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Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs – tender, melt in your mouth beef ribs with a delicious smoke flavor that takes them over the top! They are cooked low and slow for the ultimate comfort food treat!

There are a couple of things that I crave all summer long and can not wait to make on the smoker. One is the most tender and delicious pulled pork you will ever have, with this Smoked Pork Belly recipe. And the other are these beef short ribs.

Smoked short ribs are something special. Making a to die for brisket takes a long time to perfect, and honestly I haven’t done it yet. But these beef short ribs give you almost that same rich and meaty flavor, but anyone can do it! They are so tender, juicy, smoky and delicious you will want them on repeat all season long.

beef short rib cut with bite taken out

What Are Beef Short Ribs

They are pretty much like what they sound. They are a short cut, about 3 inches long, that is from the brisket, chuck, plate, or rib areas of the cow. They consist of a short portion of rib bone, with a very meaty portion of beef on top. They vary in thickness, but it is some of the meatiest and most rich cut of meat you will taste.

Because of how thick and meaty short ribs are, they are a cut of meat you really want to cook low and slow or they will be tough. They do have a decent amount of fat running through them, and you want to give that time to really break down, so you have a tender and delicious cut of meat. So pay attention to the temperature you are cooking them at, as well as the internal temperature to really know when they are done.

Most of the time when you find beef short ribs in a grocery store, you will find a package of 2-3 individual short ribs in a package. Whole Foods is where I can find them regularly in the butcher case, and they actually have them on sale relatively often as well.

smoked short rib on a board

Beef Rib Rub

When you are cooking a rich cut of beef, I like to keep things simple with the seasoning. A little bit of salt, black pepper and garlic powder is all you need to compliment the flavor of the meat and make it shine. You don’t want to over power or take anything away from it.

I have a small container in my pantry that is equal parts kosher salt and coarse black pepper that I sprinkle over most beef when we smoke it. Then I just add in a little garlic powder to the meat and it is done. A super easy rub that lets the smoked short ribs really shine.

What You’ll Need

  • Beef Short Ribs – you want to plan on about 1 rib per person
  • Kosher Salt
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Beef Broth
seasoned beef short ribs on a baking tray

How To Smoke Beef Short Ribs

  1. Start by trimming your short ribs. When you look at short ribs there is a lot of marbling and this is good. This is what gives it all the juiciness and flavor. But if there is any of the fat cap, which is the thick and hard fat on the outside, you want to trim that away. The hard fat will not render as it cooks, so getting rid of it just makes things easier.
  2. Once the ribs are trimmed, sprinkle with kosher salt, coarse black pepper and garlic powder to evenly coat them on all sides.
  3. Let them sit while you prep the smoker and preheat to 225º F. I like to use a competition style blend of wood for this. Not anything like mesquite that will over power the meat.
  4. Once the smoker is hot, place the ribs on and let them cook for 4 hours. After 4 hours, start spritzing them with beef broth every hour.
  5. Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 205º F they are done. Remove them from the smoker, and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.

How Long To Smoke Beef Short Ribs

Just like with almost any cut of meat, it can vary. I find that beef short ribs take about 7 hours. This will definitely depend on how thick the meat is, as well as the weather, how consistent your smoker is with the temperature, and all sorts of other variables. But this is the fun in smoking right!

The best way to know when they are done is checking their temperature. You want them to be around 205º F for them to be tender, juicy, and absolutely delicious!

beef short rib on the smoker

What Temperature To Cook Beef Short Ribs

You know when short ribs are done, when they reach an internal temperature of 205º F. I know this seems high, when you eat steak at medium rare, but this cut of beef just takes longer and needs the higher temperature for all the fat to break down and it to be so tender.

You will know you are getting close when you slide the thermometer in and you feel no resistance, it just glides in easily. But use the number to really let you know when it is done.

I use the Thermapen Mk4 to check the temperature of the meat throughout the cooking process. It is the most accurate thermometer I have found and have been using it for years!

Should I Wrap My Beef Short Ribs

The short answer is no. It is really not necessary as they are a small enough cut of meat you don’t need to. Spritzing them after the first few hours of cooking gives them enough moisture not to dry out, and they don’t need any extra help to push through the stall. So wrapping is just an unnecessary step.

What Goes With Beef Short Ribs

pinterest collage close up of smoked short ribs

More Delicious Smoking Recipes

Yield: 6

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

close up of smoked beef short rib

Smoked Beef Short Ribs - tender, melt in your mouth beef ribs with a delicious smoke flavor that takes them over the top! They are cooked low and slow for the ultimate comfort food treat!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes


  • 3 pounds beef short ribs (approximately 1 rib per person)
  • 3 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp coarse black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup beef broth


  1. Start by trimming away the fat cap (the thick, hard fat on the meat) or any of the silver skin that is on the top side of the meat.
  2. Mix together salt, pepper and garlic powder. Generously season all sides of the ribs with the seasoning.
  3. Preheat smoker to 225º F.
  4. Place the ribs on the smoker, cover and let cook for 3 hours.
  5. After 3 hours, start spritzing with beef broth every hour until the ribs are fully cooked.
  6. Once the internal temperature of the ribs is 205º F, they are done cooking. Remove from the smoker and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 273Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 85mgSodium 2023mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 0gProtein 22g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Erin S
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Friday 9th of July 2021

The smoker makes all the difference! These are so delicious!


Tuesday 29th of June 2021

These are going to be such a big hit for dinner tonight especially for my daughter’s boyfriend! So excited to give these tasty looking beef ribs!


Tuesday 29th of June 2021

This is so perfect! My family was impressed! Thank you for the recipe!

Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

WOW! These Smoked Beef Short Ribs are incredibly delicious!! We will definitely make these again and again!

katerina @

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

Oh my goodness, these were AMAZING! Everyone loved them!!

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