What Is Flanken Ribs? Is It the Same With Short Ribs?

what is flanken ribs

Are you planning to serve a new, mouthwatering dish to your loved ones? Have you heard of Flanken ribs? These are a flavorful, tantalizing variety of beef short ribs, loved by BBQ enthusiasts around the globe.

Traditionally, a strip of bone-in beef is meticulously sliced by a skilled butcher across the chuck end of the short ribs, resulting in a unique, flanken style cut. Imagine long, thin steaks, interrupted by charming circle-shaped bones - an unexpected twist on your standard beef ribs. This cut not only adds a visual flair to your meat, but it also absorbs marinades exceptionally well, infusing every bite with rich, irresistible flavors.

Hungry yet? Hold on, because this is just the beginning. What if I told you that there's a whole world of delectable recipes waiting for you to explore with flanken style ribs?

Intrigued? Let's dive deeper and learn more about this wonderful cut!

Best Ways to Cook Flanken Ribs

The versatility of flanken short ribs is a testament to their universal appeal. The delightful beef flavor can be enjoyed in a variety of cooking methods. Here are four fantastic ways to prepare and cook your flanken-style short ribs, each method unlocking a unique, mouthwatering taste experience.

1. Grilled Flanken Ribs

One of the most popular ways to cook these ribs is on the grill. The high heat helps to sear the outside, resulting in a crispy exterior and a tender, juicy interior.


  • 2 lbs flanken-style short ribs, cut across the bone
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the ribs) to create your marinade.
  2. Submerge the ribs in the marinade, refrigerate for at least 1 hour, better if overnight.
  3. Preheat your grill to high heat.
  4. Grill the marinated ribs for about 2-3 minutes per side, until the outside is nicely charred.

Grilled flanken ribs are a perfect dish for a summer BBQ, offering a sweet and savory bite that's sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

2. Korean BBQ (Kalbi)

Korean BBQ, also known as Kalbi, is a traditional method of preparing flanken short ribs. The ribs are marinated in a sweet and savory sauce, then grilled to perfection.


  • 2 lbs flanken-style short ribs, cut thin
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Asian pear, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Mix all ingredients together to create the Kalbi marinade.
  2. Marinate the ribs in this mixture for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight.
  3. Grill on high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.

The result is a mouthwatering combination of salty, sweet, and beefy goodness that is simply irresistible.

3. Oven-Braised Flanken Ribs

Braising is a method that involves slow cooking in a small amount of liquid. This method is perfect for tougher cuts of meat, like flanken short ribs, as it helps to break down the connective tissue and makes the meat tender.


  • 2 lbs flanken-style short ribs
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt 
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup beef broth


  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Season the ribs with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, and brown the ribs on all sides.
  4. Remove the ribs from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, sauté the onion and garlic until soft.
  5. Return the ribs to the pan, add the beef broth, and bring to a simmer.
  6. Cover the pan and transfer it to the oven. Cook for about 2-3 hours, until the ribs are tender.

The resulting beef is a tender, flavorful dish that melts in your mouth.

4. Dry Rub Flanken Ribs

If you prefer a dry rub over a marinade, this method is for you. The dry rub helps to bring out the natural flavors of the beef and creates a crispy, flavorful crust on the outside.


  • 2 lbs flanken-style short ribs
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat your grill or oven to 275 degrees.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients to create your dry rub.
  3. Apply the rub generously to the ribs, making sure to cover all sides.
  4. If you're using a grill, place the ribs bone side down on the grill. If you're using an oven, place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan.
  5. Cook slowly for about 2 hours, until the meat is tender and the outside is crispy.

The dry rub method gives the ribs a deep, smoky flavor that complements the natural beefiness of the ribs. For an extra layer of flavor, consider finishing the ribs with a brush of BBQ sauce in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

These four methods are a testament to the versatility of flanken style short ribs. Whether they're marinated and grilled, slow-cooked in the oven, or seasoned with a dry rub, these cuts of beef always result in a flavorful and satisfying meal. With their unique cut across the bone, these ribs offer a different texture and flavor profile than traditional ground beef or other cuts of short ribs and beef.

