Dinosaur Bones

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!