Glenn Keiper Jr. and The Secret to BBQ

Dr. Glenn L. Keiper Jr
4 min readApr 25, 2021


Glenn Keiper Jr. is one of the top surgeons in his field. Though he has dedicated much of his life to studying and practicing medicine, other skills involve precision and hard work. Glenn Keiper Jr. is a highly influential cook that uses specialized tools to barbecue.

BBQ Basics: Beef vs. Pork Ribs

The type of meat used for barbequing should be high quality regardless if it is beef or pork. That being said, these two meat choices can taste dramatically different. How an individual cooks pork versus beef is a personal preference, but some tips bring out the flavor.

The beef comes from cattle, and pork comes from pigs, but there is more to barbequing meat than simply knowing where it came from. The ideal ribs should be easy to eat, packed with flavor, and tender. Depending on which type of meat is chosen, the size, flavor, and timing are different.

Beef Ribs

Beef ribs have a distinct flavor. They are usually potent and unmistakably strong. These ribs come from what is left of a ribeye steak and can vary in size. Short beef ribs come from what is known as the “plate” section of the cow. This is located in a lower area of the chest where more meat can be found. For a more tender meat, beef ribs often provide a softer texture with a significant amount of flavor. The price of short ribs can be higher than other beef cuts.

An entire rack of beef ribs typically weighs around 30 pounds. Since there are more of the larger pieces available, the cost is not necessarily based on weight. Beef ribs are a popular menu item across the country and can be found in many restaurants.

Pork Ribs

Pork ribs can come from multiple different cuts. The most popular cuts include spare ribs, St. Louis ribs, and baby back ribs. The back ribs come from what is left of the loin meat, while the spare ribs come from the belly. Spare ribs are typically long and triangular. Saint Louis Ribs are similar to spare ribs, but they are cut into a rectangular shape.

Since pork ribs are often used in various ways, many people enjoy cooking them slowly or smoking them. The longer they are cooked, the more tender they become. Overcooking, however, can lead to dry ribs with a rubbery texture.

3 Types of Flavorful Ribs

Plate Short Ribs

This type of beef is from the lower part of the rib cage and is exceptionally tender. This section is known for its higher fat content and thin cut. With the right type of marinade, plate short ribs can be seared over high heat. Typically these ribs are a foot long and can weigh one or more pounds.

Chuck short ribs

These ribs are not quite as big as plate short ribs, but they still provide ample flavor. The cut comes from a slightly higher position in the cow, where the bones are smaller in size. Chuck short ribs can be found in most grocery stores and may cost less than other cuts. Unlike other types of meat, Chuck short ribs can be purchased boneless for maximum meat. Korean-style barbeques frequently use a sweet marinade to amplify the taste.

Beef back ribs

Beef back ribs and short ribs are obvious to tell apart. Back ribs, also known as baby back ribs, are similar in taste to a prime rib roast. The beef is packed between the bones and is a staple at many outdoor events. There are several varieties of marinades and sauces available for baby back ribs depending on individual taste.

Universal Cooking Tips

Glenn Keiper Jr. believes beef can be barbequed using many methods. Depending on the cut and type, both sweet and salty marinades can be used. In addition to beef ribs, beef tenderloin can also benefit from the right sauce.

To infuse flavor into a cut of beef, create a marinade ahead of the cooking schedule. A marinade does not take long to make, but it does take time for the juices to settle. Marinades that have been created approximately 5 hours ahead of time usually work best.

For an easy sauce that does not require preparation, Worcestershire sauce can be used. The secret to cooking beef with Worcestershire sauce is in its ability to tenderize the meat. Some of the main ingredients in this sauce include vinegar, onion, tamarind, anchovies, and garlic. A bottle of this sauce can be purchased at most grocery stores.

Most marinades should be kept cold. By storing marinades in the fridge, the risk of bacteria can be eliminated. Even leaving a marinade indoors with air conditioning is not recommended. For marinades made a day or two in advance, the freezer can help keep food fresh. To store it in the freezer, seal it in a zip lock bag.

Before barbecuing, it’s important to know the grill. Even grills that are the same style can operate differently. If buying a new brand of the grill, reading the instruction manual is critical for beef cuts. An official manual should explain what may be dangerous as well as how to operate it.

High heat is recommended for beef. Burgers that are barbecued may only need to be flipped a few times. A sauce of glaze can be added during the last stage of grilling. Popular glazes for beef ribs include sweeter flavors as well as grill seasoning.

For Better Grilling

There are multiple grilling techniques that have withstood the test of time. Some of these methods include family marinade recipes, while others focus on the technical aspect of grilling. Knowing the types of meat available and what to expect is key to a tasty barbeque.

Originally published at on April 25, 2021.



Dr. Glenn L. Keiper Jr

Founder of KeiperSpine and the Spine Surgery Center