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How to Barbecue Beef Ribs on the Grill

Paul is a barbecue enthusiast. He is currently grilling and smoking on a Komodo Kamado Ultimate 23.

Delicious five-star barbecue beef ribs.

Delicious five-star barbecue beef ribs.

Barbecue Beef Ribs Recipe

Pork ribs are pretty ubiquitous. However, it's pretty uncommon these days to go to a barbecue where beef ribs are served. They should be served more often because they're fantastic! If you want to do something a little different, that's very easy to barbecue and very delicious, I suggest giving beef ribs a try.

Cooking up this somewhat uncommon dish is a breeze. All you need is a slab of beef ribs, an easy spice rub recipe, a barbecue, and time to cook them at a low temperature for a few hours.

Simple Ingredients

  • rub, to taste
  • rack of beef ribs

Instructions Overview

  1. Make your spice rub. I prefer 1/4 cup of garlic salt, 1-2 tablespoons of freshly cracked pepper, and 2 tablespoons of black truffle salt. Put all of your desired ingredients together in a bowl, and mix gently with a fork or whisk.
  2. If your ribs were frozen, leave them in the plastic package, set them in a container of warm/hot water, and let them defrost for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Pre-heat your grill.
  4. Season your meat liberally.
  5. Put the meat on the grill. I've found that cooking the ribs at 275C for 45 minutes per side results in a succulent and well-cooked piece of meat. I start cooking with the bone-side down. You may want more information depending on what kind of grill you're using. If so, read step three's more detailed instructions below.
  6. The ribs are done cooking when they slide off the bone easily and are no longer pink. Once they're done, pull them off the grill, slice them up, tent them (place them in a container and cover them with tin foil), and let them rest for at least 20 minutes.

Dry Rub Recipe

When it comes to beef ribs, I think a simple dry rub recipe that provides a good salty flavor is best.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 1–2 tablespoons of pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons of black truffle salt

I love the truffle salt flavor. It makes a more gourmet rib. Most truffle salts come as a mix of truffle and sea salt, which is more course than table salt. A very simple way to season ribs is cracked black pepper and truffle salt sprinkled generously on top and rubbed into the meat.

Instructions

  1. Thaw frozen ribs in their packaging. They can be thawed out in about 15 minutes in a sink where they are covered in hot water. Just put the vacuum-packed cut in hot water, and let them sit for 15 minutes.
  2. After your ribs are thawed out, season them liberally with your dry rub, and then let them sit while you start your barbecue fire.
  3. When it comes to cooking beef ribs, it's best to cook them at a low temperature with smoke for a long period of time. My favorite way to cook them is over an oak fire, but they will be tasty if they are cooked on a gas grill or over charcoal. I target my grill temperature to 275 degrees. Once the grill's heat is stable, I put the beef slabs on the grill with the bone side down.
  4. The ideal rib cook takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I use an indirect fire in my grill and cook the ribs for 45–60 minutes, bone side down. Then I flip them and cook them for another 45 minutes. The low-and-slow method will help make the meat tender. This particular cut is pretty fatty, so it won't dry out easily.
  5. To cook beef ribs really well, you have to be able to control the temperature, and you need smoke to get a great flavor. If you cook on a charcoal or gas grill, get some wood chips (hickory or apple). Additionally, make sure your grill sits high enough above the heat source so that the fat drippings don't start a grease fire.

Tip: Gas grills are particularly prone to grease fires, so you may want to place the meat on one side of the grill and turn the heat on the other side to prevent flareups. Grill the ribs at a lower temperature and have a cup of water ready just in case a grease fire starts. Dowse a little water on the flames, and put the ribs in a section without a direct flame if it does happen.

Tent and Rest

  1. Check Doneness: Once the ribs are finished cooking, you can tell because they should slice easily and be tender. If they're still pink on the inside, they probably need to cook longer. It's pretty hard to overcook beef ribs, so when in doubt, cook longer. You can always slice off a rib and taste it to see if it's ready.
  2. Tent and Rest: I pull the rib slabs off, place them on a sheet, and tent with tinfoil. I like to let them rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing them up.
  3. Slice: When I cook for a lot of people and have more than three slabs, I'll use an electric knife to slice them, but usually, I use my sharpened butcher knife.
  4. Pairing: One of my favorite beef rib dinners includes baked potatoes, fresh French bread, asparagus, and a savory salad. To drink, I recommend a big red wine like a Cabernet Sauvingon, Syrha, or Zinfandel. For dessert, fresh-made chocolate chip cookies, homemade ice cream, and a wet cappuccino are some of my favorite accompaniments.

Where Can I Find Beef Ribs?

When I go to the butcher, I have to ask for beef ribs because they aren't on display. They usually go back to the freezer and bring them out to me. Each rack will feed about two to three hungry people.

Sometimes the butcher won't have any frozen ribs, but they come from the rib roast. My butcher will take an entire roast and cut off the entire slab of ribs. These taste just as good as the frozen ones, but sometimes the butcher charges a bit more for them. The butcher will tell you that baby back pork ribs have more meat on them, but they're smaller. Beef ribs are much larger, so they have more bone. When I compare the amount of meat on beef ribs to baby back ones and the relative cost, I think the beef ones are the better deal. Our butcher charges under $3/lb for the beef, while the pork ones are over $4/lb.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I know if this recipe is enough dry rub for 5 lbs of ribs?

