While country-style beef ribs aren’t actually ribs (they’re chuck), they’re still delicious. My recipe has you searing the beef and then cooking it at low temperatures in the oven. The meat gets so tender you can shred it just by looking at it. (Okay, not really. You’ll need a fork.)
You know me. I love the flavors that grilling brings to the party. But when I was living in an apartment with no grill I tried cooking this recipe in the oven. I loved it so much that I still make it when I don’t have time to grill!
I’m going to show you how to cook boneless country-style beef ribs in the oven and provide you with the best-ever recipe. Let's get started!
Guess what? Country-style ribs aren't actually ribs. The cut comes from the chuck. It is also sometimes referred to as boneless chuck roast. Names for cuts of meat vary wildly by region - when in doubt, ask your butcher
When most people think of country-style ribs, they think of pork ribs. If you have never had or used beef country-style ribs, I’m here to fill you in on the details.
These boneless beef “ribs” come from cutting a chuck-eye steak in half, lengthwise. Then, it’s usually sliced against the grain into 2” rib-like sections. If you are having a hard time finding country-style beef ribs, grab a chuck steak and cut it in half.
Country-style ribs have a nice, beefy flavor and really shine when they’re slow-cooked. Chuck is one of my favorite cuts of meat on a steer. It’s inexpensive, richly marbled, and beautifully beefy.
Absolutely! I dry-brine almost all my meats if I have enough time. Beef, in particular, shines when hit with some dry brine.
Dry brining is so easy - you simply sprinkle Kosher salt all over the ribs and then gently press the salt into the meat. Use ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt per pound of meat or ¼ teaspoon of table salt per pound of meat. You can add the other rub ingredients at this time, too! Refrigerate the meat uncovered for a few hours or overnight for the best results.
Yes, dry brining does require some planning ahead. But I guarantee that it will be worth the effort. Here’s why: when you dry brine beef ribs, you’re adding flavor from the salt. And the salt helps retain moisture. The result? Meat that’s juicier and more flavorful than meat that’s not dry-brined.
If you decide to dry brine your beef ribs, apply the entire dry rub, with the salt, ahead of time. The salt is the only ingredient doing the brining. I find it easier to add the rest of the rub at the same time as the salt. You can also add the remaining ingredients right before you cook the ribs.
Note: you can also cook these ribs over indirect heat on your grill. You’ll pick up the flavors of the fire that way.
Dry brine the beef. Combine all the ingredients of the dry rub in a small bowl. Arrange the ribs on a roasting pan or disposable aluminum pan and apply the dry rub to every side of the beef. Stick the meat in the fridge for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
Sear the meat. Pour the olive oil into a Dutch oven. Set the Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat. Sear the ribs for around 3 minutes per side until the exterior is brown. Browning meat makes it more flavorful. It caramelizes the sugars and browns the proteins. Work in batches if you don’t have enough room in the Dutch oven for the meat to lay on the bottom.
While the meat is searing, preheat your oven to 275°F.
Cook the ribs. Add the butter and beer or broth to the Dutch oven and cover it. Place the Dutch oven with all the ribs inside into your kitchen oven.
Cook until the internal temperature reads 200°F, around 3 to 4 hours.
Take the “ribs” out of the oven. Shred the beef with forks or Bear Paws. Discard any chunks of fat. Return the shredded beef to the pan, allowing it to mix with the juices in the pan.
Serve with BBQ sauce on the side.
When choosing the ribs, look for some with plenty of marbling. Marbling is fat, and fat brings both flavor and moisture to the party. Thin, white strands of fat are what you’re looking for.
The more marbling there is, the tastier and more tender your ribs will be.
While I love the beef rub I have provided for this country-style ribs recipe, cooking is all about trying new things. Make the rub your own if you want to.
The great thing about country-style ribs is that they have a strong, beefy flavor. This allows you to use stronger spices. The beef can stand up to whatever seasonings you throw at it.
