Smoked Beef Plate Ribs are tender, beefy, and mouthwatering. These flavorful beef plate ribs are seasoned simply and pack a generous helping of meat per bone. Each of these smoked beef ribs will feed two people, and can weigh 1-2 pounds each. Wow! Fire up your smoker; we’re about to have a good time.
What are Beef Plate Ribs?
Beef plate ribs come from the lower rib section near the belly of the animal. This cut should not be confused with beef back ribs located near the spine. Plate ribs are well-marbled, thick slabs of meat nestled around the bone. Butchers will cut these ribs into thin strips across the bone to form flanken ribs (popular in Korean cuisine) or slice them into smaller sections creating short ribs.
Plate ribs are commonly known as “dino ribs” for their large size. Unlike beef back ribs, which contain less meat and more bone, plate ribs are characterized by their thick, meaty layers and prominent bones. Remember those brontosaurus ribs gobbled up by Fred Flintstone? These are not as big, but they weigh 1-2 pounds each. One rib can feed two people or one very hungry person.
Another defining feature of plate ribs is their fat content. As mentioned above, the meat is marbled with fat, which helps keep it tender and juicy during cooking. But, they are indulgent and typically enjoyed on special occasions like summer holidays or cookouts.
Beef plate ribs are cooked in various ways, including low and slow smoking or roasting. The meat is tender and has a rich beefy flavor with a slightly sweet finish. Plate ribs are quite popular in Texas, and we recommend visiting a local BBQ joint to enjoy these insanely delicious dino ribs! If you want to cook these baddies yourself, know that they are easier to find here in central Texas but are available elsewhere through bulk grocery stores like Costco and online meat purveyors like Snake River Farms.
What are the best ways to cook beef plate ribs?
Beef plate ribs can be cooked in various ways, depending on your preferences and available equipment. Here are some of the best ways to cook beef plate ribs:
- Smoking: This is a popular way to cook beef plate ribs because it allows the meat to absorb the smoky flavor while becoming tender and juicy slowly. This cooking method is ideal for beef plate ribs, as it helps to break down the connective tissue and render the fat, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.
- Slow roasting: Slow roasting is another great way to cook plate ribs. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F, season the meat with your preferred seasoning, and then slow roast the beef plate ribs in a covered roasting pan for several hours until they reach an internal temperature between 200-205 degrees F.
Beef Rib Success:
- Preparation: Most beef plate ribs come pre-trimmed and packaged. However, if you get one fresh from the butcher, you might need to clean it up. Using a sharp knife, remove the tough connective tissue, or silver skin, covering the meat. Not only does this connective tissue create a barrier to smoke, but silver skin is tough and inedible.
- Next, cut off any hanging bits of fat and flesh from the beef plate.
- Flavor: Choose a simple rub for beef plate ribs. A simple SPG (salt, pepper, garlic) rub will do.
- Binding Agent: Use a binding agent like yellow mustard, oil, hot sauce, or Worcestershire sauce to help the rub stick. Apply a thin layer of your preferred binding agent before applying the rub. A binding agent is not required, so if you prefer not to use one, that is 100% okay!
- Essentials: Prepare for a 6+ hour cooking time. Have enough fuel available, and choose a wood that works well with beef (see below for suggestions).
- 3-bone beef plate ribs
- Black pepper
- Granulated Garlic (substitute with garlic powder)
- Apple juice or Bourbon Spritz
- Spray bottle
Wood Suggestions: Oak, Apple, Hickory, or Alder wood chunks, chips, or wood pellets.
How to Smoke Beef Plate Ribs:
- Trim off the fat cap on the meat portion of the ribs. Some butchers will trim it down a bit, but it’s a good idea to trim off the silver skin and any thick knobs of fatty tissue. Fat acts as a barrier to smoke. Unlike intra-muscular fat (marbling), it will not keep the meat moist and can become rubbery.
- If you flip your rack of beef plate ribs over, you’ll notice a thick membrane covering the bones. Now, I do not remove this membrane on beef ribs, but some pitmasters will take it off. The process is similar to removing the membrane on pork ribs but might take a little extra effort based on its thickness. This step is not required, so feel free to leave it on if you’d like to.
- After trimming, blot the rack of beef ribs with a paper towel, Brush with a little oil or slather with 1- 1 1/2 tablespoons of yellow mustard (optional). I like to use hot sauce like sriracha or Yellow Bird to give it an extra layer of flavor.
