BBQ Dinosaur Ribs
Although not actually from dinosaurs, these giant beef ribs are a real treat. The secret to these beauties is to cook them low and slow over indirect heat and keep the seasoning simple.
When handling food you want to avoid any forms of contamination throughout the process. Make sure you throughly wash your hands with warm soap and water and be sure to use heat protective gloves when handing cooked food. Meat should be properly thawed in the refrigerator, avoiding cross contamination with other meats. And always make sure you are cooking on clean grill grates.
Finding these beef ribs could be the hardest part of this recipe but even this part shouldn't be too bad. Luckily we have a local butcher that keeps them in stock but if not your local grocery store meat departments may be able to help. Most will sell these as beef short ribs cut into 2" to 3" sections with the meat on top of the bone. When you see these, you're getting closer. Go to the butcher and tell them you want beef short ribs before they cut them into smaller pieces. These will usually be in a cryovac packaging of 3 or 4 bones.
Once you have them home and properly thawed, you will need to prep the ribs for the smoker. First you'll trim any excess fat of the meaty side. You don't have to remove all the fat, just any chunky fat and unlike the secret to pork ribs, you don't need to remove the membrane from the bone side. Next you'll want to rinse them and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Now, for the real secret that we've already alluded to, keep the seasoning simple. No need to worry about complicated rubs or marinades. Just your favorite salt and pepper blend or something like Meat Church Holy Cow is all you need. A little goes a long way so no need to lay it on thick.
We tend to rely on our Big Green Egg for these types of cooks but you can use any type of barbecue or grill you like. You just need to make sure you're using indirect heat. We have a couple of blog posts on indirect heat and smoking on a gas grill that may be of interest.
First you're going to want to make sure your grill grates are clean. Using your favorite wood BBQ scraper - we prefer the Juniper BBQ Scraper - scrape the grates clean of any debris from previous cook. Next you'll want to get the heat regulated at 275 to 300 and add select a few wood chunks (hickory or pecan) for flavour. Once the smoker reaches temp, add the wood chunks and set the grates for indirect heat.
Place the ribs on the grate and let them do their thing for 3 hours. If you are use to indirect cooking, you'll most likely know that there's no need to peek until the 3 hour mark.
Now it's time to wrap. Not everyone performs this step but we find it makes for juicer ribs. Hear us out and then decide. Tear off a large piece of heavy duty foil and place the ribs bone down on the foil. Bring up the sides to form a pouch and pour beef broth around the meat (not over it). Wrap the tinfoil over the ribs and place it back on the grill for another 2 hours. If you don't want to wrap, just leave the ribs on the grill. The goal is to achieve an internal temperature of 205 degrees.
Time to rest
No not you. It's time to let the meat rest for another hour (or up to 4 or 5 hours if you like). We use a cooler for this process. Simply place the meat in the cooler and open the tinfoil to allow the steam to escape. This is also a good time to open the drain plug, not to let the juices run out but to allow the temp to stabilize in the cooler because we don't want the meat to continue to cook.
This is also the time to take your Juniper BBQ Scraper and co scrape the grill grates clean. Yes we clean the grill before and after every cook.
Serve it up
These tasty dino ribs don't really need any side dishes. Just hungry, watering mouths to feed. You may want to provide a few napkins as utensils are not needed for this feast.
1 Beef rib bone per person
1 Tablespoon of 50/50 salt and pepper or Meat Church Holy Cow per bone
1/4 cup beef broth per bone
Prepare smoker or grill for indirect cooking. Temperature should be between 275-300⁰
Prepare beef ribs, trimming any excess fat from the meat side of the ribs. Rinse under cool water and dry with paper towel
Season the ribs first with equals parts salt & pepper or your favorite bbq seasoning
Place the beef ribs on the cooking rack and hold the cooking temp steady @ 275-300⁰
After 3 hours, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil.
Return the ribs to the smoker (you can skip steps 5 and 6)
Cook until internal temperature hits 205⁰
Remove the ribs from the smoker and rest for at least 1 hour