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Feb 29, 2008 11:03 AM

Beef Short Ribs BBQ?

Bought some beef short ribs yesterday to make soup. The cashier asked if I was going to BBQ them in a slow cooker. Something I never thought of or tried. I am assuming I would put only the ribs in the crock pot with my favorite BBQ sauce. I do not want the vegetables or potatoes mixed in the crock pot.

Has anyone tried this or do you have a suggestion for making them?

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  1. For me shortribs are always marinated in red wine with mirepoix then braised the next day in the marinating wine and roasted veal stock. However, I can definitely imagine cooking shortribs using traditional barbecue techniques. It's a cut that requires a long and slow cooking time to break down the connective tissue and to produce a lovely, juicy, and fall-apart kind of texture. Cooking shortribs slowly with indirect heat by way of smoking or braising in barbecue sauce should work. Personally though, I would either make my own barbecue sauce or cut the store-bought varieties with some other kind of liquid. Wine would be nice, or at least some lovely home-made stock. I find store-bought barbecue sauce to be cloyingly sweet with a sticky palette feel.

    R. Jason Coulston

    1. For tonight's dinner party I made 3 seven bone chuck roast that were braised in the oven and then pulled and coated with BBQ sauce. Short ribs should be very similar. I carved up the roasts and browned the meat prior to braising. Deglased the pan with water and BBQ sauce prior to braising the meat. I would have tasted even better if it was cooked over wood but the results are pretty good for oven BBQ. I did mine in the oven at 275 for 3 hours. Go for it.

      1. Not to sound like a dick, but cooking them in a crockpot with barbecue sauce isn't barbecuing them. Good shortribs make excellent barbecue, but they must be handled carefully or they'll get tough. If you use a dry rub and sear them then wrap them in foil with a decent marinade(if you want to use a commercial one, I think Wicker's is the best) and cook at aroud 275-300 for about 3 hours, then unwrap and finish with a baste of a table sauce that you cook onto the ribs.(over 350 heat for about 20-30 minutes, until it gets dark colored). alternatively you can do them Korean style, which requires a more involved prep.( you cut the meat from the ribs in a continuous sheet and cook quickly after marinating in a soy sherry sauce) but if you are going to braise them, dont do it in a crock pot. dust them with a little flour and then put them in the oven in a roasting pan with a mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery with red wine, bay leaf allspice and garlic, cover with red wine and fput foil over the pan and braise at 275 for three hours. remove the ribs and set asside. Strain the pan juices into a saucepan, pressing down on the solids. add 3 cups of ruby port and 1/2 c tomato paste. bring to a boil and then reduce heat and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly. crush 6-8 ginger snaps to a coarse powder and stir into sauce. place the ribs back in the clean roasting pan and cover with the sauce. reheat at 450 to crust the sauce on the ribs. serve over mashed potatoes, or parsnips or polenta.

        4 Replies
        1. re: chazzerking

          I agree. Ya can't BBQ in a crock pot. Neither can you BBQ in Aluminum Foil.
          The thickness of the "container" changes nothing. It's braising pure and simple.

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Actually, yes you can. you are cooking over wood coals, and over direct flame for part of the cooking. That the meat is in liquid for part of the cooking, to break down the connective tissue does not render it not barbecue. Go to many famous joints, and you'll see meat of all sorts in pans or foil. it's still barbecue.

            1. re: chazzerking

              Ahh! The old "Texas Crutch" Method. It can produce very good BBQ, but you'll never experience Excellent BBQ until you use your foil only to cover the potato salad while the meat is cooking. I missed cooking over wood coals in the first post...

          2. re: chazzerking

            Chazzerking - your recipe sounds divine, and I'm going to try it next weekend. Thanks!

          3. After reading your recipe suggestions, the crock pot idea is out! As a matter of fact, I have not used it for cooking since 1986 - think it's time to toss it and move on?

            Chazzerking, you brough me back to reality when you said cooking in a crock pot is not barbecuing - you're right! Sometimes what you THINK it's going to taste like is a real disappointment to what you get when you use the wrong cooking method.

            Thanks for your posts

            2 Replies
            1. re: brandessa

              google john besh ribs, go to the esquire magazine link and read the recipe. heavenly ribs. jfood finishes in the oven not on top of the stove, tho.

              1. re: jfood

                "After reading your recipe suggestions, the crock pot idea is out!"

                Hallelujah! I say throw away ALL crock pots. I always look to the professional kitchen for my inspiration and understanding of the way a real kitchen works. I seriously doubt you'd find a crock pot in any serious kitchen. You can't sear, for one thing, and I'm not even sure they attain the temperature required to break down connective tissue in tougher/braising cuts of meat.

                R. Jason Coulston