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Noob Questions re: Beef Short Ribs

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  • FishTalesNC
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    Noob Questions re: Beef Short Ribs

    I swear the more I read and research here, the more I realize I don't know Jack!! So once again, I want to do something I've never done before - beef short ribs. I've read a couple of Meathead's articles and thru numerous delicious looking posts here, and I did check out Aaron Franklin's video on cooking these, and that was really helpful, but I still have noob questions...

    1) Re: temp of the ribs, I couldn't find any pics or references to people having a thermometer in the meat during the cook. Looking at the uncooked beef ribs it looks like maybe you could find a thick spot between bones and monitor there (unlike pork ribs, but I've done BBBs enough "I just know" now). But looking at cooked beef ribs, there appears to be a lot of shrinkage, which makes me think its maybe not viable? I don't have enough experience to "just know when to start probing" beef ribs with a thermopen (which I don't have... yet). Thats what AF was doing, and he was very helpful as far as what he was looking for with "probe tender" and the membrane and all, but how do I know I'm at that point to even start checking if I'm not monitoring the meat temp?

    2) The spritzing thing... I've seen AF do it with his brisket and now with beef ribs. I don't read too much here about people do that... am I just not noticing? Do most not do it? I'm filling my SNS with water, so I assumed that was all I needed.

    3) Given it'll be my first crack at these, I was thinking I'd just head over to Sam's Club and see what I could get. I know they carry them, I've seen them, and was hoping I could find packs of the English cut. I'm assuming it'd be Choice grade, so obviously cheaper and if I blow it its not a big loss. But do you think its worth heading over to a solid butcher and trying to find prime grade for a first attempt - basically hedging my bet for something edible? On one post I read the difference should be about $5/lb vs $15/lb? The cost isn't a huge issue, but I've heard the window for "ready vs. overcooked" is much smaller with beef ribs so if my chances of blowing it are high that might persuade me to go with choice until I figure this out.

    Thanks in advance... the fact that I produce anything edible is a testament to your greatness!
  • HorseDoctor
    Charter Member
    • Sep 2014
    • 1147
    • Central Iowa

    #2
    (1) Temp will likely be around 200-210 but "probe tender" is what you check not temp. Re-watch Franklin's video. He show exactly how to do it.

    (2) Spritzing is totally optional. Sometimes I do & sometimes not... Your call.

    (3) I prefer 4 rib slabs, but English cut singles will do. They may cook a little faster. There is plenty of fat in choice beef ribs, prime may be a little better but I wouldn't waste my time or money chasing after them. I haven't really noticed a smaller window between ready and overdone with beef ribs??? As long as they are probe tender, you're good to go. Perhaps singles might dry quicker if left on too long? Partly why I like the 4 rib slabs.

    As Franklin said in his video "Beef ribs are about the easiest thing to cook." Just remember, PROBE TENDER is done! Relax and enjoy! Beef ribs are also about the best thing there is to cook!

    Comment

    • Troutman
      Club Member
      • Aug 2017
      • 7610
      • aka Troutman Taco - Hanging Free in Tejas

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      #3
      The good Doctor says it all. Ribs are low and slow (I actually do 225-250* but whatever) and you just cook them to that magical probe tender as he says. I don't temp them until the very end. You want the meat to shrink up and pull away from the bone. Start to probe like you would a brisket, you want them like butter. To me they really are one of the simplest meats to cook but you gotta let them go.

      As to cuts, I've actually grown to like back ribs the best. The meat is about the same to me but less fat and they cook much faster than the shorties. But if you want short ribs, look for chuck ribs they have the fattest meat cap.

      Click image for larger version

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      Comment


      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Costco here has decent shorties but the best ones come from Whole Foods. Really big, beefy plates.

      • Omega-Man
        Omega-Man commented
        Editing a comment
        Those pictured don't look like back ribs to me either. I just cooked Wagyu back ribs and the only meat was between each bone. I have read that they take a rib roast and cut all the meat away down to the bone, mostly leaving shiners. I wouldn't buy them again.

