Tender Slow-Grilled Beef Ribs

Slow-Grilled Beef Ribs

The Spruce

  • Total: 110 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Total Time: 110 mins
  • Yield: serves 4

Although not as popular as pork ribs, beef ribs are a great alternative and cook similarly to a rack of pork ribs. The secret to mouthwatering beef ribs is to cook them low and slow; this not only makes them tender but also very flavorful. There are two cuts of beef ribs: back ribs and short ribs. For this recipe, you want to use back ribs as short ribs (with the bone) benefit from a different type of cooking method such as braising. (Back ribs are also less expensive.)


  • 4 pounds beef ribs
  • For Marinade
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: your favorite barbecue sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. In a medium bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Mix well.

  2. Place the ribs in a shallow, non-metal baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Make sure the ribs are evenly coated.

  3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

  4. Preheat grill and prepare for indirect grilling.

  5. When the grill is hot, remove ribs from marinade and place on the cool side of the grill to cook indirectly. Discard marinade. Close the lid and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, turning every 15 minutes.

  6. Once ribs reach an internal temperature of 165 F (make sure to check several ribs), remove from heat and serve.

  7. You can apply barbecue sauce during the last 15 minutes of cook time if you like. Make sure to keep a close eye on the ribs, so they don't burn.


  • When grilling, it is best to use a drip pan under the grill grates to prevent flare-ups because beef ribs have a lot of fat that will burn quickly. You will need to keep an eye on the ribs and move around the grill if flare-ups occur.

Beef Back Ribs vs. Short Ribs

These two parts of the cow cook very differently from each other. The back ribs, from the rib section, cook similarly to a rack of pork ribs. This is the section that remains when the boneless ribeye steaks and roasts are removed, so it will taste very much like steak. The short rib is from a part of the cow's ribs called the plate and make up only about 13 percent of the entire rack of beef ribs. Although it is a smaller amount, it does have more meat than the back ribs and is, therefore, more expensive a cut. Short ribs benefit from a cooking method that includes some kind of liquid; if you want to grill short ribs, it is best to buy boneless. 

If you don't see beef ribs in the meat section of your supermarket, ask the butcher—he may have a rack of frozen beef ribs in the back, or can cut you a rack of fresh beef ribs. He may charge you a little more for the fresh, but you are still paying less than pork ribs or short ribs.