Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the smoking meat newsletter. I had a hankering for some smoked beef ribs the other day and I decided to document what I did and make a newsletter out of it.
Now when we are talking about beef back ribs, many of you in the smoking meat community know these as dinosaur bones or "dino bones" due to their huge size. You must know that these are a lot of bone and not a lot of meat per rib but then the flavor is very rich due to the high fat content so you probably wouldn't eat as many of these as you would say a much leaner baby back pork rib.
I have a process that I use to cook these which tends to get them really tender and renders out a lot of that fat.. It is a method of smoking them directly on the grate for part of the time then transferring them to a pan for the remainder of the time. Keep reading and I will explain exactly how I do this.
Don't forget to order..
My Previous Newsletter:
With July 4th close at hand, I decided to point out some quick tips on Brisket, Ribs, Brats, Pork butt and chicken. A good refresher for any holiday or cooking event.
Smoking Beef Back Ribs
What to Purchase
I bought the ribs for this experiment at my local grocery store and lucky for me they were already cut into individual bones. I look for ribs that are a nice, deep red and have plenty of fat marbling in the meat. I also try to pick out beef ribs that are as meaty as possible. Mind you, they're not going to be nearly as meaty as pork ribs usually but some are "meatier" than others if you pick through them.
How to Prepare
I highly recommend marinating these in some good flavor overnight before cooking these.. I think it does alot for the ribs. My own concoction is to pour about a half cup of worcestershire in the bottom of a large tupperware bowl then sprinkle about 1/4 cup of my rub recipe in the bottom.
Lay a layer of ribs meat side down on top of this.
Lay another layer of ribs meat side up on top of the first layer and sprinkle on more Worcestershire and rub just like you did at the first. Continue adding layers meat side up with the Worcestershire and the rub until you are out of ribs or out of space.
Put a lid on the container or some foil/plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.
The next morning..
Take the bowl of ribs out of the fridge and lay them on the cabinet top to warm a little while you go out and get the smoker ready.
Preparing the Smoker
I lit the burner and while the smoker was heating up I covered the water pan with foil for easier cleanup and filled it with water. I also filled the wood box with about 6-7 chunks of mesquite.
I adjusted the temperature knob to high and quickly went in to get the ribs and get them in the smoker before the smoke started flowing.. I knew I had about 5 minutes tops.
Note: the best way to get the wood to smoking in you gas smoker is to turn the heat on high until you see smoke then turn it down to the proper setting. Leaving the door cracked during this time will allow some of the heat to escape so it does not get too hot inside the smoker.
Smoking the Ribs
I laid the ribs bone side down directly on the grate for the initial smoke (I will do something a little different later on).
Note: You will notice my round of wood with a hole in it which I use to hold the temperature probe from my digital probe meat thermometer. My temperature gauge on this old smoker no longer works and this is how I know how hot my smoker is. You can also stick the probe through a potato if you like and it works just as well.
I adjusted the temperature knob to medium and made a few other adjustments over the next 10 minutes until I got the temperature to stay where I wanted it at about 215 degrees. I wanted low and real slow on these babies.
I let the ribs smoke real slow for the next 2 hours.
After 2 hours had elapsed, I got 3 pans and poured about 3/4 cup of beef broth in each one.
I then put 4-5 ribs from the grate into each pan bone side down and added more of my rub recipe on top for good measure.. gosh that stuff's good!
Once the ribs were in the pans, I placed the pans into the smoker to finish cooking the ribs at about 225 degrees.
I expected to leave them in the smoker for at least 2 more hours but I was in no hurry.. when they get tender, we'll eat them and not a second sooner.
Here they are at about 1 hour after I put them in the pan
Why put them in a pan?
Well, my theory is that they will sit in the pan and soak up some of the juices. I also think the steam from the pan will help to super tenderize them and help to render out some of that fat. Since the fat is so flavorful, I want them to cook in the rendered fat until they are done.
I let the ribs go for about 2 hours in the pan at 225 then I turned them down to 200 degrees while I went and ran an errand.
Total time in the smoker was 5 hours with 2 hours on the grate and 3 hours in the pan. Total smoke time was 2 hours since I did not add more wood once they went into the pan. Feel free to add more wood if you like as the smoke will continue to flavor the meat even after they go into the pan.
The ribs turned out beautifully and they were tender and juicy with very little fat left in the meat.
Notes: like most other ribs, it is nearly impossible to get a good read on the temperature of the ribs using a thermometer so the best way to tell when they are done is to check the tenderness. The ribs will get done to a safe temperature before they get tender. In this way, you can know that if they are tender, they are also safe to eat.
I recommend cooking these ribs at 225 degrees in order to keep the rub from burning. The rub will burn at temperatures hotter than 225 and that is not the desired effect.
Folks.. I never stop amazing myself at how good my rib rub recipe and sauce recipe is on various kinds of meat.
Whether it is ribs, brisket, pork shoulder or even something simple like chicken or chops, every time I use my rub and sauce I am blown away by the flavor all over AGAIN!
I always think to myself, "I sure hope everyone can try this.. it is too good to go through life never having experienced this!"
I am not being dramatic.. just try it and you will join the ranks of those who know if I'm lying then I'm dying! This stuff is Fan-flavor-tastic and you need it in a bad-bad way;-)
Here is a few testimonies from other folks who decided to go for it and are glad that they did. Be sure to send my your testimony once you try it and realize that you have just tasted of HEAVEN.
I would like to Thank You for the Rib Rub Recipe, I made this for my family and the results were unanimous, everyone said that the ribs were the BEST they ever tasted, and the meat was very tender and moist. I haven't tried the BBQ sauce recipe yet, but I will in the near future. ~ Jerome
Jeff, You truly are the man. Bought your rib rub and your sakes alive sauce and love them both. Keep up the good work helping people like me learn to cook good BBQ with smoke. ~ Matt
Jeff, I was smoking a Boston butt Saturday night for dinner Sunday and decided to try your bbq sauce. I have to say this is hands down the best sauce I've ever had and I've tried a lot of them. Its very easy to make, inexpensive and taste excellent. I will be using this recipe for a long time. ~ Doug
Love your newsletter each month. LOVE you BBQ sauce and rub even better!!!! ~ Kawal
I cooked some burgers on the grill the other night and put your rub on liberally on both sides. Man, those were the best burgers I ever cooked. My wife loved them. The recipes are great. Well worth the money charged. Thanks. ~ Gordon
You deserve the very best and is is completely within your grasp! Only $18.95 and worth every penny. Not only do you get the best rub and sauce recipe available, you are supporting this website and helping to make sure the bills get paid so we can keep on doing what we do to teach thousands and thousands of people across the world the art of smoking meat.
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Until next time.. keep smoking and God Bless.