By Emma Rensch

Pork ribs make a great family meal or celebratory dinner. Since there are many ways to cook them, you can decide how much effort you want to put in. Pork ribs are made up of fatty muscle that's easy to cook, and plenty of quick and simple options exist.

grilled pork ribs
credit: Magone/iStock/GettyImages
grilled pork ribs

Quick Cooking Methods

Braising the ribs 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 cooked through.

Pan frying is another quick method. Cook the ribs in a pan with oil or butter, on medium-high, turning the ribs occasionally until the meat is brown on all sides. No need to add water or marinade or to cover the pan.

Pan broiling is also fast and easy. It's essentially the same as pan frying, but without the fat.

Baking Pork Ribs

For moist, juicy ribs, bake them in a marinade.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine barbecue sauce and orange juice into a quick marinade. Place ribs in a large casserole dish and add the marinade until the ribs are almost submerged. Cover the pan with tinfoil and bake ribs for 3 hours.

Dry Cooking Pork Ribs

Grilling is a popular way to cook pork ribs. Since it can dry meat out, marinate the ribs first.

Mix olive oil, brown sugar, vinegar, scallions, cayenne pepper and chili powder. Use a sharp knife to poke small holes in the pork ribs for faster cooking, and soak the meat in the marinade overnight. If you're in a hurry, marinate the meat for 2 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 Fahrenheit, 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 the pork ribs first makes them very tender.

Place ribs in a large pot and cover them with water. In a separate dish, mix garlic powder, black pepper, salt and barbecue sauce. Add this marinade to the pot. Boil the ribs on the stove on high heat until the meat is tender.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the ribs in a baking dish large enough for each piece of meat to touch the bottom. Add the barbecue sauce from the original pot, cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for about an hour.