Answer: Racks of beef ribs are typically in the 5 lbs range. To properly season a rack, depending on personal preference you need about 1/4 cup of seasoning.

Comments

Chris Scovitch on June 24, 2020:

I will work the recipe as written for the baby-backs. I normally grill pork shoulder, par-boil first for about an hour, then make up a sauce I put together with Rudy Rub from San Antonio TX. seasoning rub a bit of brown sugar crushed red peppers bee honey and let her set in the frig for about an hour and to marinade, and then to the griller about 15 min just so the tips of the meat are seared. But I will try with the beef recipe, and wait for the results. thanks

ItsMeLarry on September 14, 2019:

Love the recipe idea. But step 3 is missing the details.

Ron langevin on July 29, 2019:

My $.02! This is for charcol grille. Been cooking short and long beef ribs for at least 64 years. (Iam 82 now.) I usually cook using high heat for about 2min on ea side which will produce med. rare, I always cut the ribs between the bones so they are cooked individually. I use the following rub which I developed over a long period of time. This is a percentage rub so figure how much you will need and use following percentages. Mark thirds on side of a straight sided glass so you get the right mixture.. First third is half garlic powder, and half corse ground pepper. Second third is Mc Cormacks mesquite powder, last third is half Mc Cormicks Canadian steak mix, and half fennel seeds. Direct heat so a mild crust forms. This seasoning works great on all beef steaks also plus very rare Tuna steaks.

Rick on July 19, 2019:

Awesome info I'm giving it a try

See on June 29, 2019:

You legitimately just told people to throw water on a grease fire lol

patrick on September 03, 2018:

Just noticed after cooking mine that Step 5 says 275C as in Celsius. That would be over 500 Fahrenheit, which would have turned these ribs into ashes in 90 minutes! They were great at 275 F for 45 minutes per side though. Obviously a typo especially since everything else is in American measurements. Had a hard time getting the gas grill to stay at that temperature, seems like it wanted to be 250 or well over 300 but not in between.

LONDON on September 05, 2017:

YOU MENTION EVERYTHING EXCEPT TO MAKE SURE YOU CLEAN YOUR RIBS, MAKING SURE YOU TAKE OFF THE MEMBRANE FROM THE BACK OF THE RIBS BEFORE SEASONING THEM...

Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on July 28, 2017:

On a gas grill, indirect heat means that the food is placed over one of the burners that's turned off. Depending how your burners run (length vs width of the grill) it can influence which burner that's left off. On my Weber, the burners run the width, so I often turn the center burner off and put the two side burners on a low eat. This circulates the heat and is great for ribs and even chicken.

Phyllis on July 27, 2017:

I have a gas grill. What does indirect heat mean?

PhoenixV from USA on January 10, 2014:

I live in the Southwest part of the Country and amazingly enough it is almost impossible to find beef ribs, that are already prepared, unless it is a really expensive restaurant. The best and last smoked beef ribs I had was all the way to Texas. I make them at home, but I slow roast or bake them in the oven and I add a pot of coffee/couple of cups, to bring out some flavor. I don't have a BBQ or I would try your methods. Great hub, voted up!

carsonsmith on June 12, 2011:

Wow! I love the recipe and I am going to buy those ingredients and prepare it by lunch tomorrow as my grandparents will come and visit my kids.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on May 20, 2011:

That sounds great. Thank youfor sharing

Balinese from Ireland on May 17, 2011:

Make me hungry now and cant wait for nice weather in Ireland and try your recipes

Thanks

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on May 16, 2011:

Darn, reading this makes me crave for BBQ! I must try this.

I'm trying to cut down on my salt, any alternatives anyone?

India Arnold from Northern, California on May 16, 2011:

Great tips for cooking beef ribs! I really like the advice to "cook more" if in doubt they are done. The idea of the truffle salt rubbed into the rib meat... well, I am already drooling. Summer BBQ-ing is always tops on our schedule and you can bet we will be adding your Barbecue Beef Ribs recipe to our list! Thanks for sharing Paul.

K9

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on May 16, 2011:

Sounds delicious. It's a must try.

Eiddwen from Wales on May 16, 2011:

A great recipe and another for me to bookmark.

Thanks for sharing

Take care

Eiddwen.

Michael Willis from Arkansas on May 15, 2011:

I enjoy beef ribs as well. I will either grill them over a gas grill at a low heat or season them and throw them on the smoker! I love to smoke ribs over a wood fire. It may take longer to cook, but it is well worth it.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on May 15, 2011:

Yum, yummy!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 15, 2011:

The recipe sounds excellent as does the suggested meal. I will show this to my husband as he is the grill man and I think we will be trying this recipe. Voted/rated useful.

Sam from Tennessee on May 15, 2011:

Every Saturday during the summer my wife and I cook out on our grill. We love the baby back ribs alternating them with ribeye steaks. This recipe and description caught my attention and we will definitely try it. Voted up and useful...