Incredibly meaty and tender, these smoked beef short ribs are exceptionally flavorful and easy to prepare.
It is hard not to feel like Fred Flintstone when wielding a meaty beef short rib pulled out of the smoke. This deliciously primal dish is always a show-stopper at any cookout, yet it is one of the easiest meats to smoke, in my humble opinion. Yabadabadoo my hungry friends!
Smoked beef short ribs are particularly popular in Texas barbecue where they are often dusted with what is called a dalmatian rub, which is simply a mixture of salt and pepper.
Although I can respect any seasoning concoction that allows the flavor of the meat to be the main star, I do prefer to introduce more flavors when smoking short ribs myself. Paying homage to the traditional dalmatian rub, my short rib seasoning is heavy on the black pepper, but also adds garlic, mustard, and onion powder, paprika, brown sugar, and a dash of cayenne to round out the flavor. If you prefer a sweeter, more traditional BBQ seasoning, try my BBQ Dry Rub for Ribs recipe.
I prefer to smoke beef short ribs at 225 degrees. I have tested the recipe at 250 degrees but the meat came up to temperature faster than I would have liked, which means it can overcook and become dry before it is sufficiently tender. Dropping the temperature to 225 degrees allows more time for the connective tissue to break down while the meat is slowing coming to temperature.
Using an electric smoker is probably the easiest way to maintain a steady temperature, however, charcoal smokers have the best flavor. (affiliate links) I like using both varieties depending on my mood.
Ive seen short rib recipes online vary in cooking length from 2 hours to 11 hours. That is quite a range! Personally, I dont find 2 hours to be enough time to break down the connective tissue in the meat sufficiently, so your meat will not be as tender as possible. On the flip side, 11 hours is going to be overkill.
I find 4-5 hours typically to be sufficient, however, as is true with any barbecue dish, let the meat tell you when it is done! The exact time will vary depending on how thick your meat is. The meat should still hold together but offer little resistance when pierced with a knife or fork.
Note: Cutting the ribs individually will allow them to cook faster. If you are smoking a large group of attached ribs, it will take considerably longer.
Beef short ribs are done when the internal temperature reaches 203 degrees. When properly smoked low and slow the meat will be exceptionally tender and ready to eat. However, I do recommend letting the meat rest for 10 minutes, give or take, to allow the juices to redistribute.
Smoking short ribs is not the only way to enjoy them. Beer Braised Short Ribs in a Dutch Oven are an exceptionally flavorful way to enjoy them, otherwise slow cooker beef short ribs are probably the easiest way to prepare them.
If you enjoyed reading my recipe then you should probably like me on Facebookandfollow me on Pinteresttoo. Thats what I would do at least, and if you are willing to take my advice on the food you put into your body you should probably follow my advice on that too.