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Beef Ribs


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#1 Scott Hares

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 09:50 PM

I love a nice meaty trim rack of bbq beef ribs. Most of the time you can only find beef ribs that have been hacked up leaving very little meat on them. Sometimes you come across a meaty trim rack. I suspect these meaty racks happen when the store separates the rib eye from the bones for steaks - that's a good reason to always peruse the meat cooler not matter why you're in the store. I always keep a cooler in the back of my truck for such lucky impromptu finds at any time of the day.

Posted Image

BBQ beef ribs are one of the tastiest things that come out of my smoker. I've heard people tell me that they never did like beef ribs until they tried mine - well, it aint braggin' if it's a fact right? I think the mistake cooks and restaurants make is that they don't cook them hot enough or long enough. The result is a rib that is tough, greasy and just terrible.

Beef ribs have a lot of fat, and they can really take a lot of heat and fat rendering. I like to cook them at 275 to 300 (closer to 300) for four hours in an 18" WSM. That's it - my big secret, easy as that. And, I can tell you that I have never ever eaten a dried up beef rib. Here's how they look:

Posted Image

Really dark and pulled back - a common sight for us bbq people. When I first discovered this technique it was quite by accident. I remember thinking they were ruined char for sure. Luckily I tried one instead of tossing them out. I quickly realized that these were the best beef ribs I had ever cooked or eaten anywhere. I've been cooking them this way since 2007.

Unfortunately, I am not a photography buff so a cell phone camera is as good as I have. This close up is a bit blurry, but hopefully it shows how juicy these beef ribs look when cut open. The color is a beautiful purple from the smoke ring, and you could literally pluck a hunk of meat off, dip it in your favorite sauce of choice and pop that tasty morsel it in the mouth - that's heaven on earth right there, and it's that easy to make.

Posted Image

Prep them just like you do pork ribs, removing the membrane and excess fat from the back. Don't waste a lot of time getting aggressive with trimming fat. Let the heat render the fat for you.

When purchasing beef ribs, whether you find the meaty cut racks or only the hacked up racks, there is one other thing I like to look for before I buy. Try to get a good look at the belly cut edge of the rack. Beef ribs have a sheet of fat that that connects bone to bone. You can see this sheet in the cut edge. Sometimes that sheet is thick, sometimes it's thin. I like to select the racks with a thin fat sheet. But make no mistake - cooking for 4 hours @ 300 is going to render most of than sheet no matter how thick it is.

Also, know that even with the primary membrane removed from the back, the secondary membrane on beef ribs will get very tough and papery when cooked. It's all part of the fun to eat around or peel off before eating.

Next picture please...

Ohhh, now how did that ole Jake Steel work his way into this article? He sure does enjoy the bones, that's for sure. But make sure to remove that knuckle bone off the spine end before you hand your happy pup that treat.

Posted Image

I hope this article inspires you to try cooking bbq beef ribs, especially if you haven't been excited about the results in the past. And if you've got some beef rib techniques that are working for you then please post below. Thanks for reading.

#2 Darry Smith

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:21 PM

Scott,

Looks tasty, where you buying those around here?

#3 John Jackson

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 07:46 AM

View PostScott Hares, on 08 January 2012 - 09:50 PM, said:

I love a nice meaty trim rack of bbq beef ribs. Most of the time you can only find beef ribs that have been hacked up leaving very little meat on them. Sometimes you come across a meaty trim rack. I suspect these meaty racks happen when the store separates the rib eye from the bones for steaks - that's a good reason to always peruse the meat cooler not matter why you're in the store. I always keep a cooler in the back of my truck for such lucky impromptu finds at any time of the day.

Posted Image

BBQ beef ribs are one of the tastiest things that come out of my smoker. I've heard people tell me that they never did like beef ribs until they tried mine - well, it aint braggin' if it's a fact right? I think the mistake cooks and restaurants make is that they don't cook them hot enough or long enough. The result is a rib that is tough, greasy and just terrible.

Beef ribs have a lot of fat, and they can really take a lot of heat and fat rendering. I like to cook them at 275 to 300 (closer to 300) for four hours in an 18" WSM. That's it - my big secret, easy as that. And, I can tell you that I have never ever eaten a dried up beef rib. Here's how they look:

Posted Image

Really dark and pulled back - a common sight for us bbq people. When I first discovered this technique it was quite by accident. I remember thinking they were ruined char for sure. Luckily I tried one instead of tossing them out. I quickly realized that these were the best beef ribs I had ever cooked or eaten anywhere. I've been cooking them this way since 2007.

