How to Cook BBQ Beef Ribs on the Grill
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.
- Rub, to taste
- Rack of beef ribs
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat your grill.
- Season your meat liberally.
- 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 more detailed instructions below in step three.
- 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.
- 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 coarse than table salt. A very simple way to season ribs is with cracked black pepper and truffle salt sprinkled generously on top and rubbed into the meat.
- 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.
- After your ribs are thawed out, season them liberally with your dry rub, and then let them sit while you start your barbecue fire.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 flare-ups. 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
- 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.
- Tent and Rest: I pull the rib slabs off, place them on a sheet, and tent them with tinfoil. I like to let them rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing them up.
- 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.
- 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 Sauvignon, Syrah, 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.