smoked beef short ribs

I’ll just get this right out of the way.  Smoked Beef Short Ribs are probably my favourite BBQ, ever.  I’ll never forget the first time I made them though.  I was so keen to eat them that I pulled them out too early, and they were mostly tough and sinewy.  They aren’t that difficult to get right, but the MOST important thing is to not undercook them!!

There’s a few different kind of beef ribs that you can get depending on how they’re butchered.  

  • Back Ribs (AKA “Shiners”) – these are IMO the least desirable beef ribs.  There’s just not that much meat on them usually.  These are often braised and slow cooked.
  • Chuck Ribs – these have much more meat than back ribs, but have a smaller bone.  I don’t find them quite as juicy when cooked well, so my assumption is they have slightly less intramuscular fat.
  • Asado Ribs – rather than the ribs being cut perpendicular to the bone, Asado Ribs are cut thinly across the bone.  This cut is common in South America.  Each Asado Rib portion will have several thin slices of bone through them.
  • Wang Galbi Ribs – native to Korean BBQ, each bone in piece is filleted or flanked and then folded around the bone and then grilled quickly.
  • Plate Ribs – now we’re talking!!  Big dinosaur boned, juicy smoky and barky Plate Ribs (drool), my favourite style to smoke and what you’ll see on this post..


Beef Shorties = life

To get that almost black and crunchy bark, it’s simply salt and pepper that’s needed but I put a touch of garlic and onion powder on too.  I’ll be smoking these on my Akorn Kamado charcoal smoker, and I’ll pair the lumpwood charcoal with pecan and sugar gum chunks for flavour.  They are both mild flavoured but with enough chunks in there (the ratio was probably 3 charcoal/1 flavour wood) I should get plenty of smoke on these.

The smell of these smoking is just divine; be prepared for the entire neighbourhood to want to know what’s going on! 


method for smoking beef short ribs


  1. First up is to prepare the beef ribs the night before.  These were a pretty small three rib cut.  If you have a fat cap on top, choose whether to take that off and the silver skin underneath it if you wish.  I used to but after keeping it on once I now don’t.  Unlike pork ribs, leave the membrane covering the bones on to keep your ribs from falling apart.
  2. I like to hit my beef short ribs with equal parts freshly cracked salt and pepper the night before and a light sprinkle of both garlic and onion powder.  Wrap up when done and leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. Beef ribs always take a good 8+ hours unless you’re cooking at higher temps.  Start these early in the morning to avoid rushing to be ready for dinner.  If you’re finished early, you can wrap in a cooler and keep warm for hours. 
  4. For this cook I went with my Akorn Kamado smoker.  I loaded it up with charcoal and dispersed several chunks of pecan and sugar gum flavour woods.  They are both mild flavoured woods but I put in a decent amount to give it enough smoke.
  5. To manage the low and slow, I lit it with my electric coal starters just in the middle of the coal and wood pile.  At the beginning you need to open up the vents all the way to get these going.
  6. I was aiming for around 230f (110c) for the first few hours, so I kept an eye on things using my WiFi thermometer until it hit 215f (100c) and dialled it down until it hit the 230f (110c) before closing it up.
  7. 15 minutes before putting the beef short ribs on, I hit it with another run of cracked pepper ONLY (no more salt is needed).  
  8. When the temp is steady, throw the ribs on and unless you need to regulate your fire leave it closed for the next 4 hours.
  9. When the ribs are around 160f, you can bring your temp up to around 250f (120c) and from here on in open up and spritz with Apple Cider Vinegar every 30 minutes or so.
  10. Keep going until everywhere (other than bone, duh obviously!) is probe tender.  A probe (skewer, toothpick or instant read thermometer) should feel like it’s sliding in and out of warm butter.  With Beef Short Ribs that’s normally around 203f+ (95c+).  Don’t be afraid if the temp reads a bit higher.  You are much better off making sure you’re cooking to probe tender feel than temp or time with these.


  11. When they’re probe tender they’re ready to pull off the smoker.  Add a tablespoon of melted beef tallow to butchers paper and place the ribs bone side down.  Add another tablespoon of melted beef tallow to the top of the ribs, then wrap in butchers paper and place with some towels into a cooler to rest.  I like to rest these at least one hour.
  12. When ready to serve, slice them between each bone with a large sharp knife.  Enjoy!



Ingredients I used

(Each Spider/Oyster steak serves 1 person)

  • 4 lb (1.8kg) 3 bone Plate Short Ribs
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns and Himalayan Pink Salt, garlic powder and onion powder
  • Apple Cider vinegar (for spritzing)
  • 2 tablespoons of beef tallow



  • Akorn Jr Kamado Grill
  • Char Griller lump charcoal
  • Pecan and Sugar Gum wood chunks
  • Ozito Electric Charcoal starter
  • Inkbird 1HT-1 instant read thermometer
  • Spritz bottle
  • Butcher’s Paper



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