Smoked beef back ribs are not usually the meatiest of ribs, but they taste great with smoke and you won't find a beefier flavor anywhere, in my opinion.

If you have the privilege of getting these with a little more meat on them then great, but even the ones you find in the local grocery store are well worth gnawing on and highly recommend you try some of these very soon if you can.

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recipe-ad-rubThese smoked beef back ribs are no muss and no fuss if you just use a little mustard and my original rub all over them. The rub will compliment the wonderful beef flavor and you’ll be happy that you used it!

promise you’ll love my dry rub/seasoning recipe and my barbecue sauce recipe or you don’t pay!

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 4-8 hours
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 185-190°F
  • Recommended Wood: Mesquite or Hickory
What You'll Need
Rinse and Cleanup the Ribs

Remove the beef back ribs from the packaging and give them a good rinse under cold water.

Lay the ribs on the cutting board and remove any large clumps of fat.

2014-IMG_5627

Turn the rack of beef ribs over and remove the membrane on the boney side

In some cases, beef rib membrane is easier to remove than the ones on their pork counterparts due to it being thicker.

Get ahold of the thick layer of plastic-like membrane by prying up on it with your finger, a butter knife or whatever works best for you.

Once you have it started, get ahold of it with a paper towel and pull it off.

If this takes several passes, then so be it.

2014-IMG_5628

Hard to tell the difference in the pictures but it makes a big difference when you eat them.

Here the membrane is removed..

2014-IMG_5629

I don't usually season the boney side of beef ribs.. just doesn't seem to be justified but feel free to do so if you wish.

Flip them over to meat side up and proceed with the seasoning process.

Season/Marinate the Beef Ribs Overnight

Please note that you can apply the mustard and rub right before the ribs go into the smoker and it will be fine but if you have time to do this the night before and let them marinate in the rub for several hours, the ribs will be even better.

Apple some yellow mustard to the meat side of the beef ribs.

2014-IMG_5640

Rub the mustard into the ribs with your hands and don't forget the sides and any crevices down between the rib bones.

2014-IMG_5632

Put a tablespoon or two of Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here) onto the meaty side of the ribs and massage it in with the mustard to create a paste that is extremely flavorful. This paste not only tastes amazing, but it creates the perfect crust on the outside of the ribs.

2014-IMG_5633

Does that look good or what!

2014-IMG_5635

The following step is optional but recommended:

Wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to allow some of the flavor of the rub to get into the top layer of the meat.

Note: I recommend placing the wrapped ribs into a cookie sheet or pan to prevent any runaway leaks.

The next morning, remove the ribs from the fridge, unwrap them from the plastic and lay them in a Bradley rack or cookie sheet in preparation for transporting them out to the smoker.

2014-IMG_5666 2014-IMG_5670

I don't know about you.. but I think that looks delicious!

Get the Smoker Ready

Prepare your smoker for cooking at about 225°F with indirect heat.

If your smoker has one, fill the water pan with water .

Let the smoker heat up to 225°F before placing the meat in the smoker.

If you need further help with your smoker, try one of these links:

Smoke the Beef Back Ribs

Place the Bradley rack in the smoker or lay the beef back ribs directly on the smoker grate bone side down.

I recommend a good hearty smoke like mesquite, hickory or pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you have available and they will be fine.

I like to apply smoke for the entire time to replicate the flavor of a wood burning smoker but if you do not like a more subtle smoke flavor, it is ok to smoke them for less time and finish with just heat.

Let the beef ribs cook until they are tender. This usually happens at around 185-190 °F and can take anywhere from 4-6 hours or even more depending on variables such as:

  • Weather
  • How often you raise/open the lid
  • Starting meat temperature
Slice and Serve

Let the smoked beef back ribs rest for about 10 minutes, then slice them up and serve to your family and guests.

Questions

So how do you know when the ribs are tender enough?

Grab a couple of bones next to each other and pull them in opposite directions. If the meat begins to tear very easily, they are tender.

Can I wrap these in foil at some point to help tenderize them?

Absolutely! Once they've been cooking about 2-3 hours, wrap them in foil and let them cook that way for a couple of hours to tenderize them. Then remove them and place them back in the smoker as before to help firm up the crust on the outside.

Should I use sauce on these beef ribs?

I almost always serve sauce on the side for the folks who want it but I feel like the rub is plenty of compliment for these and I encourage folks to at least try them without sauce first.

Can I just use the new Texas style rub recipe for these beef ribs?

You absolutely can and that rub is really great on beef but just remember that the Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) does call for more salt than the original rub recipe so you'll want to apply it more sparingly.   The Texas style formula is one that is savory only (no sweetness at all) which is what some folks prefer for beef.

Get the Digital Recipes for Jeff’s Rub and Sauce


jeffs-rub-framed-250x169 jeffs-sauce-framed-250x169
***Note: you get the Texas style rub recipe free with your order!

If I could give these recipes away, I would do that. I really want you to have them! But, then, this is how I support the newsletter, the website and all of the other stuff that we do here to promote the art of smoking meat.

Read these recent testimonies:

Love the sauce and rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well! ~Peter S.
I tried the rub on a beef
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
..I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while. ~Darwyn B.
Love the original rib rub
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
 Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future! ~Michelle M.


