It’s the summer (or the winter!) and you don’t have a grill or a smoker. What do you do? Sit there and lament your grill-less state? No! You buy some ribs, turn on that oven, and make some fall off the bone beef ribs! The funny thing about fall-off-the-bone ribs is that according to rib competitions and the awarded winners, you actually don’t want a rib to fall off the bone. It’s probably because of the idea that you should be able to eat a great rib with your hands and if it fell off the bone right when you picked it up, then that wouldn’t provide the right texture. You also get more meat flavor and less rendered fat flavor when the rib stays intact. Nonetheless, most lay people want that tender rib experience and judge good ribs by how cleanly they come off the bone. If you love fall-off-the-bone ribs that leave a clean bone, but that won’t disintegrate when picked up by hand, then these ribs are for you.
I couldn’t believe my taste buds or my eyes when I saw the final product of these ribs. They smelled and tasted like they were smoked or grilled. I don’t want to overstate it because of course you’ll get more smoky flavor from a smoker, but these are a great alternative for easy ribs at home. In the recipe I used back-ribs, but this recipe will work for any beef ribs. For my baby back pork ribs recipe, click here and if you’re looking for a barbecue sauce that complements these ribs perfectly, try my homemade barbecue sauce recipe.
Recipes for Complementary Side Dishes
- Chipotle Pinto Beans
- Collard Greens with Bacon
- Smoky Pickled Okra
- Potato Salad
- Dill Summer Salad
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Makes about seven ribs at 405 calories per 4 oz. of meat.
Dry Rubbed Fall-Off-The-Bone Beef Ribs in the Oven
Dry rubbed and sauced fall of the bone beef ribs made in the oven.
- 2.5 pounds of beef ribs either pre-cut or whole (about 3700 cal.)
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (90 cal.)
- 1 tablespoon oil (120 cal.)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- About 2 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce (about 70 cal.)
- Large baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Ziploc bag or large air-tight container
- Basting or pastry brush
- Optional: latex gloves
- Optional Step: Remove the silverskin on the underside of the ribs. This can be a huge pain and it isn’t imperative for these ribs to turn out well, but it does let the dry rub get to the meat on the underside of the ribs. Do this by using a sharp knife to get underneath the connective tissue sitting just on top of a bone on the underside of the ribs. Once you have a flap, use your hands (or a paper towel if it’s too slippery) to pull it off. Repeat the process as necessary. Don’t go overboard so that you don’t damage the meat.
- Put all of the spices in a bowl.
- Add in the oil and then mix the ingredients together very well until they form a crumbly paste.
- Apply the spice mixture liberally to the beef ribs and cover each side of the ribs. Use all of the spice mixture.
- Place the spice covered ribs into a ziploc bag or an air-tight container and leave them outside of the fridge for 1 – 2 hours to marinate for same day preparation or overnight in the fridge for next day preparation.
- After 1 hour get the oven pre-heated to 250 or 265 degrees F (I used 250, but it will depend on your oven).
- Put a large sheet of aluminum foil over a large baking sheet and then place the beef ribs on the foil.
- Wrap the ribs up in the foil by either using another sheet or folding the sheet you already have down. You want to create a sealed pouch for the ribs to sit in. Make sure not to pile the ribs on top of one another.
- Put the ribs into the oven on the middle rack, close the oven door, and forget about the ribs for 3 – 4 hours (I went 3.5 hours before pulling them out of the oven).
- After 3 – 4 hours, take the ribs out of the oven open up the pouch and see how the ribs are doing. They won’t look right at first, but you will notice that they are already fall-off-the-bone tender.
- At this point set the oven to broil on the high setting. When the broiler gets hot, place the ribs under the broiler on the middle rack for 5 minutes. The ribs will take on some more color and get a crispier texture on the outside. Be careful and watch the ribs the entire time. The fat from the ribs that ends up on the foil can sometimes catch fire under high heat. Simply remove the ribs, and get rid of areas that may be catching fire and return to the broiler.
- You can now eat the ribs, but I highly recommend taking some of your favorite barbecue sauce (try my own recipe that goes extremely well with these ribs by clicking here) and brushing about 2 tablespoons lightly over all of the ribs. You can use a basting/pastry brush. Apply as little or as much as you want, but this last step is where you get the barbecue flavor. I don’t recommend baking/broiling with the barbecue sauce because it will burn really easily.
- If the ribs were all connected as one rack, you can now cut up the ribs using a large butcher knife before serving. Otherwise, just tear off pieces and enjoy.
- Serve and eat immediately. Be careful moving them around because these ribs really do fall off the bone. In the picture below, I just lightly pushed the meat off of the bone using a fork.
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