How to Remove Membrane from Ribs | Ontario Pork

Removing the membrane from the back of pork ribs

How to Remove Membrane from Ribs

 Easy steps for preparing your pork ribs before cooking.

Below you'll find step-by-step instructions for how to easily remove the membrane or skin from the back of your pork ribs.

Some people ask if you need to remove the membrane from ribs. Our answer is yes. You'll get a much better end product if you take it off.

The membrane can be chewy or rubbery and prevents seasonings from penetrating the underside of the ribs.

Luckily, the membrane is easy to remove. Removing it from your pork ribs is key to preparing great ribs for the BBQ, oven, slowcooker, etc.

Step 1: Get underneath

  • First, flip your ribs over (bones curled towards you) to reveal the membrane. It will be a piece of tissue that is thin, shiny, and nearly see-through.
  • Get your finger or a butter knife and slide it underneath the membrane from end-to-end to get it started. Then lift — you are creating a piece to grab.

Step 1 to removing membrane from ribs - Get finger or knife underneath

Step 2: Pull up and across

  • Grab a piece of paper towel or a clean kitchen rag and grab the piece of the rib's membrane that you got started.
  • Once you have a good grip on the membrane, begin to pull up and across the length of the ribs. You want to do this slowly, but firmly.

Step 2 to removing membrane from ribs - Pull up and across

Step 3: Keep going / discard membrane

  • It may break or come apart as your pulling, but don't fret. If it does, just continue to grab and pull up and across the ribs until you get it all.
  • Discard the membrane. You'll see why you want it removed. It would be very chewy and prevent your seasoning from penetrating the underside of the ribs.

Step 3 to removing membrane from ribs - Keep going then discard

And that should be it. You can ask your butcher to remove the membrane for you, but most pork ribs you buy at the grocery store will still have membrane on them.

While you're here, we've compiled a few of our popular, easy pork ribs recipes:

Easy Pork Ribs Recipe Molasses Mustard Ribs Recipe Easy Coca Cola Ribs Recipe

This article is part of our on-going commitment to make pork cooking information accessible for Ontarians (and the world).

Only quick and easy guides here, no fluff. If you are interested in more how to cook pork information, see here:

Ontario pork producers are very aware of the importance of providing consumers with a safe food supply and they take that responsibility very seriously. They eat the same foods as you do. Today’s producers are highly educated and use the latest technology – products and equipment – to feed, care for, monitor and keep records on the animals under their care. Learn where to buy Ontario-raised pork.

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