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How to Barbecue Beef Ribs on the Grill

Updated on November 7, 2012
Paul Edmondson profile image

Paul is a barbecue enthusiast. Currently grilling and smoking on a Komodo Kamado Ultimate 23.

Barbecue Beef Rib Recipe Five Star Ribs

Heat and Smoke makes the best beef ribs

BBQ Beef Ribs

It's pretty uncommon these days to go to a barbecue where they serve barbecued beef ribs, although they're fantastic. If you want to do something a little different, that's very easy to barbecue, and very delicious I suggest giving beef ribs a try. Like I said, beef ribs are very easy to barbecue. All you need is a slab of beef ribs, an easy beef rub recipe, a barbecue and time to cook them at a low temperature for a few hours.

Beef Dry Rub Recipe

When it comes to beef ribs, I think a simple dry rub recipe that provides a good salty flavor is best.

  • 1/4 cup Garlic salt
  • 1 - 2 Tablespoons of pepper
  • Optional 2 Tablespoons of black truffle salt

I love the truffle salt flavor. It makes a more gourmet rib. Most truffle salts come as a mix of truffle and sea salt that is more course than table salt. A very simple way to season ribs is cracked black pepper and truffle salt sprinkled generously on top and rubbed into the meat.

Frozen Beef Ribs are easy to dethaw

Getting your Beef Ribs Fresh or Frozen

When I go to the butcher, I have to ask for beef ribs because they aren't on display. They usually go back to the freezer and bring me back a rack of frozen ribs. Each rack will feed about two to three hungry people.

There's nothing to worry about with frozen ribs. They can be thawed out in about 15 minutes in a sink where they are covered in hot water. Just put the vacuumed pack ribs in the hotwater and let them sit for 15 minutes.

Sometimes the butcher won't have any frozen ribs, but beef ribs come from the rib roast. My butcher will take an entire rib roast and cut off the entire slab of ribs. These ribs taste just as good as the frozen ribs, but sometimes the butcher charges a bit more for these. The butcher will tell you that baby back pork ribs have more meat on them, but they're smaller. Beef ribs are much larger, so they have more bone. When I compare the amount of meat on beef ribs to baby back ribs and the relative cost, I think beef ribs are a better deal. Our butcher charges under $3lbs, while baby back ribs are over $4 per pound.

Season both sides of the ribs

Seasoning your Beef Ribs and Barbecuing

After your ribs are thawed out, season them liberally with your dry rub and then let them sit while you start your barbecue fire.

When it comes to cooking beef ribs, it's best to cook them at a low temperature with smoke for a long period of time. My favorite way to cook them is over an oak fire, but they will be tasty if they are cooked on a gas grill or over charcoal. I target my grill temperature to 275 degrees. Once the grills heat is stable, I put the beef slabs on the grill with the bone side down.

The ideal rib cook takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. I use an indirect fire in my grill and cook the ribs for 45 minutes to one hour bone side down, then I flip the ribs and cook them for another 45 minutes. The long cook will help make the ribs tender. Beef ribs are pretty fatty, so they won't dry out.

To cook beef ribs really well, you have to be able to control the temperature and you need smoke to get a great flavor. If you cook on a charcoal or gas grill, get some wood chips (hickory or apple). Also make sure your grill sits high enough above the heat source so that the fat drippings don't start a grease fire. Gas grills are particularly prone to grease fires, so you may want to place the ribs on one side of the grill and turn the heat on the other side to prevent flareups. Grill the ribs at a lower temperature and have a cup of water if a grease fire starts. Dowse a little water on the flames and put the ribs in a section without a direct flame.

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Tent your ribs and slice them

Once the ribs are finished cooking, you can tell because they will be cooked all the way through and when you cut them, they should easily cut and be tender. If they're still pink on the inside, they probably need to cook more. It's pretty hard to overcook beef ribs, so when in doubt, cook longer. You can always slice off a rib and taste it to see if you want them to be cooked longer so they become more tender.

I pull the rib slabs off and place on a sheet and tent with tinfoil. I like for them to rest for at least twenty minutes before slicing them up.

When I cook for a lot of people and have more than three slabs, I'll use an electric knife to slice them, but usually, I use my sharpened butchers knife.

One of my favorite beef rib dinners includes baked potatoes, fresh french bread, asparagus, and a savory salad. To drink, I recommend a big red wine like a Cabernet Sauvingon, Syrha, or Zinfandel. For dessert, fresh made chocolate chip cookies, homemade ice cream and wet cappuccino.


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    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Every Saturday during the summer my wife and I cook out on our grill. We love the baby back ribs alternating them with ribeye steaks. This recipe and description caught my attention and we will definitely try it. Voted up and useful...

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      The recipe sounds excellent as does the suggested meal. I will show this to my husband as he is the grill man and I think we will be trying this recipe. Voted/rated useful.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yum, yummy!

    • Michael Willis profile image

      Michael Willis 6 years ago from Arkansas

      I enjoy beef ribs as well. I will either grill them over a gas grill at a low heat or season them and throw them on the smoker! I love to smoke ribs over a wood fire. It may take longer to cook, but it is well worth it.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A great recipe and another for me to bookmark.

      Thanks for sharing

      Take care


    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Sounds delicious. It's a must try.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 6 years ago from Northern, California

      Great tips for cooking beef ribs! I really like the advice to "cook more" if in doubt they are done. The idea of the truffle salt rubbed into the rib meat... well, I am already drooling. Summer BBQ-ing is always tops on our schedule and you can bet we will be adding your Barbecue Beef Ribs recipe to our list! Thanks for sharing Paul.


    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 6 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Darn, reading this makes me crave for BBQ! I must try this.

      I'm trying to cut down on my salt, any alternatives anyone?

    • Balinese profile image

      Balinese 6 years ago from Ireland

      Make me hungry now and cant wait for nice weather in Ireland and try your recipes


    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      That sounds great. Thank youfor sharing

    • carsonsmith profile image

      carsonsmith 6 years ago

      Wow! I love the recipe and I am going to buy those ingredients and prepare it by lunch tomorrow as my grandparents will come and visit my kids.

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 3 years ago from USA

      I live in the Southwest part of the Country and amazingly enough it is almost impossible to find beef ribs, that are already prepared, unless it is a really expensive restaurant. The best and last smoked beef ribs I had was all the way to Texas. I make them at home, but I slow roast or bake them in the oven and I add a pot of coffee/couple of cups, to bring out some flavor. I don't have a BBQ or I would try your methods. Great hub, voted up!

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