know it isn’t.


                  • cwain8845
                    Club Member
                    • Dec 2016
                    • 210

                    • INFO
                      Name: Chris
                      Location: Prairieville, LA (suburb of Baton Rouge)
                      Hometown: New Orleans
                      Helpers: Nessa (yellow lab) and Brooks (catahoula/lab mix)
                      SMOKERS AND GRILLS
                      • Smoke Vault 24"
                      • Char-Broil 30" Vertical Smoker
                      • Weber 22" Original Kettle Premium (copper)
                      • Gourmet Cooking Patio/Tailgate Grill

                      ACCESSORIES & THEMOMETERS
                      FAVORITE CUTS
                      • Spare Ribs
                      • Lamb
                      • Brisket point
                      • Wings
                      • Ribeye Cap

                      FAVORITE DRINKS
                      • Parish Canebrake
                      • Parish Reve Coffee Stout
                      • Abita Strawgator
                      • Abita Andygator
                      • Abita Macchiato Expresso Milk Stout
                      • Crown Royal
                      • Bulleit Bourbon
                      • Eagle Rare
                      • Belle Meade - Cognac Cask Finish
                      • Belle Meade - Sherry Cask Finish

                    I buy babybacks and st. louis here in LA from all places including Costco, Sams and local grocers with all having Smithfield and Swift and every single rack I have bought all have membranes that I remove.


                    • JeffJ
                      Charter Member
                      • Feb 2015
                      • 2409
                      • Michigan
                      • Jeff

                      I find that, for the most part, Costco's meat is no cheaper than the local grocery store. The exception being prime brisket. Their seafood prices are quite good though, especially 16-20 count shrimp.


                      • BriggsBBQ
                        BriggsBBQ commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I can usually find better deals at the grocery store but the ribs and such maybe not as meaty as I want. Costco without fail always has the most meaty ribs. Plus sometimes they have prime tomahawk ribeyes that are huge.

                      • HawkerXP
                        HawkerXP commented
                        Editing a comment
                        But where else can you get the 36 roll pack of toilet paper!

                      • Murdy
                        Murdy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        In my experience, Costco has been pretty good on lamb too.

                        I don't know if this is a universal problem, but I will not buy anything that's been cut at Costco by me -- only whole loins and such. Everything that I've purchased that they cut 1) is far too big and 2) looks like it was cut with a butter knife. Even the chicken parts I bought look like they've been torn apart by hand.



                    Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

                    SOLD OUT! Secure your spot on our waitlist now. First-come, first-served!
                    Click here for details. (https://amazingribs.com/memphis)
                    See more
                    See less
                    Meat-Up in Memphis



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