How to Remove the Membrane From the Ribs

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What is the best method for smoking various types of meat for backyard barbecues? 

Cooking techniques are essential, but the best meals are typically the result of meticulous prepping. To begin preparing tender racks of beef or pork ribs, you must first learn to remove the ribs’ membranes.

We’ll go through the membrane and how to remove it from the ribs in this article.

How to Remove the Membrane From the Ribs

Your grilled meat should fall off the bone good, no matter what kind of ribs you’re preparing, from baby back ribs to pork ribs. The first step in making your ribs as tasty as possible is to remove the membrane. Remove the silverskin by following these easy steps:

1. Dry the Ribs With a Paper Towel

Dry ribs are easier to work with and less likely to slip. Place your ribs on a cutting board with the meat side down and the membrane facing you. Tear off several paper towels and pat the rib membrane until it is nearly dry.

2. Loosen the Membrane

Pull a membrane corner up from one edge of the rib slab. You can start it with the point of a blunt knife, but you can usually pull it up with your fingers.

Don’t worry about taking off the wrong thing because the membrane is the only portion of the ribs that should easily separate from the ribs.

3. Remove the Membrane From the Ribs

Peel it away from the ribs with a firm hold when you’ve separated it from one end. With a paper towel, you can grip the membrane, which is slippery. It should come off the ribs in one piece if you keep pulling away from where you started.

Once removed, discard it and proceed with seasoning and prepping your ribs.

What Is the Membrane?

A membrane is a silverskin on the back of pork or beef ribs. The meaty side of your ribs will be ready for seasoning and flavoring, but the bone side is protected by a membrane called the peritoneum. 

The silverskin will appear on the back of the rack as a semi-opaque gray substance. A rack of ribs usually comes with this connective tissue still attached, but it’s straightforward to get rid of it and start cooking.

Do You Have to Remove Membrane From Ribs

Yes, you should remove the membrane from the rib since it is tough and unappealing to eat after the ribs have been cooked. Furthermore, the membrane prevents smoke from penetrating the meat and adding a smoky flavor.

When cooking ribs, you’ll find that they’re easy to season and marinate due to their porous nature, but the silverskin makes it more difficult for the flavor of the meat to be absorbed.

Even after a long smoke, the rib membrane remains tough and chewy.

Removing the membrane in the preparation process for cooking ribs is necessary.

How to Tell if Membrane Is on Ribs

If you purchased your ribs, open the package and check the bone side of the ribs for any silvery or whitish dense skin. If it’s there, there’s a membrane that needs to be removed.

Can You Remove the Rib Membrane After Cooking?

You can, but it’ll be a mess. You won’t get the results you expect if cooked with it on anyway. The membrane will keep the meat taut and prevent it from becoming as tender as it may be.

Some pitmasters believe that removing the skin is superfluous because it aids in the preservation of the ribs during the smoking process and imparts a unique flavor. It’s up to you whether or not to remove it.


In conclusion, the rib membrane is a tough, rubbery, and fibrous substance that you should remove before cooking the meat. The easiest way to remove the membrane is to make a small incision in the membrane and pull it off. Once the membrane is removed, you can cook the meat on your gas grill, charcoal grill, or pellet grill.