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The internal temperature is the best way to ensure beef ribs are tender, juicy and full of flavor. Keep reading to find out the ideal Beef Ribs Internal Temp, plus the right technique for accurate and delicious results!
The best internal temp for beef ribs is the same regardless of your chosen cooking method. Whether you’re grilling, smoking or roasting, the most important thing is that the collagen in the ribs breaks down, which gives them the mouthwateringly tender texture you’ve been craving. This only happens once they’ve reached the ideal internal temp.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know to make the most delicious beef ribs at home. Whether you’re working with back ribs or short ribs, our tips will help you accurately measure the internal temp for restaurant-quality results using your oven, smoker, grill, or slow cooker.
Beef Ribs Temp Chart
Beef ribs are safe to eat at 145°F and get progressively more tender and delicious as things heat up, but there’s a point of diminishing returns. See the chart below for the different phases that ribs go through as they’re being cooked.
|Beef Ribs Internal Temp
|Stage and Description
|Safe level where bacteria have been eliminated (USDA)
|Collagen in the connective tissue starts the process of breaking down
|The “stall” where the internal temp may seem to get stuck as the collagen is actively benign broken down by the heat
|Minimum internal temp for tender ribs
|Optimum internal temp for the most tender beef ribs
|Over 203°F (95°C)
As indicated in the chart, the optimal internal temp for beef ribs is 195-203°F or 91-95°C. We recommend removing ribs from the heat source once they’re at the lower end of that range.
This remains true regardless of your cooking method, with the only exception being the sous vide method.
When you remove the ribs, let them rest for 5-10 minutes, which will allow the internal temp to rise by an additional 5-7 degrees. This helps to prevent overcooking and will give you the juiciest, most succulent beef ribs.
How to Measure Beef Rib Internal Temp
The best way to measure beef ribs internal temp is to use an instant-read thermometer or wireless dual-probe thermometer. Here’s how to do it:
- Identify the thickest section of the ribs and insert the probe of the thermometer horizontally. Take care not to touch the bone with the thermometer, as this will lead to an inaccurate reading.
- Allow the reading to stabilize, which is usually indicated by a beep or blinking numbers on the screen. Once the reading is 5°F below your desired temp, it’s time to remove the ribs from the heat source. If the temperature is too low, give it some more time.
- With beef ribs, it’s normal for the internal temp to come to a standstill between 165-180°F. While it’s stuck in this range, you can be sure the collagen is being broken down and the temperature will start rising again soon.
- If you’re using a smoker or grill, a wireless dual-probe thermometer is your best bet. This type of thermometer allows you to remotely monitor the temperature while the probe stays inserted throughout cooking. This means you won’t need to lift the lid and interrupt the process.
How Long to Cook Beef Ribs
How long does it take to get the best beef ribs? That depends on your cooking temperature. The chart below holds true whether you’re grilling, smoking or roasting.
|Beef Rib Cooking Temp
|Beef Rib Cooking Time
|2 ½ hours
|1 to 1 1/2 hours
|45 to 60 min
|30 to 40 min
Tips for Perfectly Cooked Beef Ribs
- First things first: use a sharp paring knife to remove the silver skin from the underside of the ribs. This incredibly tough membrane prevents the ribs from being properly cooked. You can remove it yourself or ask a butcher to do it when you purchase the ribs.
- For best results, start by cooking the ribs with the bony side down.
- Before cooking, season the ribs with a dry rub made with salt, herbs and spices. This helps to tenderize the meat and add lots of flavor.
- Use an instant-read or wireless dual-probe thermometer to check the internal temp. If you’re using the sous vide method, this isn’t necessary since the cooking temp will be the same as the internal temp.
- The wireless dual-probe thermometer is best if you’re using a grill or smoker. Since you can monitor the temperature remotely, there’s no need to lift the lid and interrupt the cooking process.
Are Beef Ribs Done at 165?
Although beef ribs are safe to eat at 165°F, we recommend cooking them to a higher internal temp for maximum deliciousness. At 165, the connective tissues in the ribs haven’t melted down enough to make them as tender as they can be.
Are Beef Ribs Done at 170?
At 170°F, connective tissues are just beginning to break down, but not completely. If you’re seeing a reading of 170, allow the ribs to cook for a bit longer to get the best texture and taste.
Are Beef Ribs Done at 180 Degrees?
Beef ribs taste best when they’re cooked to an internal temp between 180°F and 195°F. At this temperature, they’ve reached the ultimate level of tenderness. Beyond this temperature, ribs are overcooked with a mushy texture.
How Long Do Beef Ribs Take at 225?
Whether you’re grilling, roasting or smoking with a cooking temperature of 225°F, ribs will be done in about 6 hours.
What Are Beef Ribs?
When shopping for beef ribs, you’ll come across two options: short ribs and back ribs.
Sometimes called plate ribs or chuck ribs, short ribs are cut from the lower rib cage and typically measure 3-6 inches. Back ribs are taken from the cow’s upper back, near to the prime rib roast. Back ribs are much longer and flatter than short ribs.
Compared to pork ribs, beef ribs have a lot less meat. Because of this, they’re sometimes called “shiners” because you can see the bones shining through the thin layer of meat. Though they’re not so meaty, beef ribs are full of flavor with an incredibly satisfying texture.
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Best Internal Temp for Beef Ribs (+ How to Cook Perfect Beef Ribs)
- Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- Whisk the apple cider vinegar and hot sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Remove the thin membrane from the bone side of the ribs.
- Place the ribs on the prepared baking sheet, bone side down. If the ribs are too large, use two baking sheets.
- Spray the tops of the ribs with the cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, smoked salt, and black pepper.
- Bake the ribs uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from the oven.
- Stir the apple cider and hot sauce mixture, then baste the tops of the ribs with ⅓ of the marinade.
- Return the ribs to the oven and continue to bake, uncovered, for 3 hours. Baste the ribs with the remaining marinade every hour. Be sure to wash the basting brush thoroughly after using it each time.
- The ribs should be brown and very tender after 4 hours of baking. Reduce the oven to 200°F and bake for 1 more hour for ribs that are fall-apart tender and beautifully caramelized.
- Remove the ribs from the oven, slice them into individual servings and enjoy with your favorite sides.