beef shortrib

beef shortrib

beef short rib smoked low n slow

Beef shortrib has become a favourite of mine in the world of barbecue. It runs very close second to brisket. The flavour that comes out of a smoked, slow cooked beef rib is ridiculously good. The advantage beef ribs have over brisket is the window between under cooking and overcooking the meat is a little wider. You can actually cook beef ribs further than the usual 203f internal temperature of slow cooked beef to the point where you can pull the meat apart with your hands… great for tacos! For me though, my favourite way to serve shorties is straight off the bone with a cold beer.


  • rack of beef short ribs
  • kosher salt
  • beef rub or your favourite seasoning or a simple mix of salt and pepper


  1. Remove the fat cap from the top of the ribs. There is a thin silvery membrane between the fat cap and the meat which will not breakdown when cooking so it’s important to take it off. Unlike pork ribs it’s not necessary to remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs.
  2. Dry brine the ribs at a rate of 1/2 tsp per pound. Refrigerate overnight. As I mentioned in the smoked pulled pork post the science behind the art of dry brining is explained by Meathead Goldwyn here.
  3. Lightly brush the ribs with a thin layer of mustard or mayonnaise, combine the rub ingredients and rub over the meat just prior to firing up your cooker. The mayo in particular will help the rub stick and encourage The Maillard Reaction.
  4. Fire up your cooker for indirect cooking and aim to cook between 250f and 275f.
  5. Check the ribs after 3 hours, particularly the bark. If it is well formed and a dark mahogany colour then give the ribs a spritz with a 50-50 mix of water and either apple cider vinegar, apple juice, stock, anything you like really. If the bark looks as though it’s still forming and there is a lot of moisture on the surface then leave them for another hour or so then spritz. Spritz every hour thereafter.
  6. A rough guide for when short ribs are cooked is for the internal temperature of the meat to be 203f. For me this usually takes somewhere between 7 to 9 hours however I have had racks that have taken as long as 11 hours! So be prepared*

*The beauty of shorties is that you can take them a little further than 203f without fear of drying them out. In fact you will find some shorties actually need a little longer. The bottom line is that using your trusty meat thermometer the ribs should probe like butter.

Beef short ribs
meat heaven on a stick

If you’re looking for ideas on what to serve with your beef shortrib then have a look at our Mac n Cheese Loaf inspired by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt or our Messy Coleslaw.