- Season beef plate ribs well with rub. Let the ribs stand at room temperature until your smoker is up to temp. You can also preseason the ribs up to 1 hour before cooking.
- Prepare your grill or smoker for 250 degrees F. Add your choice of wood. See above for wood recommendations. Plan on a 6-hour cooking time, with a rib doneness temperature of 200-205 degrees F. Have a reliable instant meat thermometer or temperature probe handy. You will need it!
- Once your smoker comes up to temperature, place the beef ribs onto the grates, bone side down. If you have room, set a drip pan underneath the grates under where the ribs will be. Close the lid and let the ribs go for 3 hours.
- During this time, the bark will set up. Leave the ribs alone for those 3 hours, but watch the temperature to ensure your smoker is not going above 250 degrees.
- After 3 hours, examine your smoked beef ribs. You will notice that a nice bark has been set up. You might also see some dry patches forming. This indicates that you need to spritz the ribs with a little beef broth or your preferred liquid like pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, or apple juice. I recommend using a room-temperature liquid to keep the meat temperature stable. Cold liquids will dip the temperature and prolong your cooking time.
- Spritz with liquid (or pickle juice, apple cider vinegar, etc.) onto the ribs. Keep a fair distance from the meat, and do not spray directly into it. Doing so will disturb the bark you’ve worked so hard to create. Think more along the lines of misting rather than spraying.
- Close the lid and continue cooking.
- You’ll also notice that the meat has started to pull back from the bones, and the bones will protrude more. That’s normal!
- Typically, I don’t wrap smoked beef ribs in butcher paper, or at all. Believe it or not, leaving them unwrapped shaves time off the total cooking time. However, if you’d like to wrap them after they reach the 165-degree mark, be aware that they will take longer to reach 200 degrees.
- The temperature of the meat will stall during the cooking process. I do not recommend wrapping these smoked beef ribs. Just give them some time. Keep in mind that the cooking process can take 6 hours or more.
- If running close on time, wrap the ribs with peach butcher paper once they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Place them into your oven and finish cooking at 275 degrees F, until done. See below for optimal doneness temperature.
- The smoked beef ribs are done once they have reached an internal temperature of 200-205 degrees.
- Use heat-resistant gloves to remove the beef plate ribs from the smoker. Place them onto a large cutting board and lightly tent with aluminum foil. Let the ribs rest for 30 minutes. If serving them later, wrap them up and place them in a clean cooler for up to 2 hours.
- Use a sharp knife to cut through the ribs and serve. Some folks also like to remove the bones and slice the meat. See below for serving suggestions.
Place your leftover smoked beef plate ribs into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in the oven at 300 degrees F. until warmed through. If you liked this recipe, try our Pellet Grill Smoked Brisket!
What is the best way to serve beef plate ribs?
Beef plate ribs can be served in various ways, depending on the occasion and your preference. Here are some of the best ways to serve beef plate ribs:
- Main course: Serve them with BBQ sauce and your favorite sides, such as roasted vegetables, smoked potatoes, or coleslaw. They’re also great for special occasions like holiday dinners or backyard BBQs.
- Sandwiches: Slice or shred leftover beef rub meat in sandwiches or sliders. Top it with fried pickles, smoked onions, or barbecue sauce for a satisfying meal.
- Charcuterie board: Slice and serve with other smoked meats, nuts, and cheese on a charcuterie board.
Serve these amazing ribs with some of our favorite side dishes:
- 1 beef ribs 3-Bone Plate Rib Rack
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/2 cup apple juice for spritzing
- Prepare your smoker for 250 degrees F. Add wood of choice.
- Trim away the silver skin and knobs of fat from the ribs. Blot dry, and brush with oil.
- Combine salt, pepper, and garlic. Season ribs thoroughly with the mixture. Both sides and edges.
- Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the ribs bone-side down onto the grates. Close the lid and let it cook for 3 hours undisturbed. Check the temperature of your smoker, and adjust if needed.
- After 3 hours, spritz with apple juice (or liquid of choice). Close the lid and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 hours.
- Once the beef ribs reach an internal temperature between 200-205 degrees F, they are done.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker and place them onto a clean cutting board. Tent with aluminum
Serving: 1g | Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 900mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
Photos by: Sabrina Baksh/derrickriches.com