Dinosaur Bones 2

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You want to ask your butcher for a 3 or 4 rack of beef plate ribs. These are the ribs the Texans call Dinosaur Bones. There are several different types of beef ribs. Back ribs, chuck ribs, short ribs & plate ribs. Plate ribs are located down near the stomach and are practically straight with very little curve to the bones.

There will be some fat on the top of the ribs along with a layer of silver skin.

Remove the thin layer of silver skin from the top of the ribs. Whatever fat remains will render during smoking. Leave the membrane on the bottom of the rack covering the bones. This will hold the meat on the bone. If it is removed, the meat during the smoking process, will shrink on the bone and fall off.

This is what your trimmed ribs should look like.

A couple of hours before smoking the ribs, I like to let them come to room temp. I add a simple rub consisting of equal parts kosher salt, coarse black pepper & granulated garlic.

Place ribs in a smoker set to 225 degrees for two hours. Then spritz with your favorite baste. I use beef broth and apple juice. Raise smoker temp to 325 degrees and continue spritzing every hour until the internal temp of the ribs reach 203 degrees.

Once the ribs reach 203 degrees, it’s time to take them out of the smoker and let them rest 15 minutes. Don’t wrap them as this will soften the bark that you worked so hard to acheive.

This is what 8 hours in the smoker looks like. Melts in your mouth!

Dinosaur Bones

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My wife and I winter in a little fishing village in Southwest Texas. For the last three years we’ve been going to as many of the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ joints that we can with our ultimate goal to visit each one.  One of our favorite dishes is the Dinosaur bones. Big beefy plate ribs cooked to where they literally are clinging to the bone by just the membrane left on the underside of the rib. Our favorite haunts for these heart stopping ribs are Blacks in Lockhart, Smoliks in Mathis, and Smoking Oak in Mercedes. They’re not cheap ($30 1 1/2 lb average per bone) but so worth it. They are better than brisket and take half the time to prepare. Once you try this recipe you will make them a regular on your bbq rotation.

Start with fresh meaty plate beef ribs either in a three rib rack or separated like the ribs above. These two ribs weighed a combined 4 pounds.

Season on all sides with your favorite beef rub. I use a rub with kosher salt, coarse black pepper, garlic granules, onion granules & Tony Cacheres.

Put ribs in a smoker preheated to 225 degrees.

After 3 hours they should look like this. Double wrap ribs in pink butcher paper.

Place back in the smoker for 2 hours. Then remove and place wrapped ribs in a cooler for 1 hour.

When you’re ready they’ll look like this!

Full Packer Texas Smoked Brisket

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I’ve been smoking brisket Texas style for over 35 years. I have a Texas pit that I can smoke 200 lbs of meat at one time. It is made from 3/8” cold rolled steel for heat control and has an offset firebox. It produces the best brisket I’ve ever eaten and I’ve  eaten at most of the top 50 bbq joints listed in Texas Monthly. It’s not that I’m such a great pitmaster, it’s using quality meat (I use Prime brisket), constant heat (225 degrees), simple injection, and a quality rub. Smoke for 6 hours, wrap in pink butcher paper and continue smoking until the internal temp reaches 203 degrees. However, you can make an excellent brisket in a small pellet smoker. I do it all winter on the Texas gulf coast. You won’t get as much of a smoke ring since pellets don’t produce much nitric oxide gas which when it reaches the myoglobin turns red. The flavor and tenderness will still be there.




Start with a quality 14-16 lb full packer brisket



Trim fat cap to 1/4 inch & trim all the deckle fat between the point & flat


Inject with your favorite brine and let sit overnight and then coat with your choice of rub.


Smoke @ 225 degrees for 6 hours.



Wrap in pink butcher paper and continue to smoke until internal temp reaches 203. Take out of smoker and place it in a cooler still in pink paper insulated with newspaper. Let rest 2 hours and up to 4. Slice across the grain.





Tomahawk Ribeye Reverse Seared Steak

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78ECBEA4-BF61-4A6E-9C8A-7D96F930109BTomahawk ribeyes are a big deal in Texas. We spend 5 months during the winter sport fishing the Gulf of Mexico for Red & Black Drum, Speckled Trout & Red Snapper. Since seafood is a staple in our diet, it’s nice to splurge on a huge hunk of beef from time to time. These babies have a 2 1/2 to 3 lb hunk of Ribeye on the end of a 12 to 14 inch rib bone. The cost is around $17 a pound for prime & $13 for choice. HEB supermarket usually has a sale on choice tomahawks over the winter for $7 a pound and that’s when we pick up our year supply.


These are choice tomahawks


Season with salt & fresh cracked pepper


Put a temperature probe in the center & place in a 200 degree smoker.


For medium rare pull from smoker @ 128 degrees. Sear in Smoking hot cast iron pan for 2 minutes a side. Foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Directions: 4 hours before cooking your tomahawk Ribeye, remove from the refrigerator and salt all 4 sides with kosher salt. (This is dry brining and creates a moist and more tender piece of meat). Place on a rack and put back in the refrigerator. After a minimum of four hours remove and add coarse ground black pepper. Place in a 200 degree smoker until internal temp reaches 128 degrees. Sear in Smoking hot cast iron skillet 2 minutes a side. Tent with foil 10 minutes before carving.