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Smoked Beef Short Ribs

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These Smoked Beef Short Ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender. The flavorful crust and rich and succulent taste make it the perfect primal dish!

smoked beef short ribs on a cutting board with a glass of cold beer

What are beef ribs?

Beef ribs have rich flavor and can be prepared in various ways, making them a popular choice for smoking and grilling.

The two main types of beef ribs are short ribs and dino ribs.

  • Short ribs are cut from the plate section of the cow, closer to the belly. They are meaty and known for their rich, beefy flavor.
  • Dino ribs (also known as beef back ribs) are another type of beef rib cut from the rib section of the cow, closer to the spine. They are very tender and flavorful! Marrekus made smoked dino ribs recently with blackberry barbecue sauce.

The smoking method

Smoked beef short ribs are a delicious and flavorful Southern barbecue dish. They are slow-cooked over low heat, which helps break down the tough connective tissues and produce tender meat. This method also infuses the ribs with smoky flavor.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 to 4 cherry wood chunks

Prep the day before

The day before, inspect the beef short ribs for hard fat and sinew (typically on the outer surface of the ribs). Use a sharp chef’s knife to remove the fat, being careful not to cut into the meat itself. After removing the hard fat, you may notice some silverskin or sinew still attached to the meat. Gently use your knife to remove the sinew.

Next, apply a generous amount of seasoning. For this smoked beef ribs recipe Marrekus used a salt, pepper, and garlic rub. Place the ribs in a large ziplock back and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

How to smoke beef short ribs

Remove short ribs from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for one hour.

Preheat the smoker to a low temperature, typically between 225°F and 250°F (107°C to 121°C).

Once heated, place the beef short ribs on the smoker grates. Add your preferred wood chips or chunks to the coals/fire or smoking box. Marrekus used chunks of cherry wood to produce his desired smoky flavor, but you can use pecan, hickory, oak, etc.

Next, add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of apple juice to a large spray bottle. After one hour, spritz the short ribs with the liquid mixture. This helps to keep the short ribs moist throughout the cooking process.

Continue smoking short ribs for several hours, spritzing every 30 minutes. Cook until the ribs reach an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). The meat should now be fall-off-the-bone tender.

What type of smoker do I need?

Any type of smoker can produce delicious smoked foods when used correctly. For this smoked beef short ribs recipe, Marrekus used a Gateway Drum smoker. He also has a pellet smoker and an offset smoker.

The type of smoker you choose all depends on your personal preferences. For example, experience level, budget, space, and the amount of time and money you’re willing to invest in learning and maintaining the smoker.

Marrekus’ current favorite smoker is the RecTeq 1250.

What to serve with smoked beef short ribs?

There are many southern soul food and barbecue side dishes that pair well with smoked beef short ribs! Our favorites are collard greens, cornbread, mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, and coleslaw.

Other cooking methods

Short ribs can also be prepared in other ways, such as braising, slow-cooking, roasting, or grilling. Braised short ribs are a popular soul food dish known for their melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and savory taste.

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Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 to 4 cherry wood chunks


Instructions

  1. The day before: Inspect beef short ribs for hard fat and sinew (typically on the outer surface of the ribs).

  2. Use a sharp chef’s knife to remove the fat, being careful not to cut into the meat itself. After removing the hard fat, you may notice some silverskin or sinew still attached to the meat. Gently use your knife to remove the sinew.

  3. Apply a generous amount of salt, pepper, and garlic to ribs.

  4. Place ribs in a large ziplock bag and chill overnight in the refrigerator. 

  5. The next day: Remove ribs from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for one hour.

  6. Meanwhile, preheat the smoker to a low temperature, typically between 225°F and 250°F (107°C to 121°C). 

  7. Place ribs on hot smoker grates. Add your preferred wood chunks (or wood chips) to the fire or smoking box.

  8. Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of apple juice to a large spray bottle. After one hour, spritz short ribs with the liquid mixture. Continue smoking short ribs for several hours, spritzing every 30 minutes.

  9. Cook until ribs reach an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C). The meat should now be fall-off-the-bone tender.

  10. Let rest until short ribs are cool enough to handle. Serve and enjoy.

One Comment

  1. These look amazing! They are perfect on their own, but we’d add a little bit of our Applewood Horseradish for extra ZING! 😉

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