There is something about a rack of ribs that makes people want to relax outside on a picnic blanket and dive right in. However, when it comes to health and nutrition, they're not likely to be at the top of any healthy food lists anytime soon.
A full rack of ribs is still a substantial serving. A complete rack of ribs typically consists of 10 to 13 ribs that are 3 to 6 inches long and weigh 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. Meanwhile, the ever-popular half rack of ribs usually holds about five to six ribs and weighs between 12 and 16 ounces.
Calories in Rack of Ribs
A complete rack of ribs (weighing around two pounds) has around 1,100 calories in it. Approximately 550 of those calories are derived from fat. A rack of ribs has 66 grams of total fat, with 24 grams of saturated fat. While this may cause some concern, the story on saturated fat has shifted, even so, there is still much controversy regarding its health implications.
While all meat contains protein, baby back ribs are particularly high in it. A half rack of ribs has 126 grams of high-quality protein. According to Harvard Health Publishing, your specific protein needs are determined by your weight, but a rough rule is 0.16 grams per kilogram of body weight. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need 55 grams of protein per day, according to these standards. Protein requirements increase to 73 grams if you weigh 200 pounds.
Keep in mind that if you're active, attempting to gain muscle, or changing your body composition, your protein requirements will almost certainly be higher. This is a starting point with which you may experiment to discover your sweet spot.
Carbs in a Rack of Ribs
Rack of ribs, like other meats, are devoid of carbs and fiber. This, of course, refers to an entire rack of ribs without any sauces or extras. A rack of baby back ribs slathered in barbecue sauce will have significant amounts of carbohydrates, particularly if your chosen barbecue sauce is high in sugar. Many people are unaware of how much sugar is in BBQ sauce.
A 1/2 cup of pre-bottled barbecue sauce adds 58 total carbs and a staggering 48 grams of sugar to your rack of ribs. That's more additional sugar than is usually suggested for a day's worth of consumption. Men should consume 36 grams of sugar per day, while women should consume 25 grams.
You can keep your ribs healthier by flavoring them with a dry rub instead of sweet barbecue sauce. This will offer a lot of smoky flavor without adding any more carbs or sugar. You may also prepare your own barbecue sauce to keep the quantity of sugar in it under control.
How to Cook Ribs Without Foil
Many people rely on using aluminum foil for cooking their rack of ribs. However, if you're not using foil to cook them, consider baby back ribs, which are the tenderest of the cuts. Because you'll probably lose some more of the liquids in the pan, it's best to start with tender meat because you'll have more wiggle space, but the choice is yours. Spare ribs or country ribs are additional options.
To begin, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit for the ribs. Set down a wire cooling rack inside of a baking sheet. Season the meat to your specific liking. Dry rubs containing paprika, celery salt, pepper, salt, and onion powder are typically excellent options for those embarking on making ribs. Various spice vendors will pre-make these dry rubs for you, so all you have to do is evenly cover the ribs and you're good to go.
After the ribs have been fully seasoned, place them flatly in a layer upon your wire rack in the baking sheet that has been prepared. If you're making two to four pound baby back ribs, you'll need to cook them for one and a half to two hours.
Whatever sort of ribs you pick, make sure that you cook them to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit, as suggested by the USDA. To acquire an accurate measurement of the real rib meat, place your meat thermometer into the meaty, fleshy area of the rib and not immediately into the fat.
Whether you are cooking rack of ribs with or without foil, they are a delicious treat that can feed an entire family - or one very hungry person. However, it is important to keep in mind the nutritional factors that go into a rack of ribs. The calorie and carb count for ribs can be troublesome for some people, but if you eat them in moderation, you will be able to enjoy this amazing meal.