How to Cook Beef Ribs

Everyone loves a deliciously moist beef rib so earlier this week I decided to cook beef ribs on a ProQ smoker and capture a step by step process for you to easily replicate at home. This was an incredibly easy cook and the hardest part of the cook was probably removing the membrane from the underside of the rib. The cook itself was almost set and forget with the Flaming Coals Hotrods and Temp Master Pro controlling the temperature inside the ProQ

Prepare the beef ribs:
Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs and trim all hard fat from the top

Apply your favourite beef rub, ideally something that is going to give you a nice bark with plenty of flavour. I love the Flaming Coals Bovine Espresso rub

Prepare the smoker:
Light a couple of natural firelighters in the ProQ charcoal basket. 
Stand about 6 Hotrods (snapped in half) into a chimney and put the chimney on top of the burning firelighters.
The Hotrods are quite dense and will take a good 30 minutes to get nice and hot. While they take a bit longer than normal lump charcoal to be ready, the upside is that they burn for a long time and give you a stable temperature. 
Once the Hotrods are ready, pour them into the ProQ charcoal basket
Add the 2 ProQ stackers and insert the water pan. I pre-boiled a kettle and put the equivalent of a kettle full of boiling water into the water pan. 
Insert the top grill into the smoker, put your beef ribs onto the grill and pop the lid on. 
Add a couple of wood chunks into the charcoal basket to add a nice smoky flavour to your beef ribs. 


Cooking process:
By combining the Hotrods with the Temp Master Pro which was set at 275F, I didn’t actually have to do anything to the beef ribs until the ambient temperature of the smoker started to drop. 
Once the temperature started to drop, I added 3 Hotrods (snapped in half) onto the already lit charcoal. 

While it’s not necessary to wrap beef ribs, I chose to wrap them in this instance in pink butchers paper to speed up the cooking process. Pink butchers paper allows the ribs to breathe so you can maintain that amazing crispy bark you get when using the Bovine Espresso rub. Aluminium foil also would have sped up the cooking process, however, because it isn’t breathable, the bark would have gone all soggy which is a definite no-no. 

I left the beef ribs in the smoker unattended for another 3.5 hours. The temperature of the ProQ had remained constant since adding those additional 3 hotrods so there was no need to do anything. I also didn’t top up the water pan since adding water at the very start. 

I probed the beef ribs after a total cook time of 8hrs and they probed without any resistance. 
Contrary to popular belief, when you’re probing any sort of low and slow-cooked meat, you’re not actually cooking to a temperature, rather you’re cooking to tenderness. The temperature probe read 205F for those of you that like a guide. 

Once the beef ribs were removed from the smoker, I left them to rest for about 30 minutes until I couldn’t stand the smell anymore and I needed to dig in.

The moment of truth:
They looked great from the outside and the bark was crispy, but everyone always raves about that magical smoke ring. A smoke ring doesn’t actually add any flavour whatsoever, and yet it’s still one for the most talked about features of a beef rib or a brisket for that matter. Considering I only added 3 cherry wood chunks for the entire cook, I wasn’t expecting a lot, however, the smoke ring wasn’t too bad considering I wasn’t in the mood for heavily smoked beef ribs. 
If the truths known, the beef ribs could have come off the smoker 30 minutes earlier, however personally like them a little overdone and falling off the bone. 

Inside the fat had rendered perfectly and the beef ribs were packed full of moisture. 
Outside the bark was crispy and had loads of flavour. 

Considering I did absolutely nothing to these beef ribs after putting them in the smoker apart from adding a little more charcoal and wrapping them at the 4.5 hour mark, they turned out brilliant!

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by: Rhiannon Peterson