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Dino Ribs

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These colossal, slow-smoked dino ribs are smoky, fall-off-the-bone tender, and simply irresistible. A tried-and-true recipe perfect for barbecue enthusiasts!

Our dino ribs recipe features 4 to 5 pounds of beef ribs, a carnivore’s dream come true. These ribs, taken from the whole plate, are exceptionally meaty, promising a generous serving of rich, marbled meat that’s bound to satisfy even the heartiest of appetites.

As for flavor, we’ve crafted a mouthwatering seasoning blend with Kosher salt, black pepper, and granulated garlic and onion. This combination creates a symphony of savory, smoky, and slightly tangy flavors that harmonize beautifully with the beef. What truly elevates this dino ribs recipe is the wood smoke infusion – using chunks of hickory or pecan wood adds a layer of complexity and depth to the flavor profile.

This dino ribs recipe offers the ultimate meat-lover experience with a perfect balance of smokiness and tenderness, making every bite an indulgent delight. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a weekend barbecue, these meaty marvels are sure to leave a lasting impression and have your guests coming back for more.

Also, be sure to check out our Smoked Spare Ribs — it’s perfect for beginners and really easy to make with a few simple ingredients.

What are Dino Ribs?

Dino Ribs, also known as “Beef Plate Ribs” or “Dinosaur Ribs,” are a type of beef rib cut taken from the plate primal of a cow. They are known for their large size and meaty content, making them a favorite among barbecue enthusiasts. The name “Dino Ribs” comes from their large, dinosaur-like appearance.

When prepared correctly, this dino ribs recipe features tender and juicy meat with a rich, smoky flavor. They are often seasoned with a dry rub, smoked over wood for an extended period, and served as a show-stopping centerpiece at barbecue gatherings.

Where to Buy Beef Ribs (Dino Ribs)

You can typically find beef ribs, including those used for this dino ribs recipe, at local butcher shops, larger grocery stores, online retailers, and specialty meat markets. If you live in or near a rural area, some local farms or ranches that raise cattle may also sell them. Don’t hesitate to ask your butcher for assistance in selecting the right cut!

Dino Ribs Recipe Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs (whole plate)
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 3-4 chunks of hickory or pecan wood

Using Mustard on Ribs

Using yellow mustard as a coating in a BBQ recipe might seem weird, but it acts as a natural adhesive and helps with bark formation.

When you slather them with mustard, it creates a thin, even layer that helps the seasoning stick to the surface. This ensures that the salt, pepper, garlic, and onion mixture adheres effectively, forming a flavorful crust as it cooks.

It is said that mustard also helps in retaining moisture. As the mustard-coated ribs slow-cook in the smoker, the mustard creates a seal, preventing the meat from drying out. This results in tender, succulent meat.


Step 1: Fire Up the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 250°F (121°C).

Step 2: Prep: Grab a sharp knife and remove any tough fat and sinew from the ribs.

Step 3: Create Dry Rub: In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, garlic, and onion – this mix is going to be the secret behind the taste of your dish.

Step 4: Create a Binder: Give your ribs a coat of yellow mustard, ensuring it spreads all around. Now, sprinkle the spice mixture you just created evenly on those mustard-coated ribs. Let them sit for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5: Smoke: By now, your smoker should be warmed up to 250°F. Add in the wood chunks to infuse your meat with that smoky essence. Then, place your prepped dino the smoker’s grates. Close the lid and let them do their thing. Keep a watchful eye and let them cook until the internal temperature reaches a perfect 200°F (93°C).

Step 8: The Final Stretch: Once your ribs have reached barbecue perfection, remove them from the smoker and wrap them up in either foil or butcher paper. This cozy wrap will keep them tender and juicy. Let them rest in a cooler or oven until you’re ready to eat.

How long does it take to smoke Dino Ribs?

