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I am serving ribs at a party, but I can't be at home that afternoon. If I cook them the day before and then finish them off right before party, will them still be tender?

  • It's tender, but it's not necessarily fall-apart-tender if you chill it down. Alton Brown's stew recipe makes use of that trick so you can have tender meat in your stew that doesn't just turn to rags. goodeatsfanpage.com/season11/stew/stewromance.htm ; see scenes 9 through 12. – Joe Sep 2 '15 at 20:47
  • What methods would you be using for cooking? If you are doing a low and slow approach, reheating will be no problem. – Dan Sep 2 '15 at 21:09
  • Pardon my confusion, but are you asking about partially cooking on the first day and finishing on the second; or do you want to fully cook on one day, then re-heat before your party? Thanks! – Sue Oct 11 '15 at 19:10
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The easy (but potentially expensive) answer is sous vide. If you can carefully control the temperature, you can cook your ribs for 24-48 hours before finishing and serving. See this recipe for an example.

If sous vide isn't an option, you can still chill and reheat the ribs. There are several brands of pre-cooked refrigerated ribs in grocery stores that exemplify this. I believe the texture would be more firm, but it could still be very delicious. For the sake of safety, please chill them as quickly as possible. If you stack them into a large pile, it will take a long time to chill, giving bacteria a chance to grow.

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