Smoked Beef Ribs

Enjoy these Fred Flintstone dinosaur sized ribs!

Also known as brisket on a stick, these smoked beef ribs came out tender, juicy and full of amazing beef flavors.  Smoked on the offset, this 6 hour cook was worth the wait.  While this cut of beef does not have a lot of meat on it, simple seasoning is all you need to enjoy a great tasting meal that is sure to be a crown pleaser.  

Where to find beef ribs? 

Beef Ribs

Grocery stores will slice ribs into thin strips and sell them as short ribs.  That is not what you want.  You want the full rack! Call your local butcher shops and ask if they stock or if they can order beef plate ribs.  I bought my ribs from Wild Fork which is a great specialty meat store near me. 

Prepare and season the ribs.

The rack will have a meaty side and bone side, similar to pork ribs with 3 bones in total. Start by removing ALL the fat from the meaty side to expose the meat. This not only removes excess fat that’s not needed, but it also exposes the meat where the BBQ bark will form during the smoking process. For those new to BBQ, bark is the outside crust that’s formed when cooking with smoke.

On the bone side, there is a thick membrane which also needs to be removed. Some like to leave it on, but I pull it off, to again, expose more meat and allow more of the seasoning to stick.

Seasoned beef ribs

Keep the seasoning simple with a 50/50 mix of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. This mix will make the beefy flavor shine through, as well as help with the tasty bark that we want on the outside. Before any of our rub hits the meet, however, I like to use a binder to help it stick to the meat. I used yellow mustard.  Don’t worry, you will not taste it once cooked.  After they are coated, apply an even but generous coating of the salt/pepper mix all over the ribs.  Don’t be shy with the seasoning! The ribs can take it. Next, let them sit at room temperature for 30-45 minutes. This will help the seasoning penetrate into the meat.

Time to smoke beef ribs.

These particular ribs were smoked on my Jess Pryles Signature Pitts and Spitts offset smoker. But worry not, you can use any type of smoker to cook these. Fire it up and bring the temperature up to between 250-275 degrees. That will be our cooking temperature range for the duration of the cook.

Place the ribs on the smoker meat side up. Cooking low and slow has one big downside….the slow part. Good bbq takes time and this will be no different. For an average 3 bone rack of smoked beef ribs, you’re looking at a cook time of anywhere between 6-8 hours. All you have to have to do during this time is just make sure the smoker temperature stays in the 250-275 range. We won’t be wrapping the ribs, we’ll cook them straight through until finished.

Smoked Beef Ribs

And the ideal finished temperature for beef ribs is anywhere between 205-210 degrees. Once they hit 205, you can start checking for tenderness. What’s that mean? It means that when you take your temperature probe and insert it into the meat, it should go in without any resistance. Check a few different spots and make sure they are very tender.

Pull the smoked beef ribs from the smoker, now wrap them in pink butcher paper and let them rest in a room temperature cooler for about an hour.  The wrap will help keep the meat warm while still allowing it to breath so that beautiful bark on the outside won’t soften up on us. And the meat needs the time to rest to stop the cooking process and to allow all the juices inside to redistribute. 

After the rest, take the ribs out of the cooler, slice between the bones and enjoy!


Printer friendly recipe below:

Smoked Beef Ribs

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours


  • 1 rack Beef plate ribs
  • 1/4 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Yellow mustard


  • Trim the fat from the meat side of the ribs.
  • Remove the membrane from the bone side.
  • Apply yellow mustard all over the ribs that will work as the seasoning binder.
  • Season both sides with a 50/50 mix of salt and pepper. Apply an even amount all over the beef.
  • Smoke for at 250-275 degrees until the meat is probe tender, anywhere between 205-210 degrees internal. Approx 6-8 hours.
  • Wrap the ribs in pink butcher paper and rest for 1 hour in a cooler before slicing.


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