Tag Archives: ribs

It’s A Beef Rib Thing

Of course I’ve had them. But I’ve never attempted to make them myself. The under appreciated beef rib. Smoked no less.

Trimmed Beef Ribs Ready To Rub

There they are in all their beefy glory. I went out and bought a vacuum packed slab to give some of my beef rib smoking theories a shot. I’m thinking, “let’s just apply all of the things we know from years of smoking pork spare ribs.” Yeah, right…

Beef Ribs Rubbed and Ready To Smoke


How about a little smoking music. I was listening to this 1972 flashback when I was doing some rib prep. Being originally from Chi-Town I have a soft spot for Chicago (the band). And, Chicago V is one of their better offerings. Thought you would like a trip back too. Enjoy!!

I split the slab into two fairly equal size pieces. Skinned them and trimmed them up. The same as I would do for pork ribs. Gave them a good dose of my pork rib rub (Cook’s Illustrated July/Aug 1994). You could (and should) really use YOUR favorite dry rub. People seem to like my spare ribs, so, I figured I would go with a proven winner. Oh, I did add a little extra cayenne pepper to the mix. The thinking here is the beef could handle the extra boldness of the additional pepper.

Beef Ribs. Ready to smoke

I like to let my rubbed ribs rest in the fridge overnight. That way the meat really absorbs the flavors of the dry mixture. Take them out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to let them warm up a bit.

The experiment continues. When the ribs were coming up to room temp I decided to inject them. Just to give them a little added flavor boost. I do this with my pork spares. So, I figured what the heck. For the injection I used a combo of beef broth, beef bullion and Worcestershire sauce. I got this from Wicked Good Barbeque. It’s essentially a 1-1-1 ratio. Beef broth, 1 TBS Worcestershire, 1 cube beef bullion. Bring to a simmer, then cool before using. This is a GREAT injection for beef. I’ve also used it on my Smoked Beef Brisket with delicious results.

Time for the smoke. I use a vertical Meco smoker. I’ve had this one for 20+ years. Still performs every time.

Beef ribs on the smoker

In case you’re wondering what’s in the water pan? I pretty much use whatever is handy. Today, I got lucky. One can PBR, one apple quartered, one yellow onion quartered, 8 cloves of garlic smashed. Then filled 3/4 full with hot water.

I like to smoke ribs at 250º. So, I’m going to use the classic 3-2-1 rib smoking method. 3 hours smoking, 2 hours wrapped, 1 hour sauced and back on the grates. I also like to let my smoker come up to temp before I add the meat.

Beef ribs after three hours smoking

They’re looking pretty good at this point. Now, off to wrap.

The secret wrap ingredients

Yes, that’s an actual picture of the super-secret wrap mixture. OK, it may not be a national security secret. You can probably find this semi-mysterious concoction on any BBQ show that has Johnny Trigg as a competitor. This is his favorite trick (modified a little). Oh, you want me to tell you what that is? Come on do a little work for yourself. Life ain’t that easy.

Wrapped, and back on for another 2 hours.

Here’s where I made a game time decision. Usually, I would unwrap, glaze with sauce and put the racks back on the smoker for another hour. But, I decided to leave them on and wrapped for another half hour. Then I would, unwrap, re-wrap with some fresh foil and paper bag them for thirty minutes.

Here’s what happened…

Beef Ribs finished and plated


Beef Ribs finished and plated

Of course served with the first sweet corn of the season.

Ah, Sweet...

Verdict. I’m probably a little more harsh on my own efforts than others would be. I thought they turned our pretty well. Maybe, a 7 on a 1-10 scale. My pork spare ribs are a 10+. So, that may have been part of the issue. The bar may have been a tad on the high side. They were moist and cooked. As you can tell from the photo. Maybe a little too cooked. That was probably the result of the bagging.

The trouble with a beef rib. At least these beef ribs is that they’re not quite as meaty as a pork spare. So, the expectation is for a tender and meaty bite. They’re certainly tender. But, lacked on the meaty side. Great, complex BBQ flavor though.

