Smoke and Fire: Coffee-Crusted Barbecue Beef Ribs

A little time and patience produce fall-off-the-bone tender beef ribs.

We’re celebrating spring by exploring some of the delicious, seasonal trends showing up in our kitchens. Partner Food52 shares insights and a recipe on smokiness.

Smoke and fire are showing up everywhere on the menu this season — smoky is the new spicy. There are roasted-vegetable sides, desserts with charred fruits or burnt-sugar toppings, and cocktails featuring smoked salt, smoked ice, or smoky syrups. We’ve teamed up with Food 52 to discover tips for how to bring this trend into your kitchen and to share a recipe for smoky barbecue ribs.

Don’t be afraid to let vegetables burn. Try charring scallions, thinly sliced lemon, and garlic for a smoky gremolata that goes great with grilled meats, fish, or vegetables.

Use smoked meats (bacon! pancetta!) or fish to add a “barbecue” flavor to things like asparagus and potato salad. 

Live.Love.Lux. Tip: Achieve soft, tender beef ribs by slow-cooking in the Perfect Taste™ Convection of the  Electrolux Wall Oven.

Rub meats with smoked salt to mimic that just-been-grilled flavor. Those beef ribs will taste like they’re right off the barbeque.  

Smoked paprika — where peppers are smoked over a wood fire, dried, and ground into a spice — lends a deep, woodsy flavor when added to things like dips, frittatas, and grain salads. 

Let your caramel go longer than you think and you’ll get something special: A little burnt, a lot more complex, with a slight bitterness that matches well with ice cream.

Coffee-Crusted Barbecue Beef Ribs by Mandy of Lady and Pups

Recipe by Mandy of Lady and Pups

These fall-off-the-bone ribs will score serious points with your family or guests. Rub the ribs in a mixture of sea salt, paprika, ground coffee beans, and peppercorns. Sear them on high heat for a few minutes, tuck them into a foil packet and turn down your oven temperature, then check back in 7 hours later (you can do it! be patient!) for fork-tender meat. 

These ribs live up to the expectations that build over the long wait: Thanks to the spice rub, they emerge from the oven deeply flavorful. A whopping 13-hour operation will reward you with sticky and fall-off-the-bone tender beef ribs.


Servings: 4



1/3 cup dark roast coffee beans

1/4 cup black peppercorn

4 tablespoons sea salt, plus more for serving

4 tablespoons hickory smoked sea salt

2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika

Olive oil

5 pounds bone-in beef ribs (approximately 4 racks)

Dijon mustard, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven on 500°F (260° C).

Grind the coffee beans in a spice grinder (to about the same coarseness as you would for a French press grind), and set them aside. Grind the black peppercorn and sea salts together until the biggest piece of peppercorn is halved or quartered. Mix the coffee, peppercorns, and sea salt together with the smoked paprika.

Lay the beef ribs on a baking sheet and rub with a thin coating of olive oil, then coat with the spice mix. Use your hands to press the spice mix into the ribs, making sure every inch of surface is covered and the spice mix is glued nicely onto the ribs. The ribs should have a thick “crusty” coating. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until you have a nice sear on the ribs. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, then turn the heat down to 300°F (150° C).

Transfer all of the ribs onto doubled-up sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap the ribs in the foil and make sure there are no openings anywhere. Place the entire pouch on top of a baking rack and score a few slits on the bottom of the pouch with a small knife. Place the baking rack on top of a baking sheet to catch the drippings. Place the entire thing back in the oven and roast for 4 hours. 

After four hours, turn the heat down to 220°F (100° C) and slow-roast for another seven hours. During this time, feel free to check the tenderness of the ribs once or twice. If by the end of seven hours a fork cannot be easily inserted into the meat, turn the heat back up to 300°F (150° C) and cook for an additional one to two hours. The final product should be sticky, tender, and gelatinous. A darker shade of pink should develop along the outer surface of the muscle tissue.

When your ribs are done, sprinkle with fine sea salt and eat with a bit of Dijon mustard. You can chop the meat up into pieces, or just eat them off the bone.

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