Go Back
+ servings
four smoked beef ribs on a cutting board with grilled corn and baked beans in the background

Smoked Beef Ribs

Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Comfort Food, Grilling, Smoked, Summer
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Resting Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 472kcal
Author: Marilyn
For the most satisfying, meltingly tender beef ribs, this smoked beef ribs recipe passes the test with a homemade dry beef rub and slow smoking over fruitwood pellets or chips. This recipe is destined to please you and your beef-loving guests.
Print Recipe


  • Smoker or Grill


Beef Barbecue Rub

Beef Ribs

  • 8 pounds bone-in beef short ribs about 4 bones per pound
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water


Beef Rub

  • In a medium bowl, combine sea salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

Beef Ribs

  • 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.


To remove the membrane - Check the bottom of the ribs to see if there is a thin clear membrane attached. Sometimes this is removed by the butcher. If not, take the tip of a knife to loosen one end. Using your fingers pull the membrane off of the ribs in one big piece. The movement is similar to removing tape.


Beef Rib Rub: For beef ribs Traeger makes a highly rated beef rib rub with molasses and chili pepper.
Moisture: If you want to retain more moisture, place a foil pan filled with about 1 inch of water near or below the smoking ribs.
Butcher Paper: In place of the heavy duty foil, use this Peach Butcher Paper which holds in the smoked flavor while not creating moisture. You can also use the butcher paper to store any leftovers. This food grade paper also works really well for freezing many foods.


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 3004mg | Potassium: 1015mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 548IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 6mg