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Close up of nice, moist beef ribs with a smoke ring and peppery rub crust.

Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe — BIG, Rich, Moist and Tender Short Ribs

  • Author: Mark Jenner
  • Total Time: 9 hours
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x


Deliciously melt in the mouth, moist, tender, low n slow smoked beef short ribs Texas style, with a pepper, salt, garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper dry rub mix, for a crispy bark and moist and tender beefy interior.


  • Two plates of 4 x short ribs each
  • 2 tbsp French’s yellow mustard
  • 60g black peppercorns
  • 20g kosher salt or sea salt
  • Tbsp garlic powder
  • Tbsp smoked paprika
  • Tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 100ml dark beer


  1. Set up smoker for indirect smoking, 225f to 250f, with enough fuel to last 10 hours and add 3 chunks of strong smoking wood: Oak, hickory or beech.
  2. Remove the fat cap and silverskin from the top of the ribs if present, leave a thin layer of fat if possible.
  3. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is my personal preference, but you can leave it on if you wish.
  4. Put peppercorns into a pestle and mortar and grind until still coarse. Add the salt, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper, grind some more and mix fully.
  5. Coat the ribs in a thin layer of French’s yellow mustard.
  6. Apply dry rub evenly all over, just enough so that’s it thick but so you can still see the meat beneath in places.
  7. Add the ribs directly onto the grates in your smoker, bone side down, with a temperature probe inserted into the thickest part to monitor temps. Smoke for 4 hours.
  8. After 4 hours smoking, remove the ribs, place them into an aluminum tray with 100ml of dark beer, and seal the tray with some aluminum foil. Leave the temperature probe in, so you can still monitor temps without having to unwrap.
  9. Cook until 200f internal temperature, then start to check for ‘feel and tenderness.’ Cook until the meat is soft, the meat has a wobble, and when you insert a toothpick, skewer or an instant-read thermometer probe, it ‘probes like butter.’
  10. Remove from the smoker, remove from the foil tray, wrap in new foil and then place in a cooler to keep it warm while it rests for a minimum 45 minutes, with 1 hour being ideal.
  11. After the rest, slice the rack of ribs into individual ribs to serve, and serve with some red pickled cabbage, a sweet slaw, a spicy BBQ sauce that has some heat, and some artisan bread or chunky chips.


You don’t have to wrap them, and many people prefer not to. If you do not wrap, you will have slightly drier ribs, but a much better crispy bark. Not wrapping is fine and you still get an incredible result for USDA prime standard, or ribs that are equally or even more marbled. For USDA choice, similar marbling or less, I would recommend to always wrap, or they can be a bit dry.

Cook to tenderness and feel, not temp. Go to 200f and then start probing, it should ‘probe like butter’ between the bones. This may not be until anything from 200f to 210f, and differs from ribs to ribs.

I’m afraid it’s impossible to predict the cooking time accurately, because all animals are different and the ribs from them are different, and we are cooking to temp and ‘doneness’, not a time. Plan for between 7 and 10 hours to cook beef ribs. I like to aim for 8.5 hours, so if they cook early I can wrap them and keep them warm in a heated cooler (a faux Cambro.) If they take 10 hours, then guests only have to wait 90 minutes, and we can drink and chat.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main
  • Method: BBQ Smoking
  • Cuisine: Texan

Keywords: Smoked beef short ribs, smoked beef ribs, beef ribs, short plate ribs, BBQ beef ribs