There are fewer more delicious meals in the world than properly smoked BBQ, and in recent years smoked beef ribs have become one of the stars of the show. These delicious melt-in-the-mouth ribs are perfect for any outdoor BBQ you are hosting this summer and are guaranteed to ensure your guests will be talking about them for years to come!
How do you cook smoked beef ribs, though, and what are the best tips to ensure yours are as tasty as possible? Let’s take a look…
What Are Beef Ribs?
Before we start looking at the best methods of seasoning and smoking your ribs, what exactly are they? When it comes to finding the right meat for your next summer cookout, it can be tempting to grab the pre-packaged options in your local grocery store.
If you are looking to create a truly delicious meal, then skip the grocery store and head straight to your local butcher and ask for some beef ribs. Coming from the lower end of the ribs, they are packed with two inches of meat right on the bone.
When it comes to making smoked beef ribs, you want to avoid using back ribs as these are very limited on the amount of meat available. That is why you want to opt for either:
These typically come in four-bone sections and are generally a little smaller than plate ribs, and have a little less meat.
Plate ribs will normally come with three bones and will typically have a higher meat content.
Both of these options make fantastic smoked beef ribs, and it usually comes down to the preference of the pitmaster. Why not try with both and see which you prefer! Just remember, the best way to ensure the tastiest dish possible is to cook at lower temperatures for as long as you can.
How to season beef ribs
Before you start considering smoking your beef ribs, you need to first make sure that they are properly seasoned. For these larger, meatier cuts of beef, it is always best to keep your seasoning as simple as you can and let the meat itself do all the talking.
To start with, create a dry rub of kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and garlic powder. If you want to add a bit of heat to the dish, then you could also consider a dash of chili into the rub. There are lots of great dry rub recipes out there that you can try to give your smoked beef ribs a signature flavor that your guests will love.
How to smoke beef ribs
Once you have thoroughly seasoned your beef ribs, it is time to move on to the smoking stage. As with all great BBQ, low and slow is always best and ensures that your meat has that mouth-watering dark exterior and soft inside.
Beef ribs will need a lot of time to ensure that the fat has been rendered and the tough tissue in between the ribs has melted, ensuring yours will fall straight off the bone.
Step One – Preparation
Preparation is one of the most important parts of the process. First, you will need to remove the layer of fat from the top of the ribs as well as the membrane from the sides of the bone. If you are not confident in doing this yourself, you can ask your butcher to do this for you.
Step Two – Season
Once you have coated your meat in your dry seasoning, you may opt to add a wetter solution. A great accompaniment to smoked beef ribs is some Dijon mustard, although any variety that contains horseradish will give your dish a bit of delicious heat.
Step Three – Smoke
The next step is to get your beef ribs onto the smoker. Make sure you preheat yours to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, and when it has reached that temperature add your ribs onto the shelf, close the lid, and leave them to start cooking.
Step Four – Spritz
The key to any good smoke is ensuring that you are regularly spritzing your ribs to prevent them from drying out. Do not wrap your ribs in anything when you are placing them in the smoker, as this will allow you to easily spritz them whenever you need to.
You can spritz your smoked beef ribs with any solution that you would like, but one of the tastiest is a solution of vinegar and hot sauce. This not only helps to ensure your meat remains incredibly moist and tender, but it also adds that delicious kick of heat with every bite!
Step Five – Rest, Slice, and Serve
Keep checking and spritzing your ribs until the internal temperature of the meat has reached the magic 203 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your meat thermometer has hit that temperature, remove the ribs from the smoker and wrap them in butcher paper and transfer them to a cooler area to allow them to rest.
Keep the paper covered with a towel and leave them for around an hour before then slicing them into single rib portions and serving them to your guests.
How long do smoked beef ribs take to cook?
Depending on the size and cut of your beef ribs, the smoking process could take anywhere between eight and ten hours. However, this can sometimes be quicker or even longer, depending on the type of smoker you are using and the internal temperatures.
That is why you should always leave yourself with enough time; the last thing you want to do is to rush the final stages and miss out on creating the ultimate dish! The best thing to do is to keep regularly checking your ribs and probing them with a meat thermometer to ensure you always know the internal temperature of your meat.
What is the ideal temperature for beef ribs?
Again, the temperature of your smoker will depend on the size of the beef ribs and how many you are planning to smoke at a single time. If you feel like getting creative with your next family BBQ, you can try using different types of wood to give a different smoky flavor with your ribs or leaving them in there for even longer with a lower temperature.
However, the crucial figure that you want to ensure you are always reaching before removing them is an internal temperature of 203 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the perfect temperature and will ensure that your meat is incredibly tender and will simply fall off the bone.
Whether you are a legendary pitmaster among your friends or you are looking to try smoking meat for the first time, smoked beef ribs are a fantastic addition to any BBQ. Although it might seem a daunting prospect at first, with enough time, it can be a very simple process.
The key to creating the most delicious smoked beef ribs, though, is time. That is why make sure you are giving yourself plenty of time ahead of the big event to perfect your ribs!