February 10

Perfect Beef Back RibsThe Best Smoked Beef Ribs


Smoked Beef Back Ribs are a real taste treat, but most people don’t have a clue about how to make them. Often overshadowed by pork spare ribs, beef spare ribs are just as tasty and easy to make.

Some folks insist that beef ribs are too tough and fatty to barbecue or smoke. This is a common misconception, when prepared properly beef ribs are tender, juicy, and delicious. Beef ribs come from the steer’ s rib cage, right next to the tenderloin. No wonder they are so flavorful. 

They secret to great smoked beef back ribs is following a few simple steps. Cook them for about six hours and the meat will be melt in your mouth.

Perfect Beef Ribs … Step by Step

Choosing Nice Ribs:

It’s important to find a nice rack of ribs. Find a nice meaty slab, most meat cutters cut a generous amount of meat off the ribs. Quite often a lot of meat between the ribs is removed. When it comes to beef ribs we suggest you head straight to the butcher, a nice meat shop. Tell the butcher right away that you plan on smoking the ribs. That way he can set you up with a meaty slab.

Prep the Beef Ribs:

Before you throw your ribs on the smoker they need a little prep work. On the membrane side of the ribs you will find a tough membrane that should be removed before smoking. The membrane, or fell, acts as a barrier that prevents spice and smoke flavor from reaching the meat.

Slip a dull knife or Phillips screwdriver along one of the rib bones under the membrane, that will loosen it and get it started. If you find the membrane difficult to get a grip on use a paper towel to grasp the membrane. Pull the membrane away from the ribs and lift it off.

After removing the membrane trim off any excess fat deposits on the surface of the ribs. You don’t have to be perfect here, any left over fat will melt away in the smoker. When both sides of the rack are cleaned up it’s time to spice up the ribs.

Season the Beef Ribs:

Dry rubs and marinades work well on beef back ribs. Homemade rubs are the best, however you can check on line for pre-made rubs. Just follow the old adage, buyer beware. A thin coating of rub is enough, no need to put it on too thick.

Now the ribs are rubbed down and ready to go. I like to wrap the slab in plastic wrap then refrigerate overnight before smoking. Allowing the ribs to rest after applying the dry rub gives time for the seasoning to be absorbed. However, if you don’t have the time you can put them right on the smoker after the rub down.

Beef ribs can also be soaked in a marinade. A good marinade will help tenderize the ribs and add. Be sure to use an acid based marinade. Vinegar, orange or lemon juice, and even Cola are all acidic enough to be used in a marinade.

Smoking the Beef Ribs:

Make sure you know your meat smoker before you start. See our Meat Smokers Guide before you start.

Remember, when it comes to beef back ribs it’s not a race. It may take 6 or more hours of smoking to turn out tender beef ribs. There is a lot of connective tissue in beef ribs, that’s why it’s important to smoke them for so long.

Put the ribs on the smoker. They them flat and put the membrane side down. Beef ribs must be cooked at a low temperature  long enough to render the fat and tenderize the meat. Smoke the slab at about 225 degrees and cook them for about 6 – 7 hours they will be nearly fat free and not greasy.

You can make your ribs wet or dry. For wet ribs  baste them with your favorite barbecue sauce a few times in last two hours of smoking. Find a sauce recipe with a low sugar content, high sugar sauces can easily scorch. 

The ribs are done when you can easily seperate a couple of ribs by pulling them apart. Basted ribs will also have a nice glaze.

Serve with your favorite barbecue sides and some ice cold lemonade. 

When you are ready for some great ribs but want something a little different try beef back ribs

Return to Finger Lickin’ Rib Recipes

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