• Amy S

    Pork, and they have to fall off the bone.

  • Brandy

    Pork is typically juicier, but if cooked right, either can be amazing. Nothing in the world like Kuby’s smoked ribs!!!

  • aria

    pork. Houston’s.

  • whoknew

    Baby back at Peggy Sue’s

  • Peterk

    I’ve smoked both and both were fallin’ off the bone moist

  • Nancy, I agree with Brandy. In most cases, pork is better because it is juicier. However, Fearings Dr Pepper Braised Beef Short Ribs are some of the best anywhere.

  • JD

    Beef are harder to get right, but are spectacular when they are. Iron Works in Austin are the best I’ve had.

  • luniz

    I don’t like either “falling off the bone” myself. Since I don’t wear dentures, I’m perfectly capable of chewing food. I think the best flavor comes from pork ribs, beef ribs are good braised as czar mentions but for smoking pork is ideal, you get concentrated flavor and the perfect texture if it’s done right (aka Smitty’s).

  • Irodguy

    Beef adapts better for braising in various forms osso bucco for instance, due to heavy amounts of connective tissue. Pork works better for dry cooking and smoking, mainly due to fat content. I have had great smoked beef ribs but they are always a lot more chewy than pork.

    As luniz, I don’t have dentures so chewy is not a deal breaker, but overall I prefer pork smoked and beef braised.

  • Scagnetti


    Most of the barbecued beef ribs I’ve had were tougher’n a boot.

  • Jed

    Nothing new here. Pork for smoke, Beef for slow braise. I have never had a smoked beef rib I liked. Culinary 101

  • in Texas where there’s no shortage of brisket, I see no reason for beef ribs as they’re basically brisket on a stick. but that’s not to say that beef ribs aren’t good, just aren’t so amazing when you’ve already got the ‘sket.

    my first taste of beef ribs was at Big Al’s too, and I liked ’em. besides the skill of the cook, I don’t see why either meat should be too different in texture, etc.

    personally I like any ribs to fall off the bone and I think locally Back Country and Baker’s have pretty good pork ribs.

  • Margaret

    Ditto on the pork baby back ribs at Peggy Sue’s BBQ.

  • Twinwillow

    We’ve been down this road before many times. So to reiterate, pork is the rib of choice in Dallas. With (IMHO) Baker’s Rib’s (Greenville Avenue location only) having the best. Beef ribs are very difficult to find in Dallas.
    And although Big Al’s does do them, they just don’t compare to the beef ribs available in Central Texas. Like, Louie Mueller’s BBQ in Taylor. Eat them there once, and you’ll never eat them anywhere else.

  • I like both, but will admit that I am mostly a pork girl. We dry rub our ribs then roast them in a 250 F oven for three hours, then we smoke them with additional rub until they are lovely and crusty outside. Heaven!

  • Don in Austin

    For destination ‘que, e.g., Taylor, Lockhart, Luling, Lexington, etc., its hard for me to get much further down the menu than brisket. If boney meat strikes my fancy it’s gonna be pork ribs, then if appetite continues, sausage–also usually pork. Notable exception is the beef links at Louis Mueller’s. If you’re now getting some decent ‘que in Dallas, then congratulations and its about time. Its way too big a city to have only Sonny Bryan’s. As for beef ribs, someone else can do the research.

  • JonnyDallas

    Both are good, but need to be prepared differently.

    Beef ribs are for slow braising in a flavorful liquid, and should be served with jus over mashed potato or polenta. Suzanne Tracht became semi-famous for her beef rib pot roast.

    (OK, she does use a de-nuded, or boneless short rib for this recipe. I just ignore that part and use bone-in ribs. I also substitute a combination of beef stock and chicken stock for the straight chicken stock she uses)

    Pork ribs on the other hand should always be smoked. There is some argument to be had regarding wet or dry rubs, but as long as hickory smoke is used, and you maintain a low temperature, you’re good.

    To answer the question beef rib versus pork rib…both are good. I think the differences are highlighted by method of preparation. Beef ribs are too…well…beefy to really gain anything from smoking.

    Now this does not take into account those Chinese spareribs you get as part of a pu pu platter. Thats another story entirely.

  • DJ

    Pork baby back definitely — at State & Allen in Uptown. Just delicious — housemade BBQ sauce and with a side of slaw and fries.

  • I’ve rarely met a rib I didn’t like, but a pork rib will always soak up more of that great smoke flavor simply because its high surface area to meat ratio. The more smoke the better is my motto.

  • Beef ribs, pork ribs. Either as long as they are prepared RIGHT will be tender and juicy with just the right amount of resistance to let you know you are eating real food and not some mushy ground up parts are parts stuff. Both must be prepared right or you end up with chewy shoe leather. First of all NEITHER ARE EVER BOILED to get them tender. Pork ribs are more forgiving than beef ribs which require a longer cooking time and at a lower temperature.
    Beef ribs are the largest of all ribs, each measuring 8 to 10 inches long. They are what are left over when the butcher cuts out a rib roast.
    These inexpensive ribs can be a real bargain if you know how to choose the right ones. Be choosy about what you are spending your cash on. There is quite a bit of variation in the quality of beef ribs, and do not let the low price fool you. When cooked right, beef ribs are tender and flavorful, and always a good choice for barbecuing. Smoke whole racks, as large as your smoker will allow.
    For barbecuing on the grill or in the meat smoker, beef back ribs are the best choice.
    Beef back ribs come from the prime rib, which is also, where RIB EYE STEAKS come from, and usually consist of seven ribs in a full slab with the meat attached. They are more tender but less meaty than short ribs. When the rib roast is cut from the rib section, back ribs are what are left. These ribs are not very meaty, but will barbecue more quickly than short ribs since they contain less connective tissue.

    I am not going to give you a recipe, just use whatever seasonings you like, be it grape jelly and turnips if that is what turns you on. The number one secrete to making tender beef ribs is to first remove the membrane from the bone side. Removing the membranes from beef ribs is very important. Beef ribs have a thick and tough membrane called “the fell” that will block out the smoke and the flavors from rubs.

    With a blunt butter knife, start in one corner and gently lift only the membrane from the bone. Once you have the ‘fell’ lifted a bit, grab it with a paper towel to get a good grip and pull.
    It may take a bit of strength but if you are careful and pull evenly and firmly you should be able to lift it off in one piece.

    Beef back ribs possess a bunch of flavor, so if you want to spice them up, they can handle it.
    With the membrane off, use the spices you desire and dust the ribs on all sides and place in the preheated smoker.
    You should smoke the ribs about 225F. to 250 F. I find that a few racks of beef ribs will be tender, tasty and fork-tender, after about 6 to 7 hours. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, baste with bbq sauce if desired. It may take hours of cooking to tenderize this type of beef rib. Oh stop whining! That’s not a long time when you know what you are going to be getting when they are done. Y’all done made we get up at 5 this morning and go fire up the smoker! Dinner (lunch for folks north of the Red River) will be ready about noon. Bring the cold beer.

    Remember though, the longer you go, with a lower temperature, the more smoke flavor you will get and the more tender the ribs will be.
    Depending on the size and meatiness of the ribs, figure on serving two or three ribs per person so a slab can feed one or two big eaters.

  • Kelly Hunter

    Pork ribs — like the ones at Kenny’s Burger Joint in Frisco. They are doing them ‘ala carte’ for $1 each on Sunday. These are big meaty spare ribs — not those little baby backs that are too much work. And, like most of Kenny’s food at the Burger Joint, they’re cooked over a real wood fire, hickory smoked for five hours — and you can’t replace that!