Finally, I’m making beef ribs. I always seem to gravitate to the baby back pork ribs. I’m also going to use a different marinade for this one.
For the rub, I’ll be using a sweet rub that I’ve been working on that is honey based. I have thoughts of some day marketing it. so until I decide one way or the other, I’ll keep the minor details to myself. The one I used is very mild, but you could use a hot and spicy dry rub if that’s what trips your trigger. If you like it hot, then by all means, you should put the heat to it!
So let’s get to the details of the cook.
Slow Smoked Honey Apple Beef Ribs
1 package beef ribs (approximately 3 1/2 lbs)
1 cup apple juice
1 cup honey
2/3 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Let’s start by preparing the ribs. Let’s get the membrane removed. If it’s your first time, I’ll run through it real quick.
Removing the membrane: I’ve seen where people put the handle of a spoon underneath the membrane, between the first two bones, and lift up slightly to get it started. I typically use my knife, but you can do it either way. Pull it up towards the end of the rack until you get it loose at the end. Now you have something to grab a hold of. Grasp it firmly, (you can use a paper towel to grip it better), and slowly pull it completely off. It usually comes off in one piece.
Okay, now that you have the membrane removed, cut the racks to a shorter length if this will make fitting them in your smoker better, or just leave them whole if you have plenty of room. Set them into a container that fits them fairly snug. Now let’s get the marinade mixed up.
In a separate bowl, completely mix together all of the marinade ingredients. Pour this over the ribs. If it doesn’t sufficiently cover the ribs, make more marinade up. Once the ribs are covered, seal up the container and put this into the refrigerator over night.
Now, in the morning, take the ribs out of the refrigerator, pour off the marinade and get out your favorite rub. Cover all the surfaces of the ribs liberally with the rub. And of course rub it in thoroughly. Put it back into the container, seal it up, and set it out on the counter to start coming up close to room temperature. Now, while that’s warming up, let’s get the smoker fired up!
I’m using mulberry wood for this cook today. Mulberry imparts a very light smoke flavor to the meat. It’s up to you what wood you want to use. For a light smoked flavor, you can use pecan, oak, peach, apple, etc. For a medium smoked flavor, try hickory. For heavy, go with mesquite.
Get your smoker fired up and settled in at about 225 to 250 degrees. Once it’s settled in, put the ribs on and let them do what ribs do on the smoker.
You can either put a temperature probe in and monitor it this way, or just quickly probe them after about 3 hours. Probing ribs is kind of tricky since the bones are so close together. Take care not to touch or get too close to a bone when probing, you’ll get an inaccurate reading. Ribs should be right at about 190 degrees for perfect tenderness!
Other methods, (besides pulling a rib off and eating it), are pulling two adjacent ribs away from each other. The meat should easily tear. Of course, if the bones come out clean, then it’s definitely done.
My favorite method of testing for doneness is to pick up the rack by one end, while it’s hanging in the air, move it up and down. If it’s done, it will start tearing at the weak point.
Once they’re done, take them off and put them into a clean container and seal them up, or just wrap them completely in aluminum foil. This will keep the heat in and allow the juices inside the meat to redistribute properly. Leave them sealed up for at least a half an hour.
Last of all, well, you know what to do now. Dig in!