Cooked on the smoker, this beef ribs recipe will provide you and your loved ones with a great tasting main course to your next outdoor barbecue. Beef ribs are full of flavor, and when cooked correctly, are tender and juicy to boot!
Beef back ribs are usually less expensive than pork spare ribs or
babyback ribs. Part of the reason is that people haven't "discovered"
the beef counterparts of the rib family. Another reason is that they
tend to be mistreated by the meat department.
Look closely at the beef ribs next time you are shopping and you're bound to see that the butcher has cut a large amount of the meat out from between the ribs, no doubt to make ground beef with. Look at several different slabs and get the meatiest ribs you can for the smoker.
There can be a lot of variation in beef ribs when it comes to bringing
out the tenderness. One slab can be very tender after four hours of
smoking, while the one you picked up right under it may take six hours.
It has to do with the amount of connective tissue in the meat, and the
age of the steer the ribs came from. Be sure to allow plenty of time
for your smoked beef ribs to finish.
The temperature of the smoker should be around 225 degrees Fahrenheit. For smoking wood I prefer oak, but hickory, pecan, apple and mesquite can all be used successfully. Remember that since there's not a whole lot of meat on beef ribs, they don't need a lot of smoke. When using the more pungent woods, like mesquite, use less of it in the smoker.
A method I use that ensures that the ribs are very tender is to smoke them for two and a half, to three hours. Then I wrap them in aluminum foil and continue to cook them for another two hours, at the same temperature. After that the foil is removed and sweet barbecue sauce is slathered on. The ribs are cooked another half hour with the sauce on, then served.
A whole beef rib slab has seven bones, and one person can eat from one
to three ribs at a meal. I usually plan on cooking one slab for three
people. Here's one of my favorite recipes.
Two whole slabs of beef ribs
Two tablespoons of onion powder
One teaspoon black pepper
One teaspoon parsley flakes
One half teaspoon garlic powder
One half teaspoon ground cumin seed
One quarter teaspoon ground red pepper
Combine the dry spices and lightly coat the ribs on all sides. Place the slabs in a preheated smoker and cook until tender, from four to six hours. You can use the foil trick explained above if you like. When the ribs are just about done, brush on a generous coating of your favorite bbq sauce, then continue cooking for a short time to thicken the sauce. Serve 'em up with cole slaw, beans and a salad for a great picnic meal.
The dry rub seasoning used in this recipe can be toned down a bit by reducing the amount of black pepper and substituting paprika for the ground red pepper.