Recipe How To: Ultimate Rack of Low Carb & Keto Ribs
If you’ve never had a really amazing, super tender, fall-off-the-bone rack of ribs before, you are missing out on one of the best eating experiences the world has to offer. There’s just something about the flavour of the sauce and seasonings, combined with the rich taste of slow-cooked meat, that gets our taste buds fired up and craving ribs.
However, there are some tips and tricks that are handy to know before you start cooking up a batch of ribs that will help ensure you avoid tough, chewy results and make certain that you end up with the perfect rack everyone will want to devour.
Choose Your Ribs Wisely
First, it’s important to know how to pick a great set of ribs when you’re browsing the grocery store or butcher shop. You’ll need to look at the types of ribs, as well as a few telltale signs of great ribs.
Side Ribs vs. Back Ribs
If you ask 10 different rib chefs which is better, side ribs or back ribs, you’ll probably get an even 50/50 split of opinions. Both styles of rib have their pros and cons, but it really all comes down to your personal preference.
Side ribs, also known as spareribs, come from the side of the belly section of the pig or cow. They’re a longer rib that comes in a fairly uniform, rectangular-shaped rack. Chances are if you see an image of a very symmetrical rack of ribs with long bones on a restaurant menu, they’ll be side ribs.
Some rib chefs find side ribs to be a little tricky to cook, since they are lower in meat content and higher in fat, but when done right they are often described as ‘bacon on a bone’. If you’re going to work with side ribs, be prepared to really take your time with them.
Back ribs are cut from the area of the pig or cow closer to the spine and have shorter bones, but are generally meatier than a typical side rib. Back ribs are more forgiving in their cooking, and can be ready faster than side ribs. This makes them extremely popular for home cooking, and you can find them much more easily at a wider variety of supermarkets and butcher shops.
Beef Ribs vs. Pork Ribs
When it comes to beef vs. pork, your personal preference is really the deciding factor. Both types are extremely delicious, and for the most part use the same cooking techniques. If you can’t decide, simply ask the butcher which is the better cut they have in stock at that time, or just flip a coin. You won’t be disappointed with either beef or pork if they are cooked the right way.
What should I look for in a rack of ribs?
First and foremost, look for the thickness of the meat on the ribs. The best ribs will be very meaty, and also have a nice distribution of fat throughout. The fat helps keep the ribs tender and adds flavour, so if you see a rack that’s just all muscle, move to the next one.
Next, you’ll want to check for exposed bones protruding from the meat, which are colloquially known as ‘shiners’ in the rib world. The best racks of ribs will have meat right to the end of the bones, since the meat will naturally contract as it cooks anyway. If you see a ton of exposed bones, it just means you’re paying more for less meat.
And finally, always go fresh if you can. Like any other cut of meat, fresh ribs will provide better results than ribs that have been frozen. However, if frozen is all you’ve got, don’t stress about it. Just make sure to thaw the racks completely before cooking to get the best taste and results.
To Sauce or To Rub?
When you picture ribs, chances are your default image is that of saucy, sticky, ribs fresh off the grill. However, dry rub ribs are amazingly delicious too, and offer a very different flavour experience.
At the end of the day, this is another one of those personal preference things. If you’re in the mood for a classic rib taste, then sauce them up. But if you want to explore some new flavours, then get rubbing. Both methods are going to give you a rack of ribs that will surely have you licking your fingers afterwards.
For amazingly delicious, saucy ribs, give Crazy Mooskies Original BBQ Sauce a try. It’s sugar-free and with just 1g of carbs per serving, perfect for low carb and keto dieters alike.
To get your rub on in style, check out this incredible Cajun Spice Rub from Hot Mamas. It’s got a big, bold taste and enough heat to get you sweating in a good way. This stuff is fantastic for a great big rack of low carb dry rub ribs!
There are countless recipes out there for all different kinds of ribs, and everyone has different methods that they’ve perfected over the years for great tasting pork and beef ribs. We’ve got a few of the best to share at the end of this article, but we also wanted to share with you a tried-and-true method for making consistently amazing ribs that’s super easy and will make you feel like a real pro even if it’s your first time.
Never-Fail Fall-off-the-Bone Low Carb Ribs
This recipe is incredibly easy, and in just a few steps you’ll be devouring amazing ribs that everyone will love! It uses the slow cooker for most of the cooking process, so you’ll need to get things going in the morning to have it all ready for dinner time. You can use either your bbq or oven to finish the ribs, which is great because that means you can use this recipe year-round even if you don’t want to grill in the snow in February!
Here’s all that you’ll need:
- 1 portion of back or side ribs per person (usually about 5-8 ribs each)
- Your favourite low carb bbq sauce or low carb dry rub seasoning
- Slow cooker
- Aluminum foil
- Oven or bbq grill
Step 1 – Cut the racks of ribs in to portions of about 5-8 ribs each, one per person. If you’re serving a bunch of sides with the meal, perhaps go down to about 4-5 ribs per portion.
Step 2 – Place each portion of ribs on a piece of foil and season liberally with your choice of sauce or dry rub. Be sure to coat both sides. Then wrap them up tight.
Step 3 – Put the wrapped rib portions in the slow cooker, standing them on end so that you can fit many side-by-side. Pour in about ½ cup of water to the bottom of the slow cooker, and set on low for about 8hrs. The key to fall-off-the-bone ribs is ‘low and slow’.
Step 4 – Once the ribs are done in the slow cooker, preheat the BBQ or oven to 350°F. Remove the packs of ribs from the slow cooker open them up, making sure that the meaty part of the ribs faces up, but leave them lying on the foil.
Step 5 – If you’ve used sauce for your ribs, brush a thin layer of fresh sauce on the meat. If you’ve used dry rub for your ribs, brush them with some of the juice in the foil packs and sprinkle with a little extra rub.
Step 6 – Place the opened foil packs of ribs on the grill or in the bbq (use a large baking sheet to make this easier to put them all in at once and remove all at once when done). Bake in the oven or roast on the grill for about 20-30 minutes, just enough to make the top of sauced ribs sticky and the outer meat on dry ribs a bit crispy.
Step 7 – Remove the ribs from the opened foil packs, and begin the feast! This recipe produces ribs with meat that is amazingly tender and falls right off the bone with no effort, each and every time.
Extra tip: Prepare each portion of ribs with a different sauce or dry rub and share them all to experience a lot of different great flavours of rib together.
More Rib Recipes for Low Carb & Keto Dieters
Looking for more inspiration and other cooking methods to try? Here are some of the best low carb and keto rib recipes from around the web.
It’s Rib Time!
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and plan your own rib night for this weekend and bring the ultimate rack of low carb and keto ribs to the table. Your family will thank you, and we’re sure you’ll earn the title of Rib Champion in no time. Raise a rib and cheer!