How Long to Cook Beef Back Ribs for Perfectly Tender Results

Beef back ribs can be an incredibly delicious cut of meat when cooked properly. However, with little fat and connective tissue, they can easily dry out if not prepared using the right technique. Determining exactly how long to cook beef back ribs is key to maximizing their tenderness and juiciness.

What are Beef Back Ribs?

  • Located along the back of the cow near the spine
  • Part of the rib section but without much meat
  • Mostly bone with some thin meat between bones
  • Very lean without much marbling or fat

Due to their leanness, beef back ribs require slow cooking by braising, boiling, or grilling to break down connective tissue. If cooked too quickly at high heat, they will turn out dry and tough.

Factors that Influence Cook Time

Several factors impact exactly how long beef back ribs need to cook:

  • Cut of ribs – Short ribs require less time than full racks of back ribs.

  • Cooking method – Grilling, smoking, braising, etc. all affect time.

  • Temperature – Lower oven temps lengthen cooking time.

  • Doneness – Fall-off-the-bone ribs take longer than al dente.

  • Thickness – Thicker cut ribs need more time than thin slices.

  • Bone-in vs. boneless – Bones conduct heat slower, extending cook time.

Taking these elements into account will allow you to hone in on the perfect cook time for your preferred doneness.

Recommended Cook Times by Method

Here are general guidelines for how long to cook beef back ribs using various methods:

Oven Baked

  • 350°F oven – 2-2.5 hours

  • 250°F oven – 3-4 hours

For fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, cook at 250°F for at least 3 hours wrapped in foil.


  • Indirect heat 250°F – 3-4 hours

  • Direct heat – 1.5-2 hours

Use indirect heat for maximum juiciness. Flip and rotate ribs every 30 mins.

Slow Cooker

  • Low heat – 6-8 hours

  • High heat – 4-5 hours

Cook on low all day or high for afternoon meals. Add liquid like broth.

Pressure Cooker

  • High pressure – 25-35 minutes

Adjust time based on amount and thickness of ribs. Use natural release method.

Stovetop Braising

  • Simmering – 2-3 hours

Braise ribs in small amount of liquid in a Dutch oven on stovetop until meat is fork tender.

Doneness Tests for Beef Back Ribs

Checking for these signs will indicate when your beef back ribs are done cooking:

  • Meat has pulled back from the ends of the bones by 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch

  • Meat offers slight resistance when twisted but feels very tender

  • Juices from meat run mostly clear

  • Internal temp reaches 200-205°F for fall-off-the-bone

  • Bones twist and loosen cleanly from meat when handled

The ribs should be incredibly tender but not quite falling all the way off the bone.

Serving Suggestions Once Cooked

Once your beef back ribs are perfectly cooked, you can serve them:

  • As is, brushed with barbecue sauce
  • Chopped or shredded for tacos, nachos, etc.
  • In stews, soups, or chili
  • Diced in rice or pasta dishes
  • Piled high on sandwiches or wraps
  • On top of salad greens

The succulent, fall-apart meat takes well to many dishes beyond just eating the ribs directly. Get creative with the cooked ribs in your favorite recipes.

Troubleshooting: What if Ribs are Undercooked?

If biting into your beef back ribs reveals they are still tough and chewy, they likely need more cooking time. To finish them:

  • Return ribs to oven, grill or slow cooker to cook for 15-30 more minutes until tender.

  • Transfer to stovetop and braise in broth for 1 hour.

  • Simmer in sauce or gravy until desired tenderness is reached.

Don’t worry if your cook time was off. With a few extra minutes of gentle cooking, underdone ribs can still turn out amazingly juicy and delicious.

Cooking beef back ribs low and slow is crucial for breaking down their collagen and yielding tender, fall-apart meat. Allowing at least 3-4 hours for oven or grill cooking is ideal. Refer to the guidelines above to determine the exact cook time you need based on the variables for your ribs. With the proper timing, beef back ribs can become the star of your next barbecue feast.

How To Bake Beef Back Ribs


How long does it take to cook back ribs at 350?

Larger, fattier ribs need to be cooked longer than baby backs. Shoot for around 2 hours at 350 degrees if the ribs are uncovered, as in our Barbecued Pork Ribs. If wrapped in foil, the ribs can go for up to 3 hours at 300°F degrees, or crank the oven up to 400 degrees for a briefer baking time—1.5 to 2 hours.

Should beef back ribs be 225 or 250?

Smoking the Beef Back Ribs Keep the heat at about 225°F (107°C) since you want to cook these low and slow to allow the meat to tenderize. The long cook time will also do a good job of melting a lot of that fat. If you are using an electric, gas or charcoal smoker, keep the smoke going for about 3 hours.

How long do beef ribs take at 275?

Place the ribs in the smoker, and allow to cook at 275f for around 3 hours. The middle intercostal muscle should temp about 205-210 when done, but you’ll know they are ready by simply passing a skewer through the muscle – if there is no resistance, they are ready.

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