How to Buy Flanken Ribs

How to Buy Flanken Ribs

  1. Know the Cut: Flanken ribs, a flavorful cut from the short plate, are unique because the ribs are cut across the bone. This differs from traditional short ribs which are typically thicker and cut along the bone.

  2. Look for Marbling: Marbling refers to the streaks of fat interspersed with the lean meat. A good amount of marbling is crucial as it ensures a juicy, flavorful result. So, when you're in the grocery store, look for ribs with a good marble of fat and connective tissues.

  3. Ask Your Butcher: If you can't find flanken ribs readily available, make sure to ask your butcher. Often, they can make flanken style ribs for you by cutting across the bones of the short plate.

  4. Consider Quantity: Depending on your ribs recipe, you may need multiple pieces. Keep in mind, these ribs are thinner than traditional short ribs, so you'll likely need more to serve your guests.

  5. Special Occasions: Flanken ribs are perfect for special occasions. If you plan to entertain guests with a charcoal grill, this flavorful cut will surely impress.

Buying the right flanken ribs is the first step to cooking bliss. Remember these tips the next time you're in the grocery store, and you'll be well on your way to making a delicious flanken ribs meal.

How to Store Flanken Ribs

  1. Refrigerate Immediately: If you're not planning to cook your flanken ribs immediately after purchasing, store them in the refrigerator. They should be cooked within 3-5 days of purchase.

  2. Proper Packaging: If you're storing the ribs in the refrigerator, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or place them in an airtight Ziploc bag. Be mindful of the pieces of the bone that could potentially puncture the bag.

  3. Freezing for Longer Storage: If you're not planning to cook the ribs within a few days, it's best to freeze them. Place the ribs in a Ziploc bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing.

  4. Defrost Properly: To defrost the frozen ribs, move them from the freezer to the refrigerator, allowing them to thaw slowly and safely. This process can take up to 24 hours, depending on the thickness of the ribs.

  5. Avoid Re-freezing: Once you've thawed the ribs, it's not recommended to refreeze them, as this can negatively affect the texture and flavor.

Storing flanken ribs properly not only ensures food safety but also preserves the quality of the meat. Following these tips will help ensure that your ribs are ready to be cooked whenever you are. Whether it's a weeknight dinner or a special occasion, you'll have delicious flanken ribs on hand for your culinary adventures.


  1. How do I cut ribs for flanken style? Flanken ribs are thin strips of beef cut across the bone. Most grocery stores or butchers can cut ribs in this style upon request.

  2. Can I cook the flanken ribs in the oven instead of a grill? Absolutely! You can bake or broil flanken ribs in the oven. If broiling, place the ribs on a baking sheet and broil on high for about 5 minutes per side.

  3. How long should I cook the ribs on a hot grill? Since flanken ribs are thin, they cook quickly. On a hot grill, it typically takes about 2-3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

  4. Should I cover the ribs while grilling? If you're cooking on a grill, you can cover with a lid to help retain heat and speed up the cooking process. However, be sure to uncover the ribs for the last few minutes of cooking to achieve a nice char.

  5. What should I do with the pieces of bone after eating? If you have a dog, they might enjoy the pieces of bone. Otherwise, they can be discarded.

Flanken ribs are a hearty and flavorful cut of meat that can be enjoyed in many different ways. Whether you prefer them marinated, braised, or dry-rubbed, they're sure to add a bit of "yum" to your dinner table.


Flanken ribs are a unique and flavorful cut of beef that are perfect for grilling, braising, and more. Their thin, bone-in cut makes them ideal for quick cooking, yet they remain tender and juicy.

Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook, flanken ribs can provide a delicious change from the usual beef cuts. So why not give these ribs a try? You just might find that they're your new favorite way to enjoy beef.

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