Beef short rib is a beautiful cut of meat that is very popular in restaurants and growing in popularity with home cooks. It’s a tough cut with a big beef flavour and a lot of internal fat marbled throughout. I’ve made it before in a braise, and it’s one of my favourite cuts. Smoked beef short ribs sounded like they would be delicious, so I decided to give them a try.
I was browsing the butcher’s case at Nations Fresh Food, when I saw some really nice looking slabs of beef short rib. They were 4 bone slabs, and about 9 to 10 inches long. I really love the taste of beef back ribs, but it’s tough to find them without all of the meat gouged out, so I picked up a slab of beef short rib to try them on the smoker.
I asked the butcher to cut them in half length wise, so I had 2 pieces with 4 bones each. I find that beef can stand up to smoke, so I decided to cook these without foiling, and with beef, I like to use a simple rub that consists mostly of just salt and pepper. For beef, I like to use a stronger wood smoke, so I used a mix of hickory and pecan wood chunks on my BBQ.
Recipe: Smoked Beef Short Ribs
- Beef short ribs, cut in half length wise, 2 pieces with 4 bones each, approximately 4-5 pounds
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons black pepper – coarse ground
- 1 tablespoon mexican chili powder
- 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic granules
- Prepare a BBQ / smoker to smoke at 225 f, with enough fuel to run for 6 hours of cooking and with a mix of hickory and pecan wood for smoke.
- Mix together everything but the ribs to make the rub for the beef short ribs.
- Remove the membrane from the bone side – this is a bit harder than removing the membrane from pork ribs. It won’t render well, and will shrivel up and generally be gross and unappetizing on the finished rib.
- Trim the beef short ribs. There’s a layer of hard fat on the top with silverskin underneath. This stuff is gross and won’t render well on the smoker, so I remove as much of it as possible. Don’t worry if it seems like you’re removing a lot from the rib.
- Coat the beef short ribs on both sides with the spice rub.
- Put the rubbed beef short ribs on the smoker, and cook at 225 f for about 5-6 hours, or until the internal temperature is at about 180 f – 190 f, and the meat has pulled back considerably from the bone.
Once the ribs were cooked, I let them rest for about 20 minutes, then I sliced each slab between the bones into four individual pieces.
The end result was 8 big chunks of hickory and pecan smoked beef short rib with a really nice smoke ring. They had a nice bark, great smoke flavour, and were very tender and juicy. One of these was enough for a meal, although it’s hard to stop at just one! My wife said it was one of the best things I’ve ever made, and I think I have to agree with her.
With it being this easy to get nicely cooked and thick beef ribs, I don’t know if I’ll ever bother with beef back ribs again.