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Pulling off that darn membrane

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    Pulling off that darn membrane

    I watched Meatheads video on slow cooking ribs. He makes pulling off the membrane look so easy and while I can get it off it takes me a little more work. Is this something that just takes practice? Do the quality of the ribs come into play? Again I can get it removed but have yet been able to pull it off in that 1 large piece.

    Here is Meathead really pulling off the membrane. 33 seconds in. Some come easy some don't.



      Rib membrane...easy enough. just use that paper towel and a little knife. sometimes you rip a bit of meat but rarely. Make sure you trim any excess meat flap on the "back" of the ribs first. membrane on brisket....much harder to remove....


        It pulls quite easily on some days. I stopped bothering with pulling it before cooking. I pull it after cooking, right before cutting.


          I can't stand to cook with it on. Then again, I'm hesitant to cook one where it has already been removed.


            You may be trying to pull too much. There is a layer under the membrane that you probably won't get off no matter how much you try.


              I agree with John. There are two layers really, one thinner one that's a little easier to get off. If you hook onto the main big one it will pull the ribs apart and rip lots of fat with it....try not to do that. The thinner shiny top layer, that's the one we try for. Sometimes it's a lot of hassle, other times super easy. Always use a paper towel, and sometimes it's enough to grab onto it, other times you need a high tech device to give you a grip on it, like a knife edge to prop it up. Sometimes it shreds into 5 strips and makes you curse out loud. Other times it rips up in one smooth motion and makes you feel like a pro.
              Last edited by Huskee; September 23, 2015, 09:51 AM.


              • Draugo26
                Draugo26 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the info. I don't feel so inept now.

              I have gotten ribs where the membrane pulls off real easy and some that is very stubborn to pull off but I always take it off. A butter knife and a paper towel works great.
              Last edited by DWCowles; September 23, 2015, 11:54 AM.


                Tom Caulfield, owner of Chubby's BBQ in Gaithersburg MD, showed me an easy way:

                Slip a butter knife under the membrane at the halfway point. Then pull up; it will pull off in both directions at the same time, the ends of the rack pulling toward each other like a "U".

                Yeah, sometimes it breaks and tears. Oh, well. Different pigs, different membranes.


                  A butter knife, a paper towel. I start at the small end of the membrane. It usually comes off fairly easy.👌


                    Paper towel, thumbnail and start at the big end. There is no wrong way to do this...


                    • Huskee
                      Huskee commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Just like eating a Reese's?

                    I think that Meathead said in his bloopers topic that it only took 20 takes to finally get that membrane off. See Mile Marker 32 seconds into the Bloopers video , a part "trimmed" from the Last Meal Ribs video that you referenced, Draugo26 . So don't feel bad!



                      Very often I score the membrane down the middle longways. Then with a paper towel rip off half at a time. Seems to go easier that way for me.


                        After doing about 500-600 of these in the last couple years, I've gotten a lot faster. I mainly do St. Louis.

                        > Rinse, trim the interior flap off, dry (i have stack of pre-seperated paper towels nearby, 2 half sheets per rack, plus a couple)
                        > Use Rounded tip butter knife. I have a fav. small one that I must have "borrowed" from somewhere cheap.
                        > start at 3rd to 5th rib, moving from the square edge to the pointed one.
                        > Start on the rounded edge side of a bone, not the top/peak
                        > Twist Wiggle knife blade as I push up the rib to get traction underneath the membrane.
                        > If you catch the Silverskin that Huskee so deftly warns about, then try again, or move to another bone.
                        > Keep twist-wiggle going as I go all the way to the top. Each twist/wiggle pulls up a little giving me room to move up the rib without tearing the membrane
                        > Lift up more as I get all the way across. Once you get the entire knife underneath the membrane, you can pull up with force, getting room to put my finger underneath, and pull up. Keep pulling until I get the membrane pulled all the off to the back (end) of the rack
                        > Now I have a big piece of membrane to grab as I pull toward the front, where the membrane gets smaller (down to the point)


                        Most of the time, it's done in nothing flat. Takes far longer to cut open a criovac pak and gently wash them in the sink than to remove the membrane.

                        I'll shoot a video of it on Sat/Sun when I prep my #WhoDatRibs for watching the New Orleans Saints play!
                        Last edited by PaulstheRibList; September 23, 2015, 05:46 PM.


                          PaulstheRibList please do make a video.....

                          Not sure there is much play in the Saints these days....


                          • DWCowles
                            DWCowles commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Now Jerod Broussard the Saints have a perfect record.....losing record that is

                          • PaulstheRibList
                            PaulstheRibList commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Faith in your team is part of the Fun! #WhoDatNation #WhoDat1 #WhoDatRibs


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