Tips & Techniques

What Is The Best Way To Reheat Ribs?

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A couple of days ago, you had some great ribs that were either smoked, grilled, or cooked in some other way that you really enjoyed. It sated your taste buds, but the next day your stomach calls for the leftovers. All that needs to be done is to reheat them. But what is the best way to safely do this while preserving its flavor?

The best way to reheat your ribs is in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. This will keep them juicy and tender if done correctly. It is important to not reheat the ribs improperly so that they don’t become dry. They can also be reheated over the grill or the stove.

It may be as simple as it sounds, but there are always some tips and tricks which can be used to make the process easier. Plus I will be giving instructions into reheating over the grill as well as the stove for personal preference and accessibility.

Safety First!

Regardless of whichever method you use to heat your ribs again, they should be at least 155 degrees Fahrenheit as an internal temperature to be safe. Any temperature below this will allow bacteria to still thrive which can become harmful if eaten and digested. 155 degrees Fahrenheit is the minimum temperature, though I wouldn’t get any higher than 170 degrees as that may dry out the meat too much. This temperature can be tested by sticking a meat thermometer into the ribs.

Reheating In The Oven

The oven is the most reliable and accurate way to reheat the ribs and will give the best results, when done properly. Knowing how to defrost and re-heat them right will give you the best flavor, and will prevent you from drying out the meat. Nobody wants a dried-out steak!

The first step would be to get the ribs out of the fridge. Hopefully, they are not still frozen, but if you’re taking them out of the freezer, they need to be thawed in the fridge before you put them into the oven. Allowing them to thaw first will help them retain their juices. Once they’re thawed wrap them in tin foil, then place them in a pan. Wrapping them in tin foil will help keep the juices in, preventing them from evaporating.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees, giving the oven plenty of time to heat up. Make sure the over signals that it is done pre-heating before you put the ribs in!

Baste the entirety of the meat in your choice of sauce before you wrap it in tin foil and put it into the oven. After everything else that you can do to keep the existing moisture trapped inside the meat, you can ensure that the meat doesn’t dry out by adding additional moisture and flavor before reheating it. Once the baste is spread place another layer of tin foil over the top of the pan. This should completely cover the ribs, which should now be ready to be placed in the oven.

Once preheated, the ribs can be placed in the oven for 20 minutes. This should, depending on the number of ribs being reheated, bring them above 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Make SURE the ribs have been reheated to this temperature, otherwise, you risk food poisoning. The ribs can be checked with the meat thermometer quite easily.

Once the ribs are reheated they can be brought out and served. If personal preference deems it, some barbecue sauce or further baste sauce can be added on top to add to the flavor. The ribs should be tender and juicy after reheating them but if they are dry then the next time try adding some water in the bottom of the pan or not cooking it for as long.

Grilling Again

It is likely your ribs were barbecued over a grill and it appeals to some to reheat their ribs in this manner. It is not too difficult but may cause the meat to be a little bit drier than when done in the oven. Similar to the oven method simply take the ribs out of the fridge and make sure they are thawed. Then instead of placing it in a pan lined with tin foil, just place a sheet of foil down and put the rib on top of it.

Then you can add the additional sauce and wrap the tin foil up, beginning to cover the ribs. Place a second sheet of tin foil over the top to completely cover the ribs and place it on the grill. The grill should have been fired up and heated to a nice 225 degrees Fahrenheit. This will cook the meat more slowly but should keep the meat from losing too much juice.

Place the tin foil wrapped ribs onto the heated grill and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, turning it over regularly. This will heat the ribs evenly and prevent certain parts to become tough or dry. Once again, checking to see if heated fat is seeping near the bone will indicate that it is warm all the way through.

Using The Stove

Some people like to use the oven, others like to use the grill. Yet some choose to forego both of those options and use the stove to reheat their ribs. This is still a good option but won’t prepare your ribs as if they were fresh off the grill. Rather it will feel as if they were just sautéed in a pan.

The best way to start reheating your ribs over the stove is to get a large frying pan and to melt a layer of butter, heating it to a nice boil. Then place the ribs into the pan, letting the butter seep into the meat and work its way up to the center, near the bone. As you rotate the ribs, letting each side heat up, more butter may be needed.

The stove will heat the ribs just fine, and being sautéed in butter will give it a caramelized taste. This process may be faster, and will still taste good, but it is not as good as the grill or oven.

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