I’ve already written about and professed my undying love for my Pork Spare Rib Recipe, but as my wife and I perused the meat case at our local Kroger yesterday morning, we saw a few beautiful cryovaced packages of beef back ribs that caught our eye.
Beef back ribs (or “Dino Bones” as you’ll sometimes hear them called) are absolutely HUGE compared to the pork baby back ribs that seem to be more popular around here, so we jumped on the chance to try something a little different.
What makes beef back ribs different than your average pork baby back rib or beef short rib is that the majority of the meat is between the bones as opposed to actually being on the bones themselves. This is important to keep in mind when you pull the membrane from the back of the rib – pull too much or too hard and they’ll come apart on you, so that being said, be careful to remove enough of the membrane so you won’t inadvertently eat it (gross and annoying), but not so much that your ribs dangle by a thread.
After you get the majority of the membrane removed from the ribs, slather those bad boys in plain yellow mustard so the rub sticks. Don’t worry about any of that tangy mustard flavor coming through – it won’t. You’re simply using it to bind the rub to the meat.
Once properly mustard-ed, liberally coat the meat side of the ribs with your favorite beef rub.
At this point, you can get your Kamado up to temperature (I recommend 225F). Throw on a few chunks of your favorite smoke wood and give the ribs 30 or minutes or so to let the rub set before putting them on.
A couple hours in, feel free to spritz the ribs with a 50% mix of apple juice and 50% apple cider. This will impart a little sugar onto the rib meat which will eventually caramelize and turn into that dark, delicious bark that we all love so much. Give them a good spritz once an hour for next 3 hours and at about the five hour mark, the ribs should be done.
Also, don’t worry about timing. It’s no big deal if you go over the five hour mark. They’re actually quite a bit more forgiving than you might think since they contain so much connective tissue that takes a really long time to break down.
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention anything about saucing these beef ribs and the reason is simple – they don’t need it! In my opinion, beef ribs offer up a stronger, meatier flavor than pork ribs and as long as you use a quality beef rub, such as Holy Cow from Meat Church, you’ll be thrilled with the results. Trust me on this.
As always, enjoy and please let me know how your smoked beef ribs turned out with a comment below!
- Beef ribs (One rack serves two people, typically)
- Yellow mustard
- Your favorite beef rub
- Take the ribs out of the refrigerator about an hour before you start the cook
- Get your Kamado up to about 225F using the indirect cooking setup
- Trim as much of the silver skin from the back of the ribs as you can, but don't worry about overdoing it if it's a little tough. You can easily eat around any tough stuff that's left behind
- Slather the ribs in yellow mustard - this will server as the "glue" for your beef rub
- Generously shake on your favorite beef rub on the meat side of the ribs. I don't worry about doing the other side since it's mostly fat and won't get eaten
- Put a few chunks of your favorite smoke wood on. I tend to use pecan wood for beef ribs
- Once the white smoke dies down and you're left with a thin, blue smoke coming from the chimney, put the ribs on and set a timer for two hours
- At the two hour mark, rotate your grill grate 180 degrees so the ribs don't get overdone from any hot spots within the charcoal. You can also spritz them a bit at this point if that's your thing
- Keep them on for another 3 hours or so, checking every 30 minutes to ensure they aren't overcooking
- They're done when the meat has creeped up the bone a little less than half way