These smoked beef ribs are meaty, tender, and one of the best bites in all of BBQ.
Smoky, succulent, and perfectly tender—smoked beef ribs needs a little bit of patience, but they pay off with phenomenal flavor.
Helpful Recipe Information
- Prep time: 30 minutes
- Seasoning: Worcestershire sauce, Meat Church Texas Sugar rub
- Smoking time: 8-10 hours
- Internal temperature: 210F
- Resting time: 1 hour
How To Make Smoked Beef Ribs
For this smoked beef ribs recipe, I used high-quality Snake River Farms beef ribs that weighed in at 8.7 pounds.
After trimming the fat and silver skin, I brushed the ribs with Worcestershire sauce and generously applied Meat Church Texas Sugar rub.
Once the ribs sat for 30 minutes, I placed them in my Traeger, preheated to 250 degrees, and let them smoke until they hit an internal temperature of 210 degrees, which took about 9 hours.
- Beef ribs (1 rack, 8.7 pounds). I got a beautiful rack of plate ribs from Snake River farms.
- Worcestershire sauce. (1 tbsp). Acts as a binder for our rub.
- Seasoning (1 tbsp). Use your favorite BBQ rub. For this cook, I used Texas Sugar by Meat Church, which adds a beautiful color and flavor.
1. Start by trimming the fat and silver skin off your ribs. This allows for better absorption of the seasoning.
2. Brush the ribs with Worcestershire sauce to act as a binder for the rub. Sprinkle the Meat Church Texas Sugar Rub generously all over the ribs, then let sit for 30 minutes to absorb the flavors.
3. Meanwhile, preheat your smoker to 250 degrees. Once the smoker is ready, place your ribs in. I used Hickory flavored pellets for this cook
4. Spritz the ribs with apple juice or apple cider vinegar every hour or so. This helps to keep the meat moist during the smoking process, and it's what I do with my smoked brisket as well.
5. Smoke the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 210F. This should take around 8-10 hours depending on the exact size of your ribs.
6. Remove the ribs from the smoker, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, and let them rest in an insulated cooler (or oven) for 1 hour. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a tender, juicy finish.
7. After the resting period, slice the beef ribs, serve, and ENJOY!
What Are Beef Ribs?
Beef ribs come from the rib section of the cow and are known for their rich, beefy flavor.
They are larger and meatier than pork ribs, and when cooked properly, they are incredibly tender and succulent.
The slow cooking process allows the fat and connective tissue to break down, resulting in a fall-off-the-bone texture that's hard to beat.
Chuck ribs come from the upper section of the rib primal, closer to the shoulder or chuck area. A full rack usually consists of four ribs, though they are often sold in grocery stores in smaller portions. Chuck ribs tend to be leaner than plate ribs, and their meat is more spread out over the bone.
Plate ribs are located lower down on the rib cage, closer to the belly of the animal. A full rack typically includes three ribs, but these ribs are considerably larger and more meaty than chuck ribs. I used plate ribs for this recipe.
Plate ribs are known for their exceptional marbling, leading to a succulent and intensely flavorful result when cooked.
Why This Recipe Works
Here's why you're going to love this smoked beef ribs recipe:
Low and slow. The low temperature and extended smoking time allow the fat and connective tissue in the ribs to break down, resulting in incredibly tender meat.
Deep, smoky flavor. The combination of the Meat Church Texas Sugar Rub and smoke infuses the ribs with a rich, smoky, slightly sweet flavor that's hard to resist.
Hands-off. While the ribs take some time to cook, the actual hands-on time is minimal. Once the ribs are in the smoker, it's just a matter of maintaining the temperature and giving them a spritz every hour.
Crowd-pleaser. These smoked ribs are always a hit at BBQs and cookouts. Just be sure to make enough because they'll go fast!
Seasoning Your Smoked Beef Ribs
As mentioned, I used the Texas Sugar rub from Meat Church for these smoked beef ribs, but you can choose any rub you like.
When it comes to seasoning beef ribs, especially smoked ones, simplicity is key. Large, beefy cuts like these already pack a punch of flavor, so the role of the seasoning here is to complement, not overshadow, that natural goodness.
A simple homemade mix can do wonders. Simply blend equal parts Kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and garlic powder.
You can also try my homemade coffee rub on these beef ribs.
Temperature For Beef Ribs
Most beef rib recipes will tell you to smoke your beef ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 203F. This is often touted as the "magic number" at which tough collagen in the meat breaks down into gelatin, making the ribs tender.
However, when it comes to beef ribs, there's another important factor to consider – the rendering of the fat.
Beef ribs are rich in marbled fat, which takes a bit more heat to render fully. Rendering is the process of melting the fat within the meat, which then moistens and flavors the meat from the inside.
This is where the slightly higher temperature of 210F comes into play. By allowing your beef ribs to reach this temperature, you are giving the fat more time to render. This additional rendering results in ribs that are even more juicy, tender, and flavorful.
While there is a risk of the meat becoming too tender and falling off the bone at these higher temperatures, this is generally not a problem with beef ribs. They have enough structure to hold together well, even at 210F.
Remember to rest your ribs after they come off the smoker, as they will continue to cook a little and the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. This rest period will ensure your beef ribs are at their most flavorful and tender when you come to serve them.
Smoked Beef Ribs Tips For Success
Smoking the perfect beef ribs is easy if you follow these tips.
- Choose quality ribs. A good smoked ribs recipe starts with good ribs. Look for ribs that have a good amount of meat on them and avoid those that have a lot of exposed bone.
- Don't rush it. The key to tender smoked ribs is a low temperature and a slow cooking time. Don't try to rush the process by increasing the temperature.
- Keep them moist. Spritzing the ribs with apple juice every hour helps to keep them moist during the long smoking process.
- Let them rest. Resting the ribs in an insulated cooler after smoking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy rib.
- Use a meat thermometer. A meat thermometer will ensure you smoke the ribs until the perfect internal temperature, resulting in the best texture and flavor.
Best Pellets For Beef Ribs
When smoking beef ribs, the type of wood used in the pellets can greatly influence the taste of your dish.
Certain wood types pair exceptionally well with beef and here are some of the most popular choices:
Hickory: A classic choice for beef, hickory lends a robust, hearty flavor to the meat. The strong, bacon-like flavor pairs well with the bold taste of beef ribs.
Mesquite: While mesquite is known for its bold, earthy flavor, it can be intense if used alone in long smokes like beef ribs. Mix it with milder woods like oak to balance out the flavor and avoid overpowering the meat.
Oak: Providing a medium to strong flavor, oak complements beef well. It offers a rich, smoky flavor without overshadowing the beef's natural taste.
Cherry: Cherry wood infuses a mild, sweet, and fruity smoke that subtly enhances the flavor of beef ribs. It is often mixed with a stronger wood like hickory or oak to balance its sweetness and add depth of flavor.
Best Smoked Beef Ribs
For The Steak
- 1 rack beef ribs
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp BBQ rub
- Start by trimming the fat and silver skin off your ribs.
- Brush the ribs with Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the the rub generously all over the ribs, then let sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees. Once the smoker is ready, place your ribs in.
- Spritz the ribs with apple juice or apple cider vinegar every hour or so.
- Smoke the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 210F. This should take around 8-10 hours depending on the exact size of your ribs.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, and let them rest in an insulated cooler (or oven) for 1 hour.
- After the resting period, slice the beef ribs, serve, and ENJOY!