Coffee-Crusted Barbecue Beef Ribs (with a Versatile Rub)

May  7, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 12 hours
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

A whopping 13-hour operation will reward you with sticky and fall-off-the-bone tender beef ribs. —Mandy @ Lady and pups

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Mandy @ lady and pups’ pups are named Dumpling and Shrimpie.
WHAT: Fall-off-the-bone ribs that will score serious points at your next tailgate.
HOW: Rub the ribs in a mixture of sea salt, paprika, ground coffee beans, and peppercorns. Sear them on high heat for a few minutes, tuck them into a foil packet and turn down your oven temperature, then check back in 7 hours later (you can do it! be patient!) for fork-tender meat.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If we’re going to hold our breath for 7 (or 10, or 13) hours while dinner cooks, it better be darn good. These ribs live up to the expectations that build over the long wait: Thanks to the spice rub, they emerge from the oven deeply flavorful. When we have some time on our hands (or a big appetite), we’ll plan ahead and make these for a tailgate, a cold night, or a down-home dinner party. —snowcitygirl

What You'll Need
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Coffee-Crusted Barbecue Beef Ribs (with a Versatile Rub)
  • 1/3 cup dark roast coffee beans
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorn
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt, plus more for serving
  • 4 tablespoons hickory smoked sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • Olive oil
  • 5 pounds bone-in beef ribs (approximately 4 racks)
  • Dijon mustard, for serving (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven on 500° F (260° C).
  2. Coarsely grind the coffee beans in a spice grinder (to about the same coarseness as you would for a French press grind), then set them aside. Grind the black peppercorn and sea salts together until the biggest piece of peppercorn is halved or quartered. Mix the coffee, peppercorns, and seat salt together with the smoked paprika.
  3. Lay the beef ribs on a baking sheet and rub with a thin coating of olive oil, then coat with the spice mix. Use your hands to press the spice mix into the ribs, making sure every inch of surface is covered and the spice mix is glued nicely onto the ribs. The ribs should have a thick, “crusty” coating. Roast in the 500° F (260° C) oven for 10 minutes, or until you have a nice sear on the ribs. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then turn the heat down to 300° F (150° C).
  4. Transfer all of the ribs onto doubled-up sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap the ribs in the foil and make sure there are no openings anywhere. Place the entire pouch on top of a baking rack and score a few slits on the bottom of the pouch with a small knife. Place the baking rack on top of a baking sheet to catch the drippings. Place the entire thing back in the oven and roast for 4 hours.
  5. After 4 hours, turn the heat down to 220° F (100° C) and slow-roast for another 7 hours. During this time, feel free to check the tenderness of the ribs once or twice. If by the end of 7 hours a fork cannot be easily inserted into the meat, I would suggest turning the heat back up to 300° F (150° C) and cooking for an additional 1 to 2 hours. The final product should be sticky, tender, and gelatinous. A darker shade of pink should develop along the outer surface of the muscle tissue.
  6. When your ribs are done, sprinkle with fine sea salt and eat with a bit of Dijon mustard. You could chop the meat up into pieces, or just dig into it in true carnivore style.
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20 Reviews

Stu F. October 2, 2021
I will try this seasoning but not the method for two reasons. the first is: this is way too much cook time for ribs, and if you’ve already oven seared them, it’s not really necessary to cook at two temps-you could cook them at 220 the whole way. The other reason I wouldn’t cook them that long is because they are ribs. Your guests would want to enjoy them on the bone. That’s the whole point. Ribs should not “fall off the bone” - they should be tender and the fat should be rendered enough but they should be a bit “al dente” I.e., you should be able to pick them up and bite them off the bone easily - but not too easily. That’s how rib people like ribs.
gwennw July 22, 2021
I cannot believe how easy these ribs were to make AND how flavorful and delicious they are. Followed the recipe exactly. Checked on the ribs after 4 hours at 220 and they were perfect...tender and falling off the bone.
Lucy April 26, 2020
Delicious ribs! Not having time to slow cook, after searing them in oven I tossed them in Instant Pot, added some beer and brown sugar and they were amazing!
Lucy April 26, 2020
Delicious ribs! Not having time to slow cook, I tossed them in Instant Pot, added some beer and brown sugar and they were amazing!
[email protected] February 15, 2015
Made these today - our grocer had a sale on prime rib and so because they were also selling the roasts with bones removed beef ribs were on sale (lucky us!). What a great recipe - very very close to the beef ribs I love at a local craft beer bar. I made a homemade ketchup based BBQ sauce with some of the leftover rub and this was a perfect compliment to the ribs (and close to what they serve at the resto). What a winner. The only bad thing is the time they take - and the fact that the beefy smell in the house while they cook will drive you mad all day!!!
Mandy @. February 15, 2015
Shana, so glad you enjoyed it!! I actually just throw the ribs in the oven then go to sleep. Then yes, waking up to the insane beefy smell the next day makes you wanna eat them for breakfast... which is to say... what's wrong with that? :)
Brian M. December 7, 2014
I made these the other day, and they are wonderful! I have never tried beef ribs before. This is a keeper!
Alice A. November 6, 2014
Coffee with barbecue???? Which I've never done before. Looks so tempting and can't wait to try this recipe.tvm.
Sue October 4, 2014
Are we supposed to coat both sides with the rub?
Mandy @. October 5, 2014
Sue: Yes! Coat both sides and all surface of the ribs :)
pat September 25, 2014
These look absolutely delicious! Going to make them this Sunday with a Caribbean cold slaw. Thanks so much.
victoria S. September 24, 2014
Could you suggest some sides with the ribs?
Mandy @. September 25, 2014
Victoria, the ribs itself are pretty rich, I some cooling cold slaw is always welcome. Slice them in chunks and sandwich between rye bread and mustard is also great.
Susan W. September 24, 2014
Can't wait to try these.
QueenSashy September 24, 2014
How is it possible that I did not see this before? Thank God for the Wildcards, as it helped me discover it. And of course, congratulations!!! I am really excited about making this dish.
Quincy July 2, 2013
Are these ribs beef short ribs?
Mandy @. July 2, 2013
short ribs on the bones yes
Tim M. September 24, 2014
Back ribs no?
Susan W. September 24, 2014
Yes, these look like beef back ribs, not short ribs.
Chuck G. October 4, 2014
These are definitely beef back ribs.