How To Tell When Ribs Are Done? [COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE]   

How To Tell When Ribs Are Done? [COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE]   

Undercooking ribs can ruin them and even gives you a bad reputation with your guests or customers. Furthermore, spending many hours in the kitchen and money buying ribs only to serve them undercooked can be discouraging. So how do you tell when ribs are done?

Three main methods can help you tell when ribs are done:

  1. Conduct the bend test by slightly bouncing your ribs and seeing whether the meat cracks on the surface.
  2. Twist the ribs to confirm whether the connective tissues are broken down.
  3. The toothpick test.

Insert the toothpick in the meaty area of your ribs, and if it slides immediately, your ribs are done.

Knowing when your ribs are done is essential as it ensures that you serve your loved ones with a tender, juicy, delicious meal. However, there is more to learn about the tenderness of the ribs. Read of for more valuable tips and inside.

How to Tell When ribs are Done                 

There are various ways to help you tell when ribs are done. Here are the most straightforward and easy-to-conduct ways you can try at home.

The Bend Test

This is the simplest way of finding out whether your ribs are done. As the name suggests, you need to bend the ribs and see what it looks like and what happens while bending them.

Use tongs to pick your ribs in the middle. Then, using your wrist force, slightly bend the ribs and carefully look at the surface of the rib cracks. Do not remove the tongs from the middle of the ribs. If the ends of the ribs bend downs and easily separate from the center, then your ribs are done. Nonetheless, if you only see a small crack when bending the ribs, then they are not done. Return them to the grill and leave them to cook for some time

The bend test requires some practical experience. You will eventually feel it after you have cooked ribs for some time. Nevertheless, it is simple, only focus on the cracks and the ends of your ribs.

Twist Test

It is also called the flexibility test. When ribs are done, they should be able to move away from the bone smoothly. This is the principle behind the twist test.

First, get high-quality tongs to help remove your ribs from the grill. You will see a bone or a section of a bone sticking out of the rib meat. Use your hands to twist this bone. Use gentle force when doing this. The ribs are done if the meat quickly separates from the bone. However, be careful when conducting the test to avoid burning yourself. Ensure that you remove the ribs from the heat before you conduct the twist test on them.

Note: use light force when twisting the ribs, and then try feeling the gentle movement between the bone and meat. If you use a lot of force, know that even raw meat can behave the same.

Toothpick Test

The toothpick test does not require a lot of technical instruments. You only need a toothpick. When you feel like the ribs are cooked, then you are not sure about it, poke them using a toothpick. If the toothpick penetrates through the meat without resistance, your ribs are done. However, remember that there are thin and thick areas in the ribs. Hence, you should insert your toothpick in various sections to be sure it is completely done.

A toothpick is tiny, so you should not be worried about aesthetics. So your ribs will still look perfect as no one can easily see the small toothpick holes.

Time Test

Another common way of telling when ribs are done is the time test. Use a kitchen timer to measure the time the ribs have cooked at a specific temperature. For your ribs to have balance and be evenly cooked on both sides, inside and outside, you should cook them at 225 degrees F.

When you place the ribs on the grill at 225 degrees F, it will take 3-4 hours to cook baby back ribs. Remember that cooking time varies based on which ribs you are cooking. For instance, St Louis ribs require 5 to 6 hours to cook on a grill at a temperature of 225.

Here is a very crucial step, after the specified time of cooking ribs, cover the ribs in sauce and continue keeping the heat for about five minutes on each side. This allows the spices in your ribs to penetrate entirely through the meat pieces and be spread evenly. Consequently, it will enable you to eat well-cooked ribs without having trouble dipping them in the sauce.

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Even though the time test is the simplest method to follow, it has some limitations and is thus not entirely applicable. Ribs come in different sizes and textures, meaning they will take different time levels to cook. Thus, there is no exact time to determine when the ribs are done, hence unreliable.

Essential Things to Remember When Cooking Ribs

Telling when your ribs are done is essential to your health and safety. However, to have delicious and juicy ribs, there are other things to consider.

  • Remove the transparent membrane on the lower surface of the ribs. The removal is necessary to prevent your ribs from being chewy and tough. Peel the membrane using a knife and hand from one end to another.
  • Pour your rib sauce over the right at the proper time. Adding the rib sauce at the right time will ensure that it soaks in, maintaining a delicious taste. Do this for about 10 to 15 minutes before you remove them from the grill.
  • Closely monitor time. Temperature is the most important thing when you are cooking any meal. It can take a lot of time to cook ribs, so you should focus on maintaining the right temperature.                                                  

Internal Temp of Pork   

Knowing the proper internal temperature for your pork is the final step in serving delicious juicy ribs. Use a meat thermometer to determine the meat’s internal temperature. Here are the internal temperatures of pork:

  • Medium-rare – 145-150 degrees F
  • Medium – 150-155 degrees F
  • Medium well – 155-160 degrees F
  • Well – 160 degrees

Temp for Pork Ribs

Most people love ribs, but not all can afford a fancy smoker. A grill is the best solution. Different meat cuts can be cooked at high temperatures and be done quickly, but ribs need to be cooked at slow and low to cook and remain delicious. First, heat your grill to 275 degrees F. Here the internal temperature should be 190 to 200 degrees when you are finished.

Remove the ribs from the grill and preheat your grill to 350 degrees F and place your ribs over a pan. Cook them for about 5 minutes with enough moisture.                                                               

Undercooked Ribs

Done ribs should have a white or slightly tanned center, but if you find your ribs with a pink color and some juice, it is clear that the ribs are undercooked. But, there are some cases where your ribs will be cooked but still have a pink color. This happens when you smoke your ribs.

Final Thoughts

Don’t ruin your ribs by undercooking them. Closely evaluate your ribs and conduct the most favorable test you find easy for you. The bend, meat thermometer, and twist tests are the best way to determine whether your ribs are done. However, ensure that you apply slight force when bending and twisting.


How To Tell If Ribs Are Done: 7 Easiest Ways Ever To Check

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