Removing the membrane from Back Ribs

Dive Bar Casanova

Senior Member
9 Mar 2019
Local time
1:54 AM
OK, I know the knife under the membrane then the paper towel and pull the membrane off trick. Done it endless times.

But on the leaner, meatier ribs that membrane ain't coming off.
Tried the catfish skinner tools methods, it still ain't coming off.

Any other tricks out there?
Any takes are appreciated.

I smoke them 2 hours or broil them upside down for 20 minutes then dip them in my sauce and crock pot them a few more hours on low to a finish.

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Patience or cut through the membrane on both sides of each rib. I have pretty good success removing the membrane, but every once in a while..... BTW, I do them completely on one of my smokers. I'll wrap after a couple hours and finish. My temperature is 225F. If someone wants a crust, I'll glaze them and do them at a higher temp on the Weber or BGE.
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I know it is a bit unorthodox, but I use a pair of Needle nose Pliers that are Stainless Steel and I purchased specifically for this purpose. Just slice a corner up, grab as much as you can horizontally with the pliers and pull.
Got these off ebay for a few dollars:
I don't remove anything from the ribs, just marinade then cook them and eat them.

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You got a halogen convection oven that cooks food rather fast!

I always cooked them on the small barbecue before we bought the halogen. That was also quite fast.

Funnily enough, I'm quite picky about chicken - I remove/cut out anything that I consider is not edible meat.
For those who will never master pulling off the membrane here's a good tip: If you're buying meat at a place with a butcher, ask the butcher to take it off when you buy it. I could never master it but cooked ribs often and preferred them without the membrane. Most skilled butchers can do it easily and don't mind helping out at all. I know this is not a do it yourself type of tip, which is what cooking is all about, to me, but it may help someone out. It helped me though my friend, who I'd frequently beat in BBQ contests we held, would scoff and laugh :)
A few times I'bve gotten it off, but it takes time & patience, which I usually don't have. :unsure:
I recently saw a show where the pit master used an oyster knife to help remove the membrane. I gave it a try and was surprised how much it helped. Now I've found a use for that oyster knife that really isn't good for shucking oysters! :hyper:
I have one & it's been sitting there in the chef's tool box for all these years! I don't even eat oysters, so next time that I come across a rack of ribs that has the membrane on the back, I'll try it. There may be some in the freezer!! :wink:
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Many years ago I worked in pork slaughter plant. If it has pieces of lung adhered to it we had to pull it off. We wore what we called piano player gloves. Pull it loose at the bottom with your thumb and pull up to remove it. So that is the way I learned to do it. I use a paper towel once I get my thumb up under it. The meat packing company term for the membrane is the plural. The job was called pulling plurals.
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