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.
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+