How I do BBQ Beef Ribs,
one of my VERY FAVORITE BBQ Meats !!!
Beef Ribs are a different
animal than Pork Ribs (literally). There’s no selection of backs versus
spares to worry about, just 12-inch lengths with no breastbone attached.
BUT, you can find a "premium" version that has more meat than others
(not trimmed as close to the bone), and of course they will cost more.
BUT, I still like the ones I am about to describe. Which are, typically 3.5 lbs per rack
with 7 bones. I basically cook Beef Ribs exactly like I do Pork Spare
Ribs (almost). They cost between $0.59/lb to $1.49/lb. Typically I buy a
frozen block of 50-55 lbs. and they typically run under $75 per case. That
50-55 lb block is unwrapped, layered slabs, and frozen
solid. But, lightly covered with a plastic sheet top and bottom in the box/case. Let a
case defrost in refrigeration for 4-7 days before processing.
Remove from the package/box and
immediately remove the membrane on the back side of the ribs.
My favorite method is to take a skinning knife (like a Forschner
Skinner) and slice the fat/membrane off the back of the beef ribs. This
is much easier than the method I describe below. It even works if the
slabs are slightly frozen. I will do the below if
it proves easier than the skinner/knife method. Literally I never
try and peel it anymore, I just use a skinner and slice it off. It
is usually pretty thick with a lot of fat also.
My second method, use a sharp object (screwdriver, fork, knife, etc.)
and get under the membrane about the 3rd bone up from the large side;
get your finger under it, then grip it with a paper towel and try to
remove it in one full piece. Much harder on a Beef Rib than a Pork
Rib. The membrane is removed because it will be
chewy after cooking and won't allow seasoning penetration.
Remove any obvious and obnoxious fat; beef ribs have much more than pork
ribs. Much of it will render off in the cooking process
Seasoning is a very simple and easy
task; just lay the ribs all out, meat side down. Take mustard (just
plain mustard) and LIGHTLY coat the rack, or, take a mixture of
apple juice (80%) and oil (20%) and spray the slab to hold the seasoning
better to the meat. Then take BBQbyDan Rub, or your favorite BBQ rub,
and sprinkle all the racks LIGHT to MEDIUM. Turn them over (meat side
up) and repeat
the process. In the end the ribs are meat side up and seasoned on both
sides. They are now ready to put into the Smoker or stack on each other
in a bus tub overnight.
COOKER, RACKS, WOODS
you have the cooking space just put them in the cooker meat side up. If
there are 20 - 30 racks, then put them in rib racks. Just pick a nice
spot that has even heating (about 250° - 260°F) and go for it.
I will typically cook ribs with 80% oak and 20% hickory or 100% Pecan
(my favorite). I do not use mesquite on ribs. Ribs are the kind of meat
where you are eating as much, or more, of the exposed meat during the
cooking period time. This is the opposite of brisket or butt where most
of what you are eating was NOT exposed to the smoke. So for that reason
I will cook my butts, briskets, Tritip, and prime rib with any of the
other woods, even mesquite (but not often), but not ribs or chicken.
Why even bother with a less tasteful wood like mesquite, one might ask.
Well, mesquite is sold in every store VERY cheaply in California. Oak,
Hickory, and Pecan are hard to come by and more expensive.
We are probably talking a 4-6 hour cook-time on Beef Ribs. Typically in
a rotisserie it would take 4.5 hours at 255-265 degrees. If not using a
rotisserie I would rotate and baste them the first time at 2-3 hours.
Rotate them end-over-end, side-over-side (turn over), upper to lower
shelf if applicable, and side-to-side (shelf positioning) if applicable.
Dry/wet Marinating is my favorite method for beef ribs, as I described
above in the SEASONINGS section. To do this I
will spray with apple juice and oil, or, use a light coating of mustard, on both sides, then apply my/your favorite rub, and let sit over night,
I actually don't like my beef ribs
glazed while cooking (beside for the fact
that the sauce will burn). I am very happy with the baste (apple juice
and oil in a spray bottle) that I will use a couple of times during the
cooking process in a small smoker like a WSM. That will provide a nice, moist
and tasty product surface. However, in a rotisserie (like an Ole
Hickory) they self baste and
spraying is not necessary but will only hinder the cooking process. If you
must, you might try a brush-on baste of a bit of oil, apple juice, a
tablespoon or so of your favorite rub, and a bit of manteca/lard! That
is really going to take it to the next level.
They will then truly be the "Bees Knees"!
After 4 hours (+/-) I check to see
if the ribs/bones/meat breaks apart by twisting the bones (instead of
bending like rubber), then check for a temperature of 199-205 degrees
between the bones. If both conditions above are met I pull them out and
they’re done. Always do both checks. It ensures a great and completed
product, and, gives you experience for subsequent Beef Rib cooking. Let
sit in a warmer for a couple of hours or so, then brush on a nice BBQ
sauce (like BBQbyDan 4 Star Glaze) and slice the bones for serving.
The final product will be AMAZING
beef ribs. If prepared and cooked correctly, they will be moist. If you
follow the guidelines above, your ribs will come out with a great beef
As I like to say,
Beef Ribs done right are simply Prime Rib with
a handle! AND, definitely my personal favorite piece of BBQ !!!
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29 Feb 2012 18:04