If you would like a smokier flavor, smoked paprika is a solid option. Chipotle powder is one of my favorites (beware, it’s got a spicy kick).
If you are having trouble getting the rub to stick, try applying a very thin layer of yellow mustard to the ribs first and then sprinkling on the rub. It helps the rub stick.
Don't worry. You won’t taste the mustard when the beef’s done cooking.
You can apply a thin layer of olive oil to the meat as a binder as well.
It is important to use a high-quality BBQ sauce here.
I am not the biggest fan of store-bought BBQ sauce and will only use it in a pinch. These sauces tend to be quite sweet. Some have an artificial aftertaste to them. If you have found a good BBQ sauce brand or have a favorite, then feel free to use it. Otherwise, make your own.
My recipe calls for a fairly low temperature of 275°F.
I know that you might find this is a little too low - and yes, I admit that at this temp, your meat is going to take longer to cook. I think this is a good cooking temp for beef chuck. In fact, I often smoke chuck at 225°, which takes even longer!
Here’s the skinny: country-style ribs taste best when cooked low and slow. This gives the tissues in the meat time to break down and become more tender. If you want tender chuck meat, you’ve got to give it plenty of cooking time.
If you’re in a hurry, nudge the temp up to 300°F. I wouldn’t go any higher than that, personally. You risk tough and chewy beef. No thanks!
Beware of recipes that let the ribs bake without wrapping the top of the pan in aluminum foil.
The reason that I like to wrap the ribs is because this traps some moisture in the beef. This prevents the ribs from drying out. It helps braise the meat. It is also great for cooking the ribs a little faster since we are opting for a lower temperature here. I recommend putting foil on the top of the pan once the ribs are around 160°F.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make with country-style beef ribs is cooking them without tracking the internal temperature. They need to cook to around 200°F so you can shred the meat with a fork. The beef should pull apart incredibly easily.
There are too many variables when it comes to the cooking rate of ribs. The size of the beef, its thickness, and the humidity in your kitchen all factor in. Due to this, it is difficult to accurately calculate how quickly the ribs will be done.
This is why it is important to use an instant-read thermometer. Make sure to stick it into the thickest part of the ribs to get an accurate reading.
A thermometer that can be left in while the ribs are in the oven is nice, too. Then, you can track the temp throughout the cooking process.
This is especially important here as you need to know when it is time to unwrap the meat at 160° and add the butter and beer or broth.
Once the probe hits 200°F after returning the ribs to the oven, take out the meat. A probe or toothpick should glide into the meat with almost no resistance. That means your beef is done cooking. Dinner time!
I’m a rebel when it comes to resting some cuts of meat. I don’t think these “ribs” will benefit from a rest since they’re cooked in liquid. You’ll also be shredding the beef, and then mixing it back in with the liquid. Anyone who gives you the “juices need to redistribute” shtick doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
This beef is going to be incredibly juicy because you’re mixing it with butter and a 12 oz can of beer or 12 oz of broth. Skip the rest. Serve your dinner.
The sky is the limit when it comes to sides, but here are some of my favorites:
If you’re going for a BBQ-like meal, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, corn on the cob, and similar side dishes would be excellent choices.
Mound the beef on a bun, or serve it over rice, mashed potatoes, or your favorite noodles.
A nice green salad would also be a refreshing accompaniment. A bottle of dry red wine is optional but encouraged. Or, serve with the same beer you used as a braise.
It will take around 1.5 hours to cook 3 pounds of ribs at 350°F, but this temp is too hot for me for this particular cut of beef.
I think these “ribs” are best when cooked low and slow. Baking the beef ribs at 275°F gives the connective tissues and intramuscular fat time to break down into tender meat.
If you want to make country-style beef ribs in the oven, you now know the world’s greatest recipe. Okay, I may be exaggerating. But it’s an excellent recipe. Brown the meat on all sides, then stick the ribs in a 275°F oven until they are around 200°F internal temperature. The beef should shred apart easily.
I hope I’ve covered everything you need to know to tackle your country-style ribs. Happy cooking!