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Meat-Up in Memphis 2021

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That Darned Sheath

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  • HouseHomey
    Club Member
    • May 2016
    • 5417
    • Huntington Beach, Ca. Surf City USA.
    • Equipment
      Primo Oval xl

      Slow n Sear (two)
      Drip n Griddle
      22" Weber Kettle
      26" Weber Kettle one touch
      Blackstone 36” Pro Series
      Sous vide machine
      Kitchen Aid
      Meat grinder
      sausage stuffer
      5 Crock Pots
      Two chimneys (was 3 but rivets finally popped, down to 1)
      cast iron pans,
      Dutch ovens
      Signals 4 probe, thermapens, chef alarms, Dots, thermapop and maverick T-732, RTC-600, pro needle and various pocket instareads.
      The help and preferences
      1 extra fridge and a deep chest freezer in the garage
      A 9 year old princess foster child
      Patience and old patio furniture
      "Baby Girl" The cat

      Erik S.

    I generally take it off. I like the char the ribs get on the bottom with flossing with membrane. The one on beef ribs is really thick.


    • EdF
      Club Member
      • Jul 2016
      • 3229
      • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
      • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
        Karubeque C-60
        Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
        TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
        Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
        Thermapen Air
        ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
        Thermoworks Hi temp IR
        BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
        Various other stuff

      I prefer to take them off too. But if it's not happening, it's not happening!


      • Attjack
        Club Member
        • Aug 2017
        • 4213
        • Primo XL
          Weber 26"
          Weber 22"
          Weber 22"
          Weber 18"
          Weber Jumbo Joe
          Weber Green Smokey Joe (Thanks, Mr. Bones!)
          Weber Smokey Joe
          Orion Smoker

          DigiQ DX2
          Slow 'N Sear XL
          Arteflame 26.75" Insert

          Blaze BLZ-4-NG 32-Inch 4-Burner Built-In
          - With Rear Infrared Burner
          - With Infrared Sear Burner
          - With Rotisserie
          Empava 2 Burner Gas Cooktop
          Weber Spirit 210
          - With Grillgrates
          ​​​​​​​ - With Rotisserie
          Weber Q2200

          Blackstone Pizza Oven

          Portable propane burners (3)
          Propane turkey Fryer

          Fire pit grill

        It never occured to me that when I was unable to get the membrane off it may have been already removed.


        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Me too, the first time it happened!
      • Jerod Broussard
        • Jun 2014
        • 9860
        • East Texas
        • Pit Barrel Cooker "Texas Brisket Edition"
          Weber One Touch Premium Copper 22" Kettle (gift)
          Slow 'n Sear for 22" Kettle
          Weber One Touch Premium Black 26" Kettle (gift)
          Slow 'n Sear XL for 26" Kettle (gift)
          Weber Smokey Joe Gold
          Weber Rapid Fire Chimney
          Maverick ET-732 White
          Maverick ET-732 Copper
          2- Auber SYL-1615 fan systems(Awesome!!!!!!!!)
          Thermoworks Thermapen w/ Back light (gift)
          Thermoworks Timestick
          Cambro Model 300MPC110 w/ Winco SS Pans
          B & B and Kingsford Charcoal
          B & B Pellets

        I've heard it's waaaaaay easier to get it off after the cook. I'll test that on the next cook.


        • Buck Flicks
          Buck Flicks commented
          Editing a comment
          This is a fact. But... it keeps brine, rub, and smoke from penetrating the bottom of the rack.
      • Derickls
        Club Member
        • Dec 2017
        • 71
        • Los Angeles, CA
        • Weber Kettle
          Weber 2 Burner Gas
          CampChef DLX
          Marshmallow roasting sticks for campfires

        Last time i got the smithfield ribs that membrane had already been removed. I was confused at first as well.


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

          Most ribs I buy seem to have them removed. Even then I take the edge of a spoon and drag it up and down the bone side to rough up anything left for it to cook off better. I cooked like 40 racks for a party one time and I had to remove the memebrane during prepping before cooking. I must have missed doing a couple because when they came off the smoker and I was slicing them into 3 bone serving size I could certainly tell the ones I missed.

          I can usually get the membrane off in one piece in one pull.


