smoked beef ribs
September 6, 2016

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

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!

Smoked Beef Rib Recipe

Smoked Beef Rib Recipe



  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
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Malcom Reed
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  1. deloeste says:

    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. don says:

    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!!!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Yeah – a smokey mountain is a great first smoker. I’ve known a lot of teams to win contests cooking on nothing but a WSM. You might also consider the UDS smokers – You can make your own for under $200 or you can buy one for around $400-600. Either way, both options can turn out some great que.

    • Chip says:

      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

    • Morrey says:


      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.


  3. Homer H. says:

    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.


  4. Elias Gross says:

    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)!

  5. ROBERT WILSON says:


  6. Dan Metzler says:

    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

  7. David A Ferry says:

    Can you get the same results using a 24 inch Camp Chef Pellets Grill..
    Thank you Dave from Amherst, Ohio

  8. Geoffrey Weech says:

    Malcolm…love your videos. Do you ever finish off these ribs with a bbq sauce?

  9. Chris says:

    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

  10. BBQ On Main says:

    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!

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I'm Malcom Reed and these are my methods and techniques for mouth-watering, slow-smoked BBQ. Recipes, videos, detailed procedures and BBQ tips.

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