4

votes

How Do I Cook Ribs Without Losing All the Fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 31, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Lately I have been trying to increase the percent of calories in my diet that come from fat, which is currently around 50-60%, more towards 70-80%. I currently only buy the cheapest cuts of steak, chuck, so instead I thought maybe I'd try ribs. They seemed to be a good compromise between fat content and price.

When I take the ribs out of the package they're looking good with lots of white all over, so I then cover them in my favorite sauce, heat up the oven, and let them cook. When I take them out, however, they've lost a sizable portion of their volume and there's enough fat in the tray to fill up a 10-12oz glass. I've tried cooking them at 225, which is much lower than any of the instructions I could find online, and it seemed to help a little, but not much.

What am I doing wrong? When I cook steaks there is very little fat lost because I cook them so quickly, but the recipes I find for ribs all say to cook them for several hours. Any advice? Or perhaps alternative fatty cuts of meat that aren't too expensive?

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 31, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Gotta give credit to Cooks' Illustrated. This is from one of their genius books, either 30-minute meals or One-dish meals. Both are full of things that are easily adapted to the paleo lifestyle and EASY to do.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on August 31, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Genius! Thanks for sharing.

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on August 31, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Why not pour the fat over the ribs when they are done? I cook beef short ribs in the crockpot with water or broth and spices, and then drink the delicious fatty broth with my ribs.

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8 Answers

3
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on September 01, 2011
at 10:01 AM

Ribs need to be cooked low and slow, which will always render a bunch of fat... the resulting meat is still pretty high in fat though, so I would't worry too much.

As a variant on the other advice here to eat the fat, something I have done is season the ribs with dry rub, wrap them tightly in tin foil, pour a cup or so of wine and/or stock in the foil package, seal it up, and bake for a few hours. When the ribs are done, take them out of the foil while retaining the liquid (can be a little tricky), put the ribs back in the oven to glaze, meanwhile boil down the cooking liquid. It will become thick and syrupy like a the best BBQ sauce you have ever tasted, and contains all of that rendered fat.

3
E639bc85fd42430285596434a6515ad5

(2226)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:19 PM

My favorite way to make ribs is to stew them in beef stock in a dutch oven. (I also generally add either some wine or some coconut water; and sometimes some tomato paste; occasionally coconut milk; and always lots of herbs and spices.) Whatever fat you lose from the meat just ends up in the stew. Yummy.

Other cuts of meat that are fairly similar: lamb necks (generally very cheap), ox tail (more expensive).

2
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:57 PM

I like to cook meat and veggies at the same time, and use the fat that drips off the meat to cook the veggies. I fill a glass casserole dish with whatever veggies I'm making (broccoli, brussel sprouts, or squash usually), then put a rack over the dish and put my meat on top (bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, pork chops, ribs). The fat from the meat drips directly on the veggies, making them more delicious and ensuring I don't lose that delicious fat. For most things, 20ish minutes around 400 degrees works here.

016de26fe61daf799662d3b7b2468324

(688)

on August 31, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Genius! Thanks for sharing.

1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on August 31, 2011
at 06:15 PM

Gotta give credit to Cooks' Illustrated. This is from one of their genius books, either 30-minute meals or One-dish meals. Both are full of things that are easily adapted to the paleo lifestyle and EASY to do.

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:52 PM

I second the others on eating the fat with the meat, and I'd also recommend oxtail- it's inexpensive, has lots of fat, and the bones are great for broth!

2
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:50 PM

While I understand wanting to retain the fat, ribs (IMO) are best smoked over charcoal (or cooked in the oven if this is what you have) and then eaten off the bone. There is a quite a bit of fat retained internally in the meat so I wouldn't worry so much about adding more. You could put a drip pan under them in smoker and catch some of the renderings to add to your veggies or to cook with at some other time. I say cooke them up and enjoy them. If you need more fat, slap some quac on them.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:09 PM

Similar to Phoenix, if I boil or bake meat I pour the juice and fat right onto the meat on the plate and dip the bites of meat in the fat as I eat. Another option is to refrigerate your cooked meat so the fat hardens and you can add it as desired to portions you are reheating.

1
F5a8a14fc6a4d33c2563d0dd3066698a

(714)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:52 PM

If you BBQ them with wood and charcoal at very low heat and put a pan with a little water underneath them the rendered fat will drip into that pan. If you're careful about letting too much ash get in there, the result is a nice block of pork fat with the flavor of smoke and whatever dry rub you used on the ribs.

Then what you have is a fine ingredient to add a smoky flavor to anything you want. Really useful stuff.

Overall, the problem is ribs-- when at their most delicious-- have to be pretty thoroughly cooked at a very low temperature. Thus the fat, no matter what, is going to render. The trick as everyone is pointing out is how best to recover and reuse that rendered fat.

0
189b5f92563aff6742ae46ebec950977

(217)

on August 31, 2011
at 05:41 PM

Like Phoenix and Nance... slow braised in the crock pot with some coconut oil and spices... don't throw out the juice in the bottom... use it to stew veggies in, or make a sauce out of it... you can thicken it with coconut or almond flour and make a gravy..

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