How to barbecue beef ribs

You’re familiar with steaks, burgers and beef sausages, but have you thought of serving barbecued beef ribs? They’re the latest foodie favourite, and with good reason. They are succulent and extremely tasty but super easy to prepare and barbecue.

What are beef ribs?

Beef ribs are as the name suggests come from the rib section. There are two types - beef rib ends (usually sold as a whole piece) or the shorter, thicker, meatier beef short spare ribs (usually sold individually).

Beef short spare ribs have a thicker section of meat than the longer, leaner beef ribs ends. They are ideal to marinate and barbecue, particularly in a covered barbecue.

Ask your butcher or meat manager at the supermarket about beef ribs, as a guide serve 2-3 beef short ribs per person.

Preparing beef ribs

Simmer the ribs before marinating and char-grilling – it helps to remove the fat, tenderise the meat and it means less time on the barbecue.

Place the beef ribs in a large saucepan with enough water to completely cover the ribs.  Bring the water to simmering point slowly over a low heat. Simmer gently, partially covered for 1 hour. This will ensure they tenderise rather than toughen.

Remove ribs from water and coat in the marinade. Stand for 30 minutes or marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Barbecuing the ribs

Because the ribs are thick, and are only on the barbecue for a short time it is best to bring them to room temperature before barbecuing.

Barbecue ribs over a moderate heat for 10-12 minutes turning often and basting with any marinade throughout cooking until ribs are golden brown. Do not brush any marinade on during the last few minutes of cooking time.

They can be cooked on the barbecue by either indirect or direct heat. Using indirect heat in a covered barbecue will take about 12 minutes, turn them once or twice. If using direct heat over an open barbecue have a cooler zone on the barbecue so they can be pushed to the side if flare-ups occur. Ribs will take about 8-10 minutes, turn them often.

Marinade tips

Marinade with garlic, soy and other usual marinade ingredients and brush the ribs with a glaze of say honey and tomato sauce (you can baste the ribs throughout cooking, but not in the last minutes of cooking).

Try our beef rib marinade ideas (enough for 10-12 beef ribs)

  • Sweet chilli, soy and sesame beef ribs - Marinate the ribs with a mix of ½ cup sweet chilli sauce, ¼ cup each of tomato and soy sauce, 3 cloves crushed garlic and 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger.
  • Memphis beef ribs - Marinate the ribs with a mix of ½ cup beer, ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp each garlic powder, dried oregano and sweet paprika.
  • Texas beef ribs - Marinate the ribs with a mix ½ cup barbecue sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or apple cider vinegar.
  • Black bean beef ribs - Marinate the ribs with a 1 cup black bean sauce, the grated rind and juice of 1 lime, and 2 cloves crushed garlic. Or 2 tsp chilli garlic paste.


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From The Community

Jan 14, 2018 #

Great article, best tip is the simmering makes for a lovely tender rib.

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Jan 14, 2018 #

Great article, best tip is the simmering makes for a lovely tender rib.

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Jan 26, 2016 #

This is really helpful. We bought beef ribs yesterday after talking to an elderly lady in the butcher. Simmering the ribs before marinating is a great idea and so are the marinade ideas. Can' t wait to cook them. Happy Australia Day.????

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Beef and Lamb
Jan 08, 2014 #

Hi Ehsan - you're correct, there is an error in the article! Thanks for letting us know, we have now fixed this. To answer your question you can baste the ribs with the marinade throughout the cooking process, but not in the last minute of cooking. By basting in the last minute there is a chance the marinade will not caramelise properly or a risk of contamination as the marinade does not cook long enough at a high temperature.

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Jan 08, 2014 #

In one paragraph saying "Do not brush in the last few minutes " but later says brush in the last minute ! Please correct me if I am wrong .Thanks

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