I just never get tired of smoked beef back ribs or as I call them.. “prime rib on a stick”. There is nothing more beefy and more delicious that you can cook in your smoker not to mention they are easy to prepare and cook in less than 4 hours in most cases.

Because of the super rich beef flavor, I recommend that you try these with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) to add a touch of sweetness to the crust on the outside.

Oh.. and cook up plenty of these because they will go quick.

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4-5 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 180-190°F
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry/Oak
What You’ll Need
Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats-- you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Rinse and Trim the Fat/Skin

Remove the ribs from the packaging and rinse them well under cold water.

Trim away any excess clumps and lumps of fat.

Get hold of the thick skin on the bone side of the beef ribs with a paper towel and pull it clean off. This is not easy so just do the best you can. These things get easier with practice.

2014-IMG_3376 2014-IMG_3377

You will notice that I placed the ribs into large foil pans for the prep work. This is to contain the mess.


Base and Seasoning

I normally use mustard for a sticky base before adding the rub but I decided to use my barbecue sauce (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled sauce) as a base on half of them.


After the fact I can tell you that there was something just a little more special and more flavorful with the ones that used the sauce instead of mustard.

It worked like a charm in mixing with the rub and creating a beautiful paste on the ribs.

Apply the sauce/mustard first then sprinkle about ¼ cup of Jeff's original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on top and work it into the top and sides of the ribs with your hands.

This is the mustard as a base with the original rub.


And this is Jeff's barbecue sauce as a base with my original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub).. the awesome smell of the rub and sauce on the ribs was intoxicating and at this point, I couldn't wait until the beef back ribs were finished cooking!


When you're done, set the ribs aside and go get the smoker ready.

Smoke Time

Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F using indirect heat.

I used an equal mix of cherry and oak but you can use any good smoking wood that you have available.

If your smoker has a water pan, fill it up with water to keep the air inside the smoker nice and humid thereby reducing the drying effect of heated air.

Once the smoker is ready to go, place the ribs directly on the smoker grate or you can use the Weber Grill pan or Bradley Racks to make it easy to move them to and from the smoker.


This version of smoked beef back ribs will take about 4-5 hours depending on the thickness and how much connective tissue there is. I usually check for tenderness and don't necessarily go by the meat temperature on these but these read in at about 180°F when they reached the tenderness that I wanted.

I recommend checking them after a couple of hours at 225-240°F and see where you are.

IMG_0414-250x167 IMG_0416-250x167

Once they are finished, place them back in the pan with a piece of foil placed loosely over the top or you can just lay them on a cutting board with foil loosely tented over the top.

Let them rest for about 10 minutes then slice them up and go to town on them bad boys!


Please note that my rubs and barbecue sauce are now available in 2 formats– you can purchase the formulas and make them yourself OR you can buy them already made, in a bottle, ready to use.

Purchase the Formulas for Jeff's Rubs and Sauce
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Jeff's Original Rub Recipe
Jeff's Barbecue Sauce
Jeff's Texas style rub recipe

I have hundreds and hundreds of smoking recipes in every imaginable category on this site and all of them are absolutely free. The only thing I offer for sale are the recipes to my (2) amazing dry rubs and my one-of-a-kind barbecue sauce.

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Read these recent testimonies:

I recently purchased both recipes. The files did not come thru right but Jeff was prompt to get it fixed. I tried them both last weekend and they were a huge hit. I followed his burnt ends recipe to the letter and my neighbors thought I was some master chef! Thanks Jeff!  -Susan T.

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Thank you for the great advice. Followed your rib recipe and everyone loved them. Used your rub and sauce. On point!  -Charles W.

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.

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.

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.

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Printable Recipe

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Beef Back Ribs - Prime Rib on a Stick

I just never get tired of smoked beef back ribs or as I call them.. "prime rib on a stick". There is nothing more beefy and more delicious that you can cook in your smoker not to mention they are easy to prepare and cook in less than 4 hours in most cases.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Servings: 6


  • 2-3 racks of beef back ribs
  • Jeff's barbecue Sauce
  • Yellow mustard
  • Jeff's Texas style rub


  • Remove beef ribs from packaging and rinse under cold water.
  • Remove excess clumps of fat.
  • Peel membrane or skin from bone side of ribs.
  • Brush several tablespoons of barbecue sauce and/or mustard onto the meaty side of the ribs.
  • Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of Jeff's rub onto the top of the ribs and rub it in to the top and sides creating a paste.
  • Set up your smoker for cooking at about 225-240°F with indirect heat.
  • Use a mix of cherry and oak or whatever smoking wood you have available for smoke.
  • Place the ribs on the smoker grate and let them cook for 4-5 hours or until they are tender to your liking.