Where Do Beef Ribs Come From?

Incredibly rich in meat, fat, and bone marrow, smoked beef ribs are the ideal option for your upcoming barbecue. Here is all the information you need to know about the top beef rib varieties, from plate to chuck.

If you hear the phrase “BBQ ribs,” you might automatically think of pork. However, beef ribs are just as deserving of a place at the table as their pig counterparts. Particularly when it comes to barbecue smoking. They are excellent for smoking over low heat and other lengthy cooking techniques like sous vide because they are rich in marbling and connective tissue.

Selecting the best beef ribs can be challenging due to the wide variety available. We’ll explain the various beef rib varieties in this guide and suggest which ones are best for your upcoming barbecue.

What’s The Difference Between Beef And Pork Ribs?

You might be curious about the precise distinctions between beef and pork ribs. Being larger than pork ribs is one of the BBQ beef ribs’ most defining characteristics. When referring to beef short ribs, consider the length as well as the amount of meat present on the bones.

Additionally, beef ribs are more marbled than pork ribs and have a vein of delectable, gelatinous fat that, when cooked, helps the meat become tender and flavorful. Given that they do have more connective tissue than pork ribs, it is crucial to properly prepare and cook them to produce delicious, tender beef. They’ll need more active attention than pork ribs.

The Different Variations Of Beef Ribs

There are 13 ribs down each side of the animal on a steer. The ribs cover a lot of territory on a steer. From the breastbone to the backbone, it is about three linear feet, and it is another three to four feet from the shoulder to the last rib. When it comes to flavor, texture, and the ideal cooking technique, where your ribs are cut from is very important.

Short ribs and back ribs are the two main varieties of beef ribs; though they are very different from one another, both can be tender, beefy, and delicious when cooked correctly.

cuts of beef ribs | BBQ ribs | how to cook beef ribsSource: Edgewoodlocker.com

Because there is so much meat on top of the bones, short ribs are increasingly the preferred rib choice for outdoor cooking. This is due to the fact that short ribs are taken from the lower portions of the steer’s front (from the first through fifth rib) and lower, ventral (from the sixth through tenth rib) sections, respectively. resulting in nearly flat ribs that can grow to be 12″ long and frequently have 1 to 2″ of meat on top.

However, a lot of the confusion surrounding beef ribs often stems from the fact that there are numerous variations in the sources from which short ribs are cut as well as the various methods of cutting them, each with its own name.

Where Short Ribs Are Cut From

There are two different areas of the steer where short ribs are cut. Two areas: one on the lower portion and one further forward. Let’s break it all down:

Plate Short Ribs (Also Called “Loaded Beef Ribs”)

The short plate, which is the lower part of the rib cage, is where plate short ribs originate. The tasty brisket cut in front of it and the flank steak cut behind it are sandwiched between the short plate, which extends from the sixth to the tenth rib. These ribs are the ones that are frequently referred to as “brisket on a stick” due to their proximity, length of 12″, and 2″ of meat on top.

The best place to look for high-quality plate short ribs that are cut the way you like is typically your local butcher.

Plate short ribs do great being cooked/smoked low and slow. allowing the fat to render while preventing the meat from becoming dry

Chuck short ribs are located closer to the front of the steer, right beneath the chuck and above the shank and brisket. The first to the fifth ribs are the chuck ribs. Chuck ribs are shorter than plate short ribs, typically 3 to 6 inches, but they are still very meaty.

Different Variations Of How Short Ribs Are Cut

BBQ beef short ribs | BBQ ribs | how to cook beef ribsSource: Flanken Style Beef Short Ribs from seriouseats.com

It’s crucial to be aware that there are numerous variations or cutting styles available for short ribs. Some cutting techniques produce meatier pieces that are better for smoking or grilling, while others produce thinner pieces that are better for braising or grilling. The different variations of cuts include:

This is the most common type of cut. When short ribs are prepared in the English style, the ribs are separated by being cut in half between them, leaving a substantial piece of meat on top of the bones. They come in a rack of four bones that are either cut individually or measure about 3″ long and 7″ to 8″ wide. What is frequently available in English cut are plate short ribs.

