How to Steam Ribs

Grilling spare ribs can take up to six hours, says, while baby back ribs may take as long as four hours to grill. To cut down on the grilling time, you can steam ribs up to two days in advance. Pre-steamed ribs can be grilled in approximately 15 minutes, according to Good Housekeeping. Pork and beef ribs are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. If you have high blood cholesterol or a history of heart disease, consume ribs only occasionally and in small portions.


Step 1

Use a sharp knife to remove the white membrane covering the rib bones. Rinse the ribs and pat them dry with paper towels.

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Step 2

Combine your choice of seasonings, spices and herbs such as salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin or chili powder in a small bowl. Use your hands to thoroughly rub the mixture all over the ribs.


Step 3

Place a large wire rack in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the ribs on the rack.


Step 4

Pour several cups of boiling water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Use aluminum foil to tightly cover the ribs.


Step 5

Place the roasting pan in a preheated oven and allow the ribs to steam until the meat begins to separate from the bones, about one to two hours.


Step 6

Remove and discard the aluminum foil. Grill or smoke the ribs immediately or cool and refrigerate them to cook within two days.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife

  • Paper towels

  • Seasonings such as spices, herbs, salt and pepper

  • Small bowl

  • Large wire rack

  • Large roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet

  • Aluminum foil


For added flavor, Chris Kimball, editor-in-chief at Cook's Illustrated, says that you can cover the ribs in plastic wrap after you've coated them with the seasoning mixture and refrigerate them for 24 hours before steaming.


Be careful removing the aluminum foil from the roasting pan after cooking the ribs: The steam released will be extremely hot.

Pork ribs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

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