Unfortunately, I am not a photography buff so a cell phone camera is as good as I have. This close up is a bit blurry, but hopefully it shows how juicy these beef ribs look when cut open. The color is a beautiful purple from the smoke ring, and you could literally pluck a hunk of meat off, dip it in your favorite sauce of choice and pop that tasty morsel it in the mouth - that's heaven on earth right there, and it's that easy to make.

Posted Image

Prep them just like you do pork ribs, removing the membrane and excess fat from the back. Don't waste a lot of time getting aggressive with trimming fat. Let the heat render the fat for you.

When purchasing beef ribs, whether you find the meaty cut racks or only the hacked up racks, there is one other thing I like to look for before I buy. Try to get a good look at the belly cut edge of the rack. Beef ribs have a sheet of fat that that connects bone to bone. You can see this sheet in the cut edge. Sometimes that sheet is thick, sometimes it's thin. I like to select the racks with a thin fat sheet. But make no mistake - cooking for 4 hours @ 300 is going to render most of than sheet no matter how thick it is.

Also, know that even with the primary membrane removed from the back, the secondary membrane on beef ribs will get very tough and papery when cooked. It's all part of the fun to eat around or peel off before eating.

Next picture please...

Ohhh, now how did that ole Jake Steel work his way into this article? He sure does enjoy the bones, that's for sure. But make sure to remove that knuckle bone off the spine end before you hand your happy pup that treat.

Posted Image

I hope this article inspires you to try cooking bbq beef ribs, especially if you haven't been excited about the results in the past. And if you've got some beef rib techniques that are working for you then please post below. Thanks for reading.

very nice post but what was the soundtrack?

#4 Scott Hares

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:08 AM

View PostDarry Smith, on 08 January 2012 - 10:21 PM, said:

Looks tasty, where you buying those around here?
Thanks Smitty, I get those meaty cut ribs at regular grocery stores, but you have to grab them when you find them. Those two racks were purchased on different days over a couple weeks.

View PostJohn Jackson, on 09 January 2012 - 07:46 AM, said:

very nice post but what was the soundtrack?
Ha! It's got to be Lights Out In London for me, but if a little Seline Dijon is what floats your boat I wont tell anyone... :whistle:

#5 Adam Hollman

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:27 AM

Thanks for posting this Scott!

I haven't ventured into beef rib territory yet. I see them at the grocery store a lot, but like you say, they always seem to be hacked up. It looks like they have cut out all the meat between bones. I may take a more serious look now, especially at some other stores in the area than just my usual grocery store.

This has been on my list to try for a while. The couple times I have eaten them at a BBQ joint I have been very disappoint.

Do you recommend any particular rub that works well for beef ribs?

#6 Matt Dalton

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

How bout this for a beef rib?..All hogs style!
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#7 Henry Silvestre

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:35 AM

View Postmatt dalton, on 09 January 2012 - 10:43 AM, said:

How bout this for a beef rib?..All hogs style!
Posted Image

Nothing like the Wildomar Ultimate BBQ Showdown East vs West... to find out who can and who can't cook BEEF RIBS.. as it is the 5th Category.. and it pays out just like the main 4 categories do...

#8 Kevin Barteaux

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:35 PM

View PostAdam Hollman, on 09 January 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

I see them at the grocery store a lot, but like you say, they always seem to be hacked up. It looks like they have cut out all the meat between bones. I may take a more serious look now, especially at some other stores in the area than just my usual grocery store.
You can always just get short ribs before they are cut.

#9 Sylvie Curry

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:46 PM

View PostKevin Barteaux, on 09 January 2012 - 12:35 PM, said:

You can always just get short ribs before they are cut.
I found very meaty beef short ribs in 3 bone sections at RD. For Thanksgiving, I smoked them in the WSM and they turned out great. Similar time schedule to pork ribs. They are a bit pricey though.

#10 Sylvie Curry

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 05:50 PM

Great looking ribs Scott. I love the info and process you posted. I'm printing for my recipe file. Thank you

#11 Scott Hares

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:14 PM

View PostAdam Hollman, on 09 January 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

...
Do you recommend any particular rub that works well for beef ribs?
Thanks Adam. I like steak rubs - Montreal or a Santa Maria style, nice and savory simple. Same goes for the sauce, something savory, not sweet.

#12 Jerry Aguilar

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:03 AM

In contests like Wildomar where there is a beef ribs entry, are short ribs what is usually turned in? I can't imagine turning in 6 big bones in one clamshell. ...or even trying to cut them.

#13 Donna Fong

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

View PostAdam Hollman, on 09 January 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

Thanks for posting this Scott!

