When To Put BBQ Sauce on Beef Ribs

When To Put BBQ Sauce on Beef Ribs


When to put BBQ Sauce on Marinated Beef Ribs and pork? I hear this question from all corners of the United States. Simple it seems but in truth it requires some planning.  My hope is that you will read this material and use it to guide you in adding your favorite sauce to sumptuous beef ribs.

When to put BBQ Sauce on Marinated Beef Ribs is a deep abiding question that requires further investigation.

Many of the chefs and butchery experts I talk to who have made hundreds of beef ribs, chicken and steaks have thought critically about when to put BBQ Sauce on Beef Ribs. The vast consensus of those expert Chefs, grill masters, BBQ cooks, restaurateurs and industry folk, in almost every case (97% to be exact) said, adding BBQ Sauce to a Beef Ribs while on the grill was a NO, NO. But they did agree that having the right BBQ Sauce on Beef Ribs added immense flavor without covering up the taste of the ribs.

Their response leads us to the question not only when should I put BBQ sauce on pork ribs but actually whether it should it be applied at all? If adding BBQ Sauce on Marinated Beef Ribs the question is how do you want your ribs to turn out? Is your ribs are standard bones or up to the all too familiar Dino Ribs or even some of the smaller tougher options? If the answer is smaller tougher ribs then you'll want the BBQ Sauce to marinate on the ribs assisting in breaking down some muscle fiber which acts to tenderize the meat.

A Brine will achieve the same thing in terms of marination but one must be careful to remove the meat brine in a timely fashion so as not to make the meat soggy. If using BBQ Sauce on the ribs place the meat in a container, either plastic bag with a seal or container with a lid. The container should not be more than 2 times the size of the ribs. First check the ingredient label of the BBQ Sauce, note where things like Vinegar, and oil, and any mustard are listed relative to all the other ingredients. This will tell you whether or not your sauce is a marinating, dipping or tasting sauce.

When Vinegar appears at the end of the label you can bet the sauce has more taste capabilities than marinating. Overall this will mean that you need to add at least 30 minutes to an hour more of marinating time to achieve results when the amount of vinegar or mustard is small.  I like to marinate beef ribs for a minimum of 2 hours then remove them from the marinate and let them rest for about an hour.  

After marinating remove the ribs from the marinate and discard the marinate. The marinate should not be used for anything else. For safety and health reasons just toss it away. You don't have to scrape any off your ribs just wrap it in foil or put it in a clean bag or container and rest it in the fridge until your grill is ready. Once the grill is set place the ribs on. Keep in mind a really good ribs needs indirect heat for grilling and roasting.

Most stoves can achieve the temperatures necessary to roast beef ribs if doing them in the oven (275-300 degrees) but you can achieve that level if you have a nicely managed wood fired grill. When grilling ribs after they've been marinated it is not necessary to add additional BBQ Sauce during the grill process. If you want heavy BBQ Sauce flavor you can baste on some sauce a couple of time during the grilling process.

Most good ribs cook for about 2 - 3 hours when the temperature runs around 275 degrees. Check our temperature and cooking charts for ribs to be sure. Our process is fairly simple, bring the grill to temperature 275 degrees.  Place the ribs opposite the heat source.  Allow the ribs to cook and receive wood smoke for about two hours.  After the 2nd hour begin coating the ribs with a thin layer of your favorite BBQ sauce. 

It's important to use a meat thermometer to ensure the ribs aren't under or overcooked.  Follow our cooking chart suggestions to be sure.  We like bringing the beef ribs to about 200 degrees.  So baste the ribs every 20 to 25 minutes with BBQ sauce.  Note, each time you open the lid or open the door of your oven you will lose about 10 degrees in temperature.  Just add back the time to the heating process to ensure the ribs cook fully.  

The Second Method I use is to take the fully seasoned BBQ ribs which have been marinated in yellow mustard and seasoned with our favorite dry rub then placed on the grill.  The cooking process is the same at 275 degrees.  Let the ribs cook through the normal process then after three hours remove the ribs and cover with aluminum foil.  Before sealing them completely baste the top of the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce. 

Seal the foil then place the ribs on the grill for about two hours.  Check the meat temperature after the first hour then add more BBQ sauce to the ribs.  Seal the ribs again then close the lid and allow the ribs to continue cooking for another hour. 

Once completed remove the ribs in foil into a container that can seal.  Open the top of the ribs and baste one last thin layer of BBQ sauce then seal the foil.  Close the lid on the container but leave a small gap that will allow steam to escape.  This is the resting phase which will take between 30 minutes and 1 hour.  After the resting phase is complete remove the ribs and slice as desired.  Serve and enjoy.  We seasoned our beef ribs with our  Tri-Tip, Steak and Rib Rub then we let the steaks marinate in the seasoning for at least an hour.

Regarding wood smoking, we are big fans of the using wood fire (Red Oak) or Charcoal with smoking chips. If using smoking chips make sure you soak the chips in water for at least 2 hours. Then put a handful of chips on the coals or in a smoke box once you have reached the right temperature for grilling.  As a flavor tip I take the BBQ Sauce that I want to use and put it in a warmed container. That sauce becomes more of a condiment at this point and my guests are afforded the opportunity to lather on as much sauce as they prefer during their eating process. 

The key points of this conversation is what kind of BBQ ribs are you going to cook and how do you want it to turn out. The best ribs are planned especially where the cooking/grilling process is concerned. The best marinating BBQ sauces have a decent level of vinegar and mustard to break down muscle fiber. Most chefs and grill masters like the more natural taste of the meat but when BBQ sauce is preferred they marinate the BBQ beef ribs in BBQ sauce for a minimum of a hour. 

Jake's makes some really nice Barbecue Sauces that are excellent on beef ribs. Follow these links to get your favorite BBQ Rib Barbecue Sauce:

Really Good Mild Barbecue Sauce

Really Nice Medium Hot Barbecue Sauce

Really Hot Barbecue Sauce

Maple Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Memphis Blues Barbecue Sauce

Asian Style Barbecue Sauce

Sriracha Ketchup Spicy Sauce

We hope we've helped you make up your mind on When do you put BBQ Sauce on Marinated Beef Ribs.

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Learn more about: Different Cuts of Meat

Bonus:  Basic Marinated Beef Recipe

  • 3  Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1-1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1/4 C Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Medium Onion diced
  • 1 Bay Leaf Coarse Chopped

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 28 February, 2018.