You see the raving testimonies and you wonder, "Can the recipes really be that good?"

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Printable Recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Smoked Beef Back Ribs
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Smoked beef back ribs are not usually the meatiest of ribs, but they taste great with smoke and you won’t find a beefier flavor anywhere, in my opinion.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 2 racks of beef back ribs (7 bones each)
  • Yellow mustard
  • Jeff’s rub (purchase recipes here)
  • Plastic wrap
Instructions
Rinse and Cleanup the Ribs
  1. Remove the beef back ribs from the packaging and give them a good rinse under cold water.
  2. Lay the ribs on the cutting board and remove any large clumps of fat.
  3. Turn the rack of beef ribs over and remove the membrane on the boney side
  4. Get ahold of the thick layer of plastic-like membrane by prying up on it with your finger, a butter knife or whatever works best for you.
  5. Once you have it started, get ahold of it with a paper towel and pull it off.
  6. I don’t usually season the boney side of beef ribs.. just doesn’t seem to be justified but feel free to do so if you wish.
  7. Flip them over to meat side up and proceed with the seasoning process.
Season/Marinate the Beef Ribs Overnight
  1. Please note that you can apply the mustard and rub right before the ribs go into the smoker and it will be fine but if you have time to do this the night before and let them marinate in the rub for several hours, the ribs will be even better.
  2. Apple some yellow mustard to the meat side of the beef ribs.
  3. Rub the mustard into the ribs with your hands and don’t forget the sides and any crevices down between the rib bones.
  4. Put a tablespoon or two of Jeff’s original rub onto the meaty side of the ribs and massage it in with the mustard to create a paste that is extremely flavorful. This paste not only tastes amazing, but it creates the perfect crust on the outside of the ribs.
  5. Wrap the ribs in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours to allow some of the flavor of the rub to get into the top layer of the meat.
  6. Note: I recommend placing the wrapped ribs into a cookie sheet or pan to prevent any runaway leaks.
  7. The next morning, remove the ribs from the fridge, unwrap them from the plastic and lay them in a Bradley rack or cookie sheet in preparation for transporting them out to the smoker.
Get the Smoker Ready
  1. Prepare your smoker for cooking at about 225°F with indirect heat.
  2. If your smoker has one, fill the water pan with water .
  3. Let the smoker heat up to 225 °F before placing the meat in the smoker.
Smoke the Beef Back Ribs
  1. Place the Bradley rack in the smoker or lay the beef back ribs directly on the smoker grate bone side down.
  2. I recommend a good hearty smoke like mesquite, hickory or pecan but you can use any smoking wood that you have available and they will be fine.
  3. I like to apply smoke for the entire time to replicate the flavor of a wood burning smoker but if you do not like a more subtle smoke flavor, it is ok to smoke them for less time and finish with just heat.
  4. Let the beef ribs cook until they are tender. (This usually happens at around 185-190 °F and can take anywhere from 4-6 hours or even more depending on variables such as weather, how often you raise/open the lid, and the starting meat temperature.
Slice and Serve
  1. Let the smoked beef back ribs rest for about 10 minutes, then slice them up and serve to your family and guests.
Questions
  1. How do you know when the ribs are tender enough? Grab a couple of bones next to each other and pull them in opposite directions. If the meat begins to tear very easily, they are tender.
  2. Can I wrap these in foil at some point to help tenderize them? Absolutely! Once they’ve been cooking about 2-3 hours, wrap them in foil and let them cook that way for a couple of hours to tenderize them. Then remove them and place them back in the smoker as before to help firm up the crust on the outside.
  3. Should I use sauce on these beef ribs? I almost always serve sauce on the side for the folks who want it but I feel like the rub is plenty of compliment for these and I encourage folks to at least try them without sauce first.
  4. Can I just use the new Texas style rub recipe for these beef ribs? You absolutely can and that rub is really great on beef but just remember that the Texas style rub recipe does call for more salt than the original rub recipe so you'll want to apply it more sparingly. The Texas style formula is one that is savory only (no sweetness at all) which is what some folks prefer for beef.
 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

4 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Char-Woody February 18, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Sir…. I see you are a fan of Big Green Egg.
    I am a fan of ceramic cookers per se.. but I participate in the Primo Forum as Char-Woody.
    May I compliment you on your website and your recipe files. Extra ordinary in most respects. If you would care to please me, list the Primo Kamado cookers as well. The Oval was something I also participated in.
    Cheers… Char-Woody

  2. Michele Fernandez June 19, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Jeff, you’re the first one who said pecan to smoke beef ribs was a good thing! thank you, we like it a lot and it compliments your rub very nicely!

  3. Kenneth November 16, 2014 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Hi Jeff. purchased your rub and sauce recipes, and book sometime ago. seeing talk about Texas Style rub. How can I get the Texas Style Rub recipe? Thanks, By the the way, my family and friends LOVE the rub and sauces and they always ask what rub I am using and tell me to use your rub PLEASE. it is amazing!!!!

    • Jeff Phillips November 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Kenneth, I am glad the rub and sauce recipes are working so well for you and your family.. just what I love to hear!

      I will send the TSR your way via email!

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