Cooking Up Beef and Pork Ribs – Tips for Combining These Tasty Ribs

I don’t know about you, but I go crazy for a big ol’ plate of barbecue ribs! Juicy, saucy, fall-off-the-bone ribs are pretty much heaven. But can you actually cook beef and pork ribs together? Or is that just asking for trouble?

I did some experimenting to find out Read on for the tasty details!

Is Cooking Beef and Pork Ribs Together a Good Idea?

My first question was whether combining beef and pork ribs in the same cooker was smart or just plain crazy.

Here’s the deal

  • Pork and beef ribs do have different cooking times

  • Pork ribs are faster – about 4-5 hours

  • Beef ribs take longer – 6-8 hours typically

  • The flavors also differ – pork is milder and beef is richer

But by making a few adjustments, you absolutely can cook them together with delicious results!

Handy Tips for Combining Beef and Pork Ribs

If you wanna try cooking beef and pork ribs together, here are my best tips:

  • Start the beef ribs first – Get a headstart on the longer beef rib cook time.

  • Use indirect heat – Place pork ribs on the cooler side of the grill or smoker.

  • Spray with apple juice – Helps prevent pork ribs from drying out.

  • Wrap pork ribs in foil – Steam makes them extra juicy.

  • Sauce pork ribs at the end – Prevents burning or overcaramelizing.

  • Check temps – Pork = 145°F, beef = 195°F-205°F for tenderness.

Follow those suggestions and you’ll end up with two flavors of tender, mouthwatering barbecue ribs!

Step-By-Step Instructions for Cooking Beef and Pork Ribs Together

To ensure success, here are the detailed steps I use:


  • Choose ribs similar in size – avoid huge variances in thickness.

  • Remove membrane from back of ribs.

  • Season ribs generously with dry rub – apply rubs specific to each.


  • Place seasoned beef ribs in cooker first.

  • Add wood chips/chunks for smoker flavor.

  • Maintain 225-250°F temp (indirect heat).

  • After 2 hours, add seasoned pork ribs on cooler side.

  • Spritz ribs with apple juice every 45-60 minutes.

  • Wrap pork ribs in foil after 2 hours for tenderness.

  • Cook beef ribs total 6-8 hours until probe tender.

  • Cook pork ribs total 4-5 hours until 145°F internal temp.


  • For pork ribs, unwrap foil, sauce, and grill briefly to caramelize.

  • For beef ribs, lightly sauce during last 30 minutes if desired.

  • Let ribs rest 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.

See? By staggering cook times and using foil, you can absolutely smoke beef and pork ribs together with incredible results!

Delicious Rub and Sauce Recipes

Whichever ribs you cook, the magic is in the rubs and sauces. Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Pork Dry Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Beef Dry Rub

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Sweet and Tangy BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Use those as a guide and get creative with your own signature blends!

FAQs About Cooking Beef and Pork Ribs Together

You’ve probably got some questions about successfully combining these two types of ribs. Here are some common FAQs:

Is it safe to eat beef and pork together?

Absolutely! Just cook thoroughly to safe internal temperatures.

Should ribs touch during cooking?

Nope, allow space between for even cooking.

What about grill vs. smoker vs oven?

All work! Go with your preferred cooking appliance.

Do ribs need to be marinated first?

Not required, but marinating does infuse extra flavor.

Should ribs be boiled before grilling?

No way! Boiling makes them mushy.

Is bone side up or down better?

Bone side down to start for a nice char, then flip.

How long do leftover ribs last?

3-4 days tightly wrapped in fridge. Reheat gently.

See? No question is too silly when it comes to serving up the perfect platter of ribs!

Handy Tips for Ribs Success

Here are some extra pointers for being the ultimate ribs pro:

  • Let ribs come to room temp before seasoning for maximum flavor absorption.

  • Remove the membrane from the bone side for tenderness.

  • Mustard helps the rub adhere – brush ribs with mustard first.

  • Keep an eye on doneness – don’t overcook! Use a meat thermometer.

  • Let ribs rest 10-15 minutes before cutting for juicy results.

  • Slice between bones for easy serving.

  • Save bones for making stock – don’t waste the flavor!

  • Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours and reheat gently to avoid drying.

The Verdict – Worth Cooking Beef and Pork Ribs Together?

After all my testing, what’s the final verdict on combining these two types of barbecue ribs?

I say it’s a barbecue win for sure!

By cooking the beef ribs first, wrapping the pork ribs in foil, maintaining indirect heat, and following proper food safety, you can absolutely smoke beef and pork ribs together with finger-lickin’ results.

Just be prepared for happy guests! Cooking up a platter of piping hot beef and pork ribs is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

The key is paying attention to the different cook times and temperatures. But with some strategic foil wrapping, spritzing, and saucing, you’ll end up with tender, juicy, fall-off-the-bone ribs that blend the best of both worlds.

Ribs (What’s the Difference?) Pork Ribs vs Beef Ribs Cut and Cook | The Bearded Butcher

Leave a Comment