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Smoked Beef Back Ribs Recipe

A few years ago I went on a road trip with my wife and kids. It was then when I had this smoked beef back ribs recipe and let me tell you, these were some of the best ribs I’ve ever had. I just had to figure out how these were made so I can make them for myself.

smoked beef back ribs

I now want to pass on my knowledge of this recipe to give you an experience that you will never forget.

How To Make Smoked Beef Back Ribs

In summary to smoke these beef back ribs, start by preparing ribs by taking out the thin membrane. Next, prepare the rub by combining kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Season ribs generously with the spice mixture. Smoke ribs for 3 hours at 275F, then wrap with parchment paper and smoke for another 2 hours. That’s it!

Exact measurements of ingredients and bonus tips are below in the recipe section. Check it out!

Does the 3 2 1 method work for beef ribs?

The 3 2 1 method if you don’t know is a rib smoking technique where you smoke the ribs for 3 hours, then wrap and smoke for another 2 hours, and finally smoke for an additional 1 hour with sauce on the ribs. 

This method will work for any kind of ribs including beef. My recipe follows the first 2 steps but without the last hour of saucing.

smoked beef ribs

Should you wrap beef ribs?

It depends on what you like. If you wrap the ribs, they become more tender. If you don’t they have a little more texture. Both options taste delicious so you can’t go wrong.

Personally, I like my ribs to be more tender which is why wrapping is needed for the recipe.

Looking for other tender and juicy smoked recipes? Why don’t you try to learn how to smoke chicken breast! Or try smoking chicken thighs which is another popular cut. Interested in cooking a whole chicken? You should definitely read my recipe first and see how long to smoke a whole chicken

Perhaps you want to stay with beef, try my smoked corned beef brisket. You will love that recipe! Got pork in the fridge, try my delicious smoked pork loin roast recipe!

smoking beef ribs

What temperature do you cook beef ribs to?

For this recipe, the temperature of the ribs should be around 205F when you take them out. In the beginning, the smoker should be preheated to 275F. The temperature will slowly drop while the ribs are smoking and once you take them out, they will be 205F.

Just a word of advice, you should let the ribs rest for a little bit before eating. You don’t want to burn your mouth. I know the ribs look and smell delicious but biting into them when they’ve just been removed from the smoker will burn your mouth. I’ve learned this from experience.

Let them rest for about 30 minutes before digging in. Your mouth will thank you later.

What makes a good smoked beef ribs recipe?

The quality of the cut. You will know you have some good tasting ribs when you bite into them. They will be flowing with flavor and the ribs will melt in your mouth.

Bad quality cuts, however, don’t have the same taste. They are rubbery, difficult to chew, and has an off taste to them. That’s why it’s of utmost importance to excellent meat cuts.

Of course, the seasoning also plays a big part in the outcome. Quality cuts + delicious seasoning = amazing ribs. This is something that you should not only remember when making ribs but when making most meals.

smoked beef back ribs recipe

Smoked Beef Back Ribs

Beef ribs smoked to perfection ready in 5 hours!

Course Main Course
Cook Time 5 hours
Servings 2


  • 1 rack Beef Back Ribs


  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder


  1. Remove the thin papery membrane from the bone-side of the ribs by working the tip of your butter knife under the membrane over a middle bone. To get a firm grip, use paper towels. Proceed to tear the membrane off.

  2. Apply the rub to both sides of the rib.

  3. Set your smoker to 275F and preheat.

  4. Place the ribs with the bone-side facing down in the smoker. Smoke the ribs for 3 hours.

  5. The exterior of your ribs should have darkened and the bark should set. You then want to wrap the ribs with butcher paper or aluminum foil.

  6. Put the ribs back in the smoker for 2 hours. The meat temperature should be around 205F when done.

  7. Let the ribs rest for 30 minutes and then slice.

After you’ve done all of this, you should have some delicious tasting ribs to eat. If you’d like, the next time you make this recipe, try cooking the ribs without smoking them to see which you prefer. Most people seem to like the ribs wrapped but some would rather not wrap them.

Again, my preference is to have them wrapped but we each like different things. Either way, you will some good ribs to each which is something we all like.

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