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Beef Short Ribs on PBC

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    Beef Short Ribs on PBC

    Personally, beef short ribs are the zenith of BBQ for me. I just love them! I can knock them out on my weber, but I've just bought a PBC and wanted to see if I could get them working on it. I've not seen any commentary / videos on short ribs, so I thought I would share my adventure.

    I've had a bit of trouble getting the PBC to stay in the zone. I wasn't getting the big spike at the start, so the PBC was plummeting to the low 200's each cook. This time I followed Jerod's instructions in the 'Lighting your PBC post', cracked the lid as soon as I saw the temp start to stall at 280, drove the temp to 370 (overshot the 360) then seated the lid. The temp then fell to the 300 and slowly trailed down through the cook exactly as Noah says it should.

    First pic: I took a four rib short plate, cut it into two ribs (more bark per rib). Applied a dash of olive oil and coated in a pastrami type rub. (why not?!) This is typically very low salt (practically zero) and very low sugar. I do put a bit of both in, however. I then hung two hooks in each pair, between the bone. The bones then hung parallel to the rebar, as oppose to perpendicular too. I also left the membrane on. My thought being that both steps were insurance against the hooks tearing through or shrinkage dislodging them and it falling in the fire. No injecting or marinading.

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    Lit the PBC, added two cherry chunks. Hung the meat. Shut the lid. ​I just bought the IGrill2, so tracked the cook with graphs. As I mentioned, I saw the temp crest at 280, so cracked the lid and pushed it pretty hard. The Igrill exports a CSV file, so quick graph produced in excel. (There has to be a simpler way to graphically combine the meat and ambient temperature than VLOOKUP functions, but to discover it I would need to read the manual.)

    Couple of notes on the graph. The meat probe was in the smaller cut, I had a Thermoworks in the thicker cut and that is the one I was watching. It wasn't in the deepest part of the meat, so take off 10 to 15 degrees for the first couple of hours - there was pronounced stall at the 180 - 190 range. In the graph, it's all the time spent just under 200. The total cooking time is accurate, and the curve pretty close. I lifted the lid two or three times to check, only once to spritz (water) and one stirring of the coals (4pm) .

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    No wrapping, just a straight cook as I wanted to really see if I could get a good ring and bark. I would expect these ribs to take 7-8 hours to get to the magic 203 on my weber, these were done in 4.5 hours. We were aiming to eat at 7.30 (!), so I wrapped in paper, heated a cooler with hot water, drained it and created a faux cambro.

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    Apologies for the strong shadow. Texas sun. Anyway, lucky for the two hooks because the bones were very loose. The meat looked good, felt right with the temp probe tip. It broke easily, and smoke ring was there. The biggest issue was trying to get the hooks out. Hot and awkward!

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    After sitting a cooler for 3.5 hours, finally got to eat them. The pic really doesn't do justice, I think it makes them look dry, and nothing could be further from the truth. I'm a pretty harsh critic of my own cooking, but these were right on. The PBC just nailed it. Everything you would want them to be. Soft, juicy, decent smoke - bizarrely even the membrane was almost edible.

    One rib per adult, here are the leftovers:

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    Strongly recommend giving these a go. Really was very easy - no injection, no wrap. Just a set and forget. Hope that helps! Matt
    Last edited by mtford72; October 18, 2014, 10:25 AM.

    Wow, awesome! Thanks for all the great info... and love that graph.


      Great job on both the cook and the nicely put together post! I do beef back (spare) ribs occasionally since I can't find short ribs. I agree with you, beef ribs rock!


        Nice! WTG mt!


          Now THAT is a first class post! Great job!


            Thanks for all the compliments and encouragements! Much appreciated. I with you, Huskee, I'd prefer to do a meaty back rib, but they are all but impossible to find, so I use a short rib. Incidentally, if your supermarket has shortribs cut (often they cut them into 3rds of a single rib, or even into the flanken crosscut) they've typically received them as a four pack whole. My supermarket (HEB) almost never has the whole rack displayed, so I just ask. They go the fridge and get me the whole set of 4. I usually choose the best of two or three, simply because there is a band of fat that runs diagonally from between the 2&3rd rib, across the fourth. This can be thick and deep, and ultimately needs to be cut out. When they sell the set chopped up, that fat band is just lost in the mix. However, when serving the ribs as above, it can really reduce the amount of meat and hence distort the cooking process for those ribs. Thanks again!


              I need to ask for short ribs at the end of next week. I will be working out of town and they got some better meat there.


                HEB are great folks. My rack of shot ribs are getting the customery dry brine for hanging tomorrow. BBBR treatment


                  Thanks for that great post, MTFord72. It's packed with really good information. I'm going hunting for short ribs too.



                    I saw some really meaty short ribs at the "fancy" grocery store yesterday and I eyed them for quite some time. $12.99 a pound. That was a little spendy for me when I could pick up ribeye steaks for less than that. One of these days.


                    • mtford72
                      mtford72 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That seems pricey. I pay about $15 - 17 for the rack of four, although several times paid around $10.


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