4 Ways To Tell When Ribs Are Done

Mavis Loh Blog

Barbecuing ribs is not as easy as it seems as the thin layer of meat across the rack makes it difficult to find the sweet spot between cooking them long enough for the fat to render for that beautiful drip-off-the-bone feel and cooking them for so long that they dry out. Want to know the secret to perfectly cooked BBQ ribs? Here’s our guide walking through everything you need to know, and how to know when they’re done.

The Toothpick Test

This is considered one of the easiest methods for testing the readiness of ribs. You take a toothpick and then poke it into the ribs, focusing on the meat between bones. If your ribs are ready, the toothpick should slide in with very little resistance. When using this method, it is important to poke a few more places of the meat, focusing in the centers as well as the thickest places.

The Toothpick Test is great because it causes minimal damage to your ribs. You can effectively test the ribs for readiness and still leave them presentable. Alternatively, to prevent the risks of burning your fingers, you can consider using a skewer!

The Bend Test

In this method, you would need to pick up the slab of ribs using a pair of tongs. You then bounce it slightly and watch out how easily meat cracks and breaks free from the bones. The larger the crack, the more ready the rib. This method is great because it introduces a little creativity and skill into the entire grilling experience. However, its accuracy may not be guaranteed given that there may be a slight variance in the time taken for different ribs on a grill to be ready.

The Twist Test

In this method, you grab a piece of rib and hold it near the middle. Gently twist it and notice how meat falls off from the bone. The more the meat breaking free from the bone, the more likely it is cooked. Be careful with this method as the rib might be hot. Additionally, twisting mars the shape of the ribs and make them less presentable, so do this only if you wish to remove the meats from the bone!

The Peek-a-Boo Test

This is yet another method that simply calls for visual inspection. All you do is cut the ribs and look into them. Usually, a white color denotes readiness. Also, be sure there are no bloody spots as indicated by pinky juices. In case you were cooking with smoke, it is natural for the meat closer to the surface to be a little pinky. However, all meat closer to the center should be tan or white.

However, this is not a practical method when testing the readiness of ribs that are cooking un-cut. After slicing them and finding they are not ready, taking them back to the grill will only mar the cut surface and further tests on readiness may not be accurate.

Alternatively, why do it yourself and risk having food poisoning from uncooked food when you can pass on this responsibility to our professional chefs from Sunday Roast? You might just enjoy your BBQ party a whole lot more, and enjoy well-cooked ribs! What are you waiting for? Book us for your next BBQ party!