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BBQbyDan's basic method of preparing and smoking  an award winning Beef Ribs is as follows



 Beef Ribs are a different animal than Pork Ribs (literally).  There is not a selection of backs versus spares to worry about.  I have never seen them come but one way here in California.  That is about 12 inch lengths with no breastbone attached as with Pork Ribs.  So, it is quite simple.  As I will describe below I basically cook Beef Ribs exactly like I do Pork Spare Ribs, almost.  They cost between .59 cents /lb to .99 cent/lb.  Typically I buy a frozen block of 50 lbs and they always run under $30 dollars (about the cost of 3 racks of pork back ribs).  All 50 lbs are unwrapped, layered, and frozen solid.



Remove from package/box and immediately remove the membrane on the back side of the ribs. This is a bit more difficult than standard pork backs or spares.    I just use a sharp object (screwdriver, fork, knife, or whatever) and get under the membrane about the 3rd bone up from the large side, then get my finger under it, then grip it with a paper towel and try to remove it in one full piece.  That only happens about 1 out of 2 times on Beef ribs.  The membrane is much heavier, and sometimes torn or difficult to remove in a single pass.   The premise of membrane removal is it will be chewy after cooking and won't allow seasoning penetration. Some say the down side is it allows moisture to leave the rib.  I still remove it especially on a Beef Rib as it is very thick and heavy.


- Remove any obvious and obnoxious fat, beef ribs have much more than pork ribs. I don't get to anal about this however, so just do what pleases you.  Much will render off in the cooking process, plus, I like the taste of crispy fat anyway.

All meat trimming and preparations are complete



Seasoning is a very simple and easy task.  I choose not to marinade my beef ribs.  That is not say there is not a great marinade that would make beef ribs taste batter.  I just need to develop a marinade that I enjoy on my beef ribs.  Possibly a steak, Prime Rib, or Tritip like marinade.  I will publish more information here when I complete my testing process.  However, make no mistake, Beef Ribs prepared as I am describing here are still GREAT!


So, bottom line is I just lay the ribs all out, meat side down.  Take mustard (just plain mustard) and LIGHTLY coat all the racks, or take a mixture of apple juice (90%) and oil (10%) and spray them to hold the seasoning better to the meat.  Then I take BBQbyDan Seasoning Rub and sprinkle all the racks LIGHTLY.  Actually if using the spray bottle of apple juice and oil I will spray while I am applying rub also.  Turn them over and repeat the process.  In the end the ribs are meat side up and seasoned on both sides.  They are now ready to put into the Smoker.



If you have the cooking space just put them in the cooker meat side up.  If there are 20 - 30 racks, then put them in rib racks.  Just pick a nice spot that has even heating (about 245 - 250) and go for it.  I will typically cook ribs with 80% oak and 20% hickory or Pecan.  Oak is easier to come by in California.  Hickory is harder.  Pecan usually easy to find.  Neither is as easy, or cheap, as mesquite to come by. Oak is not as strong of a smoke flavoring.  Hickory is a stronger flavoring wood.  I do not use mesquite on ribs.  Ribs are the kind of meat that you are eating as much, or more, of the exposed meat during the cooking period time as what is not exposed.  This is the opposite of brisket or butt where most of the content of what you are eating was NOT exposed to the smoke.  So, for that reason I will cook my butts, briskets, Tritip, and prime rib with all the above and even mesquite.  But, usually will not cook ribs or chicken with mesquite, but, instead will use the oak / pecan / hickory mixture.  Why even mess with a less tasteful wood like mesquite one might ask.  Well, here in California they sell it in every store out there in 5 - 40 pound bags VERY cheap.  Oak and Hickory is hard and expensive to come by.  Also, I actually like mesquite on my butt, brisket but NOT my ribs or chicken.  We are probably talking a 4-6 hour cook-time on Beef Ribs.  I would rotate and baste them the first time at 2-3 hours.  Rotate them end-over-end, side-over-side (turn over), upper to lower shelf if applicable, and side-to-side (shelf positioning) if applicable.  Of course if you have a rotisserie/convention smoker forget all the rotations and cook time goes down to 4 - 4.5 hours.  So, that is the story.  



Marinating is probably a good thing thing for beef ribs. I however have not done so yet.  Next time I do up a fancy batch of beef ribs I might marinate them in the same way that I would marinate a Tritip, Prime Rib, or steak.  I have cooked beef ribs a whole lot, am very happy with the way they turn out, but think I can improve them by developing a perfect marinade that will enhance their particular taste, maybe.  I am guessing a mixture of Worcestershire / rub / sugar / honey might be a good start.



Well, this will be quick and sweet (not)!  I actually don't like my  beef rib products glazed while cooking, at least with a sweet glaze.   I am very happy with the baste (apple juice and oil in a spray bottle)  I use a couple of times during the cooking process that provides a nice moist and tasty product.  In a rotisserie they self baste. So, when the ribs break by twisting the bones (not bend like rubber) I pull them out and their done.  Then I brush on a nice BBQ sauce (BBQbyDan's award winning) after they are out of the cooker and I like them a bunch like that.



The final product is going to be GREAT beef ribs.  If prepared and cooked correctly, they will be moist.  If you follow the guidelines above your ribs will come out tasty, moist, and great a great beef taste.


Dan Cannon



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