Smoking beef ribs is a simple a delicious task. I have used this recipe in both my electric smoker and pellet smoker and the ribs have come out amazing both ways.
Beef ribs are not one of the more common cuts of beef. When it comes to ribs, people tend to gravitate towards pork ribs, myself included. Even though I love pork ribs, beef ribs are amazing as well. They are super meaty and I feel like I am on the Flintstones! Ha!
There are a few different cuts of beef ribs and I usually get the centre cut ribs. They do not have the really thick layer of meat (like short ribs) and I find that this results in a more tender and enjoyable smoked rib.
Now, if you want to try out smoking or grilling some pork ribs, here are some great recipes for you to try!
- Smoked Ribs using the 3-2-1 Method
- Honey Sriracha Smoked Pork Side Ribs
- Sticky Ribs with Bourbon
- Grilled Maple Glaze Ribs
I like to trim my ribs of any excess fat. This is something I do regardless as to whether it is a pork or beef rib. Also, there is a membrane on the underside of the rack of ribs and this should be removed. I use a fork to pick at a corner until I am able to start to pull it up. Then I gently pull the membrane, trying to make sure it does not rip because that just makes things more difficult. A paper towel is handy to use as it allows you to get a good grip on the membrane without it slipping out of your hands.
After that membrane has been removed, I spoon some of the seasoning mixture and rub it onto the underside of the ribs. If the membrane was still there, it would not allow the spices to penetrate into the meat.
Flip the rack over and rub more seasoning all over the top of the ribs. Make sure to really rub the spice mixture into the meat as this does enhance the flavour!
Place the ribs into the fridge and let the rub get into the meat. I leave the rack in the fridge for about 3 hours. During that last hour, get the smoker fired up.
There are many different types of wood that works great with beef. I usually have some mesquite on hand and since it is a stronger smoke flavour, I save it to be used with beef. That bold beefy taste is perfect to go alongside a strong mesquite smoke. If you don’t have mesquite, then hickory, maple, oak and pecan all work fine as well. Even the fruitwoods are nice, although I keep those for some of the milder meat I plan to smoke, like chicken or seafood.
I smoked these beef ribs in my Bradley Digital Smoker and the ribs barely fit on the smoker rack. I had to place the ribs diagonally and, even then, they just fit.
I smoked the ribs at 250 for 3 hours. You will see the meat pulling away from the bones and that is often the best indicator that they are done and will be nice and tender.
I brush the ribs with my favourite BBQ sauce, immediately once they come out of the smoker. Then, I let them rest for a few minutes, before cutting them into rib portions and serving.
I have also tried brushing the sauce on while they were still in the smoker. I did it with around 30 minutes of time remaining. While it was just fine this way, I preferred saucing them just before serving as I found that they were saucier this way.
Smoked Beef Ribs
- 1 rack beef ribs, centre cut or back
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup bbq sauce
- Mix the spices and sugar together to make the seasoning mixture.
- Peel the membrane off the back of the ribs. Generously rub the seasoning mixture all over the ribs. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- Set smoker to 250F using mesquite or other wood chips.
- Place the ribs in the smoker and smoke for 3 hours.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker and generously coat the ribs with bbq sauce.
- Let them rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.