Learn the Best Techniques to Remove Rib Membrane like a Pro

The best part of grilling ribs is getting to enjoy the wonderfully tender and flavorful result. However, preparing the ribs for the grill can be tricky, especially if you are trying to remove the tough membrane attached to the bone. If the membrane is not removed, it can cause the meat to become tough and chewy, which is never desirable. In this article, we will teach you how to remove rib membrane like a pro, ensuring that your next rib grilling experience is a success.

Why remove the rib membrane?

Before diving into the how-to steps, it’s important to understand the why behind removing the rib membrane. As mentioned earlier, leaving the membrane on the ribs can cause the meat to become tough and chewy, ruining your grilling experience. The membrane acts as a barrier that prevents seasoning and smoke from penetrating the meat, resulting in a flavorless and unappetizing final product. Lastly, removing the rib membrane improves the overall texture and presentation of the ribs, making them much more enjoyable to eat.

Tools you will need

Before you start the process of removing the rib membrane, it’s essential to have the right tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Paper towel or kitchen cloth
  • Pliers or tweezers

Make sure that your knife is sharp enough to cut through the membrane without damaging the meat. Using a dull knife can result in uneven cuts or even accidents, such as slippage or cuts to your fingers.

The how-to steps

Now that you have all the necessary tools let’s get started with the process of removing the rib membrane. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Flip your rib rack bone-side up.
  2. Locate the membrane by running your finger along the bone. Look for a thin, shiny layer of connective tissue.
  3. Next, make a small incision on one end of the membrane with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut into the meat.
  4. Using your fingers or a paper towel or kitchen cloth, grip the membrane and carefully peel it away from the bone.
  5. If the membrane breaks, use the knife to make another incision and continue the peeling process.
  6. Once you have removed the membrane from the entire rack, use pliers or tweezers to remove any remaining bits or pieces.

And voilà! You have successfully removed the rib membrane like a pro.

Alternative method

If you find the above method too tricky or time-consuming, there is an alternative method that you can try:

  1. Place the rib rack bone-side down on a cutting board.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make a shallow cut along the bone, trying not to cut too deep into the meat.
  3. Once you have made the incision, grab the membrane with a paper towel or kitchen cloth and gently pull it away from the meat.
  4. If the membrane breaks or is difficult to remove, use a pair of pliers or tweezers to help you grip it.

And there you have it! Another successful way to remove the rib membrane.

Tips and tricks

Here are some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • If you are having trouble gripping the membrane, try using pliers or tweezers instead of your fingers.
  • If the membrane is particularly stubborn, try using a butter knife to loosen it from the bone.
  • Be sure to remove all the membrane from the bone. Leaving even a small piece can negatively impact the flavor and texture of the meat.
  • After removing the membrane, take the time to trim away any excess fat or gristle from the meat.

By following these tips and tricks, you are sure to remove the rib membrane like a pro, resulting in perfectly tender and flavorful ribs.


Removing the rib membrane may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and steps, it’s a straightforward process that you can master in no time. Remember to use a sharp knife, take your time, and be patient. By following these steps and tips, you’ll be able to impress your friends and family with perfectly cooked and delicious ribs every time.

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