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first time beef back ribs - step-by-step with tons of q-view

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
well, by some goofy coincidence, i get to do a rack of beef ribs today (i always thought they were called short ribs but the package says "beef back ribs?").

being that these are beef and i haven't done beef before, i am going to try something different. i'll give the rack a healthy coating of durkee's kansas city steak seasoning, which has granulated onion and garlic, cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes and a few other herbs and spices:

and then i will put these on the ECB low and slow until they look done.

any advice on times, cooking temps and internal temps would be appreciated. also, how will these go if i do them dry, like spares - or will they need to befoiled, a la 3-2-1?

thanks in advance!


i removed the thin membrane from the back of the rack and then brushed them down with olive oil. i then applied a liberal coating of durkee's kansas sity steak seasoning to both sides.

while that sits in the fridge for a while to let the flaors sink in, i am preparing my charcoal pan for my ECB. i've got 30 kingsford briquettes lighting in a chimney starter, and then 30 sitting on each side of my charcoal pan.

when the briqs in the chimney are going well, i will dump them at the "north" end of the pan. as they slowly burn, they will light the briqs down the side of the pan and help maintain a good, consistent temperature for several hours while the ribs cook low and slow over smoke.

what smoke? i haven't yet decided between hickory, apple or cherry. if i use the cherry, it is blended with alder and in chip form, so i will need to use a foil pack. if i sue apple, it is in natural stick form. hickory will be in good-sized chunks. right now, i am leaning toward the cherry/alder.


the briqs got going, so i dumped them in the charcoal pan thusly:

this actually works TOO well as the temps are jsut a little higher than i prefer - perhaps start with 20 or 15 next time rather than 30? to top it off, i filled the water pan 3/4 full with almost-boiling water and added a cherry/alder-stuffed foil log right in the open space at the 6 o'clock position.

at 0900, the ribs went on - yes, they DO look good, don't they?


at 1000 i mopped/spritzed the ribs on both sides with a variation on my good ol' mop. the mop for today incorporated 1-1/4 cups of dr. pepper, a half cup of teriyaki sauce and 1/4 cup olive oil.

here's the bottom side:

and the top side:

everything looking and smelling great so far ~


as of 1100, temps are still holding well. i sprayed another round of mop on both sides and here's how they looked:




at noon, i shoved the remaining briquetes to one side and added 30 more briques next to them. i also mopped both sides.




this brings up up to now!

i've got a glaze heating up for the last 15-30 minutes of the smoke. normally for pork ribs, i use 1/3 mustard, 1/3 apple cider vinegar and 1/3 cup of brown sugar with outstanding results.

for the beef ribs, i figured i might as well not mess with a good thing TOO much, so i used the vinegar and brown sugar, but added ketchup rather than mustard. i also added about a tablespoon or worsty sauce. i consider this a test run, since i've neve done this before, but this should be good stuff.

i'll start checking temperatures at 1300. not sure what is the best temp to pull them, but i am assuming it is at least 170 degrees - will buck it up a little higher if it looks necessary, closer to 180.
post #2 of 23
awesome, awesome i'll have to save that one. as my dad cant eat porkeek.gifeek.gif They look unbelieveable.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
at 1300 i gave them another mop.



temperatures outside and within the smoker are starting to fall off, probably due to a cold front coming in. i checked the internal temperature of these and while they look done, it seems that the temp is only 130 degrees.

chances are, i will ahve to finish them in the oven due to falling temps outside.
post #4 of 23
I don't have any cooking advice as I've never done beef ribs before. But I can say those are looking beautiful.

There is this post from yesterday, if it helps you any.

