I've featured smoked beef ribs many times on the website over the years but these smoked crosscut beef ribs sort of take things up to another level. Instead of slicing them between the bones, these are cut across the ribs at about ¼ to ½ inches wide.
They are also called flanken style beef ribs. Many asian dishes use these, cut very thinly and they are delicious.
In doing some research, I found that quite a few people out there are telling people these cannot be cooked low and slow and/or advising that they can only be cooked hot and fast over a grill but after doing several batches over the last several days, I can tell you that low and slow is the way to go on these.
Let's just get into it and I'll show you how I did it.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Dry Brine: Overnight
Cook Time: 4 hours
Smoker Temp: 250°F
Meat Finish Temp: 190-195°F
Recommended Wood: Oak, pecan, or cherry
What You'll Need
Crosscut beef ribs (Beef plate short ribs – crosscut about ¼ to ½ inch thick
I found these crosscut beef ribs at Costco as I often find neat things in there and it always finds it's way into my cart and ultimately into my smoker! Not to worry though if you are not a Costco member or don't see these readily available in your local grocery store or wherever you purchase meat.
Ask the butcher behind the counter for beef plate short ribs and/or chuck short ribs and ask him to slice them crosscut or flanken style across the bones at about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
Step 1: Dry Brine Overnight
As with most beef, dry brining is the way to go. This is simply a process by which you sprinkle coarse kosher salt onto the meat and place it in the fridge overnight or at at least for a few hours.
The salt pulls meat juice to the surface where it dissolves the salt. That salty brine is then absorbed back into the meat and ta-da.. you just seasoned the inside of the meat while you slept.
Place the crosscut beef ribs flat into a pan or on a pan/rack and sprinkle coarse kosher salt on them quite liberally. The actual formula is ½ teaspoon per pound of meat but I usually just eyeball it and it never ends up too salty.
Here's what mine looked like before and after salting:
Now they are ready to place in the fridge overnight or up to 2 days ahead of time. You can cover them if you like but it's not required.
Step 2: Prepare to Cook
Once these are dry brined overnight (or longer) remove the crosscut beef ribs from the fridge and place them on the counter. You will also need a full-size pan or (2) half-size pans and some Worcestershire sauce.
Pour just enough Worcestershire in the bottom of the pan to make it puddle a little all over.
Now place the ribs into the pan making sure to leave a little space between each one so the smoke and heat can get to the top and sides.
Now pour more of the Worcestershire sauce over the to of the meat to wet the tops. We are not trying to drown the beef ribs, just give them a little moisture while they cook. It's a great balance between braising and smoking.
We are now ready to cook!
Step 3: Set up the Smoker
You can use ANY smoker for these. If you are using a traditional smoker, set it up to cook at about 225°F with indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
Start pellet smokers on the lowest setting or the special “smoke” setting.
Step 4: Smoke Time
For smokers that are heated by charcoal, propane, wood splits or logs, or an electric element:
Place the pan of crosscut beef ribs on the grate.
About every hour, use a spoon to wet the tops of the meat with the sauce in the pan.
Maintain 225-240°F for the entire time and you can expect them to take about 4 hours to reach 190-195°F.
For pellet smokers:
Place the pan of crosscut beef ribs on the grate.
Leave the heat set to lowest setting or “Smoke” for the first 60 minutes then turn it up to 250°F for the remaining time. You can expect them to take about 4 hours to reach 190-195°F.
About every hour, use a spoon to wet the tops of the crosscut beef ribs with the sauce in the pan.
Step 5: Finish Up
Once the meat reaches it's most tender state which will be at an internal temperature of about 190-195°F as measured by an instant-read thermometer such as the Thermapen by ThermoWorks, they are perfectly cooked and ready to come into the house.
Bring the entire pan of glorious smoked crosscut beef ribs into the house and serve immediately!
Questions About Smoked Crosscut Beef Ribs
Can these be cooked in the oven if I don't have a smoker?
Yes, absolutely! A smoker is best but if you are still sans smoker, don't let that stop you from trying out this recipe! Same instructions as for traditional smokers.. maintain about 225-240 for 4 hours or until they reach 190-195 °F and be sure to spoon some of those juices up onto the meat every hour or so.
Can I use something other than Worcestershire?
Yes, it's more about the moisture than the flavor, although we really love the flavor that the Worcestershire adds to these. You can use beef broth if you prefer.
My crosscut beef ribs are cut thicker than the ones that you show in the images above, will that affect the cooking time?
Probably a little but not a lot. As I always preach.. use temperature instead of time to tell you when the meat is done. I give you an estimate based on my experiences but any number of things can affect the cooking time and if you are using internal temperature to tell you when they're done, this won't be a problem.
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Instead of slicing them between the bones, these are cut across the ribs at about ¼ to ½ inches wide. They are also called flanken style beef ribs. Many asian dishes use these, cut very thinly and they are delicious.
4lbsBeef plate short ribs(((crosscut about ¼ to ½ inch thick), chuck short ribs should also work))
3tspCoarse kosher salt
2TBSJeff's Texas style rub((order at https://thinbluefoods.com))
Full-size foil pan((or (2) half-size pans))
Lay all of the rib slices flat on a rack/pan and sprinkle a total of about 3 tsp of coarse kosher salt evenly over all of them.
Using Jeff's Texas style rub, sprinkle the tops of each rib slice.
Place the pan of crosscut beef ribs in the fridge overnight or up to 48 hours.
Prepare Ribs for Smoking
Pour about 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce down in a full-size foil pan.
Place the meat in the pan making sure to leave a little space between each one.
Pour another 1/2 cup of the Worcestershire over the tops of the rib slices.
Set up your smoker for cooking with indirect heat at about 225-240 degrees F. If you are using a pellet smoker, start it up on the lowest temperature or "smoke".
If your smoker uses a water pan fill it up.
Smoke cook the crosscut beef ribs for about 4 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 190-195 degrees F.
If you are using a pellet smoker, cook the meat at the lowest setting or "smoke" setting for the first hour then turn it up to 250 degrees F for the remaining time.
About once per hour, spoon some of the juices up onto the meat.
When the ribs are tender and done, remove them from the heat and serve immediately.