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Boneless beef short ribs from Costco


I'm a pretty proficient cook but something has me slightly confused. Today, I bought a large pack of good looking bonesless beef short rib from Costco. I thought this would be good meat to make a nice stew out of. But as I was cutting it into cubes for stew, the meat looked so nicely marbled and was cutting so easily, I decided to pan fry a little piece to see how tough it really was.

A little olive in a pan and 30 seconds later, I tasted it...it was remarkably tender!

So now I am really confused. Was I wrong about this cut? WOuld I be wasting it if I make a stew out of this?

Any thoughts?

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  1. Short ribs tend to be fatty. Because of the nature of this meat it is best prepared one of two ways (IMHO). Because you don't sound too familiar with the cut I'm going to say you got lucky and found one of the nice ways to enjoy them and that is a quick sear over high heat or grilled over high heat. BUT - there are a few variables to getting it as tender as you did. Not all beef short rib are tender - you may have purchased a quality beef or an aged beef or a combination of both. Also, cutting against the grain and cutting thin is ideal when cooking this method. Asians tend to cook this cut quickly but sometimes a chewy meat is favored in that type of cuisine and they almost always cut it thin and heavily marinate. (think Korean ribs). I would imagine that slicing short rib meat paper thin would make some awesome shabu shabu too.

    For the most part short ribs lend themselves well to slow and low cooking - because of the fat content you will enhance the cut by allowing the fat to penetrate the meat slowly - I like to cook them at about 200 degrees for almost four hours in a dry heat with a dry rub or smoke them just as if BBQ'ing ribs. European chef's often braise theses ribs which give them loads of flavor but if not done properly can result in a grainy and dry piece of meat.

    Using them in a stew will result in some pretty greasy stew but the cut is flavorful and a constant Depouillage is important.

    Ultimately the chef makes the decisions so you can do whatever you'd like as long as you like it. Good luck.

    4 Replies
    1. re: HamburgerToday

      I was under the impression that chuck short ribs with bones and boneless chuck short ribs were from two different areas. The boneless chuck short ribs look like a chuck roast cut into strips while the bone in chuck short ribs looks like it comes more from the plate just under the rib primal and includes rib bones. This is also adjacent to the chuck primal.

      1. re: HamburgerToday

        I buy boneless short ribs at the markets here in SoCal to grind into hamburgers (along with flap meat) and they have little to no fat on them. Yet, the ones on "America's Test Kitchen" are well-marbled, what gives?

        1. re: johnpressman

          If your "boneless short ribs" are cut from the brisket they will have very little marbling. BSR from the chuck have profound marbling.

          If you are buying "select" beef and they use "choice" or "prime" the difference will be even more noticeable.

          1. re: Brandon Nelson

            I always perk up when I see a response from Brandon N on the scroll. You're always so informative regarding butchering and meats.

            Thank you!!

      2. The only time I used the Costco boneless short ribs was to make the Short Ribs in Porter Ale from Molly Stevens’s book. I’d made the recipe a few times before with bone-in short ribs and was mainly concerned that without the bones there would be some loss in flavor. That turned out not to be the case. I thought they were terrific in a long, slow braise. Can’t speak to an alternate method.

        2 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          Googled "boneless short ribs" today after son-in-law bailed out of cooking the boneless ribs he bought from Costco a few days ago, and I found this thread and your post, JoanN. Effort was a huge success. Used Guinness and finished on the grill. Thanks, JoanN.

          1. re: beantowntitletown

            Happy to read it worked for you. Haven't made those ribs in a long time. Must remedy that. Love the idea of finishing them on the grill. Wish it was an option for me.

        2. truth is this is the most often used cut for Brazilian BBQ, it has great marbling & flavor, and if charred to about 130 internal temp they are for the money the best cut of meat on the whole cow!! Try cooking them on the grill over moderate heat w/ nothing more than S&P on them until they get a nice golden caramelized crust and the internal temp is about 130, try plain or w/ a little chimi churri sauce & you will never stew them again. Just make sure to slice them thinly or they can be a little tough depending on the quality. Good Luck!!

