Beef steaks like filet mignon and sirloin will get most of the press, but a well-cooked beef short rib can compete against any beef in the realm of flavor.
However, most people don’t often go for the short ribs as they are not as well known, which means they aren’t sure how to properly cook them.
Short ribs are excellent when you braise them in liquid, and they can even be placed in the oven. But the best way, by far, is to prepare them for the barbecue.
Here are our guides to cooking beef short ribs, and the temperature to cook them.
What Are Beef Short Ribs?
Short beef ribs come from the beef chuck part of the animal, and there are 5 short ribs from this section that are slightly too small to be used in a conventional steak. So a short rib is exactly as it sounds.
When you harvest an animal and cut it into sections, the rib bones will go into this section, and not the rib section, because they don’t make for good steaks.
The meat that is located in between them is from a part of the beef where the muscle is used a lot, which typically means that it going ot be less tender, but has much more flavor.
How Are Beef Short Ribs Cut?
You can cut short ribs using two methods. The first method is called English-style, which is the more conventional where they are cut.
They are characterized by having one bone chunk of chuck meat. You will typically find these chunks found in slow cooker recipes, and ideal for braising.
The second method is called BBQ-style, and these are cut into strips containing three bones with me between them.
This is another popular slow cooker meat, as well as for braising, and looks more like a conventional steak.
How Do They Taste?
As we’ve alluded to, the beef short ribs come from the area between the chukka ribs and contain muscle that is heavily used.
This means that this meat is going to be a lot less tender than other cuts of beef, which is a superb option for those that enjoy the intense flavor and aren’t too worried about tenderness.
What Is The Ideal Temperature To Cook Beef Short Ribs?
As a general rule of thumb, most sources recommend that you should cook beef short ribs at around 275 to 285 degrees Fahrenheit, and we would recommend you stick with this advice.
Many avid cooks will know that meats such as ribs are typically cooked lower and for longer at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit, however with short ribs you do not need to be so conservative and can crank up the heat.
The Internal Temperature For Smoked Beef Short Ribs
You can consider a decent beef short rib done when it reaches around 203 degrees Fahrenheit.
The high temperature will mean that the connective tissue and collagen that is quite tough in this cut of meat turns it into gelatin, which is much softer and has a better taste.
So you might be wondering how long then should I cook these for? This is a tricky question to answer, and in short, it will ultimately depend on the size of the ribs you have and how thick they are.
When we smoke pork ribs, there Is a typical cooking time of around 5 hours, if you follow the 3-2-1 method. For beef short ribs, you’re going to need to take a little longer, and for a rib that is around 2 inches, they may need as long as 7 hours to cook fully.
Cooking Tips For Beef Short Ribs
There are a few tips you should follow when cooking beef short ribs, and generally speaking when you cook them low and slow so there are certain points that you need to be aware of.
Like most ribs, there are still points in the cook when the meat temperature no longer rises because the evaporation of moisture keeps the meat cool. This is totally normal and is part of the process of making tough tissue in the ribs into a tasty treat.
Generally speaking, beef short ribs will heat up pretty quickly and reach temperatures of around 175 degrees Fahrenheit relatively fast.
Do not be fooled that you are overcooking your ribs, as they will dramatically slow down once they reach this temperature and begin to stall.
There is another point in cooking when your ribs will stall, and this is towards the end when they reach temperatures of around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This period can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
We recommend that you invest in a decent meat thermometer that will indicate when you need to add more wood or charcoal to your fire, as this will help you to maintain your cooking consistency.
A further tip is that you might consider marinating your ribs in a liquid of your choosing at the halfway point of the cook. Popular choices include apple cider vinegar or alcohol such as beer or wine.
Although they have a lengthy runtime of upwards of 8 hours, the result is a fantastically delicious piece of beef that will rival any steak you have.
Smoked beef short ribs are well worth your time, I’m and once they come off the grill you have an amazing feast on your hands.
They are a super option for the whole family, or impressing that certain someone: try it out and see how much you like it!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between Beef Back Ribs And Short Ribs?
Beef back ribs are cut from the back of the cow, in an area behind the shoulders, whereas beef short ribs are cut from the lower part of the cow’s rib cage which is located behind the brisket.
They can be cooked in similar ways but come in different characteristics such as how much fat they have and their overall length.