Smoked Beef Short Ribs

9 reviews

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These Smoked Beef Short Ribs are a rich, beefy bite of meat. They are tender and melt in your mouth with a delicious smoke flavor that will knock your socks off. If you’ve never had beef short ribs before, today is the day to try them out.

sliced beef short rib on a wooden cutting board.

What are Beef Short Ribs?

Short ribs are exactly as the name describes them – they’re short sections of ribs taken from various areas of the cow. These ribs vary from 3-6 inches in length and are often extremely meaty. The most common ribs on grocery store shelves are the 3 inch, individual bones. The recipe below is written for these ribs. If you’ve got the larger, 6 inch ribs with 3 attached bones, follow THIS smoked beef ribs recipe.

Short ribs can come from many areas, including the plate, rib, brisket, or chuck. To have a true short rib, you’ll have portions of the serratus ventralis muscle running through the meat. When you go to purchase your short ribs, you may not know exactly where your ribs are coming from, though the price may help indicate where they originated (the brisket and chuck tend to be more expensive).

While short ribs tend to be very meaty, they can also be tough. Pay close attention when it comes to smoke temperature, time, and target internal temperature of these ribs to ensure they are fully cooked. When cooked properly, they’ll be extremely tender and packed with good, beefy flavor.

Smoked BBQ Beef Short Ribs

When purchasing beef short ribs, choose ribs that are well-marbled. This will ensure the meat is full of flavor and, if cooked correctly, should be fall-off-the-bone tender.

This recipe makes the most of that wonderful marbling (remember fat=flavor!), and uses a simple salt and pepper-based rub to enhance the incredible beefy flavor of the meat. You don’t want to overpower these, rather use what mother nature gave you and compliment the meat. Finish up with a good smoke (I recommend trying cherry or oak for these ribs) and you have everything you need.

Between the meat, the seasoning, and the great smoke, you’ll have an all-around delicious beef rib that will be a memorable experience.

raw beef short ribs on a wooden cutting board.Beef Short Ribs Seasoning

Beef short ribs can be seasoned simply with cracked black pepper, kosher salt, and some garlic powder. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it good and simple, and if this is what you have on hand, I say go for it. You’ll be plenty happy with the results.

When you want to add just a bit more “wow” to your ribs, I recommend using my Signature Beef Seasoning from Patio Provisions. It’s a salt and pepper-based seasoning that has a few added ingredients that make the most of your beef.

How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs

These ribs are straightforward to make; they simply require a bit of time and patience. Here’s the basic timeline for smoking your beef short ribs. Scroll to the bottom of the post for a full, printable recipe card.

  1. Preheat. Get that smoker running at 225 degrees F.
  2. Trim. Remove any silver skin on the top of the meat and trim off the fat cap.
  3. Season. Begin by slathering the ribs with brown mustard, then season with Beef Seasoning (or salt, pepper, and garlic powder).
  4. Smoke. Begin by smoking these short ribs for 3 hours.
  5. Spritz. Spritz every hour with beef stock beginning at the 3-hour mark until your ribs are done cooking.
  6. Rest. Once your meat reaches 205-210 degrees F internal temperature, remove the ribs from the smoker and rest them for 30 minutes.
  7. Serve. Time to sit down and enjoy your hard work. You done good, my friend.

smoked beef short ribs on a wooden cutting board.

How Long to Smoke Beef Short Ribs

When smoking beef short ribs, you can expect it to take anywhere from 7-8 hours for them to fully cook. Keep in mind this time can vary depending on the thickness of the meat on your ribs, as well as how consistent the temperature is on your smoker.

I often feel like a broken record when I say the following, but it rings true all too often: cook to temperature and not to time. While having a time frame in mind is helpful for you to plan ahead, allow some wiggle room into your schedule when smoking meat.

Total time from start to finish for these beef short ribs is around 8-9 hours (preheating smoker and resting time included with cook time), so expect these ribs to be a nice Saturday or Sunday project.

Scroll to the next section for my recommendation about the prime internal temperature for smoked beef short ribs, and keep this in mind as you prepare to make these.

