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How to smoke beef short ribs

How to smoke beef short ribs


Treat the family on a lazy Sunday with smoked O'Connor beef short ribs. American style beef short ribs may take some time to cook but are well worth the wait. What you are left with is succulent, juicy meat fit for a celebration. This recipe is designed for a kettle or charcoal barbeque but can be adapted for gas barbeques with a smoking box.

How to smoke beef ribs?



1 x 1.5kg short rib plate, trimmed


1 tsp Olive oil




Meatsmith spice rub


Beechworth wood chips


Prepare a kettle BBQ or smoker for indirect cooking.

To do this, light a chimney full of charcoal. When red hot, pour into the BBQ on one side, on top of a chimney full of unlit charcoal.

Adjust the Bottom dampers to 1/4 open and the top damper to ¾ open

Place an aluminium tray 3/4 full of hot water on the side of the charcoal grate opposite the coals.

Place the grill grate on top and replace the lid.

Leave for 20 minutes or so to stabilise the temperature at 125°C

Coat the short rib in a thin, even layer of olive oil – this is to help the rub stick.

Season generously on all sides with salt

Coat the short rib on all sides with an even layer of spice rub, using your hands to gently rub it in.

Remove the lid from the smoked. Throw a handful of smoking chips onto the hot coals. Place the short rib on the indirect side of the grill grate, opposite the hot coals and over the top of the water tray. Replace the lid, and smoke for 30 minutes.

Throw another handful of smoking chips onto the hot coals. Replace the lid, and smoke for a further 5 hours, topping up the coals as necessary.

At this point, remove the short rib from the smoker. Wrap tightly in a layer of butchers paper, or foil, to make a tight parcel.

Place the parcel back on the smoker, and continue to cook for 1.5-2 hours, until a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the ribs reads 95°C

Remove the parcel from the grill, and set aside somewhere to rest for 1 hour.

Remove the ribs from the wrapping. Using a sharp knife, carve the ribs into 3 pieces between the bones.

Serve immediately, with BBQ sauce on the side.

What to serve with beef ribs?

We love our beef ribs served with a good BBQ sauce from Fancy Hanks on the side. Try their coffee and molasses BBQ sauce for a twist on the classic. Other great side dishes with ribs include potato salad, corn on the cob, American-style mac & cheese, a fresh bean salad, or a summery pasta salad. 

How to cook beef ribs in the oven slow?

Another delicious way to cook beef ribs is in the oven. Braised beef ribs are utterly delicious and fall off the bone thanks to the slow, long cook. The best way to cook them like this is by searing in a hot pan with olive oil, before creating a delicious sauce of garlic, celery, carrot, wine, beef stock and herbs. Allow the meat to gently braise in the sauce for a few hours in an oven at 135C. 

What are beef short ribs?

Beef short ribs are a meaty cut containing the five short ribs from the chuck section of the beast. The short ribs are on the bone and an incredibly flavoursome part of the beef. The best way to cook short ribs is long and slow.

Beef Ribs Marinade

Amp up the flavour of your ribs by using a dry spice rub or marinade. There are many different flavours to create that go well with beef ribs, but a classic flavour combination is sweet and sour. Try a mix of lemon juice, honey, vinegar and garlic or a honey soy combination. The ribs should be marinated overnight in the fridge to impart the best flavour. 

Learn more about our grass-fed beef producers and shop our range of beef. If you liked this recipe, try our smoked lamb ribs recipe too.

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