Beef ribs, what did I do wrong???

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Jul 18, 2006
Caseyville, IL
ok, so last fall during my last smoke of the season I tried beef ribs for the first time......they were awesome, tasted like prime rib off the bone, If I remember right I did the 3-2-1 method on them and during the 2 phase when I wrapped them I added a can of budweiser to the foil for them to boil in.. like i said, great, flavorful and tender like prime rib off the bone.........

Well I have done 2 smokes so far this year and the beef ribs were nothing like they were last fall....... I cooked them like I said with the 3-2-1, but they are tough, chewy and the flavor is ok, but not great....... What am I doing wrong, I want prime rib off the bone again. I dont get it........ I know I didnt remove any membrane last year but its gettin in the way this year, It is possible I somehow got a rack with the membrane removed lastyear and they dont do it anymore this year, but im not sure on that My dog however is happy as can be with the beef ribs so at least someone is please with them LOL
Maybe you got prime rib ribs last year (really) and maybe these aren’t from the same area this time and maybe they did peel em for ya last year!
Age of steer has an effect too!

p.s. ask butcher specifically for prime rib ribs (probably cost more, so what?)

I am convinced that some ribs just aren't great no matter what. I am also convinced that skinny ribs are usually the bad ones. Everytime I get stuck with skinny ribs they're chewy like chewing on used dental floss, even when they're moist and fall off the bone.
Are you buying the ribs at the same place this spring as last fall, if so are they from the same grade of beef. the butcher may remember.
MWC, do you recall if those ribs from last year had more fat marbling in the meat than the ribs you used the last two rib smokes?

A break down of the USDA Grading system goes like this-
Prime- Nice fat marbling throughout the meat
Choice- Not as much fat marbling
Liner-More marbling than Good (or Standard) not as much as Choice
Good (or Standard)-Almost no noticeable fat marbling.

Most of the Prime Grade beef is sold to Restaurants though some "higher end" Butcher shops can order it in.

Choice Grade beef and below is usually what's available for the Consumer Market.

Like Carl said, you may have gotten some Prime Beef ribs that had the membrane already removed.
Yep, got em from the same place, SuperWalmart, LOL.... Maybe it was just a fluke on that first set I got from em, I dont know... The size and price of em is great, im sure others have seen them, 5-10 dollars for a huge rack.... Even the first rack didnt have alot of meat on them, but the meat was great on that first go round........ Im sure there is a huge variance in quality at a place like walmart so I guess thats the problem is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.