barbecue beef recipes ribs

Texas-style BBQ Beef Ribs

UPDATE 7/31/08
As much as I love this recipe, I always found it time consuming. Check out my post on Lazy Barbecue — Oven Beef Ribs for an easier barbecue beef rib recipe.

You can make good, tender, BBQ beef ribs, even if you don’t have a smoker. I use a Tea Smoking Mixture and a liquid smoke/oil mixture to ensure that the meat has that smokey flavor we all want and crave.

I was experimenting with BBQ Beef Ribs this summer with mixed results. My first attempt came out dry but tasty, and the second was a lot better because I used a different recipe but not exactly what I was looking for. (Image from

I decided on “tea smoking” the meat, a Chinese technique that I found interesting since I’m not allowed to grill where I live and have to use the oven. I was a little concerned about the ribs having a “tea” flavor to them since I had never done this before, so I basted the ribs with a mixture of liquid smoke and olive oil before cooking to ensure a smoked hickory flavor. Honestly, I think the tea is merely a source of smoke and doesn’t really affect flavor, but the liquid smoke mixture ensures a more authentic, smokey flavor.

Start by cooking the ribs at 500 degrees for 30 minutes and then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours more. What results is tender, almost fall-off-the-bone beef ribs. Finish them using the broiler setting or throwing them on a hot grill so you get a nice crust on the ribs that makes them look as good as they taste. Serve it with the Texas-style BBQ Sauce recipe, or use your favorite sauce (Bullseye is a good choice).

3 – 4 beef rib slabs (3 to 4 ribs per slab, about 5 pounds total)
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Dry Rub Recipe
4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Tea Smoking Mixture
1 cup loose black tea (Lapsang Souchong preferred)
1 cup rice
1 cup sugar


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with at least two layers of aluminum foil
  2. Spread the Tea Smoking Mixture evenly on the bottom of the baking sheet.
  3. Place a wire rack or roasting rack above the Tea Smoking Mixture so that ribs are elevated above baking sheet
  4. Mix chili powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper in small bowl
  5. Remove membrane from the bone side of the ribs (See here for instructions)
  6. Rub ribs evenly with spice mixture.
  7. Place ribs on rack and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour
    About 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook, heat oven to 500 degrees (if you have a pizza stone, place this in the oven also).
  8. When you’re ready to cook, baste ribs with liquid smoke/oil mixture and cover ribs with foil so that they are completely sealed. See smoker setup diagram at right.
  9. Place ribs in oven directly on the rack or a pre-heated pizza stone.
    (Image from Cook’s Illustrated).
  10. Cook ribs for 30 minutes at 500 degrees.
  11. Reduce heat to 200 degrees. Leave oven open for a minute to cool it down.
  12. Cook ribs for additional 90 minutes (for firmer ribs) or 2 hours for fall of the bone ribs. The meat will have shrunk, exposing about 1/2 to 1 inch of bone.
  13. Remove ribs from oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before removing foil.
  14. Remove ribs from foil and serve. You can also refrigerate them and then reheat them when ready to serve. If you want to finish the ribs so they have a nice crust, place them under the broiler or cook them meat side down on a hot barbecue grill or grill pan for 5 minutes. Flip and cook 5 more minutes and then serve with your favorite sauce on the side.
barbecue beef recipes sauces

Texas-style BBQ Sauce

from Cook’s Illustrated
This sauce is a good accompaniment for the Texas-style BBQ Ribs.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups tomato juice
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo
2 tablespoons mild molasses or dark molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. Heat butter in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until foaming; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and chili powder; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  3. Add tomato juice, 1/2 cup vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chipotle, molasses, and salt
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Off heat, stir in pepper and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar.
  6. Cool to room temperature before serving. If you want, you can run the sauce through a strainer to make it smooth.
    (Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)
Best of Inuyaki dessert recipes

Sweet Potato Pie

When I was in college, I had a sweet potato pie at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles that was so bad it compelled me to learn how to make my own. It was one of my first culinary epiphanies.

I’ve been using this sweet potato pie recipe for years. I found it on the Web a long time ago, so I’m not sure who I’m supposed to credit, but here it is:

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust (Dough/crust and I don’t get along. Mrs. Smith’s is my favorite store brand)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the sweet potatoes, eggs, evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. For a lighter, fluffier pie, assemble this mixture in a blender and give it whir for a minute or so to incorporate some air into the mixture.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie crust and place the pie directly on the oven rack.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let the pie cool for a bit before serving.