If you’re going to fire up the smoker. AND, you want to give something new a whirl, this may be a great slate for you to write your own recipe on. I may just toss some short ribs on next time. Hhhmm…


647 Tremont (Andy Husbands of IQUE BBQ, Wicked Good BBQ)
Smokin Triggers’ – Johnny Trigg’s Facebook page (I never would have thought)
Cook’s Illustrated Dry Rib Rub
Meco Vertical Smokers


Saw this recently on Food 52. I think it more than deserves some of my special attention. Love Kevin’s cooking. So, probably a home run. We shall see…

Kevin Gillespie’s Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Kevin Gillespie's Barbecue Chicken with Alabama White Barbecue Sauce

Keep your eyes, ears and mouth wide open!

Is This The Best Short Rib Recipe Ever?


Can you turn a hater into a lover with just one recipe?

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Hater is probably a little on the strong side. Maybe, indifferent, disinterested and unimpressed are better descriptors. Hating would imply an extremely strong dislike. In this case, a general “I just don’t get it” sums things up.

My wife. She’s not a short rib fan. Question: “Why should that matter to me?”. Answer: “It shouldn’t.” But, it does.

When we go out to eat she can order whatever her heart desires off the menu of available dishes. At home, that’s another matter. We usually don’t have a menu of available dishes. It’s more of a what would you like for dinner proposition. I’m the cook, so, it’s me doing the asking. Much to my disappointment, short ribs are never the answer.

I was determined to give one last attempt at winning her over. America’s Best Ribs hit my doorstep early this spring and in it was the perfect recipe for my final assault. Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs.

There’s nothing terribly fancy here. At least from a recipe standpoint. Some marinating, rubbing and a little slow cooking, That’s about the extent of it. There are two very distinct ways to grill short ribs. One way involves taking boneless short ribs, butterflying them and cooking them quickly over high heat.

The other method, the one I chose, roasts the ribs slowly on the bone. Breaking down the connective tissue and fat as they cook. The result should be a tender and delicious almost falling off the bone morsel. I figured this style gave me the best chance at winning over my subject.

Here’s how to do it.

Mustard Slather
1 cup prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup dill pickle juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground ginger

2 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp course ground black pepper
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
2 tsp white cane sugar

6 beef short ribs, bone in 4 to 5 inches long
BBQ sauce for serving if desired

Outline each of the short ribs with a sharp pointed knife. It just means to free the meat a little from the bone on each end. Combine all of the mustard slather ingredients in a small bowl. Brush the mixture onto the ribs. Make sure and cover all of the meat well. Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Sprinkle the rub mixture of the slathered ribs. It should look like this.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Heat your smoker or BBQ to 230° to 250°. If you’re using a grill, prepare it for indirect cooking. Oil the rack so the ribs won’t stick. Place ribs over the side with no direct heat. Cover and cook 1 to 1½ hours. Turn over and cook for 45 minutes more. Turn over one more time and cook for an additional 45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of. 185°. They will hopefully look similar to this.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

You can still see a little of the mustard slather left on the meat. Here’s another look.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Pretty delicious looking, right? You can see how the meat has pulled away from the bone. That’s where step one pays off.

When the ribs are done remove from the grill and tent loosely with aluminum foil for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also wrap them tightly in foil, place them in a paper bag, close it up and let it sit on your counter for 30 to 45 minutes. The meat will still be piping hot and this will help reconstitute some of the moisture that was lost during the dry cooking process. That’s what I did.

Serve with BBQ sauce if desired. Check out the finished product.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

WOW! That is going to win over even the toughest short rib critic. At least that was my thought.

And, the verdict. Well, let’s just say that my wife is now a tiny bit less apathetic about the whole short rib thing. I wouldn’t categorize her as jumping on the short rib bandwagon. But, maybe she won’t give me “the look” the next time I suggest it. It was a home run for the rest of my guinea pigs that evening. But, I wasn’t worried about them to begin with.

If you’re interested in our review of America’s Best Ribs, you can view that HERE.

