On a recent trip to my local Sam’s Club I came across a package of thin-cut beef short ribs. Interesting I thought. While I will take pork over beef ribs anytime, I wanted to put myself up to a challenge of sorts and try something different. As it turns out, I really didn’t do anything different from smoking them the exact same way I smoke pork ribs. So much for a challenge, but at least I stepped out of my comfort zone and did try a different cut of meat.
These thin-cut ribs are cross-cut, in other words instead of each rib having one bone, they have three bones in each slice. I assume this a popular cut for when one want’s to prepare a Korean BBQ/Taco recipe, which I will be trying the next time I pick up this cut of beef. Price was about twice what pork ribs would be, another reason to go with pork, but over all I was happy with the purchase and very happy with how they turned out.
Since this was my first attempt I kept the preparation to a method that I know extremely well – the “2-2-1 method” (which, ironically comes from the BEEF Rib 3-2-1 method). I did tweak the method though due to the fact that these ribs were so thinly cut. I went with a new 1-2-1 method for these beef short ribs. Bottom line, they had plenty of smoke flavor. I was using a nice blend of Lumberjack brand pellets of Maple/Hickory/Cherry which really complemented the beef nicely. In short, one hour directly on the grates of the smoker, two hours wrapped in foil with a bath of apple juice / Worcestershire sauce, then one last hour back on the grates to firm them up, bring in a little more smoke flavor and apply some BBQ sauce if you wish.
I placed the rib strips on Bradley racks merely for easy transporting to and from my smoker. Since I had so many I took the opportunity to use three of my favorite dry rubs. Of course, I used my own, Soon to be Famous Weekend Grilling Dry Rub which I happily will forward direct to your in-box for the small price tag of $4.99 (plus tax if you live in the State of Wisconsin, sorry that’s the accountant in me coming out). I also took the opportunity to use Weber brand’s Steak ‘N Chop rub and Tastefully Simple’s Everyday Grilling Seasoning (available here).
I love using these racks, especially when smoking or grilling thin cuts of meat. Nothing worse than having a slice fall down between the grates. All it takes it loosing one slice of bacon to make you think twice the next time you put it on the grill.
After one hour of smoking at 225° it’s time to wrap them up in foil. I used the usual apple juice/Worcestershire sauce for this “tenderizing” phase. You can also use beer (I love a good dark beer for a beef bath), or even a Dr. Pepper or Coke if you want to try something a little different.
It was a very warm day when smoking these ribs, so I made sure to keep hydrated.
It was hard not to sample them at this point, but back in the smoker to get a little more smoke flavor and firm them up a bit. This particular day I was trying three different dry rubs so I didn’t sauce any of the ribs. This would be the time though to mop them with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Very tender and very delicious. I will certainly be doing these again. As tender as they were it will be very simple to remove the bones, cut the ribs in smaller strips and use for Taco Tuesday! I think I will also make these during the crock pot season (winter) months and once done smoking, place the de-boned beef in a crock pot and let them get happy with some onions, hot Giardiniera and Italian dressing for a slighter different version of an Italian Beef.
Have a grill / meat alarm yet? I love my Chef Alarm from the folks over at ThermoWorks. I originally bought their Thermapen which I use on every cook, but recently just picked up this ChefAlarm since one of my kids borrowed my old grill alarm and never returned it (just like half the tools from my garage). This thing is AWESOME! Check it out.