Beef baby back ribs

Baby back ribs are a staples of BBQ restaurants, but they are usually pork. Recently, Halal grocery stores around here – like Sara’s – have been carrying beef baby back ribs. It’s always been a bit unclear to me how these should be cooked. I got a chance to try it out when my friend’s Traeger smoker didn’t start (problem with electrical outlet). He seasoned the meat and then brought it over for me to smoke in my Big Green Egg. Being a secretive guy, I don’t know what rub he used, although I suspect it’s mostly salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne.


  • Seasoning/Rub of your choice. My go-to is 1/3 Kosher salt, 1/3 black pepper 1/3 granulated garlic powder
  • Beef baby back ribs


  1. season the meat well
  2. Prepare the grill/smoker: 275 degrees with wood of choice. I used Oak wood chunks, purchased from Amazon. Oak is what Franklin BBQ in Austin (often considered the best BBQ in the country) uses.
  3. Cook until internal temperate reaches around 200 degrees. Then pass a thermometer probe or toothpick into the meat. Once it feels like your pushing into room temperature butter, the meat is done. This is the same technique to assess when beef brisket is done. For this cook, I probed at 200, but the meat was still a bit stiff, and it ended up cooking up to 203 degrees.

Impression: It was delicious. There isn’t too much meat between bones, but it was still quite satisfying. I was surprised at how simple the process was. Allot of online recipes call for wrapping the ribs in foil, and I could see how that may retain some moisture – but I always opt for the simplest process possible.

Ribs when first placed on grill
Ribs 1 hr into cook
Ribs at 2 into cook. Note how the meat is pulling off the bone as it cooks.
Ribs at 4 hours into cook. Done at this point.

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