6 Different Types of Beef Ribs

Different Types of Beef Ribs
Photo by Egor Gordeev

Suppose you’re looking to pick up beef ribs at the grocery store or your local butcher. You might be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of options out there. 

Not only are there different types of beef ribs that are all unique in their way, but they can be sold under different names and labels, making it even more challenging to find the perfect match for your palate and cooking style.

So, if you’re unsure where to start, check out this guide on the various types of beef ribs and why you should know them.

1. Chuck Short Ribs

These are the most common beef ribs taken from the shoulder area. They’re relatively meaty, with a good amount of fat running through them. 

Meanwhile, they are ideal for slow-cooking methods like braising, as the fat will help keep them moist during cooking.

2. Plate Short Ribs

Plate short ribs are different types of beef ribs cut from the plate primal. They are located between the chuck and the loin. 

In addition, they are well-marbled and contain a lot of fat, making them ideal for slow cooking methods such as braising.

Because of their high-fat content, they can also be grilled or smoked without drying out. Plate short ribs are usually cut into 3-inch pieces and sold as individual ribs.

3. Flanken

Flanken is a type of beef rib that is usually cut across the bone into thin strips. This cut is popular in Jewish cooking, and flanken is often used in soups or stews. The thin strips of meat can also be grilled or broiled.

4. English Cut

English Cut ribs are the most common different types of beef ribs you’ll find at the store. They’re cut from the loin, the section between the shoulder and hindquarter. 

This part of the cow doesn’t get much exercise, so the meat is tender. English Cut ribs are also known as back ribs or baby back ribs. They usually have seven to 10 bones and can be either curved or straight.

5. Riblets

Riblets are small, meaty ribs cut from a cow’s rib primal. They are an excellent option for those who want to enjoy beef’s flavor without committing to a full rack. Riblets can be grilled, baked, or braised and pair well with various sides.

6. Back Ribs

Back ribs come from the cow’s loin, a muscle that doesn’t get much exercise. This results in tender, juicy meat that is full of flavor. 

There are two types of back ribs: short ribs and long ribs. Short ribs are cut from the rib cage, while long ribs are cut from the spine. Long ribs will have more bone than meat, while short ribs will have more meat than bone.


Knowing the different types of beef ribs and what sets them apart is essential whether you’re a casual backyard barbecue or a professional chef. Each type has its unique flavor and texture that can make or break your dish. So next time you’re at the butcher, make sure you know which rib is. Your taste buds will thank you!

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