the beef ribs cut

beef cut diagram: rib

Everyone has their favorite beef cuts, and for many, rib meat is number one. It’s also among the most affordable cuts. They cost less than the beef cuts to which they are adjacent. Beef ribs have plenty of fat for taste, but also contain connective tissue. That means some tenderizing is needed before cooking.

rib meat

Cattle have 13 ribs on each side of their bodies, running from the breastbone to that last rib. There are three types of beef ribs. The plate short ribs are usually referred to as beef short ribs. Then there are the chuck short ribs and the back ribs.


Back ribs, located near the top of the animal as the name implies, have less meat than the other types. Chuck short ribs and plate short ribs are found near the steer’s stomach.

what is rib meat good for?

Barbeque, barbeque, barbeque! There’s no question that grilling is one of the things rib meat is good for. While pork ribs are more popular, beef ribs have much more meat on the bone. Steers are considerably larger than hogs, so beef ribs are much larger than the pork variety.


Having a party? Treat your guests to beef rib meat from the grill or smoker. The plate short rib is huge, the so-called “brisket on a stick.” One bone may weigh 2 pounds or more. They resemble brisket in another way. With similar fat content, cooking them slowly at low temperature helps prevent the meat from drying. This is rib meat for the smoker.


Chuck short ribs are between three and six inches long, with meat on the top of the bone.  They consist of the first through the fifth rib. Marinate them before grilling. A smoker is another option.


The back ribs are cut from the area behind the shoulder. That is where the prime rib is located, and that is among the most expensive cuts. The meat is cut so that the bulk of the meat stays with the prime rib. Back ribs have little meat on the top, so most of it is on the side. They are ideal for grilling or braising.

Learn more About Beef Cuts

Why do some beef cuts cost more than others?

What are the toughest and tenderest parts of the cow?

What is the best way to cook different meat cuts?



If you are not always certain about what cuts of beef are best for your purposes, learn more about your favorites with our guide to beef cuts.

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beef ribs
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