Smoked Beef Ribs: Big & Meaty BBQ Ribs

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These smoked beef ribs are full of taste and will capture the attention of all your visitors.

Don’t be put off by their colossal size. Beef ribs are surprisingly simple to prepare and taste delicious if you follow a few basic steps.

This recipe will teach you how to use the sort of beef ribs to use, how to obtain an outstanding bark, and how to make juicy, tender barbecue beef ribs every time.

What you’ll need:

Smoked Beef Ribs: Big & Meaty BBQ Ribs

Before you get started, ensure you have:

  • A person who smokes I smoked these beef ribs in my Pit Boss 1600 Pellet Smoker using Bear Mountain BBQ hickory pellets, but you can cook them in any sort of smoker.
  • One or more slabs of beef short ribs (individual ribs will work, but an entire slab will provide the best results).
  • A decenttemperature probe
  • To create your own rub, combine a binding agent like as yellow mustard or olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic.
  • 6 10 hours until you need to eat.

Types of beef ribs

There are three main types of beef ribs:

  • Plate short ribs
  • Back ribs
  • Chuck ribs

I used plate short ribs (sometimes known as simply short ribs) for this dish. Plate ribs are made from the chuck primal cut, which is located on the cattle animal’s shoulder and neck.

Plate ribs are very meaty and often come in a plate of three to five ribs, with just one rib weighing 1.25 pounds!

Don’t worry if you can’t get plate short ribs; any variety will work, but the cooking times may vary.

Before we get into how to smoke these ribs, let’s go through what to look for at the butcher.

Tips for buying beef ribs

  • Purchase the highest quality you can afford. USDA Choice, USDA Prime, Wagyu, and Certified Angus Beef are all things to look for.
  • Look for a bigger rack of ribs with good marbling throughout. The lines of marbling going through the flesh may be seen in the image below. This will degrade and make your ribs taste wonderful!
  • You don’t need a giant fat cap, so clip most of it off, but leaving a little on helps keep everything wet.

I used a rack of American wagyu short ribs from Snake River Farms with a lot of marbling for this dish. However, even with a lower-cost cut, you may get excellent results.

You’re undoubtedly raring to go now that you’ve chosen your beef ribs. But, before we put it on the grill, we need to make sure we optimize the taste.

How to make smoked beef ribs

It’s impossible to go wrong with genuine Texas-style beef ribs. This comprises a basic rub of salt, pepper, and garlic powder that enables the beef taste to show through.

I chose to add an additional coat of all-purpose bbq rub to this recipe to really amp up the taste, but this is entirely optional.

You don’t need any special rubs, sauces, or injections to make excellent barbecue ribs.

1. Trim your beef ribs

These BBQ ribs are very easy to prepare.

Remove the fat and the very tough silver skin off the top of the meat. It may be tempting to leave the fat on, but it will not render and will prevent your rub taste from permeating the meat.

In the photographs below, you can see how much weight I lose.

You may leave a little amount of fat, particularly around any thinner regions, to keep them from drying out.

bones united.I seldom remove the membrane on the back since I prefer having it there to keep the rack in place.

2. Rub your ribs

With barbecue beef ribs, I try to keep the taste simple, so I used a simple homemade rub of equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic flakes.

Although garlic powder may be used, I feel that flakes work better. You might also add some smoked paprika for extra taste.

Combine the rub ingredients and, if possible, use a rub shaker to provide a uniform coating of spice over the ribs.

Spread a thin coating of yellow mustard over the ribs before applying the rub to help it cling. Oil or Worcestershire sauce might also be used.

You can leave your ribs for 20 minutes while you set up your smoker, but I don’t see the point in leaving them overnight.

3. Smoking your ribs

These barbecue ribs are easy to smoke, and the precise configuration is dependent on the kind of smoker you use.

  • I suggest cooking on the upper end of low and slow, approximately 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. Aaron Franklin handles beef short rubs at 285F, so play about with the temperature.
  • I chose hickory wood pellets, but any fruit wood or oak, which is customary in Texas, would work well.

To protect the meat, place the ribs on the grill with the bone side towards the heat source.

I wouldn’t bother flipping the meat. I wish I could tell you how long it would take to cook, but there are so many variables that might impact cook time.

These time predictions are quite accurate as a general rule:

  • 1 thick ribs about 5-6 hours
  • 1.5 thick ribs about 6-7 hours
  • 2 thick ribs about 10 hours

enable the ribs to smoke for at least two hours to enable the bark to thoroughly set. After that, spray every hour with a 50-50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar.

Now you must sit back and wait until the ribs reach an internal temperature of at least 200F and the probe glides in and out like butter.

If you’re accustomed to cooking pig ribs, you’ll be surprised at how long they may take.

My ribs looked like this after a couple of hours, before the bark had really set.

These bad boys can take alongtime to cook.

4. Resting and serving your beef ribs

This is where your perseverance will be rewarded. The probe inserts easily and measures 200-205F.

Pick up the ribs with care and cover them in aluminum foil or butcher paper to rest.

Take care not to harm the bark. A nice trick I learned from Aaron Franklin’s video is to pick up the ribs with a wet cloth to avoid damaging the bark.

When resting smoked beef ribs, allow at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour.

  • Allow them to sit uncovered for 30 minutes before slicing into them if you need to serve them to your guests sooner.
  • If you have more time, wrap them in butcher paper and then a towel before placing them in a cooler.

