How Many Beef Short Ribs Are in a Pound? A Handy Guide

Beef short ribs are a crowd-pleasing cut, perfect for grilling and braising But when shopping for short ribs, how many should you expect to get in a pound? This depends on a few factors. Read on for a complete guide to estimating portion sizes and yields for short ribs!

Overview of Short Rib Sizes

Before diving into pounds, it helps to understand typical short rib dimensions:

  • Length: 3 to 6 inches
  • Width: 2 to 4 inches
  • Thickness: 1/2 to 2 inches

Short ribs can weigh anywhere from 1/2 pound up to 2 pounds each. The amount of meat per pound depends on the specific cut.

Short Rib Cuts and Serving Sizes

There are two main styles of short ribs – English cut and flanken cut. Here’s how they compare for servings per pound:

English Cut

  • Cut across the bones into thick slices
  • 1 to 2 inches of meat atop bone
  • 2 to 3 ribs per pound
  • 3 to 4 servings per pound

Flanken Cut

  • Sliced across bones into thin strips
  • Up to 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 to 6 ribs per pound
  • 5 to 7 servings per pound

Flanken style short ribs yield more portions since they are thinner But English cut gives larger individual servings

Estimating Servings from Weight

As a general guideline, here’s how to estimate servings from the total weight:

  • 2 pounds = 6 to 8 short rib portions
  • 3 pounds = 9 to 12 portions
  • 4 pounds = 12 to 16 portions
  • 5 pounds = 15 to 20 portions

These ranges account for differences in cut, bone size, and trimming. For precise servings, it’s best to weigh short ribs individually.

Key Factors That Impact Yields

Several factors impact how many short ribs come in a pound. Here are the main considerations:

Bone Size

  • Larger bones = less meat per pound
  • Meatier small ribs = more per pound


  • Untrimmed = more fat and waste
  • Well-trimmed = higher meat yield


  • Thin-cut flanken = up to 7 per pound
  • Thick English cut = 2 to 3 per pound

Butcher’s Cut

  • Inconsistent sizes = varying portions per pound
  • Uniform cuts = predictable yields

Highly variable sizing makes it harder to predict exact yields per pound. Asking your butcher for evenly cut ribs helps with planning portions.

FAQs About Short Rib Weights

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

How many short ribs come in a rack?

A full rack contains 7 to 9 ribs. But racks are usually cut into smaller sections containing 3 to 4 ribs each.

How much meat is on a beef short rib?

This depends on the size, but roughly 4 to 8 ounces of meat can be expected on each rib bone.

Are beef short ribs meatier than pork?

Typically no – pork ribs tend to have a higher ratio of meat to bone. Short ribs contain lots of connective tissue and marrow within the bones.

What are good portion sizes for short ribs?

Allow 4 to 8 ounces of meat per person. Appetizer portions may be 2 to 3 ounces.

Should short ribs be weighed with or without bone?

Weighing the ribs with the bone gives the most accurate total yield. Weighing just the meat gives a better sense of usable portions.

Can you estimate weight from dimensions?

It’s hard to estimate weight precisely from size alone. Thickness, bone structure, and trimming all impact the final weight.

Is there waste and trim loss with short ribs?

Yes, expect up to 30% waste from excess fat, membranes, and cartilage. This should be accounted for when purchasing.

Get the Most from Your Short Ribs

  • Ask your butcher for evenly sized, trimmed short ribs
  • Weigh them at home to get accurate portion sizes
  • Remove silver skin and excess fat before cooking
  • Account for about 30% waste from trimming and bones

Knowing approximately how many short ribs come per pound helps ensure you buy enough for your desired portions. Enjoy these succulent, beefy treats on your barbecue or smoker!

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