This smoked beef ribs recipe makes the most mouthwatering, fall off the bone tender ribs. It includes a fantastic homemade beef rub and uses a tried-and-true slow smoking method, with fruitwood pellets or chips for maximum flavor. Serve with your favorite barbecue sides for a meal that's sure to please everyone at the table!
Why You'll Love this Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe
Simple, Wholesome Ingredients. The homemade spice rub only has 6 ingredients, all commonly used seasonings that you likely already have. Then you just need the beef ribs and a bit of apple cider vinegar. That's it!
Easy to Prepare. Getting the beef ribs ready to smoke is a straightforward process. The meat is trimmed, seasoned, and left to set in the refrigerator for an hour before smoking.
Amazing Flavor. By using a few select ingredients the deliciously smoky, savory, beefy flavors are really able to shine. Beef ribs are typically thick and meaty, and by slow smoking them they are meltingly tender.
Fantastic Leftovers. Enjoy smoked beef ribs warm and practically right off of the smoker, and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They are delicious briefly reheated in the oven or even cold.
How to Slow Smoke Beef Ribs
- Homemade Dry Beef Rub. Combine all of the spices together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Prepare the Meat. Remove the bottom membrane from the meat (see tips in the recipe card for more on this). Pat the beef ribs dry with a paper towel and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the dry rub evenly on the beef ribs, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Set the Temperature. Add the wood chips or pellets and preheat the smoker to 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ribs - fat side up - onto the grill grates. Insert a dual probe meat thermometer into the meat, taking care to not touch the bone. Place the other thermometer probe into the smoker to keep an eye on the temperature around the ribs.
- Smoke and Spritz. Fill a spray bottle with apple cider vinegar and water. Smoke the ribs and spritz with the vinegar mixture at regular intervals per the full recipe card below.
- Wrap and Smoke. When phase #1 of smoking is complete, wrap the smoked beef ribs in heavy duty aluminum foil. Return to the smoker and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 hours.
- Let Stand and Serve. Remove the smoked beef ribs from the smoker when they reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees - also known as the point of meltingly tender deliciousness. Keep them wrapped in foil and let rest for a full 25 minutes. Unwrap the smoked beef ribs and serve warm with your favorite sides.
- Beef Rib Rub. You can use a readymade rub to make prep time slightly shorter. For smoked beef ribs Traeger makes a highly rated beef rib rub with molasses and chili pepper.
- Moisture. Wrapping the ribs in foil helps to keep them nice and juicy. However, if you want to retain even more moisture in the smoked beef ribs, place a foil pan filled with about 1 inch of water near or below the grill grate.
- Butcher Paper. In place of the heavy duty foil, use this Peach Butcher Paper. This helps hold in the smoked flavor while not creating extra moisture. Tip: You can also use the butcher paper to store any leftovers. This food grade paper also works really well for freezing many foods.
Smoked Beef Ribs Serving Suggestions
More Smoked Recipes to Try
Smoked Beef Ribs
- Smoker or Grill
Beef Barbecue Rub
- ¼ cup fine grain sea salt
- 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1-½ tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 8 pounds bone-in beef short ribs about 4 bones per pound
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- In a medium bowl, combine sea salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
- Remove the thin membrane from the bottom of the ribs. (see tip) Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Arrange the short ribs on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the rub all over the ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- Preheat the smoker and add the wood pellets/chips, according to manufacturer's directions, to 225°F to 250°F.
- Transfer the ribs, fat side up, from the sheet pan to the grill grates. Insert one probe of a dual probe meat thermometer horizontally into the center of the rib meat being careful not to touch the bone. Place the other probe into the smoker. Wash and dry the sheet pan.
- Fill a spray bottle with the apple cider vinegar and the water. Set aside.
- Smoke the ribs, spritzing the ribs are the first hour, for 3 hours or until the meat thermometer registers a temperature of 165°F and the ribs are dark brown. Continue spritzing the ribs every 30 minutes after the first hour.
- Transfer the ribs from the smoker to the sheet pan. Using at least four sheets of heavy duty foil, divide the ribs among the sheets. Carefully wrap the ribs in the individual sheets of foil
- Return the ribs to the smoker and continue cooking, 2 to 3 hours or until they reach an internal temperature of 200°F and the meat is meltingly tender when tested with a fork.
- Keep the ribs wrapped and remove them from the smoker. Let stand for 25 minutes.
- Carefully open the foil packets and transfer ribs to a serving platter. Serve immediately after opening the packets.