Your butcher can choose to leave the layer of fat and muscle that results from the English style cut on top or to trim it off.

Short ribs prepared in the flanken style have a thinner cut and are typically about half an inch thick across the bones. resulting in a meat strip that is thinner and contains four to five pieces of bone. Chuck short ribs are frequently cut this way.

This cut is good for if you are doing Korean Kalbi style cooking and can be found at Korean markets or cut to order from your butcher.

The English cut plate ribs will have a layer of fat and muscle across the top, as we mentioned above. Purchasing them untrimmed simply means that the butcher did not remove that layer before you purchased them.

The butcher will remove a significant portion of the latissimus dorsi muscle and its outer fat layer if you request an English cut trimming.

Similar to the trimmed cut, but the butcher will significantly reduce the fat layer.

In English-style short rib riblets, the thick meat is placed on top of shorter, 1 to 2 inch long pieces of bone that have been cut apart individually. These are great for braising or in a slow cooker.

English-style ribs can be cut away from the bone to produce a slab of beef rib meat that is boneless. Your butcher will remove the bones and the intercostal meat. resulting in a slab of meat that is roughly 8″ long and 1 to 2″ thick.

The second type of beef ribs is back ribs. These are taken from the steer’s top dorsal region, right behind the shoulder. When the succulent rib roast (Prime Rib) is separated from the bones, you are left with back ribs. One of the priciest cuts of beef is the rib roast, so the majority of the meat will remain with the roast and very little will be left on top of the rib bones.

Thus, the majority of the meat in back ribs will be found between the bones. Additionally, they cook faster and are smaller than other varieties of ribs. These ribs have a curved bone and are 6 to 8 inches long.

Back ribs are excellent for braising or grilling over indirect heat while incorporating wood smoke.

Wrapping It All Up

As you can see, there are various varieties of beef ribs. There are a lot of different variations available. So it comes as no surprise that many people interested in smoking or barbecuing beef ribs are unsure of what to buy.

But hopefully this article has given you a clearer idea of the beef ribs you might prefer and what to say to the butcher. Additionally, it’s crucial to ensure that you pay attention to the beef grades and purchase high-quality beef to ensure delicious meat.

Check out our article on “10 Insider Tips For Smoking Ribs” as well.

You’ll learn insider information like that from our Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters here at BBQ Champs Academy. We’ll demonstrate how to smoke beef ribs like a pro if you’re intimidated by the prospect of cooking beef ribs. Chef Joey Smith, a world champion, will teach you how to prepare them. He will walk you through every step of making mouthwatering Texas-style BBQ beef ribs.

To get a complete inside look at all the different types of BBQ, check out our All-Access pass. On stunning 4K video in high definition, you’ll discover detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare barbecue that will win competitions.

Also, make sure to check out our YouTube channel for the latest videos packed full of tips, insider info, and BBQ news. Hit “Subscribe” on our channel so you catch all the latest from BBQ Champs Academy!

texas beef ribs | BBQ ribs | how to cook beef ribsSource: Texas Beef Ribs With Joey Smith & BBQ Champs Academy

What are Beef Ribs and What are the Different Styles | The Bearded Butchers


What part of the cow do beef ribs come from?

Between the chuck and the loin are the ribs. Short ribs, back ribs, rib eye steak, prime rib, and short ribs all come from this area of the cow.

Is beef ribs better than pork?

Although pork spareribs, which are cut from the sternum, are also fattier and quite tasty, beef ribs typically have more fat and flavor than pork ribs. The origin of the meat is one aspect that sets the two apart. Since the beef back ribs are the leftovers after the ribeye is removed, they are less meaty.

Are short ribs and beef ribs the same?

Short ribs and beef back ribs can be prepared similarly, but they come from different parts of the cow and are different types of beef ribs. Take into account the following variations: Cut: The back ribs are removed from the cow’s upper back. The front section of the cow’s lower rib cage is cut to create short ribs.

Where did beef ribs originate?

The best beef short ribs originate in the chuck primal, where the thickest serratus ventralis muscle is marbled. The serratus ventralis, which starts near the second rib and covers the majority of the rib cage, thins as it extends to the rump.

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