Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs

By | August 16, 2016

Beef ribs are a cut of beef meat usually referring to the less meaty part of the chops. They can be roasted, grilled, baked, smoked, fried, or braised. Ribs tend to taste very rich. People also love chewing on the beefy texture, besides the jurassic size.

Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs 1

However, there are a lot of types of beef ribs. On each side of a steer, there are 13 ribs. A complete rack, which is usually cut from the second to the tenth rib, can have long bones up to 18 inches in size. Then, there are two major sections: back ribs and short ribs. The two are very different, so you should be aware of the differences and how to process them.

Beef Back Ribs

Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs a

Unlike short ribs, in back ribs, the meat is located in between the bones. There is also a little meat on the top. The bones are between 6 to 8 inches long, and are slightly curved. Back ribs are especially popular for braising, as the marrow is a very rich source of flavor for stews. Back ribs are also popular for barbecue, but require to be cooked well-done and properly in order to make the meat tender.

Beef Short Ribs

Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs b

Short ribs are not called ‘short’ because they are literally short in length. Instead, they are named after where they come from, which is the short plate, spanning from the sixth to the tenth rib. The bones are almost straight and have 1-2” of meat on the top. Short ribs have a layer of fat on the top, but some butchers may remove the layer. Short ribs have a lot of meat, making an excellent choice for barbecue, kalbi, and braising.

Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs

Beef Back RibsBeef Short Ribs
- The meat is located mostly in between the bones, with very little meat on top- The meat is on top of the bones
- Have less meat- Have a lot of meat, 1-2” thick
- The bones are slightly curved, between 6 to 8 inches long- The bones are relatively shorter and are almost straight
- Great for braising, as the marrow is very rich- Great for barbecue, kalbi, and braising

Beef Back Ribs vs Short Ribs 2

So, back ribs have most of the meat in between the bones. Compared to short ribs, back ribs have less meat. However, the marrow is very rich, excellent for braising. Meanwhile, short ribs are perhaps more suitable for barbecue and kalbi, as they have a lot more meat on top of the bones.

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