BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Short ribs Texas style

It is smoke roasting that makes Texas barbecue what it is supposed to be. The goal is to get the meat to the temperature where both fat and collagen have melted. Treating the meat just like pork ribs, pork shoulder, and beef brisket is the approach.  The trick is to take the temperature up past “well done”, going as high coopers_beef_ribsas 190°F. The optimum range seems to be 180-190°F.

Here the seductive flavors of smoke and spice rub carry the tune.  At 180-190°F, much of the fat renders off and the melted collagens replace the water as moisturizer.

 In commercial situations, brick pits burning post oak are still considered the best, if old fashioned, as is cooking at 275 to 300°F in these pits for 1.5 to 2.5 hours in racks of four ribs.  Texas style short ribs at home are best cooked a bit lower and slower to reduce shrinkage at 225°F to bring the meat up to about 180°F internal.  This process that can take up to 4 ½ to 5 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat.

The one tip that’s worth mentioning here is if you are going to go to the trouble to make BBQ Ribs, make a pile of them, use what you need and wrap the rest in air tight packs on the serving sizes you need and freeze.  They keep and reheat deliciously for 3 – 4 months.

The one tip that’s worth mentioning here is if you are going to go to the trouble to make BBQ Ribs, make a pile of them, use what you need and wrap the rest in air tight packs of the serving sizes you need and freeze.  They keep and reheat deliciously for 3 – 6 months.

BBQ Beef Short Rib Recipe

1) Begin by removing all of the fat and the very tough “silverskin” from the top of the meat, but not the membrane from the exposed side of the bones (as you do with pork ribs), then cut slabs into individual bones.  Some bones in a package have little meat and lots of fat. Don’t toss these, trim and cook them anyway. There are several nice bites of meat on the sides of the bone, and they will finish long before the other ribs and you can snack on those while waiting for the thicker slabs to cook through.

2) Lightly coat the meat with extra virgin olive oil so the oil soluble spices in the rub will stick, dissolve and penetrate a bit. Flavor the meat with a rub that contains salt but very little sugar.  Our BAPantryGourmet.com House Steak Seasoning is perfect. Rub tops,sides and bottom, and coat generously. Allow the rubto work on the meat in the refrigerator for  a minimum of an hour, three’s bette or even overnight..

3) Setup your grill or smoker for indirect cooking.  Preheat to 225°F (hot enough to kill bacteria but not too high to evaporate all the moisture.)

4) Put the meat on, bone side down, and add the wood: oak (traditional in Texas because it is mild) but other woods hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite work fine. I like apple. Beef absorbs smoke more quickly than other cuts, so always, go easy on the wood. Too much smoke will ruin the meal. Add no more than 2-4 ounces on a tight cooker, double that if it leaks a lot and keep the lid on.

Don’t add more wood. Don’t turn the meat over and cook bone down all the way. Keep covered and resist looking until about 3/4 of the way through the cook, based on the guide below.  (Remember the old saw:  If you’re looking, You’re NOT cooking!) The exact length of cook time depends on variables such as the composition of the meat (each steer is different; a cut across the grain and a good look at the texture will give you a good idea.  Coarser texture/thicker meat = a longer the cooking time).

  •  1″ thick meat should hit 180°F (Texas style) in about 3 hours.
  •  1.5″ thick meat should hit 150°F in about 1.5 hours and 180°F in about 3.5 hours.
  •  2″ thick meat should hit 150°F in about 2 hours and 180°F in about 4 hours.

With smokey BBQ skip the sauce.  Tomato based sauces with a sweet profile clash with smoky beef; good for pork and chicken, but not smokey ribs. If you must use a sauce, try a Demi-glace spiked with heavy red wine and a touch of horseradish.

6) Nice to serve:  Bourbon Baked Beans and your favorite Cole Slaw

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