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How to Fix Burnt Ribs? (Restoring Overcooked Ribs)

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Cooking ribs is a tough craft to master, especially if you’re a beginner. A lot of things can go wrong while grilling and you’ll end up with burnt ribs. Things will only go further downhill if the burnt ribs are inedible, wasting precious meat.

How to Fix Burnt Ribs?

Make a 50-50 mixture of apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce and coat the rib. Tightly wrap the rib in aluminum foil and bake it at 300°F for an hour. This will restore some of the moisture and juiciness of the meat. Scrape the extremely burnt and charred bits.

Don’t leave just yet. We got more grounds to cover. Read this article to learn how to salvage your overcooked ribs.

How Do Ribs Get Overcooked?


A lot of the time, ribs are overcooked when it’s grilled above the required temperature. Once the ideal temperature is surpassed, ribs start to lose their moisture and gradually dry out.

How to cook the ribs can have an impact on your ribs being overcooked. People who usually cook ribs on a Charcoal grill don’t keep any measurement of the temperature. In that case, the chances of overcooking ribs are high.

According to seasoned cooks, the optimal temperature to cook ribs is between 195°F to 200°F. Any higher than 203°F, your ribs start to lose their tender qualities. The rib at this point will be considered as an overcooked rib.

A perfectly cooked rib will let you easily separate the meat from the bones. However, it’s very easy to confuse a perfectly cooked rib with an overcooked rib.

The meat of an overcooked rib will easily fall off the bones without any resistance. In addition to that, the overcooked rib will be dry and lose its tenderness.

How to Detect An Overcooked Rib?

An overcooked rib has a number of indicators that can tell you about its overcooked state. Here are some signs that you should look out for-

The Meats Are Burnt

This is an obvious one. When ribs are overcooked to the extreme, they will literally burn the meat.

The rib will form a coating of charred bits that are inedible at best.

But don’t mistake the charred bits with burnt ends. Burnt ends are actually quite popular in Texas and Kansas City, and are delicious as well.

Dry Meat

Overcooked ribs will dry meat, to the point where it can be considered mushy. Dry meats won’t have the same tenderness, let alone the juicy texture.

You’ll be left with a bland piece of meat. So you shouldn’t overcook your ribs unless you like your meat to be dry and chewy.

High Internal Temperature

The optimum internal temperature of the rib meat should be around 195 to 200°F. Surpassing this temperature will overcook your meat and leave it dry and chewy.

You can try a green egg thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the ribs.

Meat Falls off the Bones

An easy way to detect an overcooked rib is by checking the meat. Take a piece of rib and hold it in the air. If the meat easily comes off the bones, then the rib is likely overcooked.

A well-cooked rib will let you easily take off the meat from the bones. But the meat won’t fall off by itself. 

If any of these signs are noticeable in your cooked ribs, you should consider them overcooked.

How to Fix Burnt Ribs?

Now that you’ve reached all the way here, we’re assuming that you overcooked your ribs. Lucky for you, we’re going to unveil the method to fix your overcooked ribs.

All you gotta do is to cook them some more!

Confused? Well, we were too when we learned about this method the first time.  But don’t worry, this method is as counterproductive as you think it is. If anything, this is the only way to salvage your burnt ribs.

What we’re actually aiming to achieve is to restore some moisture in the ribs.

Here’s the step-by-step process you should follow to fix your overcooked ribs-


Step 1: Scrape off Charred Bits

To begin, we must first get rid of the charred bits of the ribs. They are totally inedible and should be thrown out before you fix your overcooked ribs.

If the meat is badly burnt on the surface, use a knife to scrape it off. You should cut off the burnt parts if it’s burnt inside too. The process will go even smoother if your butter the knife first.

Leave only the edible parts and dispose of the rest.

Step 2: Make Vinegar And BBQ Sauce Mixture

In this step, we’re going to make a special sauce for coating the ribs. For this, you’ll require to have apple cider vinegar and BBQ sauce. These are standard ingredients that you can buy alongside groceries.

Make a 1-to-1 ratio mixture of apple cider vinegar and Barbeque sauce.

Step 3: Apply the Sauce

Use a sauce basting brush to apply a coating of the mixture on your ribs. Make sure that the mixture covers every bit of the overcooked rib. Put extra emphasis on the drier parts and apply a thick coat of the mixture.

If you’re looking to buy sauce basting brushes, consider the following options we recommend-


These brushes do a great job basting sauces and oil over the meat. You can get a perfectly balanced layer of coating around your meat by using them.

Step 4: Wrap Up The Ribs

Once you are done coating the rib with the mixture, it’s time to wrap it up. Take an aluminum foil and wrap the coated ribs tightly.

Make sure that you get every bit of the rib covered and let out all the air inside. There should be no leeway for air to get inside.

Step 5: Cook The Ribs

Place the wrapped up ribs in the oven at about 300°F for an hour. This will help the ribs cook with steam, reviving the lost moisture.

Your ribs will gain that tender and delectable flavor you’re expecting from it. 

Keep in mind that this is not a perfect solution. Following this method will restore some of the moisture in your ribs.

The ribs might taste burnt. In that case, apply lemon juice, green tomato, or other green tomato substitutes. Hopefully, they can overpower the burnt taste.

How To Prevent Overcooking Ribs?

As mentioned previously, the cooking method plays a huge part in the outcome of your cooking. 

A lot of articles will tell you to cook your ribs slowly around 225-250°F temperature. But there’s still a chance you’ll end up with burnt, overcooked ribs. And if you’re cooking on a grill, the chances are higher than you think.

There are various measurements you can take to avoid overcooking ribs while grilling. Here are some tips that can save your ribs from getting burnt-

  • Don’t throw the ribs into the grill immediately after getting them out of the refrigerator. Before cooking them, let them get to the temperature of the room.
  • Maintain a cooking temperature of 225-240°F while cooking ribs. Use heat controllers like Green Egg Genius heat controllers to maintain the ideal temperature while cooking.
  • Avoid applying too much rub on the ribs. Too much rub can be a huge reason behind charred and burnt meats.
  • To enjoy the perfectly cooked meat, you should cook low and slow. Hold patience and let the low temperature do its work. Believe us, you won’t regret it!
  • You should foil the ribs properly before setting them to cook. A lot of people ignore this and put the bare minimum foil around the ribs. It leaves your ribs susceptible to losing moisture.
  • Don’t cook your ribs forever! Some of you might take the ‘’Low and slow’’ motto too seriously. This can only end up badly.
  • Make sure to turn your ribs appropriately. Grilling only one side for too long can leave that side burnt.
  • Avoid high heat.


How can I fix burnt taste in ribs?

Splash a little bit of white wine on the slightly burnt food. You can also try lemon juice, tomatoes, and sherry to overpower the burnt taste. If the food is badly burnt, there’s nothing much you can do about it.

Is eating burnt food bad?

Consumption of burnt food can be deadly for human health. Burnt foods usually form components that can cause cancer in the human body. These components include heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which can be fatal if consumed.

How long should I cook my ribs on the grill?

It actually depends on the heat you’re grilling your ribs. But usually, it should take about 2 hours to grill ribs properly. Ribs should be cooked at a temperature of 225°F, whether it’s a Charcoal grill or a gas grill.

Final Words

We’ve finished our guide on how to fix burnt ribs. 

Be sure to carefully get rid of the charred bits of the meat. You should avoid them by any means as they can cause health hazards. It’s best practice to slow-cook the ribs, maintaining the perfect moisture.

Enjoy the ribs!