Smoked beef ribs are one of my favorite. There is nothing more satisfying than sliding out the bones after an 8-hour smoke. However smoked beef ribs can be a bit tricky, so make sure to use my recipe below so you get a delicious bark and wonderfully juicy meat.
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Table of contents
Smoked Beef Short Rib Cooking Guide
If you are hungry for ribs now, head to the bottom to see my epic smoked ribs recipe! Otherwise enjoy the pictures from my last cookout!
Jump straight to my smoked rib recipe
What are Beef Ribs?
Although beef short ribs are called ‘ribs’ they don’t specifically have to only come from the rib section of the cow.
They can come from the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib area. Beef short ribs are meaty rib that consists of a 3-inch bone and a meaty layer on top of the bone. If you cook your beef short ribs correctly the bone should pull out with next to no effort!
What Makes A Good Beef Short Rib?
When choosing a beef short rib you want to make sure the meat has nice even fat marbling. This will help result in moist and juicy ribs.
You also want to avoid ribs that don’t have a huge amount of fat on the top side. Any excess fat will have to be cut off before cooking for best results.
The Different Cuts of Beef Short Ribs
There are two different ways you can have beef short ribs cut:
- Flanken Style: Typically Flanken style ribs are 1 – 2 inch sections containing 2 or 3 bones.
- English Style: Typically cut in 2 – 4 inch sections the English style beef short rib usually only contains one bone.
If you can’t find short ribs at the butcher or store, beef plate ribs are a good alternative.
Step 1 – Preheat Your Smoker
Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit following your manufacturer’s instructions. I like to use a blend of Oak and Mesquite (70/30 mix).
Step 2 – Trim Your Ribs
Inspect your ribs and trim off any imperfections, fat and silver skin. The silver skin is located on the top side of the ribs. Leave the membrane on otherwise the ribs can fall apart during the cooking process. Cut the ribs into single pieces.
Step 3 – Make and Apply The Dry Rub
Mix the dry rub ingredients together in a bowl. Rub each rib with olive oil and mustard then coat liberally with your dry rub. If you would prefer to use your own dry rub or store bought feel free.
Step 4 – Place Ribs in the Smoker
Once your smoker has pre-heated place the ribs in and smoke at 225 for 3 hours.
Step 5 – Spritz The Ribs
In a spray bottle mix together 50% water and 50% beer/cider / juice/stock of your choice.
At the 2 hour point open your smoker and spray your mixture over your ribs. Repeat this process every 30 – 40 mins for the rest of your cook time.
Step 6 – Monitor Your Internal Temp
You are looking for an internal temperature of at least 200 degrees Fahrenheit, this should be at around the 6 – 7 hour mark
Step 7 – Rest & Enjoy
Remove from the smoker, cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
How Long to Cook Beef Ribs
The USDA advises that ribs are ‘done’ once the internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 145°F. However, as Meathead advises there is a difference between ribs (or any meat for that matter) being ‘done’ and ‘ready’.
It is true that ribs are safe to eat once the internal temperature reaches 145°F, but for best results wait until your ribs are at an internal temperature of 190 – 203°F degrees.
Because all ribs are slightly different thicknesses and size it’s hard to give an exact timing for cooking ribs. So it’s always best to have a trustworthy digital meat thermometer for best results.
For a rough guide, in this recipe the ribs took around 7 hours to reach an internal temperature of 195°F.
Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipe
Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipe
- 1 Smoker (of your choice)
- 1 spray bottle
- 4 pounds beef short ribs
- 1 tbsp olive oil enough to coat ribs
- 2 tbsp mustard enough to coat ribs
- 50% ratio water and 50% stock / beer / cider or juice mix
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tbsp cumin
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees fahrenheit following your manufacturers instructions. I like to use a blend of Oak and Mesquite (70/30 mix).
- Inspect your ribs and trim off any imperfections, fat and the silver skin. The silver skin is located on the topside of the ribs. Leave the membrane on otherwise the ribs can fall apart during the cooking process. Cut the ribs into single pieces.
- Mix the dry rub ingredients together in a bowl. Rub each rib with olive oil then coat liberally with your dry rub. If you would prefer to use your own dry rub or store bought feel free.
- Once your smoker has pre heated place the ribs in and smoke at 225 for 3 hours.
- In a spray bottle mix together 50% water and 50% beer / cider / juice / stock of your choice. At the 2 hour point open your smoker and spray your mixture over your ribs. Repeat this process every 30 - 40 mins for the rest of your cook time.
- You are looking for an internal temperature of at least 200 degrees fahrenheit, this should be at around the 6 - 7 hour mark. The outside of your sibs should have developed a nice bark by this point.
- Remove from the smoker, cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
Have You Got Leftovers?
One of my favorite things is leftovers! They make a great snack or meal midweek when you don’t have time to grill. You want to keep your ribs juicy, so see my tips to reheating your ribs probably. You will thank me!
How long does it take beef short ribs in pellet smoker set to 220?
It will take around 6 – 7 hours to cook beef short ribs at 220 Fahrenheit, which is around 107 Celsius
I bloody love these ribs! As you can see I did a whole photoshoot with them!
What are your favorite ways to do ribs?
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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