Smoked Beef Short Ribs Internal Temperature

Beef short ribs cook at a higher temperature than other smoked beef. They tend to soften somewhere between 205 and 210 degrees F. I prefer to use my Thermapen Mk4 to keep an eye on the internal temperature as I’m smoking. The ThermoPop is a good budget-friendly option if you’re needing something smaller that will still get the job done well.

You’ll know your ribs are done when your thermometer slides into the meat just like butter. That tenderness should be a helpful indicator of how close your short ribs are to being done. And once they reach that perfect internal temperature, prepare yourself for some tasty, tender meat. These guys fall off the bone with barely a touch.

smoked beef short rib meat pulling away from the bone.

Looking for More Ribs Recipes?

Whether you’re a pork or beef fan, Hey Grill Hey has a variety of recipes to help you make masterful ribs. My recommendation? Get creative with your ribs. Simple salt and pepper go a long way, but adding in some extra seasoning and sauces can really up your ribs game.

Smoked Beef Short Ribs Recipe

Let’s make something delicious! I’m all about helping you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. If you want to see more of my recipes, tips, and behind-the-scenes action, follow along on my social channels. You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube!

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

By: Susie Bulloch (
4.89 from 9 votes
Smoked Beef Short Ribs are a rich, beefy bite of meat. They are tender and melt in your mouth with a delicious smoke flavor that will knock your socks off.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Resting Time30 minutes
Total Time8 hours 45 minutes


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  • 2 pounds beef short ribs (4-5 bones)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown deli mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Signature Beef Seasoning
  • ½ cup beef stock


  • Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F using a good hard wood for the smoke (I like oak and cherry woods for these ribs).
  • Prepare your short ribs by trimming off the fat cap and silver skin on the top side of the meat.
  • Slather the ribs on all sides with the brown mustard and season liberally with the beef seasoning or equal parts kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Place the ribs on the smoker, close the lid, and smoke for 3 hours (without opening the lid!)
  • After 3 hours, start spritzing the beef ribs with the beef stock. Spritz every hour.
  • Continue smoking and spritzing until the internal temperature of your short ribs reads 205-210 degrees F, and the thermometer probe feels like it is sliding into the meat like it's softened butter.
  • Remove the meat from the smoker and cover it loosely with foil. Let your short ribs rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 671mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Susie is the BBQ Brain behind the Hey Grill Hey website. Her passion for smoked meats and developing fun, new recipes have landed her on the Food Network, cooking turkeys with Shaq, and on a couple of Guinness World Records. When she’s not grilling, she is hanging out with Todd and their three kids, preferably outdoors!

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Recipe Rating

Reader Reviews

24 Reviews

  1. Tad Hamilton says:

    These ribs are delicious will make them again.

  2. Chris Alioto says:

    I’ve made this so many times and it never disappoints. I appreciate all of your recipes.

  3. Marc Yanow says:

    Thanks for all the recipies and videos! My Z Grills doesn’t exactly keep 225 degrees. At 180 it’s about 200-225 and at 225 it’s about 245. If your recipie calls for 225 should I go with the 180 or 225 setting?

    1. Hey Grill Hey says:

      This is a common issue with smokers, so I would use a trusted external thermometer to get an accurate reading on your smoker temp. You can set from there.

  4. Trevor says:

    I used your recipe but with a change; I used the 3-2-1 method that I use for pork ribs (although I changed it to 3-3-1 for a total of 7 hours). I also used your seasoning suggestions but added onion powder. I also seasoned them the night before, put them in the refrigerator overnight and then brought them out for about an hour to reach room temperature.
    Final hour I slathered BBQ sauce on the top side every 15 minutes or so, checked temperature, tented loosely in aluminum foil and let them rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Turned out perfect. I know “pitmasters” frown on the 2-2-1, 3-2-1 and 3-3-1 methods but if they work, who cares?

  5. Ernie says:

    Simply awesome recipe and awesome results!

  6. George says:

    First time smoking beef ribs. Took a little longer than the recipe stated but they were absolutely delicious.

  7. Jeffrey Thompson says:

    Are you instructions for smoking the ribs individually or as a full rack?