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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 10-16-2011, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default Beef ribs disappointment

I picked up a rack a beef ribs yesterday at super wallmart. I've never done beef ribs, so I was excited. I seasoned with a medium sprinkle of rub co. Santa maria and smoked on my drum for 4.5 hours at a steady 250*. I meaty areas probed cleanly and I had almost a inch of pull back from the bones.

Flavor was very tasty. And where there was big hunks of meat it was good. But the membrane on bottom was a pain. I guess I should have removed that. There was also like a ribbon of cartridge down the middle between each rib. That was the biggest complaint. It was nasty to eat around. There were also pockets of fat on bottom.

I'm thinking I might not have cooked them long enough. But the meat tasted done. What say the brethren?

I said I would try one more time, likely as a side to some spares. Hopefully they turn out better.



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Unread 10-16-2011, 05:19 PM   #2
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Hey don't give up on those. And yes remove the membrane. I Q'd them up on my Weber Kettle and they came out great. I use a little oil on em and some rub then cook them indirect and the people at the camp site wanted more.......... also try some different beef rubs but don't give up.........
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Unread 10-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #3
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Well at least they tasted good. +1 for trying to get beef ribs from another source. The beef ribs at my walmart are pretty skimpy on the meat.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 05:51 PM   #4
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I have found beef ribs to be, like you discovered, good where the meat is, but full of fat and cartilage -- and rather greasy. At least that is how they turn out when I cook them.

I blame it on the meat. Maybe I just need to start with a higher grade of beef ribs, or do some major trimming.

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Unread 10-16-2011, 06:14 PM   #5
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IMO, beef ribs need to be trimmed really well. After that, they are just steak on a stick...
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Unread 10-16-2011, 06:24 PM   #6
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Yeah, these weren't steak on a stick. They were an IBP vac pack, but there just wasn't much meat there. I'm refuse to go into the yuppie butcher shops around my house and none of the grocery stores carry them. We're on a weekend vacation in Michigan and the super wallmart has them, so had to try.

It was also surprising how rich the meat was. I was pretty much done after eating 4 bones, but hadn't ate much at all.

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Unread 10-16-2011, 06:28 PM   #7
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We LOVE beef ribs here. They can be greasy though. There is a recipe in Adam Perry Langs' book "BBQ 25" which is awesome! It is incredibly simple to make and enjoy, time after time. I've done 50 plus racks with this recipe and people are ALWAYS Jonesing more!

As to the membrane. No longer do I remove it, simply score it in an X pattern and cook away. Have yet to have a complaint about it and makes life easy for me.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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I agree as well on the fatty and cartilage content, often it depends on the cut you get.
The membrane can be difficult and if you can't get it all the way off, at least score the back side seriously with a good edge.
Other than that, I have found that if you cook them a while longer than 4 or 5 hours, they may be more tender due to the extra time to break down the fattier sections.
As per above, if trimmed a bit more prior to cooking, that may help quite a bit.
When they do come out great, they are quite tasty.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 07:54 PM   #9
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after smokin mine for about 3-4 hrs i wrap in foil with little bit of blues hog red 350 for 1 hr. only way to really get the grease out of it. it will take care of that grissle int he middle of each bone
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Unread 10-16-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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I like beef ribs, but, I do go to a fancy butcher that cuts them pretty generously. I then remove the membrane, even is I need to use a skinning knife and pliers. Then I cook them just like brisket, and it often takes 6 hours at 270F to get them rendered out the way I want them.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 08:23 PM   #11
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The couple of times I have gotten beef short ribs (all I can find around here) I do remove the membrane,and trim them up pretty well because let's face it, beef fat is not a delicious as pork fat. Then I cook them to 200+ and probe tender - usually 5ish hours. Give them another try.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 08:30 PM   #12
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This is a sin but I cook a lot of beef ribs. I remove all the membrane and hard fat, I actually scrape the pockets and veins of fat. Then after a couple of hours of slow smoke, I raise the temp. to around 350 to 400 and force the fat to render out. You got to be careful and watchful doing this or all will be lost. Nail it and you got the best rib ever. Beef ribs are not meant to be eaten cold and most folks wont because of the greasy fat. These you can eat cold, it did take some practice to get them right and still tender but it can be done.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the tips.

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Unread 10-16-2011, 09:19 PM   #14
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Try again. Go to a butcher, not a grocery store, and get some ribs with some meat between the bones. Ask for beef back ribs or beef loin back ribs, they are cut from the top of the ribs, closest to the spine. Ribs # 6-12, the same area a prime rib comes from but without the roast. It'll cost ya a pretty penny but the flavor is far better that any pork rib, in fact you might have to buy the rib roast and have the ribs cut off. The reason most people like pork ribs more is because they're cheaper.
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Unread 10-16-2011, 11:32 PM   #15
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They weren't cooked hot enough. Cook your beef ribs at just under 300 for 4 hours, and they well look awful - don't let that fool you. Just it - Do them that way and you will be rewarded. The fatty greasyness will be gone and so will that cartilage ribbon. You will have a delicious rib, and I have never eaten dry beef rib using this technique.

About the membrane - yes, do remove the membrane but don't expose the bone (just like pork spares). But on beef ribs, once they're cooked, that under-membrane you left on becomes very papery, but it's not too bad - the meat is going to pull right off anyway - if you cooked them @ <300 for 4 hours.

Here's to your best beef ribs yet!
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