Beef ribs were not as valuable as they are now. They were regarded as a cheap cut of beef that most butchers would freely give away to customers with dogs.
Today, the price of beef ribs has drastically increased. Beef ribs are in high demand because most people have discovered beef ribs are a tasty alternative to traditional pork ribs.
Nevertheless, the most challenging part of preparing beef ribs is finding decent ribs to cook with.
What Are Beef Ribs?
As the name implies, beef ribs are ribs that are fabricated from the cow’s rib area.
Beef ribs can be grilled in a portable pellet smoker, smoked in a propane smoker, or roasted in the oven.
Beef ribs have an excellent ratio of fat and lean muscle, which is why they are suited to methods such as braising or smoking.
Types of Beef Ribs
There are 2 main types of beef ribs: back and short ribs.
Beef Back Ribs
Usually, most of the meat is carved away from the upper portion of the ribs while ribeye steaks are being fabricated.
Back ribs can be called steaks on a steak because of where they originate.
Back ribs can be sold whole or partially whole, with each entire slab containing 5-7 rib bones.
Back ribs can also be thinly cut across the bones to make Korean BBQ ribs or Kalbi.
They can also be into thin cross-cut ribs known as Flanken-Style beef ribs.
In regard to cost, ribs that require the least amount of where are the cheapest, while ribs that take the most amount of work are expensive.
This is why single portion ribs are the costliest ribs. In addition to this, ribs that are fabricated from the rib roast may cost more than those carved from the loin.
Therefore, you should estimate how much meat per person before you buy ribs.
Although it is difficult to estimate how many ribs each person will eat, you should count on 2-3 ribs per person.
Beef Short Ribs
Beef short ribs originate from the plate or the chuck primal cuts of beef. Therefore, they have a similar flavor to brisket or chuck roast.
Each slab of short ribs will have 3-4 bones and a massive portion of meat.
This meat-to-bone ratio is why beef short ribs are called dinosaur ribs or brontosaurus ribs.
Shirt ribs can be fabricated in several ways, including the whole slab, Texas-style singe bone rib (6 inches in length), or English-style single bone rib (3 inches in length). Additionally, short ribs may also be cut across the bones or have the bone removed.
Boneless short ribs contain less connective tissue and sinew.
However, they do not contain the same big flavor as bone-in beef short ribs. In addition to this, boneless short ribs are expensive since they have more meat.
If the beef ribs are meaty, estimate about 3-4 ribs per person should be sufficient.
However, if they are not meaty, you may want to increase the amount to 5-6 ribs per person. For boneless short ribs, the general rule is 6 ounces per person.
What To Look For in Beef Ribs?
Picking up a package of beef ribs without inspecting the package is never a good idea.
Specific characteristics will let you know if you should purchase beef ribs or leave them in the display case.
Ideally, you will need to find beef ribs with a thick meaty bone. However, there should still be ample meat attached to the bone.
The ribs will have at least 1/2 pounds of meat on them. This will prevent them from drying out while you are cooking them.
Do not choose beef ribs that are cut too thin or have a dry or chalky appearance.
Look for ribs that contain a lot of intramuscular fat. It will keep the meat juicy and delicious.
In addition to this, muscle tissue should also contain some marbling.
Marbling or intramuscular fat is a sign that the cow was healthy and fed a good diet before it was slaughtered.
Next, you need to choose between the grade of beef you want to buy.
There are several grades of beef ribs, including prime, choice, Kobe or wagyu, select, or choice.
Most grocery stores will have select beef back or short ribs. Select beef is the least expensive grade of beef ribs.
Choice and prime beef ribs can only be purchased from specialty or butcher shops.
They contain more intramuscular fat, which increases their flavor and tenderness.
Kobe or wagyu beef is even harder to find and can only be sourced through a butcher.
Moreover, you will need to choose between grass-fed, organic, or conventional beef. Grass-fed beef is beef that has been raised on grass.
Additionally, grass-fed beef may or may not contain hormones or additional additives.
Organic beef is fabricated from cows that were raised and slaughtered based on the region’s organic standards.
Organic beef is the most expensive form of grass-fed or conventional beef.
In contrast, conventional beef is mas produced and the cheapest type of beef rib.
Where To Buy Beef Ribs?
There are many places that carry beef ribs. However, it can be challenging to find quality beef ribs. Luckily, you’ve got the scoop on where to find beef ribs.
Butchers are the best place to find beef ribs. After all, they carry fresh cuts of beef that you can buy in bulk and cook or freeze.
If you’re looking for beef ribs, butchers are your best bet.
Believe it or not, you can actually find quality beef ribs in the grocery store.
Beef ribs will be in the meat aisle or displayed next to pork tenderloin, Ribeye steaks, and chicken breasts.
You can also find beef ribs in your local farmer’s market. Farmers’ markets also carry produce, so you can get some veggies to go with your ribs.
Lastly, you can purchase beef ribs from an online meat distributor.
However, read the reviews before you are buying beef ribs to ensure you are getting quality meet.
Beef ribs are the perfect cut of meat if you are in search of a hearty, rich, delicious meal. But they can be hard to sniff out.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about it since you’ve got the 411 on beef ribs.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Where To Buy Beef Brisket
- Where To Buy Corned Beef
- Where To Buy Beef Liver
- Where To Buy Pork Belly
- Where To Buy Beef Tongue
- Where To Buy Beef Shank
- Where To Buy Beef Cheeks
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.