WHAT ARE BEEF RIBS?
This is a generic term that refers to a variety of beef ribs that come from a cow. These include prime, spare, short and back ribs. While traditionally steers (young male cows) were used, today heifers (young females) are as well. Older cows in both genders as well as neutered males tend to have less marbling and are tougher in texture. Dairy cows in particular are almost never used for high quality cuts. After being milked for 3 to 5 years, all that energy to produce unusually large quantities of milk wears the animal down. Hamburger and other cheap cuts use dairy cows.
WHERE ARE BEEF RIBS ON A COW?
Basically there are 2 sections of ribs on a steer the back and the short ribs. Starting from the head, the first 5 ribs tend to be used for cheaper chuck cuts and the remaining 7 for the more prized meats. Different cooking methods are used for each.
WHICH RIBS ARE THE BEST?
That depends on what you’re looking to get out of the rib in question. Spare and baby back tend to be the most flavorful. And spare ribs from a cow are usually the cheapest. However short ribs have the most meat on them.
HOW LONG DO I COOK RIBS FOR?
|HOW LONG DO I COOK RIBS FOR IT TO BE:|
|Medium-Well||225 F / 107 C|
|Well Done||250 F / 121 C|
Note: These general temperatures apply to all ribs but for a specific cut please use the temperatures recommended for that cut. Baby back ribs will be bone dry by the time spare ribs are ready for example. Also in the case of Prime a temp of 135 F is suggested for a Medium cook. Ribs are a very tough cut of meat, and the high heat allows the fats and collagen to melt. This both softens the texture and makes the meat juicier. However the U.S.D.A. states that meats with an internal temperature over 145 F / 63 C are “ready for consumption.” Yum.