Best of luck.
post #5 of 23
I haven't taken the temp of ribs, ever. When the meat pulls away from the bone like that, they are done. If in doubt, slice between them and check for doneness. They look done to me. icon_smile.gif Nice job!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks, dude -

dawn, they look done to me too - i'll glaze them on both sides and give them another 15 minutes. - sticking the themometer in, it slides in very easily, so i am sure they must be done.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
i just checked the temerature again and the temp is 160 - done!

i brushed the glaze on and will let that set for 15 minutes, then pull them off - i'll be serving them with macaroni and cheese.

will provide q-view and an after-action report!
post #8 of 23
Hope to see some of that qvue of the finished product! You're tutorial is excellent, thanks for the step-by-step qvue! icon_lol.gif
post #9 of 23

Those look fantastic...I'm living vicariously through others' qview this weekend, as I don't have the smoker fired up, and those are makin' me drool! I can't wait to hear the after action report and the taste description. Great Qview too! points.gif

I haven't smoked beef ribs in a while. HMMMMM...maybe next weekend? Thanks for the idea.
post #10 of 23
TasunkaWitko, you've done an excellent job sharing your BBQ and knowledge. My gawd...great job!

I'm sure many other folks thank you as well.

post #11 of 23
Those look great. Can't wait to hear how the taste. I bought a few racks of BB's yesterday and have them on now but I also bought my very first beef ribs. The price was a steal and I'm going to do them just like yours...provided they taste delicious, of course.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
well, these were definitely good eats!

here's how they looks at 1330, just before i pulled them off the ECB:

i brushed on a little more glaze and then brought them in for portioning. here's how they looked on the platter:

smoke penetration was excellent - i thought they might still be raw or at least rare until i saw the thin line of done (brown) meat in the center. for anyone looking for a good smoke ring, i definitely recommend cherry:

flavor was great. the rub, mop and ribs worked very well together. the experimental glaze was a great success. the only problem with preparation was that i probably shouldn't have glazed them again when i took them off. it made them a little messy (but they tasted great.

my only other criticism was that these didn't seem to have much meat on them. a meatier rib would have been really, really good! i guess if we wish there was more, then they must have been good.

one other lesson learned: i did remove the membrane from the back, but it appears that there was a second membrane that i was unaware of. i started to suspect this halfway through, but it was confirmed when we were peeling off parchment from the final product! it didn't interefere with taste, but made eating them a bit clumsy as one had to stop now and then to tear it off. when you do these, make sure that you get the membranes off down to the meat itself.

all-in-all, my first beef back rib smoke was quite a success. thanks for looking and thaks to all for the comments and advice!
post #13 of 23
Man, those look great
post #14 of 23
post #15 of 23
Great looking ribs and great tutorial on the project. As an aside, short ribs are lower down on the rib cage, even less meat, very tough. I've tried smoking them low and slow, and still they don't do very well. I think soup is about all they are good for. Yours came from much higher on the side, nearly to the loin.
post #16 of 23
M R some sweet lookin' DINO bones...nice smoke!

post #17 of 23
Looking good Ron!

When you shoved your coals to the side and added 30, did you light them first? How long did the 30 you added hold up your temperature?
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks to all for the compliments - for a first attempt, i consider this a big success!

mulepackin' i believe you are indeed correct about the anatomy of the ribs. these seemed to be from up high and in fact must have connected to the backbone, i think. they were great, but it was as though a lot of the meat had been trimmed - perhaps for boneless rib steask? i am not sure.

steve - when i added 30, they were unlit. the temps seemed to hold up quite well - those 30 kept me in good temps until a little after 1300, but then things started to drop 0ff - i think the drop off was mostly due to the outside weather, which was getting pretty cold and a little breezy on top of that.

on a warm, calm day, i am certain that they would have lasted quite a bit longer (that goes for teh original batch of coals to begin with, as well) - we never did get above 47 degrees today that i know of.

next time, i plan to do everything the same, except i will start with 15 lit briqs rather than 30 and see how that works. considering that the temperature will be warmer, it shoud be right where i want to be.
post #19 of 23
you're correct, the meat they trimmed from between the ribs was left on the prime rib roast or rib eye steaks. makes much more sense to sell that meat at $7/lb as part of the prime rib than for $1.50/lb as part of the ribs.

them do look mighty tasty, I just did a rack of them myself this weekend. if I get the time on my main computer I'm gonna post up the Q-view. Love them beef ribs!
post #20 of 23
Once i get my FTP back up and running ill share with you pics of my beef ribs tonight. If you want meaty beef ribs you have to go with short ribs. Your ribs looked great. I was drooling all over the keyboard
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