Types Of Ribs – Beef (2020)

Whether cooked on the grill or a smoker, beef ribs are among the most satisfying and delicious beef cuts of meat. They are more affordable than prime rib and have an impressive Jurassic size. When cooked on a hot grill, they could be ready in an hour. Beef ribs do not require a lot of expertise before cooking them. Most people cook them at home quite often without even knowing that they come in different forms.

The science of beef ribs

Beef ribs like pork ribs are not that cheap anymore because of their popularity and delicacy they offer. They are a lot less expensive than the meat they lay near to, ribeye steaks. Like ribeyes, beef ribs come with extensive marbling with fat, which is why they are rich in classic beef flavor. Because of the muscles, and the full connective tissue, a lot of work has to be done. This means that it has to be cooked so that you may be able to chew it properly.

Basic types of ribs

Are baby back ribs pork or beef: The difference between beef and pork ribs

Beef ribs are a little bit similar to pork ribs, but there is a distinction between the two. Beef ribs are more prominent than pork meat. Another big difference is the rub and sauce you serve with beef ribs.

While pork ribs are good with sweet rubs and sauces, beef ribs are best served simply.

Beef rib cuts – Ingredients

There are some ingredients that you need to use for cooking your beef ribs. You can get them at the market or a supermarket near you. They will give you the desired flavor for your food.

  • Four 2 1/4- to 2 1/2- pound rack of center-cut beef ribs
  • 4 cups of apple juice in a spray bottle
  • Paprika
  • Kosher salt, finely ground
  • Sugar
  • Powdered mustard
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground black pepper
  • Granulated garlic
  • Cayenne pepper

The three types of beef ribs

Thirteen ribs make up a whole side of beef. They are broken into three main types:

  • Chuck short ribs
  • Back ribs
  • Plate short ribs

Let’s carefully explain each of the main types of beef ribs.

Chuck short ribs

Chuck ribs are also called flanken ribs. They come from under the chunk and are comprised of the first to the fifth rib. You will find them sold in lots of four bones. This part is the easiest to buy in the market. They are delicate and fleshy, though not to be compared to the short plate rib.

They usually have a smaller bone than the short plate rib with a block of beef short ribs to the end of the bone. These ribs seem to contain a fair portion of hard fat.

Back ribs

Back ribs are popular for barbeque though some people prefer short ribs. The ribeye steak is among the most expensive cuts of beef. The ribeye is a beautiful hunk of meat that is tender and juicy. It is one of the best steaks on the cow. Ribeyes lie in the dorsal area, on top of the rib bones near the spine. It is towards the front of the animal, just behind the shoulder.

Ribeyes are often sold boneless, which leaves the back rib bones available for sale separately. The bones are usually 6-8” long, slightly curved, with very little meat on top and a finger of beef between them.

Back ribs are good for braising because the marrow is a marvelous source of flavor for stews, and they are famous for a barbeque.

Plate short ribs

This type of bone is called the short plate not because they are short in length, but because they come from what is called the short plate.

The short plate is located right in front of another inexpensive, chewy but flavorful cut, the flank steak. Just behind another favorite cut for barbecue, the brisket. Beef short ribs have almost straight bones which have 1-2” of meat on top, and they are suitable for a barbeque.

Beef ribs vs pork ribs – Techniques/tips to improve

Four paths to tenderness

The beef rib can be made delicious and tender by four different prep methods.

  • Barbeque the beef ribs

When roasted low and slow with dry heat and a bit of wood smoke, you will get a dark brown exterior and flavorful, tender meat.

  • Kalbi the beef ribs

You can cut these beef riblets into thin pieces, marinate, and grill hot as done in Korean kalbi. You will get a relatively tender, powerfully, tasty meat, with both beef and marinade mixing to perfection.

  • Braise the beef ribs

When simmered low and slow in a flavorful liquid, as done in France, you will get very juicy, tender, flavor-packed meat that has absorbed the richness of the braising liquid. The ribs give their innate essence to the more significant part of the stew.

  • Tenderize the beef ribs

First of all, you need to sprinkle meat tenderizer, and then pierce the flesh with a Jaccard meat tenderizer. The Jaccard has razor-sharp blades that penetrate and drive the tenderizer into it. This method will give you beautiful pieces of meat that are very juicy and beefy and a delight to cut into.

How to cook the three different types of beef ribs

  • The best way to cook chuck short ribs

These ribs are great for grilling and are very popular in Korean cooking. They are also useful when marinated, braised, or even stir-fried when the beef short ribs are cut off the bone. You don’t need to smoke them as they have less meat, unlike short plate ribs.

Back ribs have less meat, so they don’t take a great deal of time to cut and prepare. Back ribs are also a little tenderer, owing to the quality of the beef this part of the animal produces.

You prepare back ribs with a sweet barbeque and sauce. It can be cooked indirectly over the grill, or even by braising.

  • The best way to cook beef short ribs

Cooking beef short plate ribs is sometimes compared to cooking a brisket because there is a similar fat content. The best way to cook them is low and slow so that the fat can break down and leave the plate ribs moist when you cut into them.

You can prepare short plate ribs with a simple Texas Style rub with equal parts pepper and kosher salt. Jabin Postal uses plate short ribs to cook. Malcolm Reed is not exempt either, as he does an excellent job with short back ribs.