          1. I grew up in a kosher home and short ribs were the only "BBQ rib" available to us, as pork was not allowed. My mother bought flanken style short ribs in strips with 3 little bones per strip. We always grilled them to med rare and put BBQ sauce on them about 5-10 min before being done. While they are chewy, they are very tasty.

            Have bought boneless ribs from Costco and tried grilling them in same manner. Perhaps we were just unlucky, but they did not taste "right" to us, not as flavorful as meat with bones and way tougher than we are used to.

            1 Reply
            1. I'm not sure of this, but I don't think the boneless short ribs from Costco are actually bone-in short ribs with the bones removed. I think they're from a different part of the cow entirely, and not always the same part - if you look at the appearance of the meat on different trips or even in different packages, you'll see that it doesn't always look the same in terms of grain and marbling. Stores do this with boneless "country style" pork ribs as well - they're not ribs at all, but another part of the animal that they cut into long "rib-like" shapes.

              That said, I have bought this cut from Costco on occasion (when they looked good and well marbled) and have had success with them in both slow and fast cooking preparations. However, a true short rib, when cooked quickly, will always have a bit of chew, and will be best sliced thinly to avoid a too-tough texture.

              12 Replies
              1. re: biondanonima

                I recently picked up a few well marbled packages of Costco boneless short ribs to try out some sous vide cooking. They came out excellent. Melt in your mouth tender. Will do again. 136 F/ 65 hrs. The left overs were much redder in color which I hear is common due to air exposure

                I also use these "short ribs" in my ground beef blend

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  Whats in the G/B blend? I just ground some today, 50% boneless short ribs 50% strip steak trimmings. (Both were frozen for a while and thawed about 80% before grinding)

                  1. re: Tom34

                    Currently, chuck, short rib and flap meat.

                    I wish Costco's flap meat wasn't in thin strips like the short ribs. Not sure why they cut them that way. One time I found flap meat there that was in a larger piece like a skirt or flank steak.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      That is one rich burger...you think around 70/30...Whats Costco charging for the flap? Thats not a common cut. Lot of work to get at the flap & clean it up. I used to use them for London Broil. Little chewy but GREAT strong flavor.

                      1. re: Tom34

                        Flap is around $6/lb I think

                        I would guess its about 70/30 or less

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          My buddy is about the same price for flap but he is getting it off hanging beef. I didn't know it came boxed/cryovac but it must if Costco has it.

                      2. re: scubadoo97

                        When I used to get flap it was a little smaller than a standard sheet of paper, about 2 inches thick on one side and tapered down to about an inch on the other side.

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          Just got a 16 lb case (5 whole pieces) of Choice Sirloin Flap meat from a friend. Low $5.00 Lb. range.

                          Salt/ Pep/ Garlic Powder both sides, quick sear / char over Lump charcoal both sides, sliced against the grain 3/4 inch thick slices, re-season each side of the slices, quick char both sides of the slices, med to med rare.

                          My god was it good. So much fatty flavor I just can't grind it.

                          You could probably get a case brought in and split it with a friend or freeze it. The whole pieces had some nice fat on it.

                          1. re: scubadoo97

                            That larger piece was was a whole sirloin flap.

                            1. re: Brandon Nelson

                              Yeah I know. I just cooked it last week and it was excellent. Why they cut it in thin strips is beyond me. It does feed down the grinder chute well though

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                It is cut thin because it's primary use, at least where i live, is carne asada. The ideal size for that is @ 50 grams.

                      3. re: biondanonima

                        "I'm not sure of this, but I don't think the boneless short ribs from Costco are actually bone-in short ribs with the bones removed."

                        I'm inclined to agree with you. Not being particularly well informed about various cuts of beef, I'm not even going to venture a guess, but my experience with beef short ribs ON the bone never yielded a cut as tender as these boneless short ribs when their braised low and slow.

