Smoked beef short ribs are easy to cook and look amazing on your barbecue pit! Let me walk you through how I cook these and give you a few ideas to try when you are cooking yours!
Smoked Beef Short Rib Recipe
The general steps for smoking short ribs are pretty simple.
- Season the ribs with salt and pepper (or other rubs I will share below)
- Let the ribs sit for an hour to let the seasoning start to melt into the beef.
- Set your barbecue pit to 225-275F (more about that below)
- Smoke the ribs for 5-7 hours until probe tender
Okay, those are the general steps, let’s look at some more details.
How Long to Smoke at 250F
On average you should expect to smoke the beef ribs for six hours. The real answer is that you need to smoke them until a thermometer will slide through the beef with almost no resistance. The internal temperature of the ribs will be about 205F when they are done.
My cook times are for ribs smoked at 250F on my pellet grill.
Some folks prefer to cook beef ribs at 225F to get them a little more time in the smoke. If you go that low then you should expect the cooking time to get longer by about an hour.
Other folks like to cook beef ribs at 275-300F to get a better bark. If you go that high then you should expect the cooking time to be about an hour shorter.
Of course factors like how often you are opening the lid on your pit, quality of the beef, etc. will come into play as well.
Best Dry Rub
When it comes to dry rubs for beef ribs you have a lot of options. One of the best rubs is a staple for beef and simply consists of salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
Classic SPOG Beef Rub
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated onion
For this cook I used a went with another classic, Montreal Steak Seasoning.
Another name for these meaty beef ribs is “Brisket on a Stick”. With that in mind it would make sense to use any of these competition winning brisket rubs on your ribs.
You can always tweak a few extra things to make these ribs suit your flavor profile and create your own classic barbecue recipe.
Choice of Smoking Wood
Oak and hickory are generally accepted as the best wood for smoking brisket and they are perfectly fine for beef ribs. However, you have got other options to play with that will also make great barbecue. A am a raving nut for smoking beef with cherry wood and, when I lived in Texas, smoked with pecan and loved the results.
One of the nice things about smoking with a pellet grill is trying out all of the wood flavor blends that are available. If you want to see some good ones then check out the article, “Best Wood Pellets for Smoking Meat”.
Mopping and Spritzing
I am a little lazy when it come to smoking ribs. I season them up, put them on the pit and let the smoke do the rest of the work.
If you want to get ambitious and add another flavor layer then you could start mopping or sprtizing the ribs after they have smoked for a few hours. A real simple spritz that adds some nice complexity is a 50:50 mix of apple juice and black coffee. Give it a try sometime..you will be surprised by what it adds!