Bone in Beef Ribs vs Chuck Roast

Does Anyone else wake up LITERALLY thinking about food? Like not just OMG I want coffee and bacon ASAP….But like can I do X recipe with Y substitution and save $ without sacrificing taste or quality? Well, that is exactly how this beef experiment came to be.

Todays questions: Is it worth paying more for the Beef Short Ribs? OR can I prepare a Chuck Roast exactly the same way and have it be just as tasty and tender as Beef Ribs? Does the bone in the short ribs add extra flavor to help justify the extra price?

Beef ribs are one of my favorites (yes, one of the many 😂 ). This cut is typically going to have bones in and usually a fairly high fat content. I generally see the cost range from $5-10 per pound, so while it is not the mostexpensivee cut of beef, the cost can add up fairly quickly. To get the most for my buck, I look for ribs that have a lot of meat to bone ratio, and I buy (and freeze) extra when it is on sale.

Chuck roast on the other hand, I typically see it sold without bones and the cost is generally cheaper too–around $3-6 per pound. I tend to pick the roasts with more fat marbling (flavor adder!!!) but it is easier to find a less fatty cut (compared to Beef Ribs).

My plan for as equal as possible comparison is to prepare both cuts of beef:

  • I started with about 2 pounds of each beef
  • I cooked with my most similar skillets – both cast irons with lids (one enameled, one not)
  • Both will get the same amounts of Honey/Ginger/Soy Sauce/Garlic/Beef Bone Broth
  • Both beefs were seared before going in the oven
  • Both were cooked in the oven low and slow at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 3.5 hours

The only difference between the preparation of the two cuts of beef is I cut the chuck roast into four pieces to be most similar in size and shape to the beef ribs. I mean, you wouldn’t expect a whole potato to cook as fast and as evenly as a french fry, right?

Now the specific recipe I used for this experiment is one I have posted previously. You can check it out here–Please note–the only actual change is the cooking method–Instead of using the Instant Pot and having the beef ribs finished in an hour, today I used the oven low and slow so I could prepare both beefs at the same time without their juices intermingling (which would make a comparison harder).

Searing the beef before it goes into the oven is a really easy way to add extra flavor into the finished dish. Each piece of the beef will want to be seared for about 2-3 minutes (so all six sides is a 15-20 ish minute investment in yum). What is happening is something called the Maillard Reaction, and you will want to use this with roasts and steaks alike. At the risk of oversimplifying, we are cooking some of the sugars and protein in the meat (ie the browning as a result of the sear) and this meat plus heat chemical reaction helps add a lot of great flavor!

One observation I made during the searing stage–the beef short ribs rendered quite a bit more fat than the chuck roast did. This is not entirely surprising due to the different levels of fat in the meats, but it was a noticeable difference.

I am going to refrain from sharing my final thoughts and opinions on this fun experiment but I will tell you both were very yummy and both cooked up fall apart tender! If you haven’t already, please check out the video above to see which cut of beef is best worth the price!

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