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School me on beef ribs

I friggin' love smoked beef ribs. All things being equal it is my favorite type of BBQ. I have only made once though so I don't know much about them beyond eating. Doing a little research online it seems plate short ribs is the way to go, if I can find. How do I know how much to buy per person? Any prep needed beyond Dalmatian rub and removing membrane? How long, on average, should I expect them to take to cook? Is it similar to brisket? I assume I can FTC for awhile with no issues? And, like brisket, should I use butcher's paper instead of foil?

What else am I missing? Thanks!


  • FanOfFanboysFanOfFanboys Posts: 2,574
    just called a local butcher and they have short beef ribs for $7.49/lb. would I be on the right track with those?
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 10,444
    Depends if they have been cut into shorties or not. If your looking for the brisket on a stick style ribs you either want plate or chuck ribs. If I’m not mistaken shorties are cut from these. See if they have any whole rib plates.  


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • CtTOPGUNCtTOPGUN Posts: 601
     i would not remove the membrane on beef ribs. There is no meat back side so it only helps hold it together for easier cooking. I like a good bark so if wrapping I would use paper. Foil softens the bark too much for me.

    LBGE/Weber Kettle/Blackstone 36" Griddle/Turkey Fryer/Induction Burner/28" Blackstone Griddle/Cuisinart Twin Oaks

     BBQ from the State of Connecticut!

  • blind99blind99 Posts: 4,946
    as ^^ he says, it's all about the cut.  they're really often cut into small pieces.  if i can find them, i like the big slabs. i just season them and smoke them.  i find they only take a few hours (~3) and don't need any foiling or wrapping.  i trim very little.  lots of coarse ground pepper, and some salt.  50/50 would kill me.  

    Chicago, IL - Large and Small BGE - Weber Gasser and Kettle
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 29,528
    its important to really inspect the ribs when buying them. back ribs you are looking to find meat on the bones with no shiners (bone showing along the top).  short ribs you look at the edges looking for meat and not a thick mid fat layer like this. dont buy it if it looks like this


    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 29,528
    if its  really meaty, you can even cook it to medium rare which have a ton of flavor, i like it better than steak

    Image result for short ribs fishlessman

    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • EzraBrooksEzraBrooks Posts: 297
    I have a hard time finding beef ribs in my area, no small butcher shop near me.  I order from Creekstone Farms and have always had good results.
  • Sweet100sSweet100s Posts: 550
    Get them as thick as possible.

    My last ones weren’t tall enough.  

    Ended out with too much icing and not enough cake.  (Too much yummy bark, not enough meat). But when you’re really hungry, you can’t just eat all bark ;).
  • SonVoltSonVolt Posts: 3,156
    edited July 2020
    If you have a Publix near you you can ask the butcher for a whole "plate rib" and they'll get one out of the back for you. They don't typically sell them whole, but cut into 3" stubs for braising. 

    As far as how much to buy, it's probably not something you want to serve a crowd unless you're ready to drop some $$$ so I would only purchase one slab (4 ribs) for 2-3 people to enjoy. 

    I also wouldn't remove the membrane on beef ribs (or pork ribs either, but that's an argument for another time). 

    Personally I think regular chuck ribs give a similar flavor on a smaller scale and are typically cheaper. Though I have noticed the price on these skyrocketing lately...
    South of Nashville  -  BGE XL  -  Alfresco 42" ALXE  -  Alfresco Versa Burner  - Sunbeam Microwave 
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 1,011
    I ask the butcher to cut a plate in half. The meat is not distributed evenly; the first rib will have plenty while the last is a bit spare. By cutting in half, you can mix and match for better distribution. 
    Owner of a large and a beloved mini in Philadelphia
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