Smoked Beef Short Ribs – My Recipe

smoked beef short ribs

I love smoked beef ribs but sometimes they are too big and in that case I look for some beef short ribs to put on the smoker.

Not only are they smaller but, because of their size, also a lot cheaper. Plus you don’t have any left overs.

I found some beef chuck short ribs for sale at my online butcher and will tell you all about how I make my smoked chuck beef short ribs.

Preparing Short Ribs

beef short ribs with membrane removed

There is not much difference in preparing beef short ribs or pork ribs.

The main thing to do is remove the membrane. This can be a little harder for beef ribs since it is a little thicker compared to pork ribs.

I use a butter knife and stick it under the stick to wiggle it around and make some room for my fingers to get under the membrane.

Now I take a piece of paper towel or napkin and try to pull the membrane of in one piece.

Sometimes this works but many times you end up pulling of smaller pieces.

Seasoning Short Ribs

seasoned beef short ribs

Today I was in the mood for some more spicy-tasting short ribs and adjusted my seasoning a little for that.

  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar.
  • 2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
  • 2 Tsp. Ground Mustard
  • 2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp. Cajun Seasoning.

“If you prefer a little milder taste cut down or leave out some of the Chili or Cajun seasoning.”

Most of the time I season my meats overnight to give the flavors to penetrate the meat more.

Smoking Short Ribs

I have smoked short ribs on Traeger, Pit Boss pellet grills, Offset smokers and actually on any type of smoker this recipe will work.

If you like to know what wood to use you can read my opinion about the best wood for smoking ribs here.

Pre-Heat The Smoker

Don’t forget this step and let the temperature stabilize for a while. Believe me, I learned the hard way.

When I was just getting started with smoking meats this is a step I forgot and this made the temperature jump all over the place.

I like to smoke as close I can get to 225°F (107°C) but I see others prefer 250°F (121°C).

To check the temperature in the smoker I use a Digital thermometer.

Put The Short Ribs On The Smoker

Once the smoker stabilizes around my preferred temperature it is time to place the ribs on the smoker.

Make sure to smoke them meat side up. At least that is my opinion for the best result.

Close the smoker and let the wood and temperature do its magic.

Check The Temperature And Wrap

This part is the way I do it. There are tons of other ways and opinions about wrapping or not.

After about 1 hour I check the temperature with my digital handheld thermometer and if it gets close to 150 or 160°F (65 – 71°C) I pull them off the smoker and wrap them.

Since I had 2 short ribs I decided to wrap one in butcher paper and the other one in Aluminum foil to see if this would give a different outcome.

In both, I added a little apple juice as I always do.

Finishing The Smoked Short Ribs

This part is a little tricky and it took me a long time to figure it out.

We, my wife and I, like our ribs to be very tender so it does not matter to me if they stay on the smoker a little longer.

If you like them to have a little more of a bite to pull them off the bone you have to check them sooner.

After one hour on the smoker wrapped in butcher paper or aluminum foil, I check them and if I like the way they look and the temperature is about 190°F (87°C) I pull them and let them rest for a few minutes.

Butcher Paper VS Aluminum Foil

It was hard to see a difference between the short rib in butcher paper and the one in aluminum foil.

I believe that the butcher paper made them a little softer and the aluminum foil gave them a little more crispy skin.

beef short ribs in Alu-foil
bees short ribs in butcher paper
smoked short ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

I love smoked beef ribs but sometimes they are too big and in that case I look for some beef short ribs to put on the smoker. Learn how to smoke short ribs,
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 People
Calories 76 kcal


  • 1 Smoker
  • 1 Pair Of Tongs
  • 1 Thermometer
  • 1 Aluminum foil or butcher paper


  • 1/4 Cup Brown sugar.
  • 2 tbsp Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning


  • Pre heat smoker to 225°RF (107°C)
  • Remove membrane from short ribs
  • Season short ribs
  • Smoke short ribs for one hour
  • Check internal temperature
  • Wrap in Aluminum foil or butcher paper.
  • Add some apple juice to it
  • Place back on the smoker for another hour
  • Check doneness


Smoked Beef short ribs are one of my favorites if I don’t have a lot of time. Smoke for about 3 hours and you are ready to have some fall of the bone beef short ribs.

How To Smoke Beef Short Ribs

To prepare the beef short ribs you first of all have to remove the membrane from the backside.
Forgetting this and you will end up with a tough layer on that side of the short ribs.


    • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar.
    • 2 Tbsp. Black Pepper
    • 1/2 Tbsp. Salt
    • 1 Tbsp. Onion Powder
    • 2 Tsp. Ground Mustard
    • 2 Tsp. Garlic Powder
    • 2 Tsp. Chili Powder
    • 1 Tsp. Cajun Seasoning.


Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C) and let it stabilize for a while at this temperature.
I suggest you use a digital thermometer for this.
Now it is time to place the beef short ribs on the smoker and leave them there for about 1 hour.
Tip: I like to smoke beef short ribs with the bone side up!
After 1 hour check the internal temperature with a digital handheld thermometer and see if it reached about 150 -160°F (65 – 71°C).
If it is at this temperature I wrap them in Aluminum foil or Butcher paper. and place them back on the smoker.

The Finishing

We, my wife and I, like our ribs very tender so it does not matter to us if they are kind of overcooked.
In general, I check them after another hour on the smoker to see if the internal temperature has reached about 190°F (87°C).
If that is the case I pull them and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
smoked short ribs


Serving: 6ouncesCalories: 76kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 923mgPotassium: 128mgFiber: 2gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 561IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 39mgIron: 1mg
Keyword short ribs
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Smoked Short Ribs – My Experience

As I mentioned before there are many ways to smoke chuck short ribs and what I shared here is just my way of doing it.

In general, all beef ribs can be done the same way. I like short ribs so I don’t have a lot of leftovers that I have to find a way to use.

I have many of my smoker recipes for everyone who is interested.

If you have any experience with smoking short ribs feel free to share it in the comments.

If you tried these short ribs give them a rating to let others know how you liked them.

Eddie van Aken

Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he can find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews and the outdoor cooking tips he is writing about. You can read more on the About page for Eddie van Aken

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