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Smoked Short Ribs Recipe

Short ribs covered with a spicy rub cooked for a few hours until it’s ready to fall off the bone. That is what this smoked short ribs recipe is all about. The intense flavors of the meat and spice come together in the luscious final result. 

smoked beef short ribs

When I first started smoking meat, I tried my hand at various rib cuts in both beef and pork. And while I cook a mean slab of pork ribs, smoked short ribs are my secret favorite. The taste of this cut, properly smoked, is something no other cut offers. Intense notes of beefiness, refined by smoke, and finished off with the spices. 

I love to bring this recipe out when we are having a cookout during the summer. I get the smoker going early and get the short ribs in to do their thing. I throw some hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill for the kids. After they get their plates, I serve the short ribs up for the adults. My father-in-law especially loves to chow down on generous helpings until his wife stops him from overeating. 

smoked short ribs recipe

What Makes A Good Short Ribs Recipe 

A short rib is actually the meaty ends of the cow’s ribs, taken from the shoulder and chest area. The meat can be tough if cooked incorrectly. Because of the flavorful marbling and strong connective tissues, short ribs should be cooked slow at lower temperatures. This softens the meat and creates an intense flavor. 

Short ribs can be bought English style, or flanken style. Boneless short ribs come the bone removed. This style of rib is usually used in stews or other preparations. English style short ribs come in 2 to 4-inch segments with a single rib bone attached along the longest side. Flanken style short ribs are cross-cut segments of 1 1/2 to 2-inches long with multiple bone segments. Both styles work well in most recipes, though the English cut is more generous with the amount of meat. 

One of the most classic ways to cook short ribs is by the process of braising. This method of cooking involves first searing the meat then slow cooking it in a closed container with some liquid added. This method produces an intense flavor and fall-apart meat. 

Smoking is another method that works well with short ribs. Due to the lower temperatures and longer cooking times, the smoking process breaks down the connective tissues while introducing a smoky flavor to the meat. The rub adds additional spicy notes to the tasty beef. 

beef short ribs smoked

How To Make The Best Smoked Short Ribs

Beef ribs are much tougher than regular pork ribs. You must cook this at low temperature for several hours. This allows the ribs to be cooked past well done and tenderizes the meat. You should shoot for internal meat temperature to around 205F. 

When done, the ribs should have a dark crust on the outside and tender meat on the inside. The meat should fall off the bone very easily.

Depending on the size of the ribs you are smoking, cooking time will vary. When I cooked this recipe, it took me 4 hours. However, if you are cooking thicker beef ribs it will take much longer. 

smoked short ribs

Smoked Short Ribs

Amazing smoked short ribs recipe.

Course Main Course
Cook Time 4 hours


  • 8 to 10 pieces Beef Short Ribs
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup Apple Juice


  • 1/4 cup Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Garlic Powder
  • 2 tbsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp Light Brown Sugar


  1. Preheat the smoker to 225F. 

  2. Add rub ingredients to shallow bowl and mix well.

  3. Brush the ribs with a plentiful amount of olive oil.

  4. Coat the ribs with spice rub. 

  5. Place ribs in the smoker and smoke for 3 to 4 hours. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the ribs)

  6. Spray the ribs with the apple juice at lease once every hour.

  7. Check temperature during last hour of smoking. Remove when the internal temperature reaches 205F.

  8. Let ribs rest at least 15 minutes before serving.

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