Friday, December 4, 2009

Dino Bones: BBQ Beef Ribs

[Standard review disclaimer: Unless otherwise stated, I have no affiliation with and received no compensation from restaurants or product manufacturers reviewed and paid full retail price for the item reviewed.]

The hardest part about making "dino bones" is procuring the dinosaur.

I'd only ever had dino bones once and that was this past summer on our trip to Louisville. They were huge, meaty, but more importantly, had a rich flavor. I loved them and vowed I would make them soon. It took longer than anticipated, but soon is now.

Dino bones are huge beef ribs barbecued for hours. I was confused about what cut dino bones were actually from. Some people and places say they are beef back ribs, the part cut off of a prime rib to make ribeyes. Other folks and sites said that dino bones come from beef short ribs. So I consulted the good folks over at the BBQ Brethren and found out that either is acceptable.

Beef ribs are hard to come by in Knoxville. Mainly because true butchers are hard to come by in Knoxville. So I went and saw Scott Lynam at Lay's Market. I told him what I was looking for and he knew exactly what I needed, finding us a very nice uncut beef short rib. Lay's Market is 12 miles from our house and by no means convenient, but he treated me like a regular and has won my family's business.

This also gave me the perfect opportunity to try out the free sample (see disclaimer at top) of Big Bold Red Soppin' Sauce that I received from the folks at Fischer and Wiesner.

Dino Bones (BBQ Beef Ribs)

1 ea 3 bone beef short ribs, untrimmed
2 Tablespoon Grove's Cajun Beef Rub (or commercial cajun rub)

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon Black Pepper

6 ounces Big Bold Red Soppin' Sauce (separated into 3 or 4 portions)


Rub the ribs with the salt, pepper, and beef rub.

Place ribs bone side down on a cooker set up for indirect heat at 225f grate temperature with a moderate amount of smoke. I like using Jack Daniels Oak Chips for beef. (On the Big Green Egg, that would be a dome temperature of 250f, with the DFMT closed with the dial open, plate setter in legs up, and drip pan.)

Cook for 4 to 6 hours. Using a clean brush, baste every hour with a portion of the Big Bold Red Soppin' Sauce. The purpose of using separate batches is to prevent cross contamination.
The ribs will shrink back on the bones very drastically, don't panic. It's supposed to do that.

When you're ribs have pulled back about 50% on the bones and have an internal temperature of 195-200f, they are done. Remove and let rest for 15 minutes.
Slice into rib portions. Unlike pork ribs, one beef rib is a normal serving size.

Servings: 4


I seasoned both sides of the ribs and then left them out while I got the Big Green Egg up to temperature.

Shrinkage can be a good thing, when it comes to BBQ. That's the toughness leaving and all the goodness staying! I placed the fork in the picture for scale, these are some pretty big assed ribs, kind of like the ribs that flip the car in the opening credits of The Flintstones. Hence the name.

Much like brisket, these will turn very dark. They will be mostly blackened but not burned at all.

The Big Bold Red Soppin' Sauce was not a thick, tomato based BBQ sauce. It is a thin and beautifully tart sauce to be applied during the cook. In fact I used it more like a mop, than a sop and that worked, building multiple layers of flavor instead of one big "hit" of it during the last few minutes of cooking. There are not too many sugars in it so it doesn't burn like BBQ sauce would. The sauce would actually be a good marinade for steaks and a sopping sauce for brisket too. You can order Fischer and Wiesner products online or find them in retail locations. I know that Earth Fare in Knoxville carries some of their products.
For more information on soppin' sauces and recipes for making your own, check out this page.

We were very happy with the ribs. The flavor was excellent. I had just the right about of smoke on them. Alexis and the boys loved them.

Things I'd do next time? I'd probably take them to 200f internal, I pulled them off at 193.8f and there was still a little collagen toughness in one or two spots. I might also try slicing them into individual ribs before smoking, that's how we got ours in Louisville. I'd be tempted to try foiling them for an hour during the cook, but I've just now gotten weened from using the "texas crutch" for pork ribs and don't need to pick up bad habits again:)


  1. Chris, where have I been? I'm not familiar with dino bones. How fascinating. We got a dusting of white down here this morning. Maybe you did too.
    Stay warm.

  2. It's not even 8:00am and I could do away with a whole plate of those ribs. I'm not much for beef, a good steak here and there works for me, but put beef ribs in front of me and I seriously become almost rabid. Something about them turns me instinctively to the caveman in us all.

  3. Just found your blog - loved reading through know it's a good recipe when you want to make and eat it and it's only 6:30 AM! Love your blog name, too...wish I'd thought of it! I'll be back and thanks!

  4. I love them with a Korean style sauce! Once, I smoked some buffalo ribs- a little strong for the uninitiated! I liked them!

  5. Chris, Those dino bones are screaming man meat! I love that name "Dino Bones" From now on it is no longer bbq ribs but dino bones in our house-I love it.

    Seriously, those ribs, no, I mean dino bones look absolutely delicious. Wow!

  6. The ribs look great. I've been thinking of going to Lays to see if I can find a real butcher to give me the cut I want and not just what the store normally carries. Sounds like it's worth the trip.

  7. These sure look delicious! Me thinks I need to try them too. That top photo cracked me up! Glad you won :-)

  8. I mean I'm not trying to flirt or anything, but if that's you in that picture you are in GREAT shape.....oh and the ribs look great too.

  9. Nice job on them bones Chris. Looks hittable.

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  11. Dino bones? That is the first time I hear about it and it looks delicious! :)

  12. Ha we called them that in the restaurant! You look hysterically cute in that first picture, and you do have the knives remember, so he cannot hurt you! Guess what I am making? Wish I knew how to photo shop your face into my next project :)

  13. Oh, it's like being in Bedrock! Awesome :D

  14. You are killing me with these pictures. So do people actually call them "dino bones"?

  15. Does Trevor know you're wearing his shirt? The ribs look awesome.

  16. LOL! "Does Trevor know you're wearing his shirt?"

    That's funny. I think you look HOT! But not as HOT as those ribs. I so admire the coloration all your egg creations take on. GREG

  17. I'd love these ribs too - they look FANTASTIC. Great photos!

  18. Mmmmm, drool! The smoke ring on the ribs is perfect! But seriously, do wear shirts like that out? :)

  19. ok, i have to stop now cuz I haven't had dinner yet and I think my stomach is about to eat itself! and if I don't stop drooling, I'm going to have to put on a bib

  20. Great looking ribs. The bones are very flat, any idea where on the ribs they are from? The ones I get come off the back of the ribeye and have a lot of curve to them. Tasty, but I'd like to try other versions.

  21. Your photos are awesome Chris! Wish I had gottento try these ribs, they looks scrumptious!

  22. Scott in ScottsdaleDecember 8, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    Beautiful ribs, Chris. I love these on the BGE, and usually cut them apart before smoking. They shrink differently and definitely soak up more smoke that way.

    I will try your method of mopping each hour, haven't done that. Thanks for the beautiful photos.

  23. *slow clap* awesome. Simply awesome. Yabba dabba doo!

  24. This looks so incredible I am going to attempt this today!


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