Are Boneless Ribs Still Ribs?

In recent weeks, I’ve considering trying to do either beef ribs or duck. Beef ribs are particularly appealing for me since they look very impressive when they’re still on their gigantic rib bones. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried any restaurant made ones — they tend to be pricey and I usually go for the brisket.

With that in mind, I spent about two days trying to find bone-in beef ribs from the plate, unchopped. What you get is essentially a giant rib with a fair chunk of meat on one side of the bone.

Despite going to three different places, the best I could find was boneless beef ribs from the chuck from Giant. That included an actual butcher shop in Clarendon. In my defense, I had spent the previous night up too late watching Mighty Ducks 3 and wasn’t as keen on going to a half dozen places. Each package was relatively cheap at about five dollars per pound; I think they were trying to get rid of it.


I opted for a simply salt and pepper blend again, this time making sure that I didn’t end up oversalting everything.

That’s not lemon pepper

It was sort of a tough squeeze on the grill. I did my best to stick the larger pieces close to the coals and the smaller ones father away in an attempt to offset the temperature differences throughout the kettle. I stuck my meat probe (hehe) in one of the large ones closer to the flame.


I left the meat in at about 225 degrees (top end of 250) for about five hours until the meat probe hit 203. Took off the lid maybe once or twice. I considered rotating the meat from the outside to the inside but ended up not doing so.


The results were a bit underwhelming considering that I thought that I had done everything correct. The outer layers of the meat chunks was dryer that what I had envisioned. The inner parts tended to be more tender. We ate it all anyways.


I’m not entirely sure what went wrong here in terms of how moist I’m trying to get the meat. I’ve been wondering if my thermometer is bit off — I’ll have to try to find something else to compare it to. Since the range for the meat being done is 196 to 203, it can be pretty hit or miss. I assumed my thermometer position in that particular meat chunk was already pretty good — dead center. I think I’ll have to pick up a thermapen so I can double check the temps, my other thermometer has gone wonky.

Another possibility is that the meat I’m getting just isn’t very good. Just judging from the photos, some of the boneless ribs were lacking in fat striations and probably a bit lean. I still need to find a proper butcher where I can get my meat.

This week I’m considering getting duck (though I still wouldn’t know where). Luckily smoking poultry usually doesn’t take too long so maybe I can use Saturday morning to do that. Another option would be an actual pork butt.


Lastly, here’s a picture of Stuart looking wistful.

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