How to Boil Pork Spare Ribs to Make Them Tender

When meat is exposed to intense levels of heat, the insoluble protein fibrin hardens and contracts, making the meat tough and lacking in flavor. However, when meat is boiled over time at a medium heat, it becomes tender and juicy. Boiling pork spare ribs prior to cooking them completely will give you a succulent dish where the meat falls right off of the bone. Because of their thin shape, spare ribs will take less time to boil than whole chunks of meat.

Raw pork spare ribs on brown paper. (Image: Lauri Patterson/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Fill a large pot with water and sprinkle in a pinch of salt.

Step 2

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the flame to medium heat and add the ribs to the pot.

Step 3

Add your desired seasonings and vegetables to the water and close the lid. Allow the meat to boil for about half an hour.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 5

Drain the water and place the boiled ribs onto a baking pan.

Step 6

Season the ribs with a dry pork rub, baste them with barbecue sauce and place them into the oven.

Step 7

Cook the ribs for about seven to eight minutes.

Step 8

Open the oven door, flip the ribs over and baste them with barbecue sauce again.

Step 9

Close the oven door and allow the ribs to cook for another eight minutes or so.

Step 10

Check the internal temperature of the ribs with a meat thermometer to see if they're safe to eat; 160 degrees Fahrenheit is safe for pork. Once the ribs are fully cooked, remove them from the oven, set them aside to cool and serve.

Things You'll Need

  • Large pot

  • Water

  • Pork spare ribs

  • Seasonings

  • Vegetables

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • BBQ sauce and dry rub, optional

  • Baking pan

  • Oven

  • Meat thermometer

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