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Beef Back Ribs

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    Beef Back Ribs

    Picked up a rack of beef back ribs at Whole Foods this weekend. Never fixed them before. What are your suggestions on how to do these?

    Try using the same methodology one would use for short ribs or brisket, with the same flavor profile. The few times I have cooked them, both "q" and braised, this method worked well for me. Getting proper temp readings with a thermo was problematic, so I used the old chefs trick of twisting a fork to see if they're done. They do take awhile, and you can crutch them if desired. They are well worth the effort, I can assure you! Time like a brisket if you need to serve on a deadline.


      Rack was just under 3 llbs (2.9) Removed membrane from ribs and rubbed with no salt BBBR with cumin added and also seasoned generously with salt. Did not have time to dry brine them, so I sprayed with cooking oil and straight into smoker set at 225 with 2.5 ounces of hickory at 9:30 am.

      3 hours later at 12:30 PM inserted Maverick probe. Ribs were 180 @12:51. Took up to 203 on Maverick and (it reads a few degrees high) wrapped and put in cambro @ 3:15. 5.75 hours total cooking time.

      Ate ribs at 5:00 PM with a pan of jalapeño cornbread and bowl of black-eyed peas. The ribs were seasoned a bit excessively, but had a good smoke flavor. Ribs had a membrane on one side even though I pulled what I thought was the membrane off.

      Did I miss removing part of the membrane or is this normal for back ribs?

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        Dr ROK that's normal. To remove both prior to cooking you probably wouldn't have ribs any more but pieces of beef. I remove the main one and deal with the other. When seasoned properly it's very easy to forget it's there. Next time try to dry brine them several hrs first, they'll hold a bit more moisture when you do. Truth be told I've cooked them exactly as you describe and I was in love. My wife is less impressed with beef ribs than me though.


          I have never cooked beef back ribs, but I remember eating them as a kid. Even the dogs couldn't get all the meat off they were so tough. They obviously weren't cooked right / long enough.

          What I like to do now is get a Beef Short Rib Plate (same thing the butcher cuts short ribs out of, but whole). I'll season them with SPOG and a little W sauce, smoke them at 275* (where my WSM likes to run) for about 6 - 6.5 hours. Check for doneness by poking a toothpick between the bones. Pull when they probe tender. Let them rest, slice, and grab a bone. Very rich and beefy.


          • Dr ROK
            Dr ROK commented
            Editing a comment
            Those look tasty! The beef ribs were good, but short ribs are much better since they have so much more meat on them.

          • THoey1963
            THoey1963 commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree on more meat. I ate one, tried for another before it just got too rich.

          WOW! All of this looks great!

          I did short ribs for the 1st time this past weekend. Followed MH's recipe and directions. Next time, I plan on having the butcher cut them to my specs.

          Here are some timing stats from Meathead's Cooking Log ( use a log, you won't regret it - I know what / what not to do for a BNLS Pork Loin from a cook back in November )
          22 minutes to light 8 coals in the chimney

          2 minutes to get the coals, grate, probes in place and Cover ON

          42 minutes to hit 226 ( target was 225 )

          21 minutes to hit 278 (when I was ready to pop the Cover and put the wood / meat ON.
          Total of 1 hr 27 minutes before starting the Cook.

          5 hr 35 minutes cook time ( to hit 203 in the thickest rib ). The kettle temp dropped to 142 while I was getting everything in place. It took 12 minutes to come back up to 225.

          It would have taken longer to cook if I'd kept it right at 225. Occasionally, I'd let it run hot before adjustments. I let it run in the 240's for the last few degrees of IT as it was getting to be time to eat! Next time, I'll try a water pan inside the Vortex.

          So, I can tell # 1 that it will take 7-8 hours before dinner is ready. No Couch Tonite!

          Happy Cooking and Eating to All!




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