                      4. Sounds like a perfect time to have kalbi (Korean BBQ). Bam!

                        1 Reply
                        1. Have slow smoked dry rubbed bone in short ribs and they were great. Very tender and lots of beef flavor.

                          Have also ground 50/50 choice grade boneless short rib meat from Restaurant Depot with sirloin for hamburger. Twice through the grinder & grilled medium. Moist & delicious.

                          1. I found this recipe for Costco's boneless short ribs on Costco.com. They state the ribs are from the Chuck, and are good quick grilled or braised.


                            1. "Short ribs" can come from 3 different primals on a steer; chuck, plate, and brisket.

                              The ribs from the chuck are more tender, as they see a lot less exercise. The ribs cut from the plate are the most common, and tougher. From time to time you will also see brisket cut into "boneless short ribs". These are also tougher, and require more cooking for a tender result.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                                Is a "primal" the same thing as a "part"?

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Not exactly. There may be several parts in a primal

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Sort of, a steer carcass is split in half after slaughter. Next those 2 "sides" are cut into 8 wholesale parts called "primals" or "primal cuts" these are; chuck (shoulder) rib, short loin, sirloin, shank (foreleg), brisket, plate, and round (hind leg). Each of these cuts can then then be broken into sub primals (the short loin for example contains the tenderloin, and the strip loin. these are cut and fabricated into filet mignon and New York strip, or left on the bone as porterhouses and T bones).

                                    Primal is a trade term.

                                  2. re: Brandon Nelson

                                    The boneless short ribs from Costco appear to come from the chuck

                                  3. I saw this link to a good explanation of the different types of beef short ribs. It appears from the picture that Costco's boneless short ribs are from the plate.Short Ribs, Boneless NAMP 123D

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: zackly

                                      Thanks. I think you are correct on the cut from Costco.

                                    2. I bought these yesterday for $9/pound, too expensive for stew or braising.
                                      I followed the instructions from the NYT
                                      but used a little oil in the pan, because it wasn't cast iron.
                                      Excellent flavor and tender. A great cut of beef.

                                      7 Replies
                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          I did this with the Costco boneless beef short ribs. If you dig through the discussions specifically on 'Costco boneless beef short ribs', some posters surmise that the meat may actually be from a part of the cow other than the ribs and that there never were bones removed from this cut. That would explain why this cut is so tender and can be cooked with a quick, high heat method.
                                          So this method works with this Costco cut; I'd be wary about doing it with any other 'rib' meat.
                                          I hope you get to enjoy them as much as I did!

                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                              Yes, it is from the shoulder (chuck).I don't think it has a NAMP number because it's a cut specifically made for Costco.
                                              This is from Costco corporate:

                                              Bnls Chuck Flat
                                              Short Rib

                                              Boneless Chuck Flat is the remaining lip extension of the 1" Chuck Eye Roll. The product is rectangular in shape and must be a minimum width of 2 1/2" to a maximum of 4" in width. It is harvested from the "large" BCSR when making the 1" Chuck.

                                              • The surface fat is trimmed to the blue tissue leaving flakes of fat not to exceed 1/8".
                                              • All edges measure a minimum of 1/8" of lean in thickness across the entire width.
                                              • The Chuck flat must measure a minimum of 2 1/2" in width to a maximum of 4" in width

                                              Raw Material:
                                              Chuck Short Rib
                                              USDA Choice

                                              Product Code

                                              Shipping Carton:
                                              Distributed Fresh

                                        2. re: elise h

                                          I cooked several pieces, wrapped the uneaten piece with its juices and refrigerated. Tonight, I warmed the piece up in the toaster oven. Magnificent. It has a beefy flavor that is missing in some other cuts. There's no reason to braise with sauces, onions, and other flavors. The unadorned beef flavor is pristine; the cooking method so simple. Just be sure to take out your beef in advance so it is cool to room temperature (not cold) before you cook.

                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                              elise links the NYT recipe above that she followed.