Beef Ribs -- HELP!

So the supermarkets are kindly assisting me in stretching my meat budget lately by pricing beef back ribs at quite reasonable prices. I buy a couple of racks and bring them home to grill. Before I put them on the fire, I cut them apart, throw them into a pot of water, add some white vinegar, garlic salt and sweet onion vinaigrette, then boil them for about fifteen minutes. I then place them on a grill in the back yard, and barbecue them for about half an hour, with liberal applications of bottled barbecue sauce.

They tase good, as far as they go, but the meat just doesn’t fall off the bone, the way I have come to expect with pork spare ribs. And it’s just too tough to be satisfying, no matter how meaty the ribs looked in the supermarket. I never run into this problem with barbecued beef back ribs at a restaurant.

Can anyone help me figure out just how I should be cooking these? Thanks awfully.

“and barbecue them for about half an hour, with liberal applications of bottled barbecue sauce.”

There’s your problem right there. If you want tender ribs, low and slow is the way to cook them. You can’t just slam them on the grill and expect the meat to be tender. They are never going to be as tender as pork, but you can get close. Just take tour time, keep the grill fire low, and let them cook. Don’t put anything on them until the last 15 minutes or so. Of course, if you forgo the boiling, then you can use any number of wonderful rubs on the ribs.

Low and slow. Make this your mantra. Low and slow.

Ah. Thanks for the tip. So this is a weekend-type project, rather than something I want to try putting on the table after work.

I’ll give this a try come Saturday.

I’ve been buying these quite often lately since they’ve been selling for less than a buck a pound quite often. The cooking method depends on what I’m in the mood for:[ul]
[li]Low and slow–Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a grill I can do this on, so I do “low and slow” in my electric roaster. Pretty much the same way described in the OP.[/li][li]Grilling–Marinate in worcestershire sauce, garlic, steak seasoning, black pepper, dry mustard. Grill over high heat as you would a steak. When cooked medium rare, they taste as good as any steak at 5 times the price. Just make sure you find good meaty ribs. I actually prefer bone-in steak anyway–I’m a gnawer.[/li][/ul]

A three day fridge soak with Camo High Gravity Lager ($1.29 for the BIG can), prior to boiling will improve both tenderness and flavor.

Beef Ribs cry out for braising instead of grilling (not that grilling is a bad thing). Braising will give you that fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth goodness you want.

Why am I suddenly picturing Grandpa Munster feeding the goldfish? :smiley:

Okay. A brief description of what braising is, please, and how best to accomplish it.

Braising involves browning the meat briefly, then adding a liquid (broth, stock, water, wine, combinations thereof), turning the heat down to a simmer, and cooking slowly (covered) till tender. Highly recommended for cheaper cuts of beef and pork.

This sounds like a job for a Crock Pot. I’ll look for instructions (if someone doesn’t beat me to it).

Boil them longer, or better yet steam them, better yet steam them in a pressure cooker, then grill.

is something in which you might be interested. I watched Alton Brown do this a few nights ago and it seems like a simple enough, easy to follow procedure for a rib newcomer.

kaylasdad99 - I cook them covered, in the oven, at like 325 or 350 in beef broth for at least an hour and a half. Kind of steamed I suppose you could say. Then I drain them, cover with bbq sauce and bake another half hour uncovered. At that point you could probably grill them, but they are so falling off the bone I don’t know how good it would work. My son loves them this way - and is always asking me for them. :slight_smile:

I’m surprised that this thread has gone on so long without someone coming in and ranting about what a travesty par-boiling is. Anyway, braising is a moist heat cooking method utilizing a small amount of liquid, generally about 1 inch or so. Stewing is a moist heat cooking method utilizing a large amount of cooking liquid. The difference is that braised meat 1/2 steams, 1/2 boils.,,FOOD_9936_15043,00.html

Bobby Flay does ribs on Food 911. Amazing, falling off the bone beef ribs. He boils for 45 minutes to an hour, then grills just to crisp up the outsides.

*Psst! * Tyler Florence does Food 911. Bobby Flay (aka Satan) does Boy Meets Grill and various other grill shows.

OK a two-fer. Boiling ribs is just wrong. It imparts a smell to them that remains throughout the cooking. Boiled beef is not a good smell. This is reason number 47,564 why the people that hang out real BBQ websites are all convinced that
A) Bobby Flay couldn’t spell BBQ if you spotted him a B and a Q, and
B) That boy wouldn’t know good Q if it was given to him. (cause he sure as hell can’t cook it himself)
Braising is a great method of cooking some things. Braised ribs will be tender for sure but they won’t have that crust that develops from proper low and slow BBQ cooking.
Here is what I do with beef ribs. It is kind of a combo method, some Q some braise.
Season and place over a low direct fire (200-250F) for about 3 hours turning every 30 minutes or so. Use Hickory or oak wood chuncks for smoke.
Wrap tightly in foil and place back on fire for 60-90 minutes (turning as necessary to prevent burning
Remove from foil, and place again over direct heat to crust them up. between 30-60 minutes
Add sauce the last 15 minutes or so if desired, but probably won’t be necessary.

Are you doing this over a regular charcoal grill? How do you keep the fire going so long?

I have a couple packs of beef ribs in the freezer from the quarter beef we ordered and the first package I made in the crock pot were yucky, IMO. I’m looking for a better way. Thanks.

Yes, I cook over charcoal. I use one of these which will run up to about 24 hours on a single load of charcoal (Lump not briquette) If you are using a metal charcoal cooker, you will probably have to reload it once or twice during the cook. You need to have the air choked down, so the temp doesn’t go high. This will make the fuel last longer.

I wanted to pop in to thank all who contributed suggestions. I now have a technique that will enable me and my family to enjoy the beef ribs that I’ve been turning down for years.

Arrange ribs in a large metal baking pan, season with garlic and herb seasonin. Reconstitute three bottled beef bouillon cubes in three cups of simmering water; pour over ribs. Cover with aluminum foil and pace in 300F oven for about two hours. Remove from broth, and grill with bottled barbecue sauce.

Last week, I had everything prepared before I went to work. About half an hour before I left for home, I called Michaela up and directed her to place the ribe in the oven and turn it on. An hour and a half later, I parked my bicycle in the garage, and came in to check that everything was going well. It was, and in thenext hour I grilled the ribs, assembled the macaroni salad, and sat down to a delicious repast with my wife and daughter.