January 8, 2010

Morningstar Hickory BBQ Riblets

This week, I finally get to try the Morningstar Hickory BBQ Riblets that I've had in our freezer for a very long time. I had planned to eat them at the same time as the buffalo wings but we decided that was too much food. Finally, I got the chance to try these out.

Right out of the box, these didn't look like much. The oven directions said to remove the riblets from the plastic pouch, and wrap them in foil. This was a particularly messy procedure, as at least one of the pouches had leaked at some point and so the outsides of both pouches were sticky with barbecue sauce. This wasn't entirely bad, as the sauce itself was delicious! The riblets weren't too pretty, and the sauce was unevenly distributed, but I wrapped them up anyway, and hoped that things would work themselves out.

The biggest mistake I made through this whole procedure was starting to cook them when my wife and I were already hungry, as they take 30 minutes in the oven. Meanwhile, the cooking made the whole house smell like delicious barbecue, only intensifying our hunger. It was at this point when I finally noticed the microwave directions, which said the cooking would actually only take about 4 minutes. I kicked myself for not fully reading the box before starting, and then just continued to drool while I waited, hoping that these actually managed to live up to their delicious aroma.

Finally, after a barbecue-scented eternity, they were done! First thing I noticed, the foil-wrapped packets totally leaked a bunch of sauce. Luckily, I had put them on a tray with edges, otherwise I'd have had barbecue sauce all over my oven. The sauce had distributed across the entire riblet. Or is it "across all four riblets"? In any case, the sauce was evenly distributed. We decided to serve them on some buns, which took some careful planning, since there were four segments, and three fit nicely on a bun. For my wife's, I split them in half, then layered them on the bun, drizzling the extra sauce on top. For mine, I broke off one of the segments, then put the other three, still attached, on the bun, reserving the fourth piece for non-bun sampling purposes. The entire time, I could not stop licking the sauce off my fingers. I'm not kidding when I say this sauce was good!

After all this, I finally got a chance to put this delicious-smelling item into my mouth. And my goodness, it was awesome! It had a nice, meaty texture, and as I'm sure I've stated, the sauce was fantastic! It was equally delicious plain or on a bun. The only disappointing element was that there were only two 4-segment riblets in the box. We really wished there was more.

The experience:
Texture - obviously no bone to gnaw on (sorry, carnivores!) but the texture of the fake meat was nicely chewy and very satisfying
Flavor - OMG! The sauce was amazing! Just a teensy bit spicy, nicely smoky, a little sweet. I wouldn't change a thing.

I do worry that our intense hunger may have skewed the results, as we probably could have eaten the box these came in, with enough barbecue sauce, but I stand by my review. Next time, I'll eat them when I'm not so hungry and compare results.

Final grade for this attempt: A+

19 comments:

  1. I agree that they were super delicious, although at the price they sell for, it may be cheaper to buy /actual ribs/.

    They were 90% of the way to the McRib, which, in my mind, is pretty legendary.

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  2. I may be mistaken, but I think as a general rule, pound-for-pound, fake meat costs more than real meat. Of course real meat comes with a great many externalities that aren't included in the price.

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  3. I think that's fair when it comes to fake hamburger or something - grocery store frozen hamburgers are usually made out of the worst of the worst meat. But this is being compared to ribs!

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  4. Awesome! I picked some of these at the Wedge tonight based on the assumption that there's no requirement that the meat portion of the McRib actually needs to be meat. April is right - these are so close to the guilty pleasure of the McRib that they may be better than the original. Mornigstar definitely hit the mark with these!

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  5. These are one of my favorite fake meat products. The only problem I ever have with them is that sometimes the sauce gets oddly congealed.

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  6. these are definitely one of my favorite things of morning star's pretty much on par with the chicken patties. (you really should try those next time you're in the market for morningstar.

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  7. My boyfriend goes bananas for these. He swears they're a hangover cure, which I can't corroborate, but I definitely agree they're tasty and make a great substitute for rib-esque junk good like the McRib.

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  8. This is in my Top Five of fake meats EVER! And you're right that the sauce is AMAZING. I would eat these all the time even if I weren't vegan. A+ all the way!

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  9. We take these camping and cook them in a well oiled aluminum foil wrap masking sure to leave some space in the wrapping. I add a little water too to prevent sticking. OMG!!! If you like these things already... you'll love them around the campfire. A nice brat bun and some pickles and you're ready to open a McDonalds drive thru in the woods!! These are by far my favorite meatless meat. But really... how can you go wrong with BBQ sauce? The best part... You don't need to bow down to MCD's whim of when they feel like selling them. Get your McRib fix on YOUR timeline!! MorningStar Farms FTW!!

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  10. Target has the best price on these. They are soooo yummy! My husband is an omnivore and he loves them. My meat-eater, vegetarian bashing friends love them too. Makes me hungry thinking about them! Add some vegetarian baked beans, grilled veggies, a little low-fat homemade potato salad and you can pretend that it is Spring!

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  11. Thanks for the review. I went rogue and put them in a pan on the skillet, medium heat for about 15 minutes while I cooked the rest of our meal. The sauce got nice and sticky and they browned on the bottom. Good stuff.

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  12. Just had them last night, wish i had more to eat today...yum!

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  13. One way to save on dishes without sacrificing flavor is to microwave them right in the pouch. Be sure to poke a few holes in the plastic so they don't explode, and then a few minutes later, you're ready to eat. I cut the top plastic film off and leave the bottom to eat right out of it with a fork - doesn't even dirty my plate.

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  14. I love these! My love to eat them chopped up on top of rice and veggies!
    Call me crazy, but didn't these previously come in packs of three? I remember being really disappointed when I only saw two.
    Someone tell me I'm not crazy lol
    I usually do what The Nerd does. I microwave them in the pouch. It's usually pretty fast. But the only thing is that it probably isn't the most healthy way to cook them...in plastic.

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  15. Heaven in my mouth! These are incredible!

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  16. These are amazing! The only downside to these are the price, they are fairly expensive considering that a box is about one serving if you're hungry.

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  17. My fave also! And I found this link searching for a location that sells them in my new city/state. We haven't had any for months! I wish more stores carried them & am glad to read above that Target does. I thaw &/or preheat in microwave on a plate, then use a spatula to cleanly transport them to my little toaster oven tray so they have that baked taste & texture. As vegans, we don't crave meat-flovor, but these are SO good! Glad to know we're not alone, and yes, I believe they did use to come 3 to a box! Gotta find some today to serve with the okra I bought at the farmer's market. ; )

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  18. Boo! Only Walmart stocks these in our region...I refuse to shop there & will request other local grocers who already carry Morningstar Farms to add them to their inventory.

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