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!

Malcom Reed
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About the Author

I am Malcom Reed and my brother, Waylon, and I are the Killer Hogs competition bbq team. Here at, I want to give you my secrets, methods and techniques you need to produce competition-quality BBQ. I want to give enough detail for BBQ novices, but still offer information that is useful for the professional BBQ cooks. I only focus on REAL bbq. And I take it seriously.

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