Pork ribs make a great family meal or celebratory dinner. Since there are many different ways to cook pork ribs, you can decide how much effort you want to put in. Pork ribs are made up of fatty muscle that is easy to cook, and plenty of quick and simple options exist. Regardless of the method you choose, always measure your meat with a meat thermometer to make sure your ribs have reached a temperature of 165 degrees or higher before eating.
Understanding Quick Cooking Methods
Understanding different ways to cook meat will help you choose the method that is the most efficient for you. Specific cook times will vary between different ovens. Braising the ribs is one fast option. This involves browning all sides of the meat in a saucepan on high heat, then simmering the ribs on low with a small amount of water until they are cooked through. Pan frying is another quick method. Simply put the ribs in a nonstick pan with a small amount of fat. Cook on medium high, turning the ribs occasionally, until the meat is brown on all sides. You don’t need to add water, marinade or to cover the pan. Pan broiling is also fast and easy. Follow the same process as you would to pan fry ribs, without adding fat.
Baking Pork Ribs
Another quick way to cook ribs is by submerging them in a sauce and baking. For quick marinated ribs, mix 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce with 1/2 cup of orange juice. Place 2 lbs. of ribs in a large casserole dish and add the marinade until the ribs are almost submerged. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, cover the pan with tinfoil and bake for three hours.
Dry Cooking Pork Ribs
Grilling, which incorporates dry heat, is one of the fastest ways to cook pork ribs. Since grilling can dry meat out, you’ll want to marinate your ribs first. Mix 1/2 cup olive oil with 3 tbsp. of brown sugar, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup diced scallions, 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper and 1 tbsp. chili powder. Use a sharp knife to pole small holes in 2 lbs. of pork ribs for faster cooking, and soak the meat in the marinade overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can soak the meat for two hours. Cook the ribs on a charcoal grill, following the instructions of your specific equipment. After the ribs have been grilling for 30 minutes, measure their temperature with a meat thermometer. The ribs are done when they reach 165 degrees, which should take about an hour. Remove the meat from the grill and let it cool for 20 minutes before eating.
Boiling Pork Ribs
Boiling is an especially fast way to prepare pork ribs. Start with 2 1/2 lbs. of ribs. Place them in a large pot and cover them with water. In a separate dish, mix 1 tbsp. garlic powder, 2 tbsp. black pepper, 2 tbsp. salt and 1 cup barbecue sauce. Add this marinade to the pot containing the ribs. Boil the mixture on your stove on high until the meat is tender. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Put the ribs in a baking dish large enough for each piece of meat to touch the bottom, so that it cooks quickly and thoroughly. Add the barbecue sauce, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for about an hour.
References and ResourcesCooks.com: The Best Pork Ribs
Exploratorium: Science of Meat: Cajun Pork Ribs Recipe
University of Illinois Extension: Pork and Ham
University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Pork Spare Ribs
Resources"Fast Food My Way" Jacques Pepin, Ben Fink; 2004
"Steaks, Chops, Roasts & Ribs" Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine; 2004