The Texas BBQ that made me fall in love with BBQ after growing up on sweet, pork BBQ in the south. These are the King of all BBQ for me. When you are eating BBQ in Texas you are typically eating what is known as short ribs or plate ribs. AKA 123A or 3 bone beef ribs which are trimmed from the mid-section of ribs 6 through 8. This cut can sometimes be difficult to find outside of a butcher shop. A good alternative are 130 beef chuck short ribs, aka 4 bone beef ribs which originate from the mid-section of ribs 2 through 5. These are easily found at grocery stores or Costco or just ask your butcher.
Also, 124 beef ribs, originating from the most dorsal section of ribs 6 through 12 can be found easily at many grocery stores. This is the portion of the ribs that is directly ventral to the ribeye roll. Considering the higher value of the muscles in the ribeye roll, 124 beef rib, back ribs have little to no overlying tissue on the dorsal side.
Meat Church How To YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/oATdSFvtj-M
- 1 rack, Beef Short Ribs
- Meat Church Holy Cow BBQ Seasoning
- Instant Read Thermometer
- Unwaxed butcher paper (sub aluminum foil)
Prepare your Smoker
Prepare your Smoker at 250 degrees. We recommend a heavy smoking wood or pellet for this cook such as oak or mesquite. Traditional Texas BBQ is smoked with post oak.
Prepare the ribs
Trim any hard fat or silver skin off the meat side of the rack of ribs.
Remove the membrane off the back of beef ribs is optional. I do not typically do it but it's ok if you choose to. I think the ribs cook better with it intact. Plus beef ribs don't eat like pork ribs with the unpleasant membrane. If you want to remove it, flip the ribs meat side down and remove it with a paper towel.
Apply a heavy coat of our Holy Cow seasoning on the top side of the meat as well as the sides. Allow the meat side seasoning to adhere for at least 30 minutes.
Smoke the Ribs
Place the ribs meat side up in the smoker. You can spritz the ribs every couple hours or so with a liquid such as cider vinegar, beef broth or even water. The cook on 3 bone, beef short ribs will take 8 - 10 hours total depending on size.
I don't always wrap my beef ribs (like a brisket), because I'm trying to get "maximum bark." However, you can wrap them tightly in unwaxed butcher paper (or foil) at the 170 internal temp mark which will be around 6 hours.
Continue smoking the ribs until the meat between the bones is probe tender. I use my instant read thermometer to feel the meat without looking at the temp. We are feeling for tenderness. Then I look at the temp.
I'm looking for the ribs to be "jiggly" which is a tenderness that occurs at a higher internal temp than a brisket. I take brisket to an average temp of 203, but I take beef ribs to 208- 210.
Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow to rest and cool at ambient temperature for 30 - 45 minutes. Put them in a dry cooler if you need to hold them for longer than an hour.
You can eat these a number of ways. You can either make two long cuts to serve the ribs whole. Alternatively you can slice the meat off the bone and cube it up for more folks to enjoy.
*Beef rib cut info courtesy of the Texas A&M Meat Science Section, Department of Animal Science