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Boneless Short Ribs

I've only made them with the bones before - the John Besh recipe is my current favorite - but I got a pack of boneless ones at Costco. It just doesn't seem right, somehow, not to have the bones there; but my question is, can I use the boneless ones the same way as the bone-in ones? I'll presumably be giving up some flavor that the bone gives them.... will they be almost as good? I hope?

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  1. That just happened to me too, at my local supermarket...... where the heck are the bones going? Mine was pork (country ribs) and only 97cents a lb, so I won't complain, I was thinking of doing carnita with it. I wouldn't make a usual bone in type recipe myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: coll

      I am finding it harder and harder to find roasts and cuts of meat still on the bone, it is my understanding that most of the wholesale food markets (Sam's, Costco, etc.) sell the bones to animal feed companies (cat and dog food).

      I have made both boneless and bone-in shortribs, and agree the bones do add flavor to the sauce. But, in a pinch we will eat the boneless ones.

    2. I bought the same one's at Costco a few weeks back. They cooked up great using the same recipe I usually do for the bone-in ones.....they were great. Traditional thinking says that cooking on the bone is more flavorful...but I think that when you braise shortribs, you are using very flavorful ingredients in the braise...the thing you are looking for then, is to get the tenderness brought on by long slow cooking with liquid and steam

      1. I've done boneless chuck cut into chunks and it can be very similar. I often wonder when I see boneless short ribsis it the same meat or do the butchers sub other things for boneless short ribs

        5 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          The boneless short ribs at Costco are actually boned out short ribs but I have seen packages of "boneless short ribs" at my local supermarket that don't look marbled enough to be from short ribs. When I asked the butchers at the supermarket, he said his "boneless short ribs" were strips cut from a cross rib roast, not from short ribs.

          1. re: Norm Man

            Hmm, but why? Perhaps due to the trendiness of short ribs and hoping to do a "catch teh eye" kind of thing?

            1. re: jgg13

              I'm guessing that many people might be uninformed about bone-in meat and think they don't know how to cook it, so maybe this is a new trend.

            2. re: Norm Man

              When I tried to get short ribs from my supermarket the butcher guy said they didn't normally carry them because "everyone" wanted the "boneless" ones (which I think Norm Man is right, are not short ribs). I had to go to a smaller specialty market.

              1. re: Norm Man

                Your butcher (meat cutter) is either a moron or a liar. A "cross rib roast" is taken from the primal cut known as the "rolled shoulder clod". From the shoulder, not the rib. However, he may like many vendors, misname meat cuts. Many stores in my area call a sirloin steak "filet mignon". Like humpty-dumpty, they feel you can make words mean whatever you want them to mean...it all depends on whose master. I think that with short ribs, people are not enthusiastic about paying for a retail cut that is 1/2 bone. Also, bone-in short ribs have a lot of gristle around the bone (unless you like gristle).

            3. we also got some boneless 'short ribs' thinking they were short ribs without the bone as the name would imply...we prepared them the same way we normally prepare kalbi, marinated for 4 hours, then grilled it. i should have realized that the meat looked a little too lean and was a little too cheap to be short ribs..it was the toughest kalbi i've ever eaten. i'm sure now that it had to be chuck.

              1. Not sure if BJ's and Costco operate similarly, but at BJ's the boneless shortribs are not short ribs at all - they look more like a cross cut of a flat iron steak. They only have codes for certain cuts and many odd cuts get categorized incorrectly - The butchers at BJ's are very helpful and friendly, however, they have given me wrong information every single time I have asked a question about the cuts of meat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: harryharry

                  Me too! I asked the butcher at BJs if the veal cutlets were top round or leg, and he didn't know, gave me a vague answer. I think they wear butcher coats but aren't really butchers.

                2. Thanks, all. I marinated them last night, browned them and threw them in the crock pot this morning. I'll see how they are when I get home.... they didn't seem to render as much fat as I'm used to with short ribs when browning, so I'm a little leery, but we'll see.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bat Guano

                    A dish my husbands has gotten with boneless short ribs:

                    braised short ribs, wild mushrooms and carmelized onions wrapped in puff pastry, I'd add cheese to it too. he loves it,

                    Gosh I 'm trying to remember if I tried it at home for him, I think I did, and it wasn't too much work. I think I did the short ribs one day, and made the dish the next day with the leftovers.

                    1. re: hummingbird

                      That sounds absolutely amazing - and what a great idea for the leftovers. I've sometimes made them into soup (shredding the meat, etc.) but I know what I'll be doing next time.

                  2. Boneless Ribs....Isn't that an oxymoron? Hahaha!

                    Retailers amaze me....


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Uncle Bob

                      My local grocer is advertising short ribs this week as "Falls off the Bone" I was wondering if he meant they already fell off the bone!

                    2. Result: They were pretty good, but not as good as the ones I've made with the bone. Specifically, the sauce never developed that silky richness that the bones give it, and the meat seemed a bit more dry - though still quite good. Nevertheless, I probably won't buy the boneless ribs again.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Bat Guano

                        Did yours at least say "boneless"? The pork ribs I got didn't give a clue, now I'm going to be so suspicious when I buy ribs.

                        1. re: coll

                          Yes, they did say boneless; and it was obvious that there were no bones in the package, so I knew what I was buying. But the larger point is that it's getting harder and harder to find anything on the bone anymore - seems like all the stores are pushing 'boneless' this and that as being preferable to the same thing without bones. Maybe people think you get more meat for your money, since you're not paying for bones; I'm pretty sure it doesn't work that way, though. I happen to like most cuts of meat on the bone.

                          1. re: Bat Guano

                            It seems the average consumer doesn't like bones or other things to remind them of what they are eating.

                            1. re: scubadoo97

                              In the part of the great SW we're in, I know of only one supermarche that regularly carries bone-in meat. I think this is a result of a lot of people who have little cooking experience having to make dinner (in other words...this is a trend)

                              1. re: Alice Letseat

                                I have complained a few times to the manager of the local supermarket about the lack of bones in their meat. He says I'm the only person who seems to care.

                            2. re: Bat Guano

                              I'm always curious to do the math, but always too lazy to figure it out. At least at the stores that I go to, the bone-in variety is always a bit cheaper by weight, but obviously will weight more for the same amount of meat. I usually figure that it works out to be about the same.

                              1. re: jgg13

                                Yeah, that's my thinking too. I'm certainly not going to weigh the bones and figure out how much the meat comes to per pound; I figure the store has a pretty good idea of what percentage is meat and bone respectively, and unless they're blatantly trying to cheat the customer it shouldn't be too far off; and it may even work out cheaper for the bone-in because it's less labor-intensive for the meat cutters. Close enough, anyway, and with the added benefit of the tasty bone and melting gristle I'll always go for the bones in the future.

                                1. re: Bat Guano

                                  I've always heard that bone to meat ratio is 1 to 4 in general. Poultry or otherwise, that's what butchers figure (or are there any butchers anymore???).

                                  1. re: coll

                                    They're definitely a dying breed ...

                                    So excuse my poor math, but does this imply that the bone-in cut needs to be 25% cheaper than the boneless cut to "get your money's worth" (ignoring the other benefits of the bone and only looking at it from a meat-value persepective)?

                                    1. re: jgg13

                                      Beef wholesales for about $1 or so less per lb across the board if bone in, but if the butcher can get more for it (i.e. it's more desirable to the general public) of course he will. But when you're figuring it out per portion, that's when the ratio is key.