How to Fix Tough Ribs

How To Fix Tough Ribs? Professional Guides & Helpful Tips

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Cooking ribs can be an intimidating endeavor for the beginning amateur chef. However, with a few simple techniques, even beginners can learn how to make succulent and tender ribs that will become a hit at any occasion. Whether you are looking to enjoy fall-off-the-bone ribs just like from your favorite restaurant or find ways to transform tougher cuts of pork into flavorsome and juicy dishes, this blog post has you covered. Keep reading as we delve into some tried-and-true tips on how to fix tough ribs so you can impress your friends and family.

Cause Of Dry Ribs And Chewy Ribs


Ideally, ribs should be juicy, tender, and have a thin crisp outer layer when cooked properly. However, sometimes ribs can turn out dry and chewy.

Dry ribs occur when the ribs are overcooked, resulting in a lack of moisture and potential toughness.

Chewy ribs happen when the ribs are undercooked or if the membrane is left on. The chewiness comes from the collagen in the ribs not being sufficiently broken down.

Fixing Dry Ribs

Identifying Dry Ribs

Dry ribs will:

  • Appear dried out on the surface
  • Lack moisture inside
  • Feel tough to bite through

Solution for Dry Ribs

Make a 50/50 mix of any BBQ sauce and liquid of choice such as:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Pineapple juice
  • Vegetable or meat broth

Then, coat the ribs in the sauce mixture and wrap tightly in foil. Bake at 300°F for 30-45 minutes, checking for doneness.


The moist heat and liquid in the foil pouch will steam and gently cook the ribs, preventing further drying out. This essentially re-hydrates the ribs.

Fixing Chewy Ribs

Fixing Chewy Ribs

Identifying Chewy Ribs

Chewy ribs will feel tough and lack tenderness even after thorough cooking.

There are two main solutions depending on the cause:

Solution 1 – Remove Membrane

If chewiness is from the membrane:

  • Locate and remove the tough, silvery membrane on the back of the ribs before cooking.

Solution 2 – Longer Cooking

If chewiness is from undercooking:

  • Ensure ribs are cooked low and slow (e.g. grilling, smoking) for sufficient time to tenderize the collagen.
  • Consider alternative cooking methods like pressure cooking or sous vide for quicker tenderizing results.

Additional Tip For Ribs

After cooking, let ribs rest for 10-15 minutes before serving for optimal juiciness and texture.

Why Rest Ribs?

  • Allows juices to reabsorb back into the meat. If you cut into ribs immediately after cooking, the juices will spill out.
  • Gives time for the temperature to even out. The cooler center of the ribs will have a chance to come up to the same temperature as the outer edges.
  • Allows proteins to relax. Resting gives the protein fibers time to loosen up after contracting during cooking.
  • Reduces chewiness. Resting helps tenderize ribs by enabling collagen to finish dissolving.
  • Provides easier slicing. Letting ribs rest makes them easier to slice cleanly without shredding the meat.

So be patient and avoid digging into hot-off-the-grill ribs. That short resting period pays off in tender, juicy results.

For even more insurance, tightly tent ribs with foil during the resting period. This locks in steam and heat to further tenderize the meat.

Resting and tenting with foil turns out seriously succulent ribs worthy of any BBQ pitmaster. Give it a try next time you cook up a rack of ribs.

More wat ching video: Cook the Perfect Juicy Beef Ribs Every Time


Tough, chewy ribs can be disappointing, but the good news is that with a few simple techniques you can transform your ribs into the ideal tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone texture. Focus on adding moisture for dry ribs and breaking down connective tissue for chewy ribs. Master the methods outlined here like removing the membrane, braising in foil, low and slow cooking, and incorporating vinegar-based mops and spritzes. With the proper prep, monitoring, and cooking adjustments, you’ll be able to fix tough ribs every time. Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’ll gain confidence in cooking ribs just the way your family and friends love them. Get ready for juicy, tender ribs coming off your smoker, grill or oven.

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