For variety, you can top with 1 cup of toasted pecans and then drizzle the top of the pie with a little maple syrup before placing in oven.

(Picture courtesy of The Green Cutting Board.)


Pea Soup Andersen’s

I know they have the lame marketing all over I-5 and you get mesmerized by the windmill as you approach, but if you must come in here to eat, skip the pea soup. Their pea soup is pukey green and has a gritty, chalky texture. It doesn’t taste very good either…and I don’t like eating greenish paste.

Pea Soup Andersen's

If you MUST come here, get a burger. The burger I had was really good and my wife liked the Reuben she had. The fries can be hit or miss at times, depending on how busy it is. The rest of the menu is probably the same. One time, my wife ordered the pot roast and it was more like mystery meat. It looked like pot roast and smelled like pot roast, but she said it was like a canned “beef” product that lacked all the flavor characteristics of actual beef.

Service is spotty also…they didn’t seem to want to clear our table of our dirty dishes so we had to keep stacking the dishes on top of each other to make space for our entrees and then dessert. That was annoying.

Pea Soup Andersen's

Part of me wants to close the place down and turn it into an 80s gay club called "Wild Boys." Then I’d strap a mannequin dressed like Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon to the windmill to help draw in clubgoers. (Watch the Wild Boys video)

wild boyswild boys

When I was a kid, visions of Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee used to get me excited as we drove up and down I-5. Nowadays, I’ll wait till I hit Kettleman City and go to In-N-Out.

Pea Soup Anderson’s
12411 State Highway 33
Santa Nella, CA 95322 map
Web site

Best of Inuyaki Hawaii Hawaiian Oahu reviews

Alan Wong’s Restaurant

Towards the end of our last trip back to Hawaii, I was craving something fancy, and the other “upscale” restaurants in town (Sam Choy’s, Roy’s) got mixed reviews from everyone I had talked to. Only Alan Wong’s Restaurant got universal praise, and it’s hard to argue with a place that’s garnered so many accolades, including the prestigious James Beard award.

We thought about ordering the 5-course prix fixe chef’s tasting menu ($75), but decided to eschew its rigidity in favor of ordering directly from the menu. This actually saved us money, and we got to eat exactly what we wanted.

We started off with the Nori-wrapped Seared Tempura Ahi, garnished with soy mustard and tomato ginger relish. It was beautifully presented and a great way to start the meal. Next were the hoisin BBQ ribs, which were a little sweet but completely decadent. The succulent rib meat was easily to separated from the bones using either chopsticks or a fork.

The entrees were the main attraction, and they were all so pretty when they arrived at the table. My sister-in-law had the Twice Cooked Short Ribs, Soy Braised and Grilled “Kalbi” Style with Gingered Shrimp, Ko Choo Jang Sauce. This was just about perfect. My wife had the Ginger-Crusted Onaga, a long-tailed red snapper served with a Miso-Sesame Vinaigrette, which she really loved. I had the Macadamia Nut-Coconut Crusted Lamb Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Asian Ratatouille. I wasn’t too into the Ratatouille, but the lamb chops were delicious, probably the best I’ve ever had and the sauce was great with the mashed potatoes.

After dinner, we were given a coffee menu with a selection as diverse as any wine list. I opted for the chef’s current favorite, an Organic Lafayette Coffee from south Kona, which was delicious, although some grounds got into my cup through the French press.

For dessert, we ordered the Taste of Hawaii Cheesecakes, which was pretty good, but only two of the four flavors really stood out, the Kona Coffee and the purple Okinawan Sweet Potato with Haupia sorbet. We also ordered the Chocolate Crunch Bars, which were like gourmet Kit Kats. This was the perfect way to finish the meal.

Overall, the Alan Wong experience was excellent. Service was attentive and the plating of the food was so satisfied our food porn desires. The location is a little odd, and it doesn’t have the greatest view, but the food is the star here. So if you’ve got some cash to blow on your trip to Hawaii, I’d give it to Alan Wong before Sam Choy or Roy Yamaguchi.

Alan Wong’s Restaurant
1857 S. King Street, Third Floor
Honolulu, HI 96826
Web site