Delicious, tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef short ribs are one of my favorite dishes. Budding cooks might find these to be intimidating to prepare. The key is low and slow and this simple recipe on how to smoke Beef Short Ribs should provide a way to give you the confidence to give these a try.
Short ribs are a cut of beef that comes from the rib primal. This cut is usually boneless and is made up of several small ribs. Short ribs are a popular cut of meat for smoking and can be cooked in a variety of ways. In this article, we will show you how to smoke the best beef short ribs ever.
There isn't that much hands-on time so you are free to whip up some amazing side dishes like the Boursin mashed potatoes in our photos or some grilled delicata squash.
Ingredients for Smoked Beef Short Ribs
Beef - When selecting beef short ribs, look for ribs that have a lot of fat marbling. There is one side with a slab of fat, you don't want that to be too thick, so find ones that have a good balance of fatty labeling and thick meat.
Mayo or Mustard - You want something that will help hold that seasoning onto the ribs. You can easily use yellow mustard like you would with brisket or pork. I decided to go with horseradish mayo. I love the flavor of horseradish mayo and beef. A little usually goes a long way, but the time that it will take to smoke will definitely cushion the blow from the horseradish.
Seasoning - Whatever you have at hand is fine, even if it is just salt and pepper. I made a quick beef short rib rub out of equal parts of kosher salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and half a part of freshly ground black pepper.
Braising Liquid - After we spend a few hours smoking the ribs, we will finish them off in a short braise. The ingredients you will need are dry red wine, beef broth, onions, and garlic.
Instructions - How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs
This is an easy and delicious smoked beef short ribs recipe, especially for beginners. As long as you cook the short ribs long enough they are tender and flavorful.
Step One: Place the ribs in a large bowl and cover with the mayo. Be sure to rub it all around and make sure each side is evenly coated. Then do the same with the dry rub. Make sure every side has been thoroughly covered in seasoning. Make sure they are no big clumps of seasoning and that it is all evenly distributed.
Step Two: Place the beef short ribs on the smoker, directly onto the grill grate. Smoke the ribs at 225 degrees F for approximately three hours. While you are smoking beef short ribs, monitor the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Once the internal temperature reaches 165°F, we will finish them off by braising.
Why Braise the beef ribs?
Braising helps to tenderize the meat. Beef ribs are very tough. We need to cook them low and slow to really break them down. But because they are on the smaller side, there is a risk of just drying them out if left alone on the smoker.
Sure, you could try an apple cider vinegar spritz from a spray bottle every few minutes, but opening and closing the lid of the smoker is going to ruin this whole process.
The braise helps to remove the challenge from that. Down the road, I plan to experiment a little more with maybe wrapping in butcher paper or aluminum foil to keep the moisture included, but for now, the braise offers a great delicious solution that still captures the wonderful beef flavor.
Step Three: About two and half hours into the smoke, start your braising liquid. In a large pot or dutch oven, sautee some onions and garlic over lower heat. Pour in your wine and beef stock. Bring up to a boil and then simmer covered, until your smoked beef short ribs reach 165°F. Once the ribs reach the internal temperature, place them into the braising liquid. Be sure the meat is fully submerged in the liquid with the bone side up. Cover and simmer for another two to three hours. The meat should be very tender and easily fall off the bone.
Sweetness - Feel free to add some brown sugar or honey to the ribs instead of, or in addition to, the mayonnaise.
Spice - Add some cayenne pepper to the rub for some heat or use a spicy mayo to help the dry seasoning adhere to the meat.
Can you smoke beef short ribs?
That's why you are here! Beef ribs are delicious when they are smoked.
How to serve Smoked Beef Short Ribs
Once you have finished, the applications for this delicious fall-off the bone meat are endless. You can absolutely serve it whole and on the bone.
Potatoes - I like to plate ribs on some mashed potatoes or potato fritters and pour gravy or sauce right over them. So good!
Sliders - You can also, pull the meat off the bone and shred it to serve on a slider bun with your favorite barbecue sauce.
Pasta - Use the meat as the stuffing in a ravioli or just toss it with some pasta.
Tacos - Tender, flaky beef also creates a great filling for tacos. If you are planning to go this route use a taco seasoning on the ribs and then braise them with a splash of tequila and some lime.
Shepherd's Pie - Shred the meat and use it in shepherd's pie or cottage pie to wow your guests.
Be creative and have fun! We would love for you to share some ideas with us in the comments.
Sauce for Smoked Short Ribs
I made an easy sauce with the braising liquid. Here are the simple steps.
First, pour the used braising liquid into an oil separator. This is key, the beef released a lot of fat and oil during cooking, we don't want that in our sauce. Next, take about two cups of the oil-free liquid and pour it into a small pan and cook over medium heat. Lastly, mix in 1 teaspoon of corn starch and allow the sauce to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste and gently pour over the beef short ribs when serving.
Can I use this method with Pork Ribs?
Absolutely. I generally don't braise pork ribs as the membrane breaks down easier than with beef ribs but this recipe works with either. It can also work for Smoked Pulled Beef.
We also recommend trying out our Sous Vide Short Ribs and Smoked Beef Tenderloin recipes!
- 2.2 lb beef short ribs
- 2 tablespoon horseradish mayo
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 cups beef stock
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 onion quartered
- 1 garlic whole clove
- In a large bowl, cover the ribs with horseradish mayo. Make sure to evenly coat all sides of the ribs.
- Combine your seasoning in a small bowl and then sprinkle over the ribs. Rub the seasoning into the ribs again, making sure all sides are evenly coated.
- Place the ribs in the smoker and smoke at 225°F until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- About two and half hours into the smoke, start your braising liquid. In a large pot or dutch oven, sautee some onions and garlic over lower heat. Pour in your wine and beef stock.
- Once the ribs reach the internal temperature, place them into the braising liquid. Be sure the meat is fully submerged in the liquid with the bone side up. Cover and simmer for another two to three hours until the meat is fork-tender and easily falls off the bone.
Best short ribs I've had!!