I haven't ventured into beef rib territory yet. I see them at the grocery store a lot, but like you say, they always seem to be hacked up. It looks like they have cut out all the meat between bones. I may take a more serious look now, especially at some other stores in the area than just my usual grocery store.

This has been on my list to try for a while. The couple times I have eaten them at a BBQ joint I have been very disappoint.

Do you recommend any particular rub that works well for beef ribs?

For those up north, the best beef ribs I have ever tasted were at Harry Stewart's restaurant in Alameda. He makes an amazing beef rib. I didn't even think to try it except a master judge mentioned to me that I should try a GAB beef rib. It was worth every cent.

#14 Pat Kennealy

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

Boy those look delicious Scott. For me, I have found two ways to get great beef ribs.

1) Buy a standing rib roast, then cut away from the rack before slicing. (alternative is ask the butcher to crib the roast, they cut the roast away from the rack and then tie it back on)

2) Talk to the local butcher, have them save the racks when prepping boneless rib roasts for others (yes, some people request the removal of the bones) If they know how much you enjoy the ribs, they will leave a little extra meat on them for you. (Always remember to bring the butcher a leftover sample)

Both of these are somewhat inexpensive during the holidays, especially at Christmas time. But even "off season" these are great ribs and worth the price.

Personally I keep seasoning for the beef ribs quite simple, salt and pepper, or maybe some garlic salt.

#15 harry stewart

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 09:53 AM

We use the same beef ribs that Sylvie mentioned she picked up at RD. Superior Angus Beef 3 Bone short rib. A light rub is applied sparsley. Less is better in this case. Turbinado sugar Kosher Salt # 14 cracked pepper granulated garlic and onion, a couple of chili powders one light one dark. Cook until probe tender, sauce lightly sauce immediatly after being removed from the pit and let rest. I don't have any pics, they go fast.

View PostDonna Fong, on 13 January 2012 - 06:33 PM, said:

For those up north, the best beef ribs I have ever tasted were at Harry Stewart's restaurant in Alameda. He makes an amazing beef rib. I didn't even think to try it except a master judge mentioned to me that I should try a GAB beef rib. It was worth every cent.

Edited by harry stewart, 14 January 2012 - 10:18 AM.


#16 Darry Smith

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:54 AM

View Postharry stewart, on 14 January 2012 - 09:53 AM, said:

We use the same beef ribs that Sylvie mentioned she picked up at RD. Superior Angus Beef 3 Bone short rib. A light rub is applied sparsley. Less is better in this case. Turbinado sugar Kosher Salt # 14 cracked pepper granulated garlic and onion, a couple of chili powders one light one dark. Cook until probe tender, sauce lightly sauce immediatly after being removed from the pit and let rest. I don't have any pics, they go fast.


I'd like to come try some of these, what day is a good day to order these at your place?

#17 John Kelly

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 09:49 AM

View PostDarry Smith, on 08 January 2012 - 10:21 PM, said:

Scott,

Looks tasty, where you buying those around here?

SJ RD has 7-bone racks of Superior Angus Beef, 3 racks to a cryopack weighing in at just over 13 pounds for $2.89/lb as of 3 weeks ago. Lots of meat and no shiners. What fat there was was white. The meat was nice and fresh with little or no blood in the cryopack.

I cook beef ribs low-and-slow same as spares but would like to try Scott's technique. These racks are good size so laying them flat in an 18 inch WSM might not work so you might have to roll them or cut them.

#18 Sylvie Curry

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 12:52 PM

View PostJerry Aguilar, on 13 January 2012 - 07:03 AM, said:

In contests like Wildomar where there is a beef ribs entry, are short ribs what is usually turned in? I can't imagine turning in 6 big bones in one clamshell. ...or even trying to cut them.
Last year at Wildomar we placed 3rd and it got us $100 using short ribs (2X three bone rack from RD). They used large clamshells and did not require them to close completely. Cutting them into individual bones was easy.

Edited by Sylvie Curry, 15 January 2012 - 12:53 PM.


#19 Jerry Aguilar

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:55 AM

View PostSylvie Curry, on 15 January 2012 - 12:52 PM, said:

They used large clamshells and did not require them to close completely.
Makes sense, thanks Sylvie. ....now off to practice beef ribs!

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Posted 24 February 2012 - 09:50 AM

I have only cooked beef ribs a few times and regretted it each time. I'm certain it was because of the poor quality of meat from the local market.

I spent a few months working in Corsicana TX some 12 years ago and the quality of meat was just amazing. I'll have to start looking for beef ribs more often because I judged the rib contest at wildomar and WOW it was a whole new ball game. Clearly the boxes I judged where not a local store bought rib and was just amazing.




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