Beef vs pork ribs – common problems

Difficulty monitoring temperature

If you have a problem with this, you need to stick a grill thermometer through the lid vent of your grill. Rotate the lid to check the different heat zones. Don’t allow the stem to touch the food.

Choosing between pork ribs and beef back ribs

If you want something that weighs light on your pocket, and is relatively easy to cook and can let you improvise with the recipe, then pork ribs will do.

If you can afford to pay a little extra, looking for an intense flavor but not at the cost of high cholesterol, then you should go for beef ribs.

Meat sticks to the grill and comes apart

It is good to always keep your racks clean by cleaning them with a scraper before cooking anything. Oil the grates before putting anything on them. If you’re cooking steaks or chops, cut off a small piece of fat, and using a grill fork, run it over the preheated grates.

You can also grab a couple of paper towels with your tongs, soak them in cooking oil and run the oil over the hot grate. Make sure you wait until the flames die down if you’re using charcoal or turn the fire down if using gas.

Types of beef ribs – Analysis of Best Practices in the Industry

  • Farmers must ensure the animals so as to protect the farmers and herders
  • The best practices program for calf rearing is the survival of the fittest
  • There should be colostrum feeding in the first 15-30 minutes
  • Weaning is very crucial in calf rearing
  • There are the ones that raise a good calf every year, and the ones that breed back the cattle
  • The cattle are managed in such a way that they adapt to the natural environment
  • Calves are castrated at an early age within 2-3 months
  • There should be a vaccination schedule for the animals
  • Sick animals are always isolated
  • Disbudding is done early, leaving the horns for protection later
  • Having a cow that lives and reproduces and raises a calf every year is what is being done since they’re in the business of producing beef
  • Ears must be tagged for proper identification


Different types of ribs & Tools you can use

Barbeque cooking tools can vary in terms of size and quantity of the implements. The advantage of buying utensil tool kits is that they come in lovely neat bags or boxes, which is useful if you’re buying it as a gift or you need a tidy cooking area.

The classic tool kits come in a three-pack of tongs, fork, and spatula. Try to check the length before buying because if they’re too short, your hands might get burnt; 12 inches should be the minimum. You’ll also need a sharp knife suitable for beef cutting and trimming.

Below are the necessary utensils and what makes them excellent.

  • Tongs

Tongs are great for turning any food on the grill. They are of two types: the grip tongs and the scissor tongs. The grip tongs have a serrated surface to help grip the food. The scissor-style gives you the flexibility to work with large chunks of meat.

  • Spatula

This is great for flipping burgers. Do not use it to press steaks down onto the grill grates. It squeezes out the juices and dries out your meat before it is cooked.

  • Fork

You can use the fork as a stabilizing tool when moving a large chunk of chicken with the tongs. Be careful when using a fork to stab the meat as it can puncture the flesh.

  • Meat claws

Meat claws can be used to move massive chunks of meat if you’re having difficulties handling the fork. Meat claws aren’t included in utensils tool kits, so you’ll need to buy them separately. With this tool, it is easier to pull pork. You can use insulated gloves when handling meat claws.

  • Mop brush

It is better to use mops with silicone rubber bristles. They are dishwasher safe. Look for an angled one too, to help get to the meat at the back of the smoker.

Pork vs beef ribs – FAQs

What are the big beef ribs called?

Plate short ribs, sometimes called plate ribs short and sweet, are the most prominent meatiest beef back ribs and these ribs come in 3-bone portions. A single bone can tip the scales at 1 to 2 1/2 pounds and will comfortably serve 2 to 3 people.

What is the difference between short ribs and beef ribs?

Beef spare ribs are more accurately known as beef back ribs. They are taken from the cow’s rib section and are the long ribs most often associated with barbecued beef ribs. However, short ribs are beef ribs made from the plate cut. Each cut requires a different cooking method.

How do you choose beef prime rib?

Choosing beef prime rib requires attentiveness and concentration. There are often ¼” thick veins of fat running through the muscle layers, so you need to scrutinize the package. Butchers seem to like slipping a nasty one or two in each box, like the section of flanken cut.

How do you tenderize beef ribs?

Using indirect heat, let the ribs cook in a covered 275-degree grill for 30 minutes. For super juicy ribs, wrap the bones in a foul pouch and continue cooking for another 2 hours over indirect heat. As the ribs cook, the juices will remain in the bag and will flavor and tenderize the meat.

What are the meatiest ribs?

Country-style pork ribs are the meatiest of ribs, and they come from the loin and they cook quickly. Or, more often, from near the shoulder, which means they are sturdier and benefit from low-slow cooking.

How to cook beef ribs?

The first thing is to fire up your barbeque and try to check whether you have enough charcoal. Make sure that your grill grates are clean. Set the temperature of your grill to 145 degrees. After this, prepare your black pepper as you may need a lot of it. Pat dry the body of the meat. If you are smoking it, you need to take out the fat cap and rub it with oil so that the salt and pepper can stick.

After applying salt and pepper all through the meat, put it on the grill. You will need a meat thermometer to know whether the chicken is done. Use tin foil to wrap it after bringing it out of the grill and keep it for some time to cool off before slicing.

Rib types – Final thoughts

We believe that after reading this guide, you will have the confidence to walk into your butcher’s shop and order a beef rib. You should be able to choose your type of beef depending on the meal you’re preparing and also know a good one when you see it.

So, what are you waiting for? Happy grilling and get your beef rib today.