How To Reheat Ribs And Still Have Them Tender And Juicy

We had our regular barbecue last weekend and this time, we made a ton of ribs that everybody loved. It was delicious, juicy, and tender, making it great with sandwiches.

But we have all been there, right after eating and people left, we had a lot of leftover ribs, and I would never throw away such delicious cuts of meat.

The best option there is to reheat the leftover ribs. They can still be delicious the next day for a very healthy and fulfilling meal with the family.

The problem is that cooking ribs and reheating them are completely different process wherein reheating the ribs has more risks of drying them out and making them hard.

It is important to know how to properly reheat these amazing racks to remain juicy and tender for the next meal.

Here in this post, you can use different appliances and processes to reheat the ribs to create a juicy and tender finish.

How To Reheat Ribs In The Air Fryer

Air frying leftover ribs is easy and will ensure that the ribs stay tender and juicy. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and then reheat the ribs for 5 to 8 minutes.

Since ribs have bones inside them, there is no need to reheat them in the air fryer for too long. The hot air inside the air fryer can penetrate the meat and reheat it perfectly.

Cut up the ribs first so they can fit inside the air fryer basket, add a teaspoon of oil to the ribs before placing them in the air fryer and this will create a beautiful crust on the ribs.

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut up the ribs to fit in the air fryer basket.
  3. Add a teaspoon of oil.
  4. Allow to reheat for 5 to 8 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

How To Reheat Ribs In A Microwave Oven

While reheating ribs in the microwave may seem easy, it is also easy to mess up if you do not know how long to cook it.

 In seconds, the ribs can turn from tender and juicy to tough and chewy.

Make sure to select the proper setting on the microwave at about medium-high and then reheat the ribs. 

If you have a smaller oven, cut the ribs into smaller pieces to fit in the microwave oven.

Reheating the ribs in the microwave will take about 3 to 5 minutes. Covering the ribs with damp paper towels, plastic wrap, or foil will also help retain the ribs’ juices.

  1. Cut the ribs into sizes that will fit in the microwave.
  2. Palace the ribs in a microwave oven-safe dish.
  3. Cover the ribs with foil, plastic wrap, or a damp paper towel.
  4. Place the microwave and reheat for 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Once the internal temp reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the ribs from the microwave.

How To Reheat Ribs On The Stovetop

Reaheating the ribs on stovetop is the easiest, and I use this method quite often.

Simply place a quarter cup of either apple juice, thin beef broth, or beer in a pot and heat it on the stovetop over medium heat. 

Once the liquid is boiling, place the ribs in a steamer basket, put it over the pot, and then cover, this should take about 30 minutes to properly reheat the ribs.

Once you reheat ribs, you can pour the remaining liquid in the pot can even be poured over the ribs to retain the moisture and juiciness of the ribs.

  1. Boil a quarter cup of apple juice, beer, or thin beef broth on the stovetop over medium heat.
  2. Place the ribs in a steamer basket and cover.
  3. Reheat for 30 minutes or until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Pour the remaining liquid over the ribs and serve!

The Sous Vide Method

Another method that you can use to reheat ribs on the stovetop is the Sous Vide. This process involves cooking or reheating the ribs in the water while the ribs are inside a sealed bag.

  1. Put water in the pot until it is 3/4 full.
  2. Place the ribs in a sealable bag and then close.
  3. Once the water is boiling, place the bag of ribs in the water.
  4. Allow it to cook or reheat for 45 minutes (additional 30 minutes for frozen ribs).
  5. Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 140F, remove them from the water.
  6. Place on a plate and serve!

How To Reheat Ribs On The Grill

The first thing to remember when reheating ribs from the fridge is to allow them to come up to room temperature. Leave the ribs for 30 minutes at room temperature before reheating them.

The grill should be preheating while the ribs are coming up to room temperature. Set the grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Reheat the ribs on the grill for about 8 to 10 minutes and this will give the ribs the same juiciness, BBQ flavor, and tender texture when reheated.

  1. Allow the ribs to come up to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the grill to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Wrap the ribs loosely with aluminum foil.
  4. Reheat the ribs for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them at the halfway point.
  5. Remove them from the grill once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

How To Reheat Ribs On Crockpot

While it may take longer, reheating ribs in the crockpot or slow cooker ensures that the ribs are perfectly juicy and tender when they come out.

