Whether you fire them up on the grill or bake them in the oven, tender, fall-off-the-bone pork ribs are always the goal. Smothered in a bath of tangy barbecue sauce, the meat should always be juicy and flavorful. Yet against all our best efforts, sometimes pork ribs end up being dry and tough. Thankfully, a little vinegar delivers the ribs you deserve.
As an acid, vinegar wears down the fibers, collagen, and protein found within the meat, allowing liquid to better enter the meat and resulting in succulent ribs. While you can use almost any type of vinegar you prefer, apple cider vinegar is a top-notch choice. Its sweet, tangy flavor complements pork's mild, savory taste. Plus, ACV is a great ingredient for balanced BBQ sauce.
To moisten your dried pork ribs, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and barbecue sauce and cover the ribs in them. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and place them in the oven or on the smoker at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Within one hour, they should be flavorful and supple.
Try These Other Methods To Tenderize Dry Ribs
If you don't have apple cider vinegar or don't care for its zesty bite, marinating ribs in yogurt works just as well. Although the dairy product's pH level is slightly higher than other acids like vinegar or lemon juice, it's still an excellent tenderizer for ribs. The dairy gives the ribs a slightly crisp, caramelized coating with a soft interior that melts into your mouth. Keep in mind that yogurt counteracts spice, so you may need to overcompensate with how much pepper you add.
No matter what you use to marinate the ribs, having patience is the most important key to moist ribs. The meat needs to be cooked at lower temperatures for a longer period of time -- otherwise, they'll end up dry and tough. Steaming them also ensures that they don't dry out. You can add hot water to the water pan under the grill or steam them in the oven.
Place the ribs in a pan and add a small amount of water at the bottom. Cover it with foil and allow it to cook for around 40 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, cut a small hole in the foil and turn down the heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, letting the ribs cook for an hour or two more.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.