Hilah’s Texas Kitchen – BBQ Beef Ribs

Episode One: Black’s Barbecue, Lockhart, and BBQ Beef Ribs

It’s here! Dudes, it’s finally here! I’m so excited! You know how when you’ve worked on something really hard and you really want to be done so you can show people and then you get done and it’s time to show the people and you’re JUST SO EXCITED?!?!

That’s how I am right now!

Barrett Black and me rubbing down some ribs and crackin' wise

Barrett Black and me rubbing down some ribs and crackin’ wise

For the inaugural episode of Hilah’s Texas Kitchen, we went to Lockhart — known as the Barbecue Capital of Texas — to visit Black’s Barbecue, the oldest barbecue restaurant continuously run by the same family. That’s a difficult claim to fame to enunciate clearly, as you’ll see in the video. I interviewed Barrett Black, the fourth generation of the Black family to have their hands in the bbq biz. He showed me the secrets behind how they make their HUGE bbq beef ribs (well, not all the secrets, but enough) and we did a little sightseeing in Lockhart.

Black's BBQ Beef Ribs

Black’s BBQ Beef Ribs

The second part of the video, I show you how to cook a fair facsimile of their bbq beef ribs at home, without a smoker! You’ll need to get some “beef back ribs” to do it proper. They’re a little hard to find. If you’re lucky enough to live in a nice town with an actual butcher shop, start there. My beloved Austin has no proper butcher shop, so I ordered mine from a grass-fed beef ranch I know of. Beef back ribs are cut anywhere from 8 to 12 inches long (hey-oh!) and come in racks of 3 or 4 ribs. The total weight of a rack of beef back ribs, then, is at least 3-4 pounds. The ones I used were on the small side for back ribs — just about a pound a rib — while the ones that Black’s Barbecue orders are more like 2 pounds per rib. If you find enormous ones like that, increase the cooking time by an hour I’d guess.

My "BBQ" Beef Ribs -- smoke not included

My “BBQ” Beef Ribs — smoke not included


Hilah\’s Texas Kitchen – BBQ Beef Ribs

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  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • One 34 pound rack of beef back ribs
  • Dry rub:
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard


  1. Set oven to 250ºF and get a roasting pan ready. If you have a rack that fits into the roasting pan, put that in there, too. Get a piece of foil cut to cover the pan if you don’t have a lid.
  2. Combine the rub ingredients and rub the mixture into the rack of ribs, getting all sides including the bones.
  3. Place meat-side-up on the rack and cover tightly.
  4. Roast for 4 hours. No peeking!
  5. Ribs are done when the meat is very tender and the bones have just begun to release from the meat.
  6. Uncover and pop the pan under the broiler for just a minute to brown them a little.
  7. Cool 10 minutes before slicing between the ribs.
  8. Serve hot! (With sauce if you must.)

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  1. mnNjc on June 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Love your show! I only could find finger ribs at my meat market. Would I be able to use these with the same recipe and time?

    Thanks :))

    • Hilah on June 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Hey Mindy!
      You could use the same rub and temperature, though they will only take a couple of hours instead of 4. Thanks for writing!

  2. pi on June 12, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Hilah, this post made me really wanna get me some beef ribs. The grocery store only had individuallynge-cut ribs. Would this also change the cooking time or temp, if at all?

    • Hilah on June 12, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Hi Pi! Try it, but only cook them for an hour or two, the same temperature and method. Should still work!

  3. Kristi ~ Necessary Indulgences on September 7, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I adore the beef ribs at Blacks! I was looking for a rub similar to theirs, thank you! I will try these today on my Big Green Egg.

  4. chesty on June 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

    if you have a rack I find adding a little water to the bottom helps to keep ribs moist and not drying out while still getting the “roasting” effect.

    • Hilah on June 7, 2014 at 8:06 am

      Hey Chesty! I’ve never had these get dry because the large beef ribs have so much fat on them.

  5. angelena on December 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Hello, i tried these the other night and they were the best beef ribs i have ever tasted. I was wondering could you also use this recipe for pork ribs? Thank you for the recipe

    • Hilah on December 3, 2014 at 7:23 am

      Hi Angelena,
      I haven’t tried this for pork ribs but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Probably wouldn’t need to cook them as long, maybe just a couple hours. Let me know if you try it!

      • angelena on December 5, 2014 at 9:36 pm

        Hello hilah, I tried cooking the pork ribs and let them cook for a couple of hours and they tasted okay. I dont think anything will come close to the taste of this ribs recipe. Thank you I will be the talk of the party.

        • Hilah on December 6, 2014 at 9:12 am

          Okay, well thank you for the update, Angelena!

  6. Dennis T on October 10, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Love your channel, Hilah! I’m going to go pick up some ribs now from Wegman’s and try your method out. Have a good one! Dennis

    • Hilah on October 13, 2018 at 10:35 am

      Thanks, Dennis! Enjoy the beef ribs!

  7. Gregory Fleece on February 1, 2019 at 11:37 am

    I will try your temp settings. I have been using a wet rub consisting of Montreal stake seasoning, garlic, cracked pepper, basil, pinch of mint, 3 drops of vanilla, cinnamon, and mixing in olive oil. Then coating all sides of the ribs covering entire rack of ribs with foil. During the broiler time I open the foil. Last time I tried cooking my beef ribs at 300 for 2 hours (inside temp of meat 180 degrees). They came out good but I will try your temp settings to see if I can improve on it. Thanks,

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