Smoked Beef Ribs
Several people have sent in request for a recipe for Smoked Beef Ribs, so in this week’s newsletter I’m going to share with you my way of cooking them.
Pork rules in my part of the country, but you can usually find beef ribs in meat department. Also, you can ask your local butcher to source them for you.
Smoked Beef Ribs come in a couple of ways… the short rib and back ribs. The short ribs usually come in smaller individual pieces and have a good bit of meat on top of the bone. You see these ribs served in restaurants usually braised for hours where the meat has time to really break down. The back ribs are more suited for bbq, so that’s what I’m cooking today.
Beef Back Ribs are cut off the ribeye area so most of the meat on top of the bones has been removed but what’s left between the bones is really good meat, if you cook it low and slow.
Smoked Beef Ribs come in slabs about 9-10 bones. There’s not much trimming to do to these ribs but if you see any cartilage or thick sinew go ahead and trim it off.
On the back side you’ll notice a membrane. Back ribs have a double membrane. The first one is usually removed before packaging and that leaves a thin membrane holding the slab together. Leave this membrane on to keep the slab from falling apart during the cooking process.
My method for Smoked Beef Ribs is similar to the way I do pork ribs except for the sweet element. For me beef should be savory not sweet, so I leave out the brown sugar, honey, and bbq sauce.
The first step is to give the beef ribs a light coating of oil. You can use canola, olive, or vegetable oil here. It doesn’t really matter; you just want something to bind the seasonings to the meat.
As a base layer I use my AP rub. It’s a mixture of 1 part salt, ½ part granulated garlic, and ¼ part black pepper.
For the next layer use a bbq rub that goes with beef. It should be something balanced not too sweet. I used a new brisket rub that I’ve been developing but you can experiment here with different flavors.
The smoking process is the same as ribs. Fire up your cooker to 235 degrees and add a little pecan for smoke. I used my Yoder with BBQr’s Delight pellets but any smoker will do the trick.
Place the Smoked Beef Ribs on the cooker and let them smoke for 3 hours or until the outside is a dark mahogany color. At this stage they’re ready to wrap.
For the Smoked Beef Ribs wrap I melted ½ stick of butter in a small bowl and whisked in a ½ tsp of Garlic, Dried Parsley, and Minced Onion. To this mixture add 2oz of Worcestershire, 2oz Soy Sauce, and 2 oz Beef Broth.
Place the ribs meat side down on a strip of aluminum foil and pour ½ of the butter mixture over the ribs. Wrap the foil over the ribs and repeat the same process for the other slab.
Now the Smoked Beef Ribs go back on the smoker to tenderize. This is where the remainder of the fat breaks down and what is left is tender, juicy meat.
The wrap process takes about 2 more hours, but I start checking after an hour just to see if they’re getting close. You should see the meat pulling back from the bones. If you grab a bone and slightly twist it should almost come free.
Once the Smoked Beef Ribs hit this stage they’re done. Remove them from the cooker and let them rest for 20 minutes.
If you want to sauce the ribs, you can drain the liquid from the foil and separate the fat. You can mix this liquid with a tablespoon of bbq sauce and brush it back over the ribs, but I like them straight out of the foil.
Smoked Beef Ribs cooked low and slow are very tender and moist. The fat that has rendered during the cooking process runs throughout the meat and adds a ton of flavor.
There may not be a lot of meat on the bones, but what is left will melt in your mouth. If you’ve never tried ribs this way, give it a shot.
Smoked Beef Ribs