Why Whole Beef Short Ribs Can Be Difficult To Find

When you think of barbecue, a few items might immediately come to mind: pulled pork, brisket, chicken, and of course, who could forget ribs? According to the Houston Chronicle, ribs are generally second on the list of what's hot and popular for most BBQ joint menus — and this is good news for restaurant owners as they tend to be easier to prepare but have a higher profit turnaround.

For the most part, if you're eating ribs at your favorite local spot, you're likely to be eating pork ribs. This is most often because they cost less than beef, and their portion sizes are more reasonable for one person to consume, per BBQ Champs Academy. Typically, these arrive at your table at three to six inches long versus a whopping eight to twelve inches from a rack of beef ribs. 

If you're interested in trying a bite of the larger-sized beef kind, often referred to as "dino ribs," there are two ways you can do it. Go to any Texas-style BBQ joint, and you will most likely find them served (per Martha Stewart). But if you're eager to make them at home, you may have to find a local specialty butcher to help you out — just be prepared to spend some cash.

Whole beef short ribs are large in size and price

In a separate article, the Houston Chronicle reports that dinosaur ribs, or plate ribs, have become increasingly popular in Texas restaurants, and they can be enjoyable for locals who want to wow and impress out-of-town guests. Leave the Lone Star State, and you might have a harder time finding them. Short beef ribs are easy to find at the butcher counter; however, full beef ribs are a bit more elusive.

Not only is this because the portion sizes can be a bit comical, but it's also due to the fact that they're expensive. The price per pound is inching close to $30 per pound, reports the Houston Chronicle, so a full plate rib could cost upward of $75. By comparison, a whole rack of pork ribs at Big Pine California's famous Copper Top BBQ only costs just under $35. 

While giant beef ribs are impressive to look at, and you do get weightier chunks of meat, it obviously comes at a cost. And if you're really pressed to give them a taste and make them worthwhile, an option is to cut them up to save and repurpose them later for a red-wine braised beef dish. But, if you're looking to impress a larger crowd on a budget, maybe think about a nice steak or a smoked brisket instead.