          • tRidiot
            Club Member
            • Dec 2015
            • 718
            • NE OK
            • Traeger BBQ124
              Yoder YS480
              Chargriller Duo gas/charcoal side-by side

            I find it a lot harder on St. Louis ribs. Maybe because of that extra bit of meat on the bone side, sometimes it's enough of a pain I just cut that strip of meat off, but I like to try to get the membrane off, and in that junction between the bones and the extra flap of meat, it is much harder to remove.

            Am I doing something wrong?


            • HorseDoctor
              HorseDoctor commented
              Editing a comment
              The membrane (pleura) reflects onto the strip of meat (diaphragm). If you get it coming off the ribs, a little piece of it should also come off the "meat". There is no pleural membrane under or beyond the piece of diaphragm meat...

            • jfmorris
              jfmorris commented
              Editing a comment
              You are right - I just start at the opposite end on spare ribs, and what comes off cleanly comes off. I don't stress over a little left around that flap of meat on the bone side.

            • kamadoRob
              kamadoRob commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah you are correct. I start it coming up with the tip of a butter knife then grab a wad of paper towel and use that to grip the membrane. It works like a charm but on St Louis ribs it tends to tear and leave a little a behind. I don't sweat it if there is just a little bit left...
          • MeatMonster
            Former Member
            • Mar 2017
            • 606
            • Ellon, Aberdeenshire

            Hi there is also the possibility it was already gone / removed, that happens and can be confusing!


            • Buck Flicks
              Club Member
              • Jul 2017
              • 341
              • Dee Eff Dub, TX

              I've never had it take less than 5 minutes per rack. Very likely my technique is bad, but it's a war. Last time I forgot and there was definitely a difference. All the salt, sugar, and spice collected on it but didn't get to the meat. It was like licking the pudding off the foil lid of a snack pack. Get the flavor, but after that, there's nothing left of value.

              If anyone has a technique pointer for removing it, I'd be happy to hear it. I think next time, I'll just try scoring it and see how that goes. Definitely sounds easier and faster.


              • EdF
                EdF commented
                Editing a comment
                I use the "butter knife to pry the center a bit from end of the bones, grab it with a paper towel, then pull it off" method. Repeat as many times as it takes, which is generally not too many. But that's not news.

              • Buck Flicks
                Buck Flicks commented
                Editing a comment
                Hm... that's the method I use (sometimes a spoon turned upside down instead of butter knife.) I think I just do it badly.

              • kamadoRob
                kamadoRob commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep, what EdF says.
            • Sweaty Paul
              Founding Member
              • Aug 2014
              • 1556
              • Hays, KS
              • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
                (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

                Weber Genesis Gas grill
                Weber Kettle grills x 2

              I grab after elevating a small piece near the edge of the rack. I actually use a paring knife as I like the sharper tip to get under the sheath and elevate it. Then, like everyone else, I grab the sheath with paper towel and pull it off. I also have found if you initially go slowly and try to get as much of its entire width up before going along the rack that it works considerably better.

              Good luck!


              • jtyoder
                Charter Member
                • Dec 2016
                • 49
                • Fort Wayne, IN

                Glad I found this thread! I’ve struggled numerous times with Costco baby backs and resorted to what many of you have done, scoring between each bone. I never have a problem with their St. Louis style ribs though. The membrane is very easy to get hold of and remove (with a little grip assistance from paper toweling)!


                • tRidiot
                  Club Member
                  • Dec 2015
                  • 718
                  • NE OK
                  • Traeger BBQ124
                    Yoder YS480
                    Chargriller Duo gas/charcoal side-by side

                  I usually use either my finger, or a butter knife, slide it under the membrane between two bones, and like mentioned above, try to work my finger gently underneath it across the rack to the other side. Once I get all the way across, I usually can work my finger lengthwise toward the end of the rack to free up a flap, then a paper towel to grab the free flap and it pulls right off, usually in one piece with babybacks.

                  St. Louis seems a bit harder to me, and getting down to the extra meat flap, sometimes it tears there, or if I try it again on that extra bonus meat, it'll tear the meat off, or shred it. Oh well.


                  • Mudkat
                    Mudkat commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I cut the flap off and throw it in the beans. Pork and beans baby!



                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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