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Why Beer makes meat tender?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

I'm not a chef so I do not really know and understand all the tricks, but I had a discussion with one of my friend that had experience as chef in a small bistro. I told him that when I boil my ribs during 45 minutes in water with 1 or 2 bottle of beer, preferabely a stout or a dark beer, and brown sugar that makes my ribs much more tender than just boiling them with ordinary water.

Basically, he told me that the beer could make it more tastier but would not affect the tenderness of the ribs, especially if I boil them in it. Boiling meat would make the meat harder based on what he said. I know there are lots of marinade made with beer and marinating meat in the beer make it more tender, but is that posible that boiling them 45 minutes in water with beer could not affect the rib tenderness and why?

Thanks for your help,

post #2 of 8
Now why would you ruin a good set of ribs by boiling them? Grill or smoke those suckers! :)
post #3 of 8
:eek: Save the boiling water for pasta, and drink the beer leisurely while you SLOOOWWWWLLLY grill the ribs on indirect heat. Failing access to a grill, tent them under foil and slow roast them in the oven.

The secret to tender ribs is in the rate at which the meat rises to the finish temperature, boiling water brings it up too fast to accomplish the breakdown of the connective tissues that is at the heart of tenderization.

Spending the afternoon tending to several slabs on the smoker grill is a slice of heaven. Lots of time for cameraderie, appetizers, cold beverages, and friends awaiting your masterpiece. Rub them down with your choice of spice blends the night before, or at least first thing in the AM, and let the grill do it's magic. You can experiment with time and temperature, but 4 hours at 140-160 degrees works for me, then raise it up to 325 or so to finish them.
No sauce until the last 30 minutes, then bring the heat up to carmelize the sauce.

Finger lickin', napkin snaggin' and rippin' ribs are what grills were made for, that and a good steak.
post #4 of 8

It's not the beer....

It's the heat that's tenderizing the meat.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
If no one will follow you, you can't be the leader.
post #5 of 8
Cook'em, bake'em, smoke'em, grill'em, braise'em...but please don't boil'em *(unless your making rib soup) ;)

oh yeah...enjoy the brew :)

post #6 of 8


Eric, when cooking with beer you are adding flavor to your food. As far as tenderness goes, there is no difference between boiling ribs in water or boiling ribs in beer it has to do with the amount of time you spent boiling the ribs that caused the tenderness to be effected. I am wondering why you boil the ribs instead of grilling, smoking, baking, or broiling them. But, if it works.....
I hope this answered your question..
post #7 of 8
First job I had out of cooking school was for a large ski resort. Seems like we had Beef Ribs for every party; you can imagine the calus I got from cutting side after side! We (not my decision please!) boiled them 'till done, then basted them in oven. I guess we never had to risk them not being cooked through and moved them through the oven as needed (since they were "done", we only needed to make a good crust if we were short of space/time). I remember the day I could no longer hold my laughter/derision as people came to tell us "...these are the best ribs I've eaten!..."
post #8 of 8
Oi veh...Boiling, now that's a dirty word for me. Like everyone else says, long and slow, preferbly with low moisture cooking methods, but if you want to use a flavoured liquid, poaching is the word. Just make sure the liquid never goes over the boiling point (Oops I said that 4 lettered word again...)
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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