Smoked Beef Ribs (Dino Ribs)

8 Min Read

If you have ever been to Texas and ordered authentic barbecue, you may have had giant smoked beef ribs presented to you on a platter (with white bread and a pickle). These huge plate ribs are thick, meaty, and, when prepared low and slow, some of the best bbq you can enjoy. But, these ribs are not for the faint of heart. It takes a slow cook and basic seasonings to smoke the best beef ribs, and we’re breaking down exactly how.

If you’ve ever enjoyed authentic Texas BBQ or have seen pictures of it (thanks, Instagram), you know the mighty beef rib. A huge bone with a thick mountain of meat attached, often presented with a glorious smoke rib from hours of low and slow barbecue and loving attention. And here’s exactly how to turn that rack of beef ribs into your own Instagram-worthy (and more importantly) delicious dinner.

What are beef plate ribs?

Those huge smoked beef ribs you see in Texas barbecue are smoked beef plate ribs. Not beef back ribs. Also called dino ribs; They come from the short plate primal cut, which is located directly below the rib primal on a cow (via Beef, it’s what’s for dinner). Unlike back ribs, which come from the rib primal and have a thin layer of meat, the plate rib will have a thick layer of meat and fat attached to the bone. This is where the plate short rib and flanken-style ribs (Korean short ribs) come from.

If you’re going to splurge on beef ribs, this is where the investment is worth it. Where we can find beef back ribs at the market, don’t get the two confused. Dino ribs aren’t often in the regular grocery store and should be ordered through your butcher. We get these from Porter Road; see our trusted places to order meat online for delivery to your door.

However, because they come from the plate (belly) area of the cow, just like our smoked beef short ribs, they do have a layer of fat and tough connective tissue and require a low and slow heat source for the best results. We may love the braised short ribs, but when it comes to this huge hunk of meat, classic barbecue cooking is the best way to lock in great smoky flavor and juicy, tender bites!


This recipe is for true Texas Smoked Beef Ribs, which means the ingredient list is pretty short. We’re using what’s known as an SPG rub, salt, pepper, and garlic. And a lot of people believe for great smoked beef, that’s all you need.

  • Kosher salt 
  • Course ground black pepper
  • Garlic powder – or granulated garlic
  • Beef Plate Ribs – we get ours from Porter Road.
  • Apple cider vinegar-based mop – we recommend our vinegar based bbq sauce in a spray bottle

How to Smoke Beef Ribs

Don’t be intimidated by this huge rack of ribs! I’ve tested these several times and actually sacrificed an entire rack to the fire my first time cooking these years ago (which is why I don’t recommend hanging them). With these simple steps, you’ve got this!

  • Start by combining the salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl.
  • Then remove the ribs from the package and patting them dry with a paper towel.
  • Heavily coat the ribs on all sides, being sure to press the rub into the sides and edges too.
  • Allow the beef to rest for 1 hour while you prep the grill.
  • Prep the smoker for even heat of 225 degrees F with indirect heat. With a charcoal grill or stick smoker, aim for 225 to 250F.
  • Add a drip pan with water to the grill under the grill grates.
  • Add the wood chunks when the coals are almost ready to go, and allow the dark dirty smoke to burn off before adding your meat.
  • When the smoke is clear, add the grill grate and place the ribs, bone side down, on the smoker.
  • Close the lid and allow the ribs to smoke until they have reached around 165 – 170 F.
  • At this point, remove the ribs from the smoker, spritz them with the mop and wrap them. This is a good time to check the fuel in your grill to see if it needs more as the beef will continue to cook.
  • Place the ribs back in the smoker and continue to cook, spritzing with the mop every 45 minutes until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 205 to 210F. An instant read thermometer will insert into the thickest part of the meat like butter when these ribs are ready, and is essential for checking the proper temp on your meat.
  • Remove the beef ribs from the smoker and allow them to rest for 20 minutes before slicing them between the bones to serve.

What to serve with beef ribs

We slathered these in fresh homemade cilantro chimichurri. The fresh herbs and mild heat blend beautifully with the hearty beef. Or go full-on authentic barbecue joint and serve this with white bread and a pickle. Pickled red onions are also perfect; the vinegar cuts the fat and balances flavors. We also love our homemade keto bbq sauce with these ribs or any of your favorite barbecue sauces, coleslaw, broccoli or potato salad, creamy smoked mac and cheese, and smoked brisket bbq beans.

Leftovers & Reheating

Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. If You aren’t going to serve them on the bone again, consider removing the meat from the bone and shredding it for easy use later.

Reheat beef ribs by placing the ribs in a foil pan with a splash of the vinegar-based bbq sauce, beer, or even water. Cover tightly with foil and reheat in an oven preheated to 325 until heated through.

If the meat has been removed from the bone, and you are reheating small portions of shredded beef, microwave in short 30-second batches until heated through.

Use the leftover shredded smoked ribs in a breakfast hash, sandwiches, quesabirria tacos, enchiladas, soups, and any other recipe that calls for shredded beef.

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