      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Those pictured above are chuck short rib plates. What I said was I prefer back ribs of all the cuts but the poster wanted to know about shorties Omega-Man
    • Henrik
      Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
      • Jul 2014
      • 4468
      • Stockholm, Sweden

      #4
      What HorseDoctor said. I might add that spritzing is more important in an offset where you have greater airflow. When I use a kettle/ceramic I never spritz.

      Comment


      • FishTalesNC
        FishTalesNC commented
        Editing a comment
        Thats what I thought, but wasn't sure. Thanks Henrik, I always see you mention how often you cook beef ribs and love them - I'm anxious to get it done this weekend!

      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        You’re in for a treat, that’s for sure! I actually use a temp probe, but I also check for probe tender. Whichever happens first.
    • FishTalesNC
      Club Member
      • Dec 2017
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      #5
      Thanks HorseDoctor! Yeah I do get the "probe tender" part and he did a great job of showing and explaining that. I guess my question is more around - how do I know to start testing for probe tenderness if I'm not constantly monitoring the meat temp to know its approaching 200? Wait 8 hours and start checking? With BBBs I'm now very comfortable looking at how the meat pulls back from the bone, I just don't have any experience to go off with beef ribs yet. Definitely excited about giving these a try, the ones I see posted look like "meat candy on a stick" to me!

      Comment


      • Troutman
        Troutman commented
        Editing a comment
        Look at my picture above, when they start to pull away from the bone and look like meteorites they are approaching being done. Mine usually take at least 6-7 hours to get to that state.

      • FishTalesNC
        FishTalesNC commented
        Editing a comment
        Got it, that is incredibly helpful Troutman. I was even going to try them in 2's like that as Meathead suggested in his article. This gives me a lot more confidence.
    • Sweaty Paul
      Founding Member
      • Aug 2014
      • 1583
      • Hays, KS
      • Green Mountain Grill - Jim Bowie
        (I've never regretted having too much grate space).

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      #6
      Troutman OOPS! I didn't scroll through whole thread to see my time question! Excuse my error please.
      SP

      Comment

      • FishTalesNC
        Club Member
        • Dec 2017
        • 1254
        • Durham, NC

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          • Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco
          • Weber Premium Kettle 26” w/ SNS XL
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        #7
        I ran by Sams Club this morning and the only beef ribs they had out were flanken cut, just not what I was after for my first try. As luck would have it one of their butchers walked out and made eye contact... poor guy. He was so patient and helpful though! He said flanken is all they typically put out unless you ask for something different. He ended up bringing out the huge package of ribs they get, talked to me about the cuts, asked how I planned to cook it, etc and said there were 4 on each side typically. So I asked if he’d give me half, and cut them in 2X2 and off he went. Then came back - turns out that one had 3 ribs. Guessing it was going to be a more even cook and maybe better bark if I went 3X1, I had him cut it in singles. It’s monstrous but I think I got what I was after... can’t wait til Sunday.

        Attached Files

        Comment

      • EdF
        EdF
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        #8
        "And a splendid time is guaranteed for all"!

        Comment


        • Troutman
          Troutman commented
          Editing a comment
          Beatles

        • EdF
          EdF commented
          Editing a comment
          Well, it beats the "Mr Ed" theme!
      • FishTalesNC
        Club Member
        • Dec 2017
        • 1254
        • Durham, NC

        • Cookers
          • Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco
          • Weber Premium Kettle 26” w/ SNS XL
          • Weber Smokey Joe 14”
          • Pit Barrel Cooker

          Thermometers
          • Fireboard Extreme BBQ Edition
          • ​​​​​​​Weber iGrill 2 w/ 1 ambient and 3 meat probes
          • Thermapen mk4

          Accessories
          • Oklahoma Joe’s Triple Grate
          • Oklahoma Joe’s Super Skewers
          • ​​​​​​​Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone
          • Weber Gourmet BBQ System Wok
          • EasySpin Cooking Grate (26”)
          • Custom Cut GrillGrates for SNS XL
          • Frogmat cut to fit 26" w/ SNS
          • Weber Original Rib Rack
          • Pampered Chef BBQ Pizza Pan (2)
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        #9
        Keeping this thread updated in case it helps someone else in the future...

