Smoked beef short ribs are rich in flavor and so tender from cooking them low and slow on the smoked. They are so easy to prep, all short ribs require is a coating of beef dry rub and then some mopping while they smoke.
SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS
Smoking short ribs is one of the best way to prepare this cut of meat. Short ribs are tough so they require a long time to cook at lower temperature. The most popular way to cook them is to braise them for a few hours in the oven.
While braising is a great way to prepare them, I urge you to try smoking them for a few hours. The wait time is completely worth it!
When you smoke beef short ribs, there are so many flavor aspects to look forward to. First, there is the delicious flavor that is coated all around the rib from the beef rub. Then, there is the crusty bark that forms on the outside. And of course, the tender, juicy meat infused with smoke.
What are Beef Short Ribs?
Short ribs come from the areas of beef that include brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas. It is the short portion of the rib bone and comes in different thickness and amount of meat.
You can get them bone-in or boneless. (Although, boneless short ribs are not true short ribs, they are just cut in shape to resemble it.) Most of the time, you will find short ribs already cut into 2-inch rib portions.
Types of beef short ribs:
The area where the beef ribs are cut from is big and where they are cut from matters in terms of flavor and texture. The two main types of beef ribs are short ribs and plate ribs.
Short ribs are cut from the frontal area closer to shoulder area, around 1st-5th rib area, or from the lower portion that neighbors the brisket and flank steak area.
Chuck short ribs: These ribs are popular because of the amount of meat they have on top of the flat bone, there is usually 1-2 inches of meat sitting on top of a thin bone. Chuck short ribs are generally cut into short 3-4 chunks from the area right under the chuck.
Plate ribs: plate ribs come from the lower area that are around 6th-10th ribs, between the brisket and the flank steak. These ribs are harder to come by and you want to have a trusted butcher to cut them right.
Short Rib Cuts:
English cut: this is the most common way to cut short ribs, where the ribs are cut in between the ribs, separating them. With this cut, you will have a layer of meat sitting on top of a bone.
Flanked cut: this is where the ribs are cut across the bones and generally in thinner slices.
There are many more, less common, types of short ribs and cuts out there including beef back ribs that we will talk about separately.
HOW TO MAKE SMOKED BEEF SHORT RIBS
What you need:
Short Ribs: Try to get the meatiest, thickest bone-in short ribs that are good quality. You want to see nice marbling through the meat. This will help keep the meat tender and flavorful. Quality of meat really does matter regardless of seasoning and sauce!
Seasoning: try our beef dry rub on these ribs, it’s a combination of brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, ancho chili powder, and cumin.
Mop: simple combination of apple juice, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, and some of the dry rub seasoning.
Wood chips: with beef, you can do a little stronger woods, like hickory or Jack Daniels blend. Or, you can stay with medium woods like oat and pecan.
Butcher paper: you should have butcher paper for wrapping meats while smoking rather than aluminum foil. Foil suffocates the meat and doesn’t allow for air-flow. Butcher paper allows for air flow and helps preserve the beautiful bark.
Smoking Beef Short Ribs
Pull the ribs out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before preparing and smoking. This will allow the meat to warm up. (While the meat is warming up, that’s a good time to get your smoker set up and preheated.)
Set up the smoker, clean the grate if needed, and preheat it to 225°. While smoking short ribs, you’ll want to keep the temperatures to 225°-240°.
Spread some seasoning in a shallow rimmed baking sheet. To season the ribs, press each on into the seasoning on all the sides and pat the seasoning on. Don’t actually rub the meat with seasoning, just pat.
When the smoker is ready, place the short ribs onto the smoker grate and smoke for 4-5 hours. If your ribs are nice and meaty, definitely smoke for 5 hours (until ribs read about 185° internal temperature).
Mop each rib quickly with the mop sauce every hour, starting after the third hour and not while the ribs are wrapped.
After about 5 hours on the smoker, place the ribs onto the butcher paper, mop them one more time, and wrap them in the butcher paper. Place back onto the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature will read 203°-205°.
Let the ribs rest a few minutes and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What kind of wood whips to use?
When it comes to beef, you can use medium or stronger woods like pecan, oak, hickory, or Jack Daniels blend.
How long does it take to smoke beef short ribs?
Time is highly subjective based on the thickness and size of meat you get, types of short ribs, and your smoker. If I have to estimate, it will take 6-8 hours to smoke them. (I have had very thick and meaty ones take up to 9 hours.)
At what temperature to smoke beef short ribs?
You want to keep your smoker temperature between 225°-240°.
What is the internal temperature for short ribs when done?
Smoke the beef short ribs to 203°-205° internal temperature, that’s where it will be nice, tender, and most of the fat through the meat should be rendered nicely.
Smoked Beef Short Ribs
- Baking sheet for seasoning
- Mop brush
- Butcher paper
- 8-10 meaty beef short ribs
- 1/2 cup beef dry rub
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp beef dry rub
- Pull the ribs out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before preparing and smoking. This will allow the meat to warm up.
- While the meat is warming up, set up the smoker, clean the grate if needed, and preheat it to 225°.
- Spread some seasoning in a shallow rimmed baking sheet. To season the ribs, press each on into the seasoning on all the sides and pat the seasoning on. Don’t actually rub the meat with seasoning, just pat.
- When the smoker is ready, place the short ribs onto the smoker grate and smoke for 4-5 hours. (If you ribs are nice and meaty, definitely smoke for 5 hours, until ribs read about 185° internal temperature).
- Start brushing the short ribs with mop sauce every hour, starting after the third hour and not while the ribs are wrapped. (You want time to allow the crust to form.)
- After about 5 hours on the smoker (around 185° internal temperature), place the ribs onto the butcher paper, mop them one more time, and wrap them in the butcher paper. Place back onto the smoker and smoke until the internal temperature will read 203°-205°.
- Rest the ribs for about 10-15 minutes before serving.