How to Cook Beef Ribs on the Grill Fast

Beef ribs are a classic barbecue food that are loved by many for their rich, meaty flavor. While beef ribs are often cooked low and slow for hours to make them tender, there are ways to speed up the grilling process so you can enjoy these tasty ribs without spending all day next to the grill.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to cook beef ribs fast on the grill, including:

  • Different cuts of beef ribs and how to choose the right ones for quick grilling
  • Tips for preparing and seasoning the ribs
  • Grilling methods and techniques to cook beef ribs fast
  • Estimated cook times for faster grilling
  • How to tell when they’re done
  • Serving suggestions and side dish pairings

Choosing the Right Cut of Beef Ribs for Fast Grilling

There are a few different cuts of beef ribs that work well for quicker grilling methods. Here are some of the best options:

Flanken-style Short Ribs

These are cut across the bone into thin, wafer-like strips. Flanken ribs cook faster than other beef rib cuts since they are so thin. They have great beefy flavor and tender meat when grilled quickly over high heat.

Dino Bone Beef Ribs

Sometimes labeled “plate ribs,” these meaty ribs are cut from the plate primal section of the cow. They have more tender meat and marbling than back ribs. Go for ribs with 3-4 bones.

Chuck Short Ribs

Cut from the chuck primal, these boneless short ribs are versatile and quick cooking. They are tender and juicy, with good beef flavor.

Stay Away From:

  • Back Ribs – These are best for low and slow smoking as they are tougher.
  • Spare Ribs – More time is needed for these to become tender.

Tips for Preparing Beef Ribs for the Grill

Proper preparation is key when cooking beef ribs fast to ensure they turn out juicy, tender and packed with flavor:

  • Remove Membrane: The silvery membrane on the back of the ribs needs to be removed prior to cooking so seasonings and smoke can penetrate the meat. Use a knife to loosen it, then pull it off with a paper towel.

  • Season Well: Rub a blend of spices like garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper all over the ribs. Let them sit for 15-30 minutes before grilling.

  • Watch the Thickness: If ribs are overly thick, slice them in half horizontally so they’ll cook faster.

  • Consider Marinating: A quick marinade for just 30 mins-1 hour adds lots of flavor. A store-bought marinade works well for speed.

Grilling Methods for Fast Cook Times

There are two main grilling methods that allow you to cook beef ribs relatively quickly:

High Heat Direct Grilling

This method involves cooking the ribs directly over the hot fire. Use a two-zone fire setup with one side hot and one side lower heat. Grill over direct high heat for 2-3 minutes per side to get grill marks and caramelization. Then move to indirect heat to finish cooking through, rotating ribs every 5 minutes.

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

Hot and Fast Indirect Grilling

With this method, you’ll grill the ribs over indirect high heat the entire time. Arrange coals on only one side of the grill and place ribs on the other side. Grill over indirect high heat (400-450°F), flipping and rotating ribs every 5 minutes to prevent burning.

Cook Time: 45-60 minutes

Estimated Grill Times for Fast-Cooked Beef Ribs

To ensure the ribs cook through, follow these estimated grilling times as a guide. Use a meat thermometer to confirm doneness.

  • Flanken Short Ribs – 8 to 12 minutes
  • Dino Beef Ribs – 30 to 45 minutes
  • Chuck Short Ribs – 35 to 50 minutes

Ribs are done when they reach 205°F internally and the meat pulls back from the ends of the bones.

Tips for Telling When They’re Done

It can be tricky to tell when beef ribs are ready when cooking them quickly. Here are some signs to check for:

  • Meat has shrunk back from the ends of the bones by 1⁄4 – 1⁄2 inch
  • Bones wiggle a bit when handled
  • Meat has browned, caramelized exterior
  • Juices run clear (not red) when pricked
  • Internal temperature reads 205°F

The ribs should be very tender when poked with a fork or knife when they are fully cooked.

Serving Suggestions and Side Dishes

Beef ribs make a satisfying entree or appetizer. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Chop ribs into smaller pieces to serve as finger food
  • Offer various BBQ sauces on the side for dipping
  • Serve with classic barbecue sides like baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, and potato salad
  • Grilled veggies like corn, peppers, or onions complement the ribs
  • Roasted or grilled potatoes work well too

The sweet and savory flavors of beef ribs pair nicely with the smoky char from grilling over fire. Follow these tips on choosing the right cut, proper prep, quick grilling methods, and doneness cues, and you’ll be able to enjoy tender, tasty barbecued beef ribs without the long cook time. Get the grill hot and enjoy your ribs in record time!

My “New” Favorite Beef Rib! | Chuds BBQ


How long does it take to grill ribs at 400?

Place the ribs on the grill and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully flip the ribs over, being careful to keep foil in tact. Cook for another 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to somewhere closer to 375-400 degrees. Continue cooking for another 1 hour and 15 minutes, flipping the ribs once or twice.

Do you flip beef ribs on the grill?

Place ribs directly on clean grill grate and grill for 2 hours, rotating every 45 minutes or so to ensure even cooking. After two hours, remove ribs from the grill and wrap tightly in foil. Add ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to each rib pack. Return to grill for another 2 hours, rotating every 30-45 minutes.

Do I have to boil beef ribs before grilling?

Tenderness: Beef ribs are known for their tough connective tissues. Boiling them before grilling helps break down these tissues, resulting in more tender meat that’s easier to eat. The slow, gentle simmering process allows the collagen in the connective tissue to convert to gelatin, which moistens and softens the meat.

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