By Christie Vanover | Published September 19, 2015 | Last Updated July 1, 2022
This is one of the first rib recipes I created before I considered myself a pitmaster.
You don’t need a fancy smoker to make them. They can be prepared on a gas or charcoal grill.
Types of beef ribs
Before I get started with the steps for this recipe, it’s important to understand that there are several different cuts of beef ribs. There are beef back ribs, which are on a full rack, look pretty flat and yield less meat. Then, there are the dino bones or plate short ribs, which are huge and usually come on a rack with 3-4 bones.
Unlike the cuts I mentioned above, this recipe is for boneless beef ribs. They’re actually not cut from the rib primal, at all. Instead, the rib-shaped strips are cut from the chuck or shoulder of the cow.
I grew up eating boneless beef ribs. They’re a great alternative to the other types of beef ribs, because they tend to be a little less expensive, but just as meaty and flavorful.
My mom prepared beef ribs in a slow cooker. They always turned out tender and juicy, but they lacked the smokey flavor you get from grilling. This recipe makes up for that.
Preparing the marinade
To start, the ribs are marinated in soy sauce, red wine vinegar and beef broth. The soy sauce doesn’t give it an Asian flavor, instead it amps up the umami flavor and beefiness.
The juicy beef ribs marinade also calls for hot sauce and honey. You can adjust the amount of hot sauce based on your heat preference.
Place the marinade in a zip-top bag and add the ribs. Then, seal the bag and massage the meat a bit to help the marinade work itself into the meat.
Place it on a rimmed sheet pan or in a bowl in the fridge and let the marinade do its magic for several hours. If you’re home, toss the bag occasionally during this process for even flavor.
How to cook juicy beef ribs
After the ribs have marinated for at least four hours, set your grill to high or medium-high (375-400F degrees) with a direct heat zone and an indirect heat zone.
Grill over the direct heat for about 5 minutes per side to create a nice char on them. The honey in the marinade will help them caramelize rather quickly, so watch for that.
Next, you’re going to move the beef ribs over to indirect heat and slow cook them at 275F degrees for an additional 30 minutes.
At this point, if you’re cooking on a gas grill and want to get a smokier flavor, you could add some wood pellets to a smoke box or create a wood chip foil pouch, but they’ll be great without the added smoke, too.
After 30 minutes, wrap the ribs up tight in some foil and continue grilling them over indirect heat for 2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 200-205F degrees.
This is basically the slow cooker stage. During this part of the cook, the collagen in the meat will start to break down to give you tender juicy beef ribs.
You could even finish this step in the oven, because you’re essentially just braising the meat now.
When you unwrap the foil, the boneless beef ribs will be soft, and you’ll be left with natural juices that you can pour on top of each serving.
Cooking boneless beef ribs on different types of grills
Turn one burner on high and keep the other burners off. Grill the ribs for 5 minutes per side over the burner that’s on. Move the meat to the side that is turned off and grill for 30 more minutes (with a smoke pouch). Wrap in foil and continue cooking for 2 hours over the indirect heat.
Add charcoal to one half of the grill. Grill the ribs for 5 minutes per side over the hot coals. Move the meat to the side without coals and grill for 30 more minutes (you can add wood chunks for added flavor). Wrap in foil and continue cooking for 2 hours over the indirect heat.
Add charcoal to the grill and place the diffuser plate on top. Heat the grill to 375-400F degrees. Grill the ribs for 5 minutes per side. Adjust the vents and reduce the heat to 275F degrees. Grill for 30 more minutes. Wrap in foil and continue cooking for 2 hours.
Set the grill temp to 400F degrees. Grill the ribs for 5 minutes per side. Reduce the temperature to 275F degrees and grill for 30 more minutes. Wrap in foil and continue cooking for 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 400F degrees. Place the ribs on a foil-lined sheet pan and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 275F degrees. Continue cooking for 30 minutes. Wrap the ribs with foil (use a new sheet of foil, if the current sheet has too much cooked on residue.) Cook for 2 more hours.
With all of the above methods, you’ll know the boneless beef ribs are done, when they reach an internal temperature of 200-205F degrees.
Grilled Tender Juicy Boneless Beef Ribs
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 lbs boneless beef ribs
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, broth, Tabasco sauce and honey. Place the ribs in a zip-top bag. Pour the marinade inside and rub to coat. Seal the bag and let marinate at least 4 hours.
- Heat the grill to high. Place the ribs on direct heat and sear on each side for five minutes. Discard the extra marinade.
- Move the ribs to indirect heat (For a gas grill, turn the heat off on one side and move the ribs to that side. For a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side and move the ribs to the side with no coals.). Close the lid and grill for 30 minutes.
- Wrap the ribs in foil and continue grilling for 2 hours. The internal temperature of the grill should be kept at 275 degrees.
- Open the foil pouch and place the ribs on a platter. Pour the broth from the foil pouch over the ribs and serve.