A few years ago, I was visiting my parents and they ordered from Mighty Quinn’s, a BBQ chain. My dad ordered a Brontosaurus rib. Of course, I was immediately interested, because as far as I knew, dinosaurs were extinct. Turns out these Brontosaurus ribs were just really big beef ribs. These ribs could easily each serve more than one person! Tender and flavorful, I knew these were going to become an integral part of my barbecue vocabulary when dining out, and I figured at some point I’d try to make them on my own grill. In the years since, I’ve also enjoyed amazing beef ribs at Hometown BBQ in Brooklyn, New York, and at multiple BBQ spots in Austin like Terry Black’s (and yes, I made a 5am pilgrimage to wait in line at Franklin BBQ – definitely worth it) during a girl’s trip!
When I returned from my trip to Austin, I was ready to try making my own beef ribs, but I found myself disappointed that the grocery store only had beef back ribs (these are the size of traditional pork baby back ribs). There wasn’t anything wrong with them but they weren’t the meaty, ginormous ribs I was seeking out.
However, on Memorial Day weekend during quarantine, I adventured to Costco, and found Beef Plate Short Ribs – this was exactly what I needed to recreate those memorable beef ribs I had previously enjoyed, and it’s the only place I’ve seen them! If you’re not a Costco member, and this isn’t enough reason for you to join, I’m sure you can speak to a local butcher about special ordering some beef plate short ribs.
The beef plate ribs come with 3-4 ribs. Depending if you’re looking to serve each person a bone, you can serve 3-4 people, but it you’ve got a bigger crowd, you can certainly remove the meat from the bone after cooking and have plenty for 5-6 people to enjoy. The beef ribs do take some time to smoke, so it’s not exactly something you can decide to make at the last minute. I recommend starting the process a day before, if possible, so that you can rub the ribs and let the rub sit for 24 hours, but if you’re in a rush, you can let the rub sit for just an hour. I’m no BBQ pitmaster, but using my methods and techniques, the cooking process will take about 4 hours depending on your grill. These are bound to impress any meat eater!
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons kosher salt (I use TCB Kosher Salt #2)
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons cumin
2 Tablespoons ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon cayenne (you can leave this out if you’re not a spice person)
- Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container until ready to use. It's that easy!
- If your ribs have a membrane on the back, you can opt to remove this. It won’t change the flavor, but removing it makes the ribs easier to cut and eat once they are cooked. From an overhead view, the ribs, in their raw state almost look like brisket, the bones only visible from the side. You’ll notice they have a lot of fat, but don’t trim it!
- Rub the ribs with the spice mix. Make sure to be generous and cover them all over. Wrap them once seasoned, with plastic wrap. If you have 2-24 hours, longer being best, leave them wrapped in the refrigerator. If you’re in a rush and only have an hour, you can leave the seasoned ribs out while they sit.
- When you’re ready to cook, know that you can use a grill, smoke, or even an oven to make these ribs. You’ll also want to take the ribs out of the fridge an hour before cooking. However you do it, I recommend getting your heat source to 250-275 (and use indirect heat, if that’s an option). I used a gas grill with some soaked wood chips in a smoker box, and just used one burner on low to maintain temperature. Give your grill 20-30 minutes to regulate the temperature.
- Place the ribs in the middle of your grill. If you have a rack, I find it works really well to elevate the ribs so the heat circulates.
- Let the ribs smoke for 3-4 hours, or longer depending on the size of your slab of ribs. Mine were about 4.5 lbs and took just about 4 hours. The best way to know if they are done are to ensure that the meat reaches 202 degrees. I love using a thermocouple thermometer for an accurate read.
- When your ribs are around 195 degrees, and almost done, go ahead and slather with your favorite bbq sauce. The remaining cook time will help the sauce caramelize and stick to the ribs.
- Once the internal temperature reaches 202 degrees, pull the ribs off the grill and wrap in foil. Let the ribs rest for 20-30 minutes (this helps keep the juices in). You’ll notice during the cooking process that the bones become more exposed. This is normal. Think of them as natural handles!
- Slice between each bone to separate the ribs.
- Serve on the bone, or off, and with your favorite sides, but you really won’t need much, as these are definitely the star of the show. Most recently, I served mine with my grandmother’s broccoli salad with sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and red onion, and it was a perfect pair!
If these beef ribs have you hankering for beef and/or grilling, you’re in luck! We are so excited to be safely and slowly reopening to the public for cooking classes at Lincoln Square, and our first in-person class will be a demonstration style class on the patio, Backyard BBQ on Saturday, July 11 at 4pm. On Sunday, July 12, we’re offering Italian Surf and Turf at 4pm, and on Saturday, August 1 we'll have Prost! German Feast on the Grill at 4pm.
If you’re not quite ready to come see us, we’ve still got virtual grilling classes to keep you busy. On July 19, we’re making Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Summer Farro Salad. Whether we see you in person or “see” you virtually, we can’t wait to cook with you soon!
Don’t forget we’re open for curbside pickup at Lincoln Square on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have lots of great sauces, seasoning and grill accessories to make you an official grill master! Be sure and check out our offerings under the SHOP tab in the top navigation of our website.