The Top 5 Tips To Make Better Than Brisket Beef Ribs
Ashburn, VA: I paid a well-known Pitmaster $497 for his live BBQ class, and it was worth every red cent. Here are the most important things I learned about smoking beef ribs.
- What The Right Cut Is
- Purpose of The Silverskin
- Importance of Clean Smoke
- How To Smoke The Beef Ribs
- Best Seasonings For Beef Ribs
I go to a popular grocery store here in Virginia. Like most grocery stores in the US, I have to go to the butcher’s department to get the cut of beef ribs I am looking for. When you are choosing which cut of beef short ribs to smoke, you have 2 options.
- Chuck Ribs
- Plate Ribs
Chuck ribs usually come in 4 bone cuts. They’re shorter than plate ribs, have less meat, and are harder to find.
Plate Ribs Are The Cut Pitmasters Use
Plate ribs have 3 huge bones, they have a lot of meat on the bone, and they’re easier to find.
Removing hard chunks of fat and silverskin is important when smoking beef ribs. You want to get rid of any big hard layers of fat so that you don’t get a mouth full of fat when you bite into the beef rib. You want to remove the silverskin because it stops seasonings and smoke from getting into the meat. Silverskin also becomes leathery as you smoke it. However, here is one very important tip:
Leave The Silverskin On The Back of The Beef Ribs
When smoking pork ribs, we take that silverskin off the back of the ribs. When smoking beef ribs, you must leave the silverskin on because it’s what holds your ribs together. If you remove it, your ribs will likely separate during the smoking process.
You always want clean smoke. However, clean smoke is even more important with beef ribs. When you smoke beef ribs, one of the most important things you are looking for is bark. In order to get the bark, you will have to smoke the ribs unwrapped for a majority of the time, if not the whole time. As a result, beef ribs will absorb a lot of smoke, and if that smoke is dirty, your ribs will have a bitter, chemical-like taste to them.
Smoking Beef Ribs
The most important thing you are looking for when smoking your ribs is bark. The bark makes the ribs look good, and the bark contains all the flavor. You get a fair amount of bark in every bite of your beef rib, so you want to make sure the bark is on the money. In order to do so, you want to smoke the beef ribs at a higher temperature.
Smoke Your Beef Ribs at 250° For Low & Slow. Smoke at 275° For Hot & Fast.
Either cooking method should give you nice bark. Wrapping the ribs is optional. If you decide to wrap, then do so when the ribs reach 190° and use butcher paper as opposed to foil. If you wrap before 190°, your ribs could fall apart during the smoking process, and you use butcher paper instead of foil because the paper will give you tender bark. Pull the ribs when they reach 203°, and let them rest for a minimum of 60 minutes.
As you can see in the picture below, over the years, I’ve had some success at BBQ competitions.
Here is what I’ve learned about seasoning beef ribs for fun or competition.
Your Beef Rib Rub Should Have Little To No Sugar
As mentioned before, the bark is the most important thing we are looking for when we smoke beef ribs. To get this bark, you cook the ribs at a relatively high temperature, unwrapped, for a long time. If you have a sugary rub on your ribs, then the outside of the ribs will burn, and you will lose all that juicy flavor. I brought up this point in my BBQ class, and the Pitmaster agreed. After the class, I told the Pitmaster about the rub I’ve been using in competitions, and he told me he’s used it as well. When I compete in beef ribs or chicken thighs, I use Bald Buck rub. Their rubs have great flavor with little to no sugar. Here is the secret…..treat Bald Buck as your salt. I sometimes use Bald Buck by itself, or I may add in some other spices but again, I treat Bald Buck as my salt because if you just dump the stuff on your meat, the meat will be too salty. When judges, family, or friends eat my beef ribs, I enjoy watching them trying to pinpoint the flavors they are tasting. They have a mixture of joy and curiosity on their face that I can’t get enough of. I don’t work for Bald Buck but highly recommend their rub because of the unique flavor. There are some reviews about it on YouTube, yet almost nobody except for high-level Pitmasters knows about it. Hope these tips help, and have a good one!