Generally, this dino ribs recipe can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, but the exact time may vary depending on factors like the temperature of your smoker, the thickness of the ribs, and your desired level of doneness. Here’s a general guideline:

  1. Preparation and Preheating: Preheat your smoker to a stable temperature of 250°F (121°C). This may take around 20-30 minutes.
  2. Smoking Time: Place your prepared dino ribs on the smoker grates and let them cook at 250°F. It’s important to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cooking process. Plan for about 4 to 6 hours of smoking time, although some cooks prefer a longer smoke for even more tenderness.
  3. Internal Temperature: The key to determining when they are ready is monitoring the internal temperature. You want the ribs to reach around 200°F (93°C). This can take 4 to 6 hours, but it’s essential to rely on the temperature rather than time. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature at the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.
  4. Resting Time: After reaching the target temperature, remove the ribs from the smoker, wrap them in foil or butcher paper, and allow them to rest for at least 30 minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a tender and juicy end result.

Remember that the goal is to cook the ribs until they reach the desired level of tenderness. Some pitmasters prefer them to be fall-off-the-bone tender, while others like a bit more bite. Experimentation and experience will help you fine-tune the cooking time to achieve your ideal tenderness and smoky flavor.

How do I know when Dino Ribs are ready?

  • Temperature: The most reliable method is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part without touching the bone. When it reads 200°F, they’re ready.
  • Visual Cues: Another indicator is the visual appearance. The meat should have pulled back from the bones, exposing more bone.

Setting up your Smoker or Grill

For this dino ribs recipe, you can use a smoker or a grill set up for indirect cooking.


  1. Heat your smoker to 250°F (121°C).
  2. Add in smoker wood or chips when the temperature has been reached.
  3. Put meat in the smoker.

Gas or Charcoal Grill

If you plan to smoke dino ribs on a charcoal grill, set your coals and smoker wood to one side for a hot and cool zone. When cooking, the ribs will go over the cool zone.

If you want to smoke dino ribs on a gas grill, you only have to worry about maintaining a 250°F (121°C) temperature throughout the cooking process. It would also help to use the burners furthest away from where you set the ribs.

Can I use a different type of wood for smoking?

While hickory and pecan wood are commonly used and provide a classic, rich smoky flavor, there’s a wide range of wood options available, each imparting unique flavors to your meat. The choice of wood can significantly influence the final taste, so feel free to customize it to your preferences.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Mesquite: Mesquite wood provides a bold and intense smoky flavor. It’s best suited for short cooking times or when used in moderation, as it can be quite potent.
  • Apple: Apple wood gives a mild, sweet, and fruity smoke flavor, which pairs well with beef, enhancing the natural sweetness of the meat.
  • Cherry: Cherry wood offers a mild, slightly sweet, and fruity smoke flavor. It’s a versatile choice for a variety of meats, including beef.
  • Oak: Oak wood provides a medium smoky flavor that’s well-balanced and works with a wide range of meats, including beef.
  • Pecan: If you’d like to maintain a similar flavor profile to hickory or pecan, consider using the other nut wood. Pecan wood has a milder, sweeter smoke compared to hickory.
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These colossal, slow-smoked dino ribs are smoky, fall-off-the-bone tender that’s simply irresistible. A tried-and-true recipe perfect for barbecue enthusiasts!


  • 4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs (whole plate)
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coarse black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons granulated onion
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 34 chunks of hickory or pecan wood


  1. Preheat smoker to 250°F (121°C).
  2. Carefully remove hard fat and sinew from ribs with a sharp knife.
  3. In a small bowl mix salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.
  4. Coat ribs with yellow mustard and season with spice mixture.
  5. Let ribs sit for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Add wood chunks to smoker when temperature has reached 250°F (121°C).
  7. Place ribs on smoker and cook until internal temperature reaches 200°F (93°C).
  8. Remove ribs from smoker, wrap in foil or butcher paper, and rest in a cooler or oven until ready to serve.


This recipe can be done on a charcoal grill such as a Weber kettle set up for indirect cooking.

If the ribs start to dry out during the cook, spritz them with water.

Alternatively, you can wrap the ribs in butcher paper or foil when they reach 175 F and continue cooking them until they finish at 200 F.


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