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That Darned Sheath

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    That Darned Sheath

    Recently, I picked up a 3 pack of baby backs at Costco. After putting two in the freezer, I started preparing one for smoking. In preparing ribs, I always start by pulling off the sheath that resides on the bone side of the rib slab. The sheath on this particular slab was too thin to pull off. First, it was hard to get any kind of purchase on the sheath, on any part the slab. When I could manage to get a grip on the sheath, I could never pull much off before it would tear along the surface where it was still attached. What's a poor feller to do about this?

    #2
    I’m assuming you are referring to the membrane.

    Leave it on... it won’t really hurt anything and most folks won’t know the difference.

    It is nice if you can get it off but it is not a deal breaker.

    Comment


      #3
      IMO Costco has already taken them off.

      Comment


      • Mudkat
        Mudkat commented
        Editing a comment
        Xactly!

      #4
      If it’s too thin to remove it won’t hurt to leave it on

      Comment


        #5
        Agree with HawkerXP ! Probably already removed. Cook on!

        Comment


          #6
          If I can't get them off for whatever reason I just score a crosshatch with a knife.

          Comment


          • Steve R.
            Steve R. commented
            Editing a comment
            I do the same thing on those rare occasions when it won't come off.

          #7
          As noted, very likely already removed and what you are looking is a bit of fat layer. Personally, and Moonbeam and I are probably the only two people on earth, but we LOVE the stuff! I leave it on and eat every bite!!

          Comment


          • texastweeter
            texastweeter commented
            Editing a comment
            We leave it on beef ribs and eat it too. kinda gets all crispy like a beef tater chip!

          • Cheef
            Cheef commented
            Editing a comment
            What he said!

          #8
          Drag a serrated steak knife across it and make sure to slit it between each bone. cook as usual

          Comment


          • CaptainMike
            CaptainMike commented
            Editing a comment
            Yup

          #9
          Haha first time I picked up baby back ribs at Costco I tried the same thing, and punched myself in the head once I realized the membrane had already been removed by Smithfield or whoever packed the ribs.

          The ones I usually get from Sam's Club have the membrane usually, although two weeks ago, a 3 pack from Sam's Club had 1 of 3 with the membrane already removed...

          I don't know if they are always like that at Costco, but the ones I've got were. Saves a couple minutes of prep time for sure.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            tRidiot - you will notice the difference. Its a tough, unchewable paper like membrane once cooked, almost like a thin layer of plastic. Also, no spices or sauces penetrate that side of the ribs. I should know, considering I cooked ribs without removing this for about half my life, due to sheer ignorance.

          • FishTalesNC
            FishTalesNC commented
            Editing a comment
            jfmorris glad you said something, I had the exact same thing happen the last time I picked up a 3 pack from Sam's. Thought I'd lost my mind, couldn't seem to find or get a hold of the membrane on ONE of the three racks!

          • Chas Martel
            Chas Martel commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks jfmorris, what you said sounds right, Up until recently, I was buying baby backs at Sam's. Never had a problem finding and removing the membrane.

          #10
          Cuss, and fight it, then cuss some more.

          Comment


            #11
            I was watching Guy Fieri on Triple D one time, he went to a place where they left them on - I think it was in Las Vegas?? - and he was absolutely blown away. He couldn't believe someone was cooking and serving these in a professional setting and wasn't removing the membrane. The guy assured him they sold thousands of racks like this and that he would love it - and he did! He said he was shocked but he couldn't tell a difference and he absolutely loved them. I think I may give it a try.

            Comment


              #12
              I believe Aaron Franklin leaves them on, and he seems to be doing ok. It ain't my thing, though. I'll remove it or otherwise mutilate it to allow consistent tenderness.

              Comment


                #13
                Dad always left it on but his ribs are cooked HOT. I plan to start running 275-300 on my rib cooks and just score the membrane.

                Comment


                • HouseHomey
                  HouseHomey commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Don't tell anyone but I generally cook ribs at 275° for ribs or wherever the Kellle want to stay so I don't have to get up again.
                  Last edited by HouseHomey; May 1, 2018, 07:50 AM. Reason: Cleaning up my act.

                #14
                I prefer it off. My folks always left it on and I did too until four years ago and now I’m a convert.

                Comment


                  #15
                  Why leave it on, when it takes about a minute per rack during your prep to remove it anyway.

                  Comment


                  • Nate
                    Nate commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Maybe because some people like it or don’t feel it creates enough of a noticeable difference to deal with it.

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