How to Cook Boneless Ribs on Your Grill, Pan, and Oven
Boneless ribs are some of the most sought-after parts of meat due to their delicious marbled appearance. Ironically, boneless ribs didn’t really come from ribs. According to Cook’s Illustrated, boneless ribs come from the upper portion shoulder where the bones are too thin and narrow that butchers’ opted to just remove them and cut the meat into rectangular rib pieces.
Boneless ribs are also known for their juicy, chewy yet meaty and textures. They also cook quickly. However, seasoned grill masters and professional cooks agree that the best-tasting boneless ribs usually require a fair amount of cooking time. But even with the time requirement, most recipes on how to cook boneless ribs are simple and easy to follow.
Here are two tips to coming up with delicious boneless ribs.
- First, tenderize them before cooking. The marinade is a tenderizer by nature and boost flavor, so make sure to let the ribs sit in the marinade for at least an hour to enjoy the flavors and chewy yet tender texture.
- Second, come up with your own barbeque sauce or marinade. You can easily purchase both commercially, but with homemade ones, just add a more personal touch to your dish.
1. Grilled Boneless Ribs
You can grill boneless ribs quickly and still get tender and juicy meat, or marinade the ribs, and refrigerate them for a few hours before they hit the grill. Either way, you will need to prepare the following:
- Barbeque sauce of choice
- Canola oil
- Marinade of choice
- Dry rub mixture
a. Quick Boneless Ribs BBQ
- Fill up the grill with charcoal and light it up. If you’re using a gas grill, set it to 400F degrees. While the grill heats up, season and rub the ribs with your dry rub mixture.
If you don’t have a ready-made dry rub, you can combine equal parts of salt and sugar along with other seasonings like onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper and preferred fresh and dried herbs. Rub this mixture on the boneless ribs before cooking.
- Place the ribs on the hot grill and cook for 8-10 minutes on each side. Brush with barbeque sauce before flipping the ribs. Baste the other side as well just a few minutes before the ribs are thoroughly cooked. Check the internal temperature of the ribs and make sure they are at least 145F degrees, which is the least internal temperature for the safe consumption.
b. Slow Grilled Marinated Boneless Ribs
- Prepare the marinade for the boneless ribs. In a large bowl, combine equal parts of wine and olive oil. Add in preferred seasonings and dry herbs. Toss the boneless ribs into the marinade, making sure that each piece is evenly-coated. Pop the marinating boneless ribs into the fridge for 1-3 hours. Take the ribs out of the fridge an hour before grilling and let them sit at room temperature.
- Prepare the grill. If using a gas grill, just turn on the only side as the ribs will cook with indirect heat. Fire up the grill then brush the grates with canola oil.
- Grill the ribs indirectly by positioning them on the un-fired side. Let the ribs cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes with grill lid closed.
- Baste the ribs with barbeque sauce then flip to the other side using tongs. Keep cooking for another 1 hour and 30 minutes, opening the lid every 30 minutes for basting. After this period, check if meat is easily falling apart and that the temperature is at least 170F degrees and they should be good and done.
2. Pan-braised Boneless Ribs
Braising boneless ribs on a pan or skillet is one of the easiest and quickest cooking methods. To do this, you will need the following:
- Canola oil
- Braising liquid (wine, chicken stock)
- Carrots, diced
- Red bell pepper, sliced
- Chopped garlic and onions
- Salt and pepper
- Cover the bottom of a skillet or pan with an adequate amount of canola oil and set the flame to medium. While the oil heats up, sprinkle salt and pepper over ribs.
- Place ribs into the hot oil and cook for 5-8 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove cooked ribs into a plate and set aside.
- Saute chopped garlic and onions in canola oil. Stir in carrots and red bell pepper and toss with the oil.
- Add one cup of the braising liquid of your choice. Allow the braising liquid to heat up while scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to bring up pieces of browned meat.
- Add in the browned boneless ribs into the braising liquid. Add more stock or wine if it has diluted, but don’t add so much that ribs are fully submerged. Keep cooking until the braising liquid boils, then lower the heat and let the ribs simmer.
Check the internal temperature of the ribs which should be at least 140F degree. Also, check if the meat is fork tender. When these two conditions are met, the ribs are done and ready.
- Serve braised ribs over warm cooked rice and side dish of choice.
3. Oven-baked Boneless Ribs
Oven-baked boneless ribs make meat tender on the inside while crispy on the outside. Here are the steps for delicious oven-baked ribs.
- Preheat the oven to 250F degrees. Position wire rack at the center.
- Get a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil.
- Meanwhile, mix ingredients for the dry rub: salt, brown sugar, honey, paprika, freshly-ground black pepper, onion and garlic powder, and paprika.
- Add ribs into the dry rub mixture and massage vigorously. If desired, you can add 2-3 tbsp of your favorite barbeque sauce to get a grilled flavor.
- Position ribs into the aluminum-covered cookie sheet in a single layer. Once all of the ribs are in place, cover them with another layer of aluminum foil.
- Bake the ribs at 250F degrees for an hour. After one hour, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and brush the ribs with barbeque sauce. Return the ribs to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes more.
- Baste the ribs at a 10-minute interval for the entire 30 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the cookie sheet and place into a plate. Scoop excess sauce, and drizzle over ribs. Let it sit for 10 minutes before consuming.
Boneless ribs are excellent for family dinners and outdoor barbeques. These are very versatile meat pieces that can be cooked in a variety of ways. They soak up a lot of flavors, and if given enough time to marinate, they become tender and moist after baking or grilling.
If you’re in a rush, cut the ribs up into small pieces, and they should braise quickly in your skillet. But if you’re willing to wait and like your ribs to be larger in size, marinating and cooking them slow provides a more delicious result.