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Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipe

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These Smoked Beef Short Ribs are melt-in-your-mouth tender. This recipe uses a simple dry rub which results in a flavorful crust and rich and succulent taste, making it the perfect primal dish!

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.

What you’ll love about this recipe:


  • DELICIOUS SMOKE FLAVOR – The smoke flavor adds depth and complexity to the rich, savory taste of beef short ribs.
  • TENDER MEAT – Smoking beef short ribs infuses them with moisture and tenderness, resulting in meat that practically melts in your mouth.
  • NICE BARK – They develop a beautiful bark on the outside, which is both flavorful and visually appealing.

What Are Beef Ribs?

There are several types of beef ribs, each coming from different sections of the cow and offering distinct flavors and characteristics. The main two types are beef back ribs and short ribs. 

What Are Short Ribs?

Short ribs are a cut of beef taken from either the plate (also called plate ribs) or chuck area of the cow. They are called “short” because they come from the shorter section of the rib cage. These ribs have a good amount of meat on them and are known for their rich flavor and tenderness when cooked properly. 

Different Cuts of Meat

Characteristics of Short Ribs:

  • Bone-in or Boneless: They can come with the bone (bone-in) or without it (boneless).
  • Flavor: Rich and beefy, thanks to the marbling and connective tissue.
  • Cooking: Best suited for slow cooking methods like braising or smoking to break down the tough fibers and make them tender.

This recipe uses bone-in beef short ribs cut into short lengths.

Dino Ribs

What about dino ribs?

Dino ribs are a type of short rib, specifically the larger, meatier ones often cut from the plate section of the cow. These beef plate ribs are known for their impressive size and substantial meat content, resembling the ribs of a dinosaur. They are particularly large and thick, with the long bones often measuring 6-12 inches in length. They are typically cut from the plate primal, which is located below the rib primal (from which ribeye steaks are cut) and in front of the flank. 

Beef Rib Back Ribs

Short Ribs vs. Beef Back Ribs

People sometimes confuse short ribs and beef back ribs. 

Beef Back Ribs are a cut of meat from the rib primal, with less meat compared to short ribs. These leaner ribs are often grilled or barbecued. Short Ribs are more substantial ribs with higher fat content, taken from either the plate or chuck area. Known for their rich flavor and tenderness, they are often braised, smoked, or slow-cooked.

While both types of ribs have their own distinct characteristics and are delicious in their own right, they are best suited for different cooking methods and applications based on their meat content and fat distribution.

Ingredients

  • Beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarse black pepper
  • Granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • Apple juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Cherry wood (wood splits, wood pellets, chips, etc).

Prep The Day Before

  1. 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 excess fat, being careful not to cut into the meat itself. After removing the hard fat, you may notice some silver skin or sinew still attached to the meat. Gently use your knife to remove the sinew.
  2. Next, combine your dry rub ingredients and apply a generous amount of seasoning. For this smoked beef ribs recipe Marrekus used a salt, pepper, and garlic dry rub. Place the seasoned ribs in a large ziplock back and chill overnight in the refrigerator. 

How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs

  1. Remove short ribs from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature for one hour. 
  2. Preheat the smoker to a low temperature, typically between 225°F and 250°F (107°C to 121°C). 
  3. Once heated, place the beef short ribs directly on the grill 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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) on an instant-read thermometer. The ribs should have a nice bark and be fall-off-the-bone tender.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Resting: Before smoking, let the short ribs sit at room temperature for about an hour. This allows them to come up to temperature more evenly during the cooking process.
  • Temperature Control: Maintain a consistent low temperature (between 225°F and 250°F) in your smoker throughout the cooking process. Fluctuations in temperature can affect the texture and flavor of the ribs.
  • Wood Selection: Choose wood chips or chunks that complement the flavor of the beef. Cherry wood, pecan, hickory, or oak are popular choices for smoking beef ribs. Experiment with different woods to find your preferred flavor profile.
  • Spritzing: Spritzing the ribs with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and apple juice helps to keep them moist during the smoking process. It also adds flavor and enhances the bark formation on the ribs.
  • Monitoring Temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the ribs. Cook the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 195°F to 205°F. This ensures that they are tender and fully cooked.
  • Resting: Once the ribs are done, allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in juicier and more flavorful meat.

What to Serve with Smoked Short Ribs?

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

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. A lot of people also love the Traeger pellet grill.

Other Cooking Methods

Short ribs can also be prepared in other ways, such as braising, slow cooker, 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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More Ribs Recipes

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SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Prep 1 Day in Advance: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 7 hours + 1 day
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: smoker
  • Cuisine: barbecue, southern, american

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 to 5 pounds beef short ribs
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 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.

Keywords: smoked short ribs, beef ribs, short ribs recipe

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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