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Slow cooked Beef Ribs

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I put 11 beef ribs in the crockpot and set it for about 7 hours on low. I figured after that much time, the meat would be falling off the bone. I was hoping they would be as tender as short ribs but, alas, although they were tasty because of the rub, they were very chewy and hard to separate from the bone.
What should I do next time? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Beef ribs are a whole different challenge than short ribs, which has more fat, thereby making them juicy and flavorful. Beef ribs are tough and needs to be cooked (braised) in some kind of liquid for at least 10-12 hours in a slow cooker (on low) or you can cook braise them in the oven for about three hours or more @325 (longer if you want to slow cook them in the oven at a lower temp). If you want to add a char to them or give them some smoky flavor, finish them on a grill once they've braised.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cherylptw

      Sounds like good advice. Thanks, Cherylptw. If I put them in the oven @ 325 do I still need to add liquid?

      1. re: mucho gordo

        Yes, you need to add liquid. Otherwise, you are just dry roasting them and they'll get overcooked/burned.

        Put them in a pot with some beef stock, but any flavored liquid will do. Heck, water will work the trick if it is all you've got. Add some carrots, celery, onions, a few cloves of garlic cut in half, and half a bottle or red wine. I usually roast the veg before I put them in, but you can skip it if time matters.

        I usually add herbs I enjoy like thyme and rosemary, but that is up to you. You want enough liquid so that you are just covering the top of the ribs. Bring the entire thing to a boil on your stovetop, put a lid on the pot, and follow the instructions above.

        I recommend tying the ribs with kitchen twine before you braise so they don't fall off the bone.

        You can always take that and make a sauce afterwards once you strain it.

        1. re: mucho gordo

          Yes you do need to add liquid as Db Cooper pointed out below but you don't have to add wine or veggies if those are not your preferences; they are only flavor enhancers and are not needed to prepare the ribs.

      2. I'll chime in here and say, yes, you need liquid.

        For beef, I like to use thyme, a small amount of tarragon, and a tiny pinch of cloves, along with a Tablespoon of tomato paste. For veg, onions and/or shallots are the most important ones. A bay leaf can be nice, too. Don't forget S&P!

        Liquid can be any combination of water, wine or sherry, and stock (chicken or beef).

        1. Thanks to all for the tips. For seasoning, I used a rub consisting of olive oil, Cajun seasoning, ancho/chipotle pepper, coarse ground black pepper and seasoned salt. A friend mentioned that I could use beer as the liquid but I'm not sure if he knew what he was talking about.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mucho gordo

            Check the temp. settings on your slow cooker.
            They vary wildly with different manufacturers.
            You want any meat to 'slow cook' never to get hotter than 212F. If that happens you are making a pot full of rubber bands.
            Maybe ask your butcher what they recommend for meat cuts depending on how you are going to cook them.