BBQ ribs is one of the most popular food when cooking in the backyard. Most people will usually buy a large rack of ribs to cook. For that reason, you may end up with some leftovers after it’s baked or grilled. Since you don’t want any to go to waste, would freezing BBQ ribs be an option?
So, can you freeze BBQ ribs? Yes, you can freeze BBQ ribs. You can either freeze them cooked or raw. Also, it can be frozen with sauce or not. Ensure that it’s well wrapped to prevent the meat from drying out. Properly stored, you can expect barbecue ribs to last in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Does BBQ Ribs Freeze Well?
BBQ ribs that are well-wrapped freeze extremely well. The biggest issue with ribs and most other meat is the risk of them drying out. This is usually due to the meat not being wrapped properly, which will allow air to leak in and cause freezer burn.
To ensure the ribs retain their moisture, keep them wrapped tightly and try to consume it within 2 months.
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How To Freeze BBQ Ribs
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BBQ ribs are usually cooked over the grill as a whole. This will leave you with some leftovers, regardless of how hard you try to finish them.
Below are the steps to freezing BBQ ribs:
Step 1: Allow Ribs To Cool Down
After the BBQ ribs are cooked, allow them to cool down to room temperature. Never freeze ribs that are still hot or even warm. Doing so will cause condensation in the wrap, which will destroy the ribs by becoming soggy.
Step 2: Portion the Ribs
Once the ribs have cooled down to room temperature, you’ll need to decide how to portion them. How large the ribs you can freeze will depend on how much space you have in the freezer.
You can always freeze the ribs as a whole slab or split the rack into several servings. Either way, it will freeze well.
If you’re going to freeze them in portions, slice the ribs carefully between the bones.
Step 3: Wrap Each Portion
Wrap each portion of the ribs individually with cling film. You can also double wrap them for extra protection. With each wrap, gently press on the wrap to remove as much air as you can.
Step 4: Place Into Freezer Bag
Once the ribs are wrapped, place each of them into the freezer bag.
Use several freezer bags if you have a lot of ribs.
After all the ribs are in the freezer bag, press on the bag to remove any excess air and seal it tightly.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write down the content and date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place them into the freezer for storage.
How Long Can You Freeze BBQ Ribs?
BBQ ribs can be frozen for up to 2 months. After that, the quality of the ribs will start to deteriorate.
However, the ribs will still be safe to eat. The only thing you will notice is a change in the flavor. Like more other meat products, ribs tend to lose flavor the longer it’s stored in the freezer.
In order for the ribs to retain the moisture, try to consume them within 2 months. The quicker you eat it, the better it will taste.
How Do You Defrost BBQ Ribs?
For best results, defrost the BBQ ribs in the fridge. Remove the portion of the ribs that you want to use and place it onto a plate and keep them wrapped. Place the ribs into the fridge and let it sit overnight to thaw. Allowing it to thaw slowly in the fridge will help retain its texture and flavors.
Avoid defrosting BBQ ribs or any other meat products at room temperature. The ribs will not thaw evenly throughout. The outside may thaw completely, while the inside is still frozen. This is a good breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which could cause food poisoning.
Can You Refreeze BBQ Ribs?
Yes, you can safely refreeze BBQ ribs. However, make sure that it has been defrosted in the fridge.
When refreezing the ribs, you may find the texture will be a bit tough, and it’s not that moist when you cook them.
Therefore, for optimal quality, it’s best to portion the ribs, so you will only need to take what you need from the freezer without having to refreeze it.
Other Questions about BBQ Ribs
Can you freeze BBQ sauce?
BBQ sauce can be frozen, and they freeze very well. After making your sauce, allow it to cool down before portioning them into small airtight containers. You can also freeze them into ice cubes as well. Once it’s frozen, remove them from the ice cube tray and transfer them to the freezer bag.
If you have store-bought BBQ sauce, it can be frozen as well. If there are a couple of days left before it expired, you can freeze them in airtight containers or use the ice cube method.
Can you dry rub ribs before freezing?
Yes, you can. Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of rub for each pound of meat. It’s best to dry rub raw ribs for the best result. After the ribs are dry rub, wrap them with cling film and place them into a freezer bag. Then transfer the ribs to the freezer for storage. You can keep dry rub ribs in the freezer for up to 2 months.