A big slab of beef ribs can be hard to find and intimidating to cook, so here I use short ribs. I also don’t follow any prescribed style of cooking or flavoring, which makes this recipe an easy shortcut for beginners, or people who don’t want to spend hours smoking their ribs. Start with a sweet and spicy rub to coat the meat, and let it sit overnight for the best flavor. In the meantime, make the slightly smoky chipotle barbecue sauce. Roast the ribs in the oven until the meat almost falls off the bone, then finish them on the grill, slathering them with sauce until the ribs are lacquered and slightly charred. Serve with a fresh corn salad and some herby potatoes.
Special equipment: You’ll need a pastry brush or barbecue basting brush for this recipe.
What to buy: Look for flanken-cut beef short ribs—they’re sliced through the bones, revealing four or five oval-shaped cross-sections. You’ll need ribs that are 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick and 5 to 7 inches long. But don’t worry if you can’t find that exact size or cut: Though their shape is not ideal for grilling, English-cut short ribs (sliced parallel to the rib) can also be used in this recipe. Just monitor the cooking time in step 3—if your ribs are thinner than 2 inches, check them for doneness after about 1 1/2 hours; if they’re thicker than 2 1/2 inches, check them after 2 hours.
Game plan: You can make the ribs through step 3 up to 2 days in advance. After roasting, transfer them to a large, shallow container, set aside to cool for about 1 hour, then cover and refrigerate. When you’re ready to grill, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour.
The barbecue sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let it come to room temperature before using.
For the barbecue sauce:
To grill the ribs: