smoked beef ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

Everything is big in Texas! Or at least that saying holds true when we’re talking about smoked Beef Ribs.

These ribs were made famous in bbq joints of Central Texas. There pitmasters slow smoke these goliaths over post oak wood for long hours until the meat is soft as butter. One succulent bone will set you back nearly $30 bucks, but I promise you it’s worth every penny. This week I’m going to share with you how to duplicate these Dino Bones right in your own backyard.

First thing you need to know is exactly what is a “Dino Beef Rib”. These ribs come from the Short Plate section of a cow’s rib cage and they’re typically found cut into smaller portions and sold as beef short ribs.

I spent a good deal of time searching on the internet, then calling local butchers trying to explain what I was looking for in detail. Often this lead me nowhere until I finally figured out how to convey what I wanted. It will save you a lot of time if you first go in the store and see if they have short ribs in the meat department. They’re usually cut into 2-3” pieces with meat on top the bone.

When you see these, go track down the butcher and tell him you want to buy some short ribs before he cuts them down into smaller sections. The beef plate ribs I bought came in a cryovac package containing 2 slabs of 3 bone plate ribs. I’m not gonna lie they’re a bit pricey at $5.99lb but oh so worth it.

smoked beef ribs

When you get the ribs home, trim off any excess fat or sinew from the meat side of the rib; rinse under cool water; and pat dry with paper towel or a clean cloth. Don’t worry with trying to remove the membrane from the bone side; you want it to stay in place to hold the meat on the bones as they cook.

Keep the seasonings simple; the smoked beef ribs is the main focal point. I use a little of my Killer Hogs AP Rub (which you can substitute with equal parts Salt & Black Pepper) and a light coating of my Killer Hogs Hot Rub for a touch of color and heat. If you have a favorite rub that’s good on beef, go ahead and use it; but don’t get too heavy – remember the beef is the star of this rodeo!

For this cook I’m testing out a new ceramic grill called “The Kong” by Grilla Grills. If you’re a fan of ceramic grills – check out the Kong at their website http://grillagrills.com/

But as always, you can cook my recipes on any smoker or grill. You’ll just need an indirect fire running between 275-300⁰ and a few chunks of smoking wood. I like hickory and pecan on beef, but if you happen to have post oak, then use that.

smoked beef ribs

When the grill is up to temp, add the wood and place the ribs on the cooking grate. The smoked beef ribs need to smoke for 3 hours. The Kong dialed right in at 285 for the entire cook.

smoked beef ribs

After 3 hours, the smoked beef ribs have the right color, so it’s time to wrap for tenderness. Tear off a sheet of Heavy Duty Aluminum foil and place the ribs bone down on the foil. Be sure to wear hand protection (I use Hand Savers under black nitrile gloves).

Bring the edges of the foil up and pour in about 1 cup of beef broth around the ribs not on top. This liquid creates steam inside the foil and helps break the meat down. Close the foil down tight around the ribs and place them back on the cooker. It should take another 2-3 hours to get the smoked beef ribs tender.

thermopop beef ribs

Carefully open the foil after 2 hours and check the internal temperature between the bones. This is where you need a good internal thermometer like a ThermoPop. The ThermoPop should slide in without any resistance (think of a warm knife sliding through butter). I look for internal temps of 204-208⁰.

smoked beef ribs

Once the smoked beef ribs feel right, really soft and temping in the 204 range, pull them off the grill and place in a dry cooler. Open the foil and let the steam vent for just a minute. Also remove the drain plug from the cooler. You don’t want it airtight or the meat will continue to cook. Let the ribs rest in the cooler for at least 1 hour up to 4-5.

smoked beef ribs

To serve these smoked beef ribs, carefully remove the slab from the foil and use a large knife to cut between the bones. A Single bone serving is about all a grown man can take of these rich & meaty ribs.

The way I describe them to folks is imagine the best brisket point you’ve ever tried combined with the best ribeye all on a giant handle. The texture is amazing and you’ll have meat butter running down to your elbows. Go out and locate some of these Dino Ribs this weekend and give it a try for yourself!

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Smoked Beef Rib Recipe

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare smoker or grill for indirect cooking using lump or briquette charcoal for heat source. Temperature should be between 275-300⁰
  2. Remove Beef Plate Ribs from cryovac packaging. Trim any excess fat or sinew from the meat side of the ribs. Rinse under cool water and dry with paper towel
  3. Season the ribs first with AP rub (equals parts salt & pepper can substitute) then with a light layer of Hot Rub or your favorite bbq seasoning
  4. Add 2-3 chunks of Hickory & Pecan wood to the hot coals
  5. Place the beef ribs on the cooking rack and hold the cooking temp steady @ 275-300⁰
  6. After 3 hours of smoke, wrap the ribs in Heavy Duty aluminum foil. Add beef broth to the foil before closing tight around ribs
  7. Return the ribs to the smoker and cook until internal temperature hits 204⁰ and there is very little resistance when probed
  8. Remove the ribs from the smoker and rest in a dry cooler for at least 1 hour
  9. Cut the ribs into 1 bone sections and serve

Malcom Reed
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Comments 40

  1. Great how-to article. I just made a single 3-rib slab of these last weekend. My smoker is a pathetic, rusty, piece of c$%# so I generally have to smoke the meat to the desired smoke flavor and then finish in the oven inside. I know, it isn’t quite authentic, but it works.

    I rub my ribs with a generous amount of kosher salt on all sides and I sprinkle a little bit of cayenne pepper for just a little bit of heat. Finally, I completely coat the ribs with 16 mesh black pepper.

    I smoked the ribs for 5 hours using live oak (trimmings from my own trees in my backyard that have cured for about a year), brought them inside, spritzed them with a diluted solution of water and balsamic vinegar, wrapped them real tight in two layers of pink butcher paper and roasted them another 3 hours at 285° rib side down in a shallow pan. I then let them rest out of the oven for an hour before I unwrapped. They were great. I love short ribs as much as my beloved brisket.

  2. Malcom
    I have been following you for quite some time, and been enjoying all your tips. I am new to smoker and want to purchase a backyard smoker/grill. I want to stay under 600 hundred bucks. What is your oppion of a weber smokey mountain? Maybe you can steer me into the right grill. Love your site keep on smoking!!!

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    2. Check out the pit barrel cooler it’s not your traditional smoker but if you are new to this type of cooking. The PBC is a great place to start if you follow the recipes on the website you will have some of the best barbecue you have ever made a few hours after pulling it out of the box

    3. Don;

      I cooked many a butt and ribs on my 22″ WSM. One thing I certainly recommend is for you to look into fire/temp management with a fan assisted device namely a BBQ Guru. Given your budget, you should come in close with a 22″ WSM and the Digi-Q Guru.

      Morrey

  3. Great video, but I do have one question:

    Did you cook them over direct heat? I didn’t see a heat deflector in the video.

    Thanks.

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  4. I’ve been grillin’ for a while, but I’m relatively new to smoking. I picked up a large Big Green Egg on Craigslist and subsequently found Malcom on Youtube. I’ve made his babybacks, his St. Louis cut, his pork butt, his brisket, those bacon wrapped jalapeno cream cheese stuffed chicken thighs and his cast iron mac and cheese. Needless to say I got another Egg (extra large) and I’m a BIG FAN of Malcom Reed. Keep on smokin” Brothers (and sisters)!

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      1. MALCOM, I RECENTLY GOT YOUR AP RUB AND BBQ RUB. I USED THE AP RUB ON THE FIRST TRY AT BEEF RIBS. THEY WERE FANTASTIC. EVERYONE WAS BLOWN AWAY. I’M REALLY SOLD ON YOUR RUB RECIPE. KEEP IT UP. THANKS.

  5. MALCOM, LOVE YOUR RECIPES. EVERY THING THAT I HAVE TRIED HAVE BEEN EXCELLENT.
    WHAT IS YOUR LUMP CHARCOAL BRAND OF CHOICE FOR LONG COOKS?

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  6. Hi Malcolm, I’ve been using your recipes and everything has turned out as advertised, just loving your stuff and been spreading you around.
    I have a question, have you ever smoked a goose? I thought maybe using your turkey brine then treat it like your smoked duck. As you know, goose is pricey. I don’t want to screw it up! Any suggestions or your recipe?
    Thanks Dan

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  7. Ever since I went to blacks and I want to try doing this. I have an electric smoker. Any idea how to do it With an electric? I have a smoking tex and I will call them tomorrow. Thanks

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  8. Hey Malcom, we love these meaty ribs so much we featured them on our site to share with our readers! I don’t want to spam you with a link here, just wanted to say thanks for putting this recipe out there!

  9. I just can’t wait to make these ribs.
    I only have a few questions:
    Do you remove the membrame afterwards or do you eat it?

    Is it possible to buy these ribs with a layer of fat on top?
    Do I have to tell my butcher that I want Dino beef ribs with a layer of fat on top or is there another name for these kinds of ribs?
    Do you recommend that layer of fat anyway? (I don’t mind if the grillingtime takes longer)

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      Author

      for beef ribs I leave the membrane on because it is what holds the ribs together while you cook. You can ask your butcher about keeping the top layer of fat.

      These ribs come from the Short Plate section of a cow’s rib cage and they’re typically found cut into smaller portions and sold as beef short ribs.

      I spent a good deal of time searching on the internet, then calling local butchers trying to explain what I was looking for in detail. Often this lead me nowhere until I finally figured out how to convey what I wanted. It will save you a lot of time if you first go in the store and see if they have short ribs in the meat department. They’re usually cut into 2-3” pieces with meat on top the bone.

      When you see these, go track down the butcher and tell him you want to buy some short ribs before he cuts them down into smaller sections. The beef plate ribs I bought came in a cryovac package containing 2 slabs of 3 bone plate ribs. I’m not gonna lie they’re a bit pricey at $5.99lb but oh so worth it.

  10. I have an offset smoker. I use a chimney to start the lump coal and then the wood chunks on top after the coals are hot. What temp would I maintain for the dino ribs and how long should I keep them open on the grill (indirect?) and then how long in the foil? Should I open the foil and grill lastly and if I do…how long? What is the finished temp inside? Thank you for your info.

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  11. Hey Malcom!

    Love your content.. found you on YouTube and now I’m a regular here. I’m upping my BBQ game each year and I think you have some of the best tips out there.

    I’m picking up a few plate ribs tonight from a new butcher I found just for this cook. Pretty pumped to try them out… but it got me to thinking about beef ribs in general, and those cheaper, center-cut cryovac pack ones from Walmart or the like.

    Have you smoked bone marrow? With the price on those center cut ribs, I’m tempted to strip them of meat for sausage, then cut them in half for a short smoke with a mild wood. Another question relating to marrow – is it possible to render the marrow after doing a cook like you do in this thread? Or does it all melt and go into the meat during the cooking process?

    Any thoughts are appreciated!

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  12. Although we agree on most
    I prefer the KISS method
    Keep It Simple Stupid:
    Purchase a whole beef short plate
    Trim the plate some, just get the “hard fat”
    Use you preference to rub the plate, oil, water, bacon grease
    Season with kosher salt and then fresh around Black pepper
    Get your smoker somewhere between 225-280(personal preference)
    Smoke dat meat son, clean smoke,
    I love Oak and pecan, but it’s a personal preference
    Start checking dat meat when you see drawback(meat pulling from bone)
    I hit 201-203
    I don’t wrap,( I have a huge pan for humidity in the offset)
    I’m not posting for feelings,
    I would wrap lightly once you hit temp 45 min to hour
    Then enjoy!!

  13. Malcom, I have a Oklahoma Joe smoker/grill combo and when I smoke for more than 30 minutes, I have to add charcoal and smoke wood. With your ceramic smoker, how often do you add charcoal and wood?

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      I use lump in my ceramic cookers – and I’ll get multiple cooks. I’ve never run out during a single cook. If you are cooking at 250 I would estimate it would go for 15 hours.

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  14. Hi Malcom,

    These look so good I had to grab some to try on my pellet smoker tomorrow. Was wondering if you have ever used a pan sealed off with plastic wrap and foil rather than wrapping them in foil for the last 3 hours of the cook with the broth?

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  15. Malcom, I’ve been getting my Dino bones from SNAKE RIVER FARMS for a couple of years. they’ve always been in stock and they are fantastic.

  16. These are IMPS 123A Short Plate, Short Ribs, Trimmed. They are 3 bone racks that come from rib bones 6,7, and 8. Even in Texas some butchers will argue that they are the same as a IMPS 130 Chuck Short Ribs (these have 4 bones not 3 like 123A’s). However due to popularity some butchers now carry them without special order.

  17. Malcolm, I love your videos. How’s the best way to cook a 6 lb. brusque on a pellet smoker? How long, what temperature, and how long to cook it wrapped? I just want to use AP rub.

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