Beef ribs

Joined May 7, 2016
Hi all! Newbie here, and to be completely honest, I'm here because I've failed and I've given up.

Been trying to make beef ribs and other tough cuts of beef recently. My understanding was simple: low and slow = tender beef.

Most recently, I have tried water bathing a rack of beef ribs for 8 hours at 60.5 ± 0.5 deg cel, followed by 8 hrs in an oven at 90 deg cel. The beef came out less than rare and I was pressed for time, so I decided to give up and destroy it by roasting it at 220 deg cel for a further 1 hr (something tough and chewy is better than no food on the table). 

The result was very chewy beef (fibres were quite dense in texture), and the tendon parts surrounding the bone was beyond digestible.

Can someone please educate me on what I did wrong? Honest, I was quite shocked when the meat came out less than rare out of the oven initially after all that time.



PS: technical question; why is alt+0 on a mac giving me a "Keyboard Shortcut Guide" popup? It's hindering me from typing the "degree" symbol.
Joined May 7, 2016
Thanks Mike! That's an awesome link. Bit worried that I'd have to go 85°c while cooking plastic bags to get the desired result though... That's quite near boiling point - would there be any potential risk of a bit of plastic melting?
Joined Jan 4, 2011
I'm gonna try and help here. I may not be right in everyone's eyes, but my beef ribs always get eaten.

I trim the slab down to +/- 75% lean. I trim off all but about 25% of the fat and loose junk. I season the bageebies out of the slab with what I use for steaks, not at all including salt. I cut them to fit a hotel pan with a raised rack (generally 3 rib pieces). In goes a cup of cheap drinkable bourbon and a cup of coffee. I seal the pan with foil to within an inch of it's life. Into the oven @ 300* for 4-hours. Out of the oven, unopened, relaxing for 1/2 hour. Open the foil, drain the liquid and reduce by 1/2. Baste the ribs with that reduced liquid then back into the oven @ a screaming 550* for 10-minutes.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've never heard of beef ribs being anything other than cooked. Rare beef rib meat is leather.
Joined Jul 13, 2012

Yes, it does:

(...) our data suggest that almost all commercially available plastic items would leach detectable amounts of chemicals having EA once such items are exposed to boiling water, sunlight (UV), and/or microwaving.

But sous vide is low temperature cooking.  Most food grade bags are fine with it and Ziplok vac/sous vide bags are made for it.
Joined Sep 5, 2008
But sous vide is low temperature cooking.  Most food grade bags are fine with it and Ziplok vac/sous vide bags are made for it.
Good point. But if chemicals leach out at 100C then I wonder what happens at 85C. Haven't read the whole paper so I don't know if they tested it at those lower temperatures. I don't like the idea of plastic in contact with my food, even cold plastic, even less warm or heated plastic.
Joined Mar 21, 2008
What cut of beef ribs? Some take longer cooking to get tender. I used to order a case of dinosaur ribs every year. Basically a chuck roast on 3 rib bones that were 2" thick and about 10 inches long. I would toss those on the smoker and slow cook them until falling apart tender. 1 rib serving was close to a pound of meat and I saw a 12 year old girl eat 3 of them in one sitting because she absolutely loved them!

If they are the ribs off a rib roast they are more tender and cook faster. Usually not much on them for meat though and in my opinion way over priced!
Joined Feb 8, 2009
Back in the day I was the Chef/Manager in some local private clubs. We would serve a lot of 109 Prime Rib. The bones were used during the week for either rib night or happy hour food. The 109 Prime rib was real nice to use because of the large round center girth with bones it ran about 22 to 24 lb roasts. The ribs were cut off after roasting. We would simmer the ribs in bbq sauce for a few hrs and the ribs were nice and tender. 

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