Our beef ribs are famous with our gang. You can secure your backyard barbecue fame, following our step-by-step recipe, and our "6 Secrets."
We barbecue beef ribs on a charcoal grill with the indirect cooking method. This means that the ribs are placed along side, and never directly over, the fire.
The heat is kept low, and the ribs cooked slowly. Patience pays big dividends! All to attain that incredible smoke flavor and the moist, cooked to perfection result that alludes so many!
We believe that... "Barbecue is the Mystical Communion of Fire, Smoke and Meat"
Patience The real secret to our traditional barbecue beef rib recipe is to maintain a low heat (225-250°F/107-121°C) for an extended cooking period. This is not fast, but the best way to get them tender! You'll need a full bucket load of this virtue when cooking ribs on a charcoal grill. Figure about 1.5 hours/pound.
Meat Try to buy fresh! Beef ribs are generally sold as "Back Ribs", in a plastic vacuum pack, by the slab with 7 ribs. "Select" grade (or better) works just fine.
Spices Fresh, top quality spices make a lot of difference. See Secret #2...Great Spices for more on this.
Charcoal Grill The bigger, the better! Especially if you plan on cooking for a large group. But a smaller kettle type grill (our very favorite is the Weber), or a sturdy classic horizontal charcoal grill, will work great. Be certain you have plenty of charcoal for the duration!
Charcoal/charcoal briquettes There are advantages to both fuels, however just one maxim applies to both...buy the best you can find. Kingsford brand briquettes top the list for quality, and availability. But please don't buy the "instant light" of any brand! Real charcoal (for you purists) can be difficult to find, and rather expensive, however...
We have found a great resource, restaurant grade, reasonably priced, from Fogo. Their 35 lb. bag of premium lump charcoal is a bargain.
Metal pan Filled with at least 1/2" of water, placed under the cooking rack below the ribs, and used to control the inevitable flare-ups, distribute the heat more evenly, and provide some moisture.
Chimney-type charcoal starter Not mandatory, but sure makes starting and maintaining the coals much easier. Our favorite top performer is the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter. Lot of chimney starters out there, but this is the champ.
Mop tool For basting barbecue ribs, you really want a mop...just a miniature version (12-18" long) of a string-mop you might have for cleaning the kitchen! For ease of cleaning, and long reach, we prefer this Sauce Mop with Removable Head.
Oven/Grill thermometer It's critical that you know what's going on inside the grill! For exceptional accuracy, we use and trust the CDN High Heat Oven Thermometer, and the Admetior Kitchen Oven Thermometer.
Rib Rack This tool is the answer to cooking ribs with limited grill space! You need one that is strong enough to hold the ribs upright, and regardless of price, few do. We found one that fits the bill with Steven Raichlen's Ultimate Rib Rack. A little pricey, but it works great!
Barbecue beef ribs usually are sold in slabs of several ribs, sealed in a plastic vacuum-pack, or fresh slabs at the butcher counter. Fresh is always better, but either way, our barbecue beef rib recipe will work wonders.
NOTE: Ribs should be always kept in the refrigerator (approx. 40°F/4.4°C) before preparation.
The ribs are first "rubbed" with a simple, dry, spice-accented rub recipe. All for that unforgettable tender, perfectly seasoned, eating experience!
Now, for some great barbecue beef ribs, let's start with this truly classic rub that will impart all of the flavors your drooling chops are hankerin' for.Do not let the simplicity of this basic rub fool you. It works great, and you can adjust the recipe (as the "pros" do) to make it "yours". Check out our Barbecue Rub Secrets page for more on this.
Mix together thoroughly the following:
This recipe is enough for 3 to 4 racks of ribs and can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.
If you wish, to maximize the flavor, apply the rub a few hours (up to a day) before cooking time. Just wrap the ribs in plastic-wrap, or a covered glass/plastic container, and put them into the refrigerator.
Our barbecue beef rib recipe includes a mop (basting sauce).A long time favorite with many experienced rib cookers (and we've learned to love it) is to frequently apply a mop (baste sauce), during the cooking cycle, to flavor and keep the meat moist. Mops are usually a watery mixture of vinegar, water, and spices, applied with a basting "mop".
Notice the spices in the basting sauce are similar to the rub? You want to compliment the flavors of your rub, and it is OK to use just the basic spices of the rub (with vinegar and water). Experiment and have fun!
Here is a simple barbecue beef rib recipe favorite:
Mix well in a bowl, to be applied with a mop tool. When you use the mop tool, stir each time before mopping. Never save mop sauce left in the bowl (it is tainted with the meat's raw juices). Otherwise the sauce will last a long time in the refrigerator.
NOTE: Please, do not use charcoal lighter fluid. There are several good "fire-starters" on the market that will not taint the meat, or impart potentially dangerous chemicals to the food.
...warm, cut individually and for the Cookin' Cousins" taste, eat 'em just as they are, but... Many folks like a "finishing sauce". This is nothing more than a barbecue sauce, of your choice, served as a side dish (or two), for the folks who would like to put something more on their ribs. Lets eat!