What Temp Should Beef Ribs Be Cooked To? Helpful Guides

Cooking beef ribs can be a tricky endeavor. If you don’t get it right, your meal could end in disaster! The perfect juicy and tender beef rib requires the proper cooking temperature for optimal flavor and texture. But what should that temperature be? To help you create the perfect rib dinner every time, we have all the important information on what temp should beef ribs be cooked to. So gather up your ingredients and set up your grill or smoker – it’s time to cook some delicious and flavorful beef ribs.

What Kind Of Beef Ribs Should You Buy?

What Kind Of Beef Ribs Should You Buy?

If you’re wondering which type of beef ribs to buy, there are a few options to consider:

  • Plate Short Ribs: These are the mightiest and meatiest ribs, taken from the lower part of the rib cage. They are stacked with meat on the bone and have plenty of fat, delivering an incredibly rich flavor. Best cooked low and slow, they are great on a smoker with a simple salt and pepper rub.
  • Chuck Short Ribs: This cut is more commonly available and still meaty, but with a slightly smaller bone. They come from underneath the cow’s chuck area and typically consist of the first four or five ribs on the rib cage. With a good amount of flavorful fat, they are great to eat off the bone. These ribs are popular for marinating and are delicious when grilled over direct heat.
  • Back Ribs: Coming from higher on the cow, these ribs are essentially what you would find in a prime rib roast. While they may not have a lot of meat left on the bone, the quality of the meat is high and can be delightfully tender when cooked the right way. They cook more quickly than other types of ribs and are perfect for indirect grilling with a sweet and smoky BBQ sauce.
  • English cut: The English cut is the most frequently encountered style, where the ribs are cut parallel to the bone. This results in a layer of fat and muscle on the top, which can be left on or removed by your butcher. It is available either as a rack of four bones or individually.
  • Flanken cut: The Flanken cut is a thinner style, typically about half an inch thick, and the ribs are cut across the bones. This produces a lovely thin strip of meat with four to five pieces of bone in it. Although these cuts tend to have a lot of hard fat, they absorb marinades exceptionally well, making them ideal for grilling.

Consider your preferences and cooking method when deciding which type of beef ribs to purchase.

What Temp Should Beef Ribs Be Cooked To?

The ideal internal temperature for perfectly smoked beef ribs is 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Achieving consistent smoker temperatures and using a reliable meat thermometer are crucial for obtaining optimal results in this slow cooking process. By following the instructions provided in this post, you will soon be savoring fall-off-the-bone beef ribs.

Ingredients For Cook Beef Ribs

Ingredients for cooking beef ribs:

  • 1 four-bone section of beef ribs (approximately 4-5 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard with horseradish
  • 6 tablespoons Hey Grill Hey Beef Rub (or equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder)

Rib Spritz:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup hot sauce

How To Cook Beef Ribs?

To cook beef ribs, follow these steps:

  • Prep: Remove the layer of fat on top of the ribs and the papery membrane on the bone side. You can ask your butcher to do this or do it yourself at home. Lift off the membrane using a butter knife and a paper towel for a good grip.
  • Season: Slather the trimmed ribs with spicy Dijon mustard, ensuring it contains horseradish. Season generously with either my Beef Rub or a mixture of equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The mustard adds a hint of flavor and helps the dry rub stick to the ribs.
  • Smoke: Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F. Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours.
  • Spritz: Spritz the ribs with a blend of vinegar and hot sauce (recipe below!) during the smoking process. Since these ribs are not wrapped, the spritz keeps them moist and helps create a flavorful bark.
  • Rest, Slice, and serve: When the ribs reach 203 degrees F, remove them from the smoker. Allow them to rest by wrapping them in butcher paper, transferring to a cooler, covering with a towel, and resting for an hour. After the rest, slice the ribs into individual pieces and serve.

Note: The recipe for the vinegar and hot sauce blend spritz is not provided in the original text.

How Long Do You Cook Beef Ribs?

The recommended cooking time for beef ribs is approximately 8-10 hours. However, please note that the exact time may vary depending on the rack of ribs. To ensure optimal results, it is advisable to monitor the internal temperature of the meat and cook until it reaches the desired doneness.

Expert Tips For Cooking Beef Ribs

  • Use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure the ribs reach an internal temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit for perfectly cooked beef ribs.
  • When trimming the ribs, it is best to remove both the fat layer and the papery membrane on the bone side for optimal flavor and texture.
  • Marinating or using a dry rub can add flavor to your beef ribs. Some popular options include spicy Dijon mustard, beef rubs, or a mixture of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Spritzing the ribs with a blend of vinegar and hot sauce during the smoking process helps keep them moist and creates a flavorful bark.
  • Allowing the ribs to rest after cooking is essential for maximum tenderness. Wrap them in butcher paper and place them in a cooler for at least an hour before slicing and serving.
  • For best results, monitor the internal temperature of the ribs to ensure they reach the desired doneness. This may vary depending on your cooking method and personal preference.

What To Serve With Beef Ribs?

What To Serve With Beef Ribs?

Beef ribs are a delicious and hearty dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Consider serving them with classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, corn on the cob, or baked beans. For a healthier option, try pairing them with a refreshing salad or roasted vegetables. You can also serve them with mashed potatoes or mac and cheese for a comforting and indulgent meal.

How To Store Beef Ribs?

To properly store beef ribs, follow these steps:

  1. Place the cooked ribs in a heavy-duty freezer bag and tightly seal, ensuring to squeeze out all the air.
  2. For additional protection, consider placing the sealed bag in a second freezer bag.
  3. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum sealer to package the ribs in a vacuum bag and then place that package in a freezer bag.

FAQs: Beef Ribs

Do beef ribs stall in a smoker?

Beef ribs also experience the “stall” phenomenon when smoked. Similar to roasts and brisket, the temperature can plateau around 160-170°F (71-76°C) for an extended period, causing uncertainty during the cooking process.

How long does it take to smoke a rack of beef ribs?

The smoking time for a rack of beef ribs typically varies between 4 to 6 hours, or even longer, depending on factors like weather conditions, lid opening frequency, and initial meat temperature. Aim for tenderness, usually achieved at around 185-190 °F.

What is the best time and temperature for beef ribs?

The recommended time and temperature for smoking beef ribs is as follows: Once the grill has achieved a stable temperature of 250°F, place the beef ribs on the grill. Insert a temperature probe into the thickest part of the meat, avoiding any bones. Continue smoking the beef ribs for approximately five to six hours, or until the internal temperature of the beef ribs reaches 160°F.

4 thoughts on “What Temp Should Beef Ribs Be Cooked To? Helpful Guides”

    • Yeah, just hard when everything you read says 200. I pulled it at 190. Resting right now. We’ll see how it turns out. It always seems like my prime briskets finish before 200 as well. I’m starting to think altitude has something to do with it.


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