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Smoked Beef Short Ribs

These smoked beef short ribs are amazing. The flavorful crust will dance on your tongue as the slow-smoked buttery meat melts in your mouth.
3.97 from 125 votes

By Christie Vanover | Published February 24, 2017 | Last Updated June 4, 2022

When you start with beautifully marbled meat, there’s not much else you need to do to develop a delicious meal.

smoked beef short ribs cooking on grill

Beef short ribs are such a sought after treat because when cooked properly, the meat just melts like butter.

There are a few different cuts of beef ribs out there. Read my tutorial to learn about beef rib varieties.

The rub in this smoked beef short ribs recipe is a simple mix of my award-winning Brisket Rub and a garlic forward rub from my friend Adam McKenzie from This Jew Can Que. The two combined create a nice balance of salt, sweetness and texture. 

How many short ribs do I need per person

Beef short ribs usually come 3-4 per package, and the average person will enjoy eating 1-2 bones, depending on what other dishes you’re serving along side them. 

It’s better to buy extra. Any leftover meat can be shredded and heated up later to make some killer tacos. 

Smoking beef short ribs

These can be cooked on any type of smoker. Heat your cooker to 275F degrees and consider using hickory and cherry woods. They pair magically with beef. 

Smoke the ribs for about 4 hours – until the internal temperature reaches 205F degrees.

That internal temp is really important. If you pull them from the smoker too early, they won’t be quite as succulent.

platter of smoked beef short ribs surrounded by peppers and red cabbage

Because beef short ribs are so rich and buttery, they go well with tart and spicy sides like grilled shishito peppers and pickled red cabbage.

Beef Short Ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

These smoked beef short ribs are amazing. The flavorful crust will dance on your tongue as the slow-smoked buttery meat melts in your mouth.
3.97 from 125 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 4



  • Combine the rubs in a small bowl. Rub all over the meat. Let rest on the counter for 1-2 hours.
  • Heat the smoker to 275F degrees. Smoke over indirect heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the meat is soft and reaches an internal temperature of about 205F degrees.


I have modified this recipe. The original rub called for:
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp Code 3 Spices Grunt Rub


Calories: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 43gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 133mgSodium: 729mgPotassium: 818mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 5mg

This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator

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  1. Mona January 29, 2018 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    I don’t have a smoker. How else can these ribs be cooked?

    • Christie January 31, 2018 at 7:43 am - Reply

      Hi Mona,
      You could try cooking them in a 275-degree oven. I recommend putting a small pan of water in the oven with them to help keep them moist.

  2. Zac September 3, 2018 at 4:57 am - Reply

    Do you smoke the short ribs whole or cut them before? Thanks!

    • Christie Vanover September 3, 2018 at 11:33 am - Reply

      I smoke them cut as individual bones. When I smoke plate ribs, I keep the 3-4 bones together.

  3. Jill September 15, 2019 at 9:06 am - Reply

    My ribs varied widely in size, which made timing dinner difficult but we snacked on them as they hit 205 and they were very tasty.

  4. joseph allen October 1, 2019 at 7:14 am - Reply

    This was the hit of the BBQ my wife and I held for our prayer group. I also grilled chicken, burgers, brats, and shrimp cabobs so there was alot to choose from and everyone seemed most interested in the ribs. Thanks for the great recipe

  5. Anthony Mariapain January 5, 2020 at 8:32 am - Reply

    How about boneless short ribs? How do you adjust the timing?

    • Christie Vanover January 5, 2020 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      The timing will be pretty similar. Mainly cook until you reach the desired temp.

  6. Scott January 28, 2020 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    I just tried these, still testing out my masterbuilt electric smoker. I used 3 small-ish boneless spare ribs, cooked fat on top , temp probe in larger one. Cooked right about 4 hrs to internal temp of 205*, and loaded wood chips twice.
    While the flavor is there, they are a bit dry and tight overall 😭😭😭😭 … any ideas where I may have gone wrong? Will try again soon…

    • Christie Vanover February 8, 2020 at 7:48 am - Reply

      You mentioned in your comment that you used spare ribs, which are pork ribs. This recipe is for beef short ribs. When I cook spare ribs, I usually wrap them about half way through the cooking.

    • Anonymous March 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm - Reply

      Spritz them every 15 minutes during the last hour of cooking them with apple juice or Dr. Pepper and you will have juices running down your face.

    • Anonymous April 22, 2022 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      I have a master built vertical smoker. Not sure if that’s the one you’re using. But my best results with this unit was to cook at 225, after first hour I then spritzed, and added more chips. After the first hour I then checked it every 30 minutes spritzing then to keep them moist, with of course the water pan having water or apple juice in them. That smoker is insulated very very well, so if you don’t spritz every so often, and if the temp is high you will get very dry meat. Yes it took longer the way I did, but the end results was nothing short of juicy, moist, great pull, and tender like no other!!!!

  7. Dee April 28, 2020 at 9:36 am - Reply

    What wood do you use in this recipe?

  8. Joe May 1, 2020 at 11:09 am - Reply

    I have done Korean style ribs on a hot grill, mage slow cooker ribs the other night, had the left over today as a sandwich with barbecue sauce, it was good but I said to myself, “Joe this tastes a little like brisket, I wonder if anyone smokes them?” And I found your site, can’t wait to try this.

  9. Joshua Weberg May 11, 2022 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Your smoked beef short ribs sure look excellent! I definitely agree with using hickory to smoke the beef short ribs, it is one of my favorite woods to smoke with. Hope to see more of your recipes out there.

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