If you’re presenting these ribs at a party, use the faux cambro method to keep the meat warm for a few hours and benefit from a longer rest period. This permits the juices to be reabsorbed by the meat.

After your ribs have rested for at least an hour, use a sturdy slicing knife to cut them into individual ribs. For the complete caveman experience, grasp a rib by the bone.

That’s all there is to it! If you followed this recipe exactly, your ribs should be tender and have a delicious smoke ring around the exterior.

BBQ beef ribs like these don’t need any form of barbecue sauce, but if you must, choose something that works well with meat, like this Texas mop juice.

How long does it take to smoke beef short ribs?

A big rack of beef short ribs should be smoked for 6-8 hours as a general guideline.

I wish I could provide a more precise time estimate, but cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat, the quantity of ribs on the rack, and the temperature you choose to smoke at.

If you’re short on time, you may smoke a bit hotter, about 275-300F.

Include the time it takes to prepare and heat your smoker, as well as an hour to rest the ribs.

Allow a solid 8-9 hours from start to finish. This is why I usually have more time than I think I’ll need since if the meal is done early, I can always keep it in faux cambro for a longer period of time.

What temperature should short ribs be cooked to

Beef short ribs are normally cooked between 200 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. I normally aim for a temperature of 205-210F.

I use my Thermapen ONE to check the interior temperature of the rib in various places, and I don’t consider it done until everything probes like butter.

The ribs should be virtually sliding off the bone at that stage.

How to get a great bark 

A few simple procedures are required to get a nice bark on barbeque beef ribs. The first step is to massage the meat well. Because beef ribs are such a large piece, season them generously.

To aid in the production of bark, apply a fine uniform coating. Instead of finely ground herbs, use a rub with a coarse combination of flavors that will seep into the meat. Large bits of pepper, garlic, and other spices improve the bark and texture significantly.

Spritzing also helps in achieving a nice bark; however, be cautious not to spray too soon and wash away the rub. I typically wait two hours before spritzing. By this point, the rub should have adhered to the meat, and spritzing will enable the smoke to adhere and layers of bark to develop as moisture evaporates.

Another important aspect in the formation of the bark is smoke. The longer your meat is smoked, the darker it will get as more smoke adheres to the surface. Cooking low and slow allows the meat more time to develop its bark.

If a piece of meat has been smoked over an extended period of time, it may seem charred. It’s most likely simply the particles that have caramelized and darkened on the meat over the extended cooking procedure. It should not taste burned while being cooked through and moist on the inside.

Do you need to wrap beef short ribs when smoking?

Wrapping throughout the cook hinders the bark from fully developing, and there’s really no need unless you’re short on time.

Aaron Franklin doesn’t wrap his smoked beef ribs, which is OK with me!

If the bark becomes too dark or I need to finish them sooner, I will wrap them in butcher paper.

I prefer butcher paper over aluminum foil because it allows the meat to breathe and does not steam or braise the ribs. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful bark; the last thing you want to do is damage it.

Ready for more delicious rib recipes?

  • 3-2-1 Smoked Pork Ribs
  • Lemon & Rosemary Grilled Lamb Ribs
  • Korean BBQ Beef Short Ribs
  • BBQ Ribs the Johnny Trigg Way

Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe


How long to smoke large beef ribs?

Fully smoking beef ribs will take 8-10 hours. This time may vary from rack to rack, so allow for some wiggle space if your specific rack of ribs takes less or more time than this advice. What exactly is this? Instead of smoking depending on cooking time, smoke based on the interior temperature of the meat.

How long does it take to smoke beef ribs at 225?

At 225° F, beef ribs take around 6 hours to become soft and tasty. It takes around 4 hours to smoke beef ribs at 250° F.

What are the big beef ribs called?

1. Serve Short Ribs on a plate. These are perhaps the most powerful of all ribs. Plate Short Ribs, often called as ‘Loaded Beef Ribs’ for good cause, are the largest and meatiest ribs available, obtained from the bottom half of the rib cage.

How do you keep beef ribs moist when smoking?

Adding Moisture to Ribs While Smoking

A rib spritz is made with equal parts apple cider vinegar and apple juice or water. So you add one cup of apple cider vinegar to one cup of apple juice. The increased moisture to the cooking chamber greatly improves the color and texture of the smoked ribs.

Do you flip beef ribs when smoking?

Do you flip your ribs as you’re smoking them? Yes, after 1 hour of smoking, you should turn the ribs. You’ll need to turn them every 30 minutes till they’re finished. Only while using a rib rack do you not need to turn the ribs.

Can you overcook beef ribs in smoker?

One thing is definite about ribs and pork: they become dry and harsh when overcooked. The “low and slow” cooking technique used here teaches us something extremely essential. One thing is definite about ribs and pork: they become dry and harsh when overcooked.

How long to smoke ribs at 225 without wrapping?

Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ribs directly on the barbecue grates, bone side down. Close the cover and smoke for 4 12 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 200°F.

Is it better to smoke ribs at 200 or 225?

The optimal temperature for smoking ribs is often between 200 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Some experts, however, recommend a slower cook at 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is it better to smoke ribs at 225 or 250?

Most pitmasters believe that the best smoking temperature for ribs is 250°F. Cooking at lower temperatures takes longer and might result in tough, chewy meat. At the same time, excessive heat might cause your ribs to dry out fast. Aim for temperatures between 225°F and 275°F, with 250°F being the sweet spot.

What are the 3 types of beef ribs?

The three varieties of beef ribs
Serve Short Ribs.
Ribs from the back.
Short ribs from Chuck.


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