Make It Tonight: Beef Ribs

Jun 8, 2021

Summer calls for ribs. Ribs offer it all: from juicy, tender barbeque ribs, to perfectly braised short ribs, they always make a rich, hearty meal. Cooking ribs can seem like a daunting task though, as there are many different cuts and recipe types to choose from, but we are here to help demystify these classic beef cuts. With a few great recipes you can Make Tonight! 

Beef Ribs - The Cuts

There are two different common cuts of beef ribs: back ribs and short ribs.

Beef back ribs are known for their juicy, tender texture. Back ribs come from the cow’s rib section along the back, and as such have much longer bones than short ribs. Back ribs are most often used for barbequing, famous for staying tender and juicy, while still being able to achieve that perfect char.

Beef short ribs are from the underside of the animal. They are often much larger and juicer than the back rib, with more meat and fat on them. Short ribs are often braised, to produce a very moist and tender meal that nearly falls apart when touched.

Purchasing & Preparing Beef Ribs

When purchasing beef ribs, or ribs of any type, you want to look for an even distribution of meat along the bone, as this will allow for more even cooking. Ribs with thick areas can be trimmed down by yourself or a butcher. You will also want to look for even marbling, or fat distribution, throughout the tissues, without any large areas of fat. Before cooking ribs, remove the membrane or skin from the back of the ribs, as this will become hard and chewy if left on while cooking. To do so, simply score the membrane along each bone, avoiding the muscle. Carefully use a butter knife or spoon to peel the membrane back, working in sections along each rib.

Cooking Beef Ribs

Beef back ribs are most often used for barbeque, and you can check out our classic barbecue beef ribs recipe this week.

Cooking them low and slow produces that classic beef flavor while keeping the meat tender. For barbecuing, a nice dry rub can add great flavor. Once prepared simply toss on a barbeque for a few hours. You will want to leave them on their own for a while, monitoring the temperature to ensure it never gets too hot (around 230℉ is ideal). You will know they are done when you see the meat pulling back from the bone at bit, and the internal temperature is around 195℉. Beef ribs pair perfectly with barbeque sauce. Feel free to lather them up with your favorite sauce about a half hour before you think they will be done, or give them a dip before serving.

If barbeque is not your thing, then beef short ribs are your friend. Braised short ribs are a thing of glory, juicy and oh-so-tender, and you can even cook them in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, as we recommend with these Maple and Whisky Glazed Salt & Pepper Ribs!

Braising in its simplest form means browning the meat, adding braising liquids, and cooking the meat until covered. Often this is done in a dutch oven or stock pot, and involves a combination of red wine and beef stock. You can add vegetables to your braising pot (like carrots, pearl onions or potatoes). There are many different flavors you can create through braising, although some of our favorites involve adding sprigs of fresh herbs (like rosemary) or adding some bourbon and maple syrup to create a deep, slightly sweet flavor. These Maple Rosemary Beef Ribs are a winning and flavourful combination. 

No matter whether you need. A fast, feast-worthy or family-friendly meanl, or which cut you select between beef back ribs and beef short ribs, you are bound to get a tasty meal, so go forth, and eat beef!

Maple Rosemary Beef Ribs


Wk32 beef ribs blog4 - 8 beef back ribs (1 rack)
salt and pepper
vegetables, such as potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower or squash (optional)
canola oil, for vegetables (optional)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. grainy mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. chopped rosemary


1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F.

2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, lay out the rack of ribs and sprinkle with salt. Cover with another piece of foil and roast for 3–3 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. (If you like, pour the fat off the bottom of the pan into a ramekin and save it in the fridge to start a sauce or stew or roast potatoes or vegetables.)

3. Increase the oven temperature to 425˚F and if you like, cut potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetables into large chunks and toss in a drizzle of oil to coat.Spread on the pan around the ribs.

4. Stir the maple syrup, mustard, vinegar and rosemary in the same bowl, and brush over the ribs.

5. Return to the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the ribs are sticky and caramelized and the veggies are tender and golden

Three Make It Tonight recipes for Beef Ribs

Fast MIT

Maple and Whisky Glazed Salt & Pepper Ribs

Fancy MIT

Maple Rosemary Beef Ribs

Family MIT

Barbecue Beef Ribs



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