America's Best Ribs

America's Best Ribs

Recipe Adapted. America’s Best Ribs, Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs, Paul Kirk & Ardie Davis. Andrews MacMeel Universal © 2012

America’s Best Ribs | Ardie Davis & Paul Kirk


Kickoff your summer in smoky style. Presenting an entire book of great rib ideas.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

TITLE: America’s Best Ribs
AUTHOR: Ardie Davis & Paul Kirk
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
CUISINE: Barbecue

* * * * * *

Featured Ingredient: Chili Powder

I love this versatile spice. Along with salt, pepper, garlic powder and some type of sugar,Red Peppers Bali by Jeda Villa Bali chili powder makes up the the basis for most rubs used on pork and beef. For the purposes of this cookbook, chili powder makes an appearance in quite a few recipes. If you’ve been smoking or grilling ribs for any length of time you know just how important the inclusion of this spice can be to the success of your final product.

* * * * * *

First Impressions
I love ribs. And, I think I put out a pretty darn good slab. So, a book committed to the subject already has a big jump on the race for my affections. As you would expect, this cookbook has a bright, colorful and fun feel. Given the subject, it’s a good approach. After all, we’re talking about ribs, not, the intricacies of French sauces. All of the recipes take up a full page and are easy to read through. Lots of great images and drawings are liberally spread throughout.

* * * * * *

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

  • Rib Basics
  • Pork Ribs
  • Beef & Bison Ribs
  • Lamb & Mutton Ribs
  • Sides
  • Desserts

* * * * * *

I ran across this video recently. It touts “perfectly cooked pork ribs”. That’s a pretty big statement. Check it out for yourself and see if you agree.

* * * * * *

Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Baron’s Basic Barbecue Spice Memphis-Style Grilled Baby Back Ribs
First Time Grilled Baby Back Ribs Lazy Daisy Cake
Grilled Peppered Dry Spareribs Jay’s Tangy Grilled Beef Short Ribs
Texas-Style Smoked Beef Back Ribs Whiskey Ribber Grilled Lamb Ribs
Joellyn’s Smoked Mutton Breast Hush Puppies
Slow-Cooked Baked Beans Smoked Alabama-Style Country-Style Ribs


I’ve never been able to get my wife to fully embrace the short rib thing. I can’t figure that out. I’m going to give the Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs a try. It will be my last attempt to convert her. Wish me luck. I’ll post the results here in a couple of weeks.

A lot of the recipes contain similar ingredients and processes. Some might think this makes for a lot of repetition. I look at it from a different angle. It allows you to see the nuances of the individual recipes. Slight changes that make a big difference. There were lots of side dishes I would give a big thumbs up to. The Heartland Grilled Corn on the Cob, Tomato Bread and Ribilicious Potato Salad all sound like solid winners.

* * * * * *

Special Features
It seems like every great rib recipe has a story attached to it. There are plenty of these tales nestled in the pages. Ribs yarns taken right from the source. Tucked in the back of the book is a short list of additional reading on the subject. There are also some online resources for meats and smoking woods. A page of metric conversions is also included. If you ever have the need to know how many milliliters are in 1⅔ cups, look no further.

* * * * * *


It’s hard not to like America’s Best Ribs. Even if you think there is no room for improvement in your personal recipe (like me), there is still a lot to learn. I wanted to attempt about 80% of the recipes in the book. That’s high, even for me.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

The stories help bring the recipes to life. You won’t try each and every recipe, so the included commentary will help you appreciate the dish even though you may not be cooking it. Great images. Some seem pretty random. That’s appealing to me.

The only small issue I had with the entire book came when I closed it. It’s on the back cover. At the bottom, in not so big print it states, “Printed in China”. How can a book on “America’s Best Ribs” be printed in China? I don’t know. But, given the decidedly American subject matter, the text on the bottom of the back cover should scream, “Proudly Printed in the USA!”. Maybe even a flag (OK, that might be overkill).

I loved this book. And, I would easily recommend it to rib novices and pit masters alike. With summertime here, it will really get you motivated to break out the grill or smoker and get cooking.

Culinary Expertise Required: 5.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Want your very own copy of America’s Best Ribs? We can help you out. Get yours here.

America's Best Ribs: Tips and Recipes for Easy, Lip-Smacking, Pull-Off-the-Bone, Pass-the-Sauce, Championship-Quality BBQ Ribs at Home

Links, Resources and Other Press
America’s Best Ribs – Andrews McMeel Publishing page
Fantastic rib resource – amazingribs.com
The Kansas City Barbecue Society
More info on Ardie Davis aka Remus Powers