        I trimmed and dry brined the ribs at noon, maybe I should have asked the butcher to cut them as close to the same size as possible - I guess that big boy is mine. 😬 I plan to get up at 6am and get some java in me and start the the ball rolling tomorrow. I read Meatheads article saying trim the fat off the top but nothing off the bone side as with the membrane on pork ribs, so that was my approach. I’m also lacking experience trimming meat, but SO glad I sharpened our knives last weekend! The one on the right had a considerable amount of what to me is “normal” fat with plenty running thru it as well, while the other two had a thin layer of the silvery skin, you can see where I hacked up the left one a bit. Seems odd they were so different since I watched them come off the same slab/plate. Getting anxious...
        Attached Files

        Comment

        • Potkettleblack
          Club Member
          • Jun 2016
          • 1978
          • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
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          #10
          They’re kinda like the pork shoulder of the cow. So much marbling, so very forgiving.

          Dont sleep on those flanken cuts. They’re tasty as all get out, great with chimichurri or teriyaki style sauces. Anything with some vinegar as they are wayguy rich on a Walmart budget.

          Comment


          • FishTalesNC
            FishTalesNC commented
            Editing a comment
            Awesome, good to know Potkettleblack ! They’ll be in my future for sure, beef teriyaki sounds so good right now. Excited to be expending my smoking horizons!
        • FishTalesNC
          Club Member
          • Dec 2017
          • 1254
          • Durham, NC

          • Cookers
            • Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco
            • Weber Premium Kettle 26” w/ SNS XL
            • Weber Smokey Joe 14”
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            Thermometers
            • Fireboard Extreme BBQ Edition
            • ​​​​​​​Weber iGrill 2 w/ 1 ambient and 3 meat probes
            • Thermapen mk4

            Accessories
            • Oklahoma Joe’s Triple Grate
            • Oklahoma Joe’s Super Skewers
            • ​​​​​​​Weber Gourmet BBQ System Pizza Stone
            • Weber Gourmet BBQ System Wok
            • EasySpin Cooking Grate (26”)
            • Custom Cut GrillGrates for SNS XL
            • Frogmat cut to fit 26" w/ SNS
            • Weber Original Rib Rack
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          #11
          Ok, putting a bow on this thread... I hit them with BBBR and had them on the kettle with cherry wood and up to temp by 7:30am. I arranged them the way I did thinking the bigger thicker rib was closer to the heat and they may cook more evenly with the smaller two in the back. Temps were very stable for me around 225F all day until rain hit at 3pm, had to open up the vents to help it sustain. I started checking and probing hourly at 2pm. At 4pm the big one up front was 205F and probe tender - wrapped it and held in the oven. The other 2 were 199F at that point, but 30 min later were 207F and probe tender. I even noticed that “brisket wobble” on them when the lid was open and I was limping and banging around the deck. Held everything until 5:30pm then we dug in. My wife made some insanely good Hatch green chili cornbread too, perfect compliment. She really liked her rib, but the chuck roast I did recently is still her favorite. My kiddo went wild and devoured her’s, it’s her “new favorite”. Mine was the bigger one in front, and unfortunately the bark was too jerky-like. The inside was incredibly yummy, everything rendered beautifully. Just too close to the fire I guess. My initial thoughts on fixing this are: arrange the ribs differently with the ends to the heat, and flip half way thru, and/or spritz (which I’ve never done).

          Thank you all again for all your help, and if you have any thoughts on jerky-bark resolutions I’m all ears!

          I just realized i did I did not refill my SNS either, I wonder if doing so would help alleviate the problem?
          Attached Files

          Comment

          • HorseDoctor
            Charter Member
            • Sep 2014
            • 1147
            • Central Iowa

            #12
            Nest time try cooking an entire 4 (or 3) rib slab (as Franklin does) rather than individual ribs. My Favorite way to cook beef ribs! That way they are much less likely to dry out (get jerky like). Contrary to some folks opinion, sometimes there can just be too much bark!!! Good luck!

            Comment

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