Who doesn’t enjoy tender, juicy ribs straight from the grill? We all have our preferences for ribs: tender, moist, and meat that falls off the bones, flowing with sauce. Is it, however, always possible to eat freshly barbecued food?
Certainly not, maybe you’d like to optimize the effectiveness of your grill, or perhaps you simply have leftovers from a party. For whatever reason, you’ll almost certainly want to preserve the ribs for another day of mouth-watering bingeing. And as a result, there is a slew of questions about how to store ribs, reheat them, and ensure that they taste good.
Nobody enjoys a rack of ribs drying out, which is why most people avoid keeping ribs for later use. But what if I show you how to reheat ribs and keep them moist? With these helpful culinary ideas, your ribs will taste and smell as good as new.
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How Can You Reheat Ribs And Keep Them Moist?
After your cooked ribs have cooled down to room temperature, it’s time to heat them perfectly. Your best bet for a successful reheat is to go low and slow. Preheat your cooking instrument to the lowest temperature, regardless of which method you use. Your optimal temperature range should range between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. That said, let’s start with our favorite method for reheating ribs.
1. Reheat Ribs In The Oven
Using the oven to reheat your ribs is both easy and reliable, plus it allows you to heat various types of meat—pork ribs are no exception. When it comes to reheating leftover ribs in the oven, the process is similar to the original low and slow method.
Cooking ribs takes patience because they have many connective tissues that’ll take time to turn tender. The same is true when it comes to reheating, but moisture is an additional factor to consider. The following are simple steps for reheating your ribs in the oven:
- First, ensure that the ribs are at room temperature. If you store your ribs in the refrigerator, you should remove them out at least 30 minutes before reheating. This is important if you want them to reheat more evenly
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. The low temperature ensures that the meat is thoroughly warmed without additional cooking
- Placing them on a layer of aluminum foil to add some extra moisture to the ribs. If you serve your ribs with barbecue sauce, spread on an extra coat. If not, the dry-rubbed ribs can dip in the leftover drippings
- Tightly wrap the aluminum foil around the moistened rib, then add another sheet of foil to ensure that liquid doesn’t escape from the meat during heating
- Place the wrapped meat in the oven and heat it for about 30 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the cut and quantity of your meat. For example, spare ribs will take more time than back-cut ribs. As soon as the ribs have warmed up, they are ready to be devoured.
2. Employ a Grill To Moisten Ribs
A grill is also an excellent option for moistening your ribs. Grilling ribs for a long time is generally necessary to ensure that they turn out well. Depending on the ambient temperature, this may cause the ribs to dry out quickly.
Regardless of how perfectly you grilled the ribs, they’ll not lack that original taste if they come out dry. Therefore, it’s critical to remember to moisten the ribs regularly. Thankfully, this is a simple task.
You can simply spray water periodically—after around 20-30 minutes. However, plain water can be dangerous to your recipe. Alternatively, there are a few other liquids that can moist your rib and add flavor simultaneously—including Bourbon, Apple juice, etc.
With just a few modifications, the techniques for reheating ribs on the grill are identical to those for reheating ribs in the oven.
- Ensure that the ribs come to room temperature before turning the grill high for it to preheat—don’t put the ribs straight from the fridge into the fire
- Sprinkle your ribs with sauce, drizzle with drippings, or splash a few drops of water on them after the chill has been removed from the flesh
- Use aluminum foil to wrap the ribs loosely. The breathing space is essential since the grill heat directly, unlike in the oven, which warms from all directions
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the bundle for eight to ten minutes, flipping halfway through
3. Reheat Ribs Using a Microwave
Reheating cooked ribs in a microwave can come in handy when hunger strikes and time is tight. However, you should only use this strategy during emergencies. Unfortunately, even if you smothered the meat with sauce or butter, the microwave tends to dry it up.
Use this approach to reheat frozen ribs, spare ribs, or any other sort of ribs only if you’re in a pinch. While we’re on the subject of frozen ribs, ensure they’re wholly defrosted before reheating cooked ribs.