Set the crockpot to low heat and place as many ribs as fit in the crockpot. Adding water to the crockpot will also help seal the moisture inside the ribs.

This will take hours so doing it early in the afternoon will fit right before dinner so there is a lot of time to prepare side dishes and other combos with the ribs.

  1. Turn the crockpot on and set it to warm or low if it does not have a warm setting. 
  2. Put water in the crockpot. Fill 1/3 water in the crockpot if there is no sauce on the ribs. If the ribs have sauce, fill up the crockpot with enough water to cover the bottom of the crockpot if there is sauce on the ribs.
  1. Place the ribs in the crockpot using tongs and then allow them to reheat for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

This method is great as it leaves the ribs tender and juicy after reheating them for that long, but the time is the downside. This, however, can be done with ribs stored in the fridge or freezer.

How To Store Leftover Cooked Ribs

Allowing the ribs to cool down is the first step in storing them. However, do not leave them at room temperature for more than 2 hours after cooling down.

Properly storing the ribs is a huge factor in prolonging their shelf life. The same goes with reheated ribs as they should not be sitting on the table for more than 2 hours.

After 2 hours, there is a chance that the reheated ribs have started developing some bacterial growth inside the meat even if stored in a sealed container.

This brings me to the next point- wrap leftover cooked ribs in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it a airtight container in the freezer.

The above method will prevent any bacteria from developing ribs. 

Even if the ribs are in an airtight container, best to keep them away from any uncooked meat/ raw meat in the refrigerator or freezer.

How To Store Ribs In The Refrigerator

First, let the ribs cool down to room temperature, but prepare them for storing before they hit the 2-hour mark.

Wrap the ribs with aluminum foil and then place them in an airtight container. Simply place the container of ribs in the refrigerator away from any uncooked meat.

The ribs should be safe in there for a few days, before reheating the ribs, make sure to allow them to come up to room temperature before placing them in the oven or grill.

How To Store Ribs In The Freezer

Like storing them in the fridge, storing them in the freezer starts with cooling down the rack of ribs to room temperature before wrapping them in aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

The aluminum foil will protect the meat from freezer burns. Instead of using just an airtight container, place the ribs in an airtight and freezer-safe container.

Freezing the ribs will prolong their shelf life but there might be risks of drying them out and can become hard even after reheating them.

Note: Always thaw the rack of ribs before reheating them so that the heat can easily get to the meat instead of burning the crust and leaving the interior cold and hard.

How Long Do Ribs Last In The Refrigerator?

When you store the ribs using the tips mentioned above then the cooked ribs can last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

This rule goes with any cooked food. After 4 days, chances are the ribs might have developed bacteria in them that can pose a threat to your health so be wary after the 4 day mark.

Putting the ribs in the freezer will store and preserve the ribs for longer. It can take around 3 months in the freezer before the ribs’ quality deteriorates.

If stored well, the ribs, can last for up to a year in the freezer and can still be safely eaten, although the ribs’ flavor, texture, and overall quality will not be as good.

Whether you store the ribs in the freezer for a month or in the refrigerator for 3 days, you should always thaw before reheating for a juicier and more tender result.

Can You Eat Cold Ribs?

If the ribs are placed in the fridge and sealed up pretty nicely, it is safe to eat them. While I prefer hot and tender ribs, some people like serving ribs cold.

That does not mean that I haven’t tried it, I have. Eating a really small slice of ribs cold and straight out of the fridge is safe as long as it did not contact the outside.

However, I prefer heating them for a bit if I am to serve a larger quantity than just for snacking.

How To Reheat And Keep Ribs Juicy

The best way to reheat ribs and keep them juicy is on the grill while adding some of the leftover sauce when reheating, and this will keep the ribs moist and tender.

No matter the cooking appliance you use, adding a little liquid is great to keep the ribs juicy without drying them out.

So in the air fryer, adding a little bit of oil will help seal the juice inside the meat while also creating a crispy crust on the ribs.

The microwave oven method is where you can use damp towels so that the juices inside the ribs do not evaporate too quickly.

Having leftover sauce is perfect as it will give the ribs their original flavor while keeping them moist.

It is easy to reheat ribs while keeping them juicy and tender, there are just some simple adjustments and tricks to do this and you have the simple guides above to help you for your next hearty meal!

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