Smoked Beef Short Ribs

6 Min Read

Are you looking for a mouthwatering Smoked Beef Short Ribs recipe? Make these succulent, bone-in, meaty short ribs smoked on a pellet grill to achieve the perfect tenderness and rich flavor with every bite.

Craving tender, smoky barbecue ribs?

Our smoked short ribs recipe delivers incredible beef ribs that are mouthwateringly moist and packed with rich smoke flavor, one of our favorite beef recipes.

Short ribs have the perfect meat-to-fat ratio that turns out incredibly juicy with this low-and-slow smoking recipe. We use our favorite barbecue rub to create a deep crust on the ribs. Then, we give step-by-step instructions to monitor temperature and smoke levels so your short ribs develop that quintessential pink smoke ring while smoking to fall off-the-bone doneness.

The Cut: what are English Style Short ribs?

English-style short ribs are thick meaty short ribs cut with the bone running through the length of the meat. They are often 2 to 4 inches long with a one-inch thick portion of beef on top. Imagine types of pork ribs, but even meatier. Because the big short ribs we use are cut from the plate area of the ribs, just like our dino ribs, they have a lot of fat and are perfect for slow cooking methods like with our slow cooker short ribs recipe, braised in a Dutch oven, or even sous vide beef ribs.

We love smoking English cut short ribs because they are big and meaty, just like smoked beef ribs. They take well to the smoke flavor. The long cooking time lets the tough connective tissue break down to get tender, unlike flanken-style beef ribs that we grill hot and fast for a good char.

You can find short ribs at most grocery stores all year long in the meat department, but they are often chuck short ribs, which work great in this recipe. When buying beef short ribs, look for ribs that are evenly sized in length and thickness so that your cooking time will be even with the bone-in. You want to see good marbling throughout the meat and a thick, pillow-shaped portion of beef on top of the bones from edge to edge.


When it comes to smoking beef, we find keeping the ingredients list simple gives the best results.

  • Bone in Beef Short Ribs – we love the thick, meaty short plate ribs. We buy ours from Porter Road, one of our favorite places to order meat online. However, most markets have beef chuck short ribs in stock at all times. Both pack a big beefy flavor great for low-and-slow cooking like this recipe.
  • GirlsCanGrill Brisket Rub – or an SPG blend (salt, pepper, and garlic powder) for a traditional Texas flavor or your favorite bold barbecue spice blend.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Vinegar mop, beer, or water for the mop.

How to smoke short ribs

  • Start by prepping your short ribs. Remove them from the package and pat them dry. If there is a membrane on the back of the ribs, remove it by gently sliding a butter knife under it and pulling up. Using a paper towel, grip the thin silver skin and peel it off. Then, give the surface of the meat a heavy coating of spices, salt, and pepper on all sides. Let them sit at room temperature for 45 minutes while you preheat the grill so they come to room temperature.
  • Prep your Traeger smoker or pellet grill for 225 degrees F. Check that the auger is filled with pellets, and consider adding a chunk or two of hickory wood to the hottest corners of your pellet grill for added smoky flavor.
  • When the grill is preheated, add the beef short ribs to the grill grate and close the lid. Let the ribs smoke for 2 to 3 hours before checking the temperature with a digital meat thermometer.
  • At this point, if you have a nice bark, you can choose to start spritzing the meat with a mop every 30 to 45 minutes for the duration of the cook as you check the temperature. Alternatively, you could also wrap the short ribs in butcher paper like we do when we smoke full plate ribs to help keep them moist. However, on our Trager grill, we kept them on the grill grates and spritzed with our apple cider mop a few times for the duration of the cook to keep the bark perfect on the top of the meat.
  • Continue to smoke the beef ribs until they reach 203 to 205 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer. The probe should slide easily into the tender meat without resistance. Note that the cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and your smoker. We recommend a digital meat thermometer for the best results.
  • Using long tongs, remove the smoked beef short ribs from the grill and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving them with your favorite barbecue sauce or homemade chimichurri.


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