This process can take anywhere from six to eight hours; therefore, you’ll need to schedule everything ahead of time. That said, use the steps below to reheat your ribs using a microwave—as recommended by Sidoti:
- Put the ribs on the dish with enough room between them to ensure that each piece is fully covered
- Slather barbecue sauce over the ribs to keep them from drying out
- Place the ribs in the microwave and set the temperature to medium
- Heat it for three to five minutes
- Check to confirm if the meat is completely cooked.
- If not thoroughly heated yet, return to the microwave and heat for another three minutes.
4. Reheat Ribs On The Smoker
The smoker is also excellent for reheating ribs—you can make the temperature low and maintain it without much effort. The best way to do it is by brushing Bearded Butcher Blend BBQ Sauce at room-temperature ribs and wrapping them in aluminum foil. Your ribs will slowly reheat and retain their delicious juiciness and taste.
Then insert a meat thermometer into the thickest meat section before placing it on the smoker. The reheated ribs are ready when the internal temperature hits 165 degrees. The amount of time it takes will depend on the thickness of the ribs. Thinner cuts will take less time (up to 30 minutes), whereas larger cuts may take up to an hour.
This is a sure way for getting tasty reheated ribs. Plus, because the smoker is already hot, why not cook something else while you’re doing it?
5. Use Air Fryer
An air fryer simulates deep-fat frying using concentrated hot air, making it ideal for reheating ribs while maintaining a crisp outer.
Unfortunately, the air fryer is not efficient when it comes to wet food. Therefore, it’s best to use it to reheat ribs with a dry rub and not those soaked in a sauce, such as BBQ.
- Preheat your air fryer at 350° F
- Slice up the ribs to allow them to fit comfortably into your air fryer without having to jam them in. Overloading the air fryer will prevent the hot air from evenly circulating, leading to your rib not uniformly warming.
- Add a tablespoon of oil to keep your ribs from drying to bark an extra crispiness
- Check the internal temperature of your ribs after three to four minutes of cooking. Since air fryers may quickly burn food, cook in short bursts to avoid drying out your ribs
6. Use a Steamer
Reheating your ribs in the steamer is an excellent technique to keep the meat juicy while also producing a little basting juice. To perfectly reheat your rib using a steamer, follow these steps:
- Heat a quarter cup of apple juice until it boils. If you’re reheating beef ribs, you can use beer or a thin beef broth instead of apple juice.
- Place the ribs in the steamer basket, cover it, and put it over the pot
- Cook the ribs for around 30 minutes in a steamer. Try not to take the lid off while they’re steaming. This allows the steam to escape and decreases the pan’s temperature. So the more you take off the top, the longer your ribs will take to cook
- Check the temperature of your ribs after 30 minutes. Turn them out onto a platter if they’ve reached 140°F. If not, continue steaming until they get the desired temperature, adding a little liquid to the saucepan as needed
- Season the liquid accumulated at the bottom of the saucepan, give it a good stir, and use it to baste your freshly reheated ribs.
1. How Many Times Can You Reheat Pork Ribs?
There is no standard time length you can safely reheat leftover homemade meals. But limiting the number of times you do so is the ideal approach. You won’t need to reheat one sort of meal more than once in most cases. Separate and store meals in individual servings if you’re making them in bulk.
2. How Do I Keep My Ribs From Drying Out?
You can keep your rib from drying by either wrapping it in foil, covering it with soaking it in liquid, or baste it frequently. When the ribs are fork-tender, remove the cover. Then remove them from liquid, baste with sauce if preferred, and finish cooking on a baking pan or grill.
3. How Long Are Cooked Ribs Good For In The Fridge?
An adequately cooked cookie and stored rib will last for three to four days in the fridge. If you wish to extend its shelf-life, freeze it in covered airtight containers or strong freezer bags. You can wrap them with strong aluminum foil as well.