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Beef Back Ribs – Prime Rib on a Stick

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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  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: 4-6 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F (107°C)
  • Meat Finish Temp: 190-200°F (88-93°C)
  • Recommended Wood: Cherry/Oak
What You’ll Need
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.

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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  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 .. 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°F (107°C) 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 4-6 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 but you are looking for a temperature of 190-200°F (82-93°C).
I recommend checking them after a couple of hours and see where you are.

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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 at least 10 minutes then slice them up and go to town on them bad boys!


3.6 from 7 votes

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 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6



  • 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 original 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.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 3 stars
    K B Higginbotham
    I’m not sure why my results were so off, but I smoked my Costco Wagyu beef ribs in my Treager smoker for 8 hours at 225 and never got meat over 168. I even increased to 255 the last hour since dinner time was approaching. Any feedback?

    1. KB, are you sure they were back ribs? If they were the more meaty short ribs then it may take longer since they are a lot thicker. It is also possible that your smoker is cooking lower than what it reads which would extend the cook time.

  2. 5 stars
    For Mother’s Day weekend, I cut the bones off a 22-lb bone-in prime rib and cooked them in the oven with just your Original Rub. I put them back in for 10 minutes with sauce. They were fantastic as an appetizer. Not a lot of meat but very flavorful.

  3. J eff:
    Do u have a new cookbook coming out soon? I thought I saw an add for it.
    Waiting for my new 36″ Windsor smokeer to arrive. Thanks for all your comments about it.Also got the sidekick burner.
    Thanks for the great recipes.
    Bob Williams

    1. I do have a new book coming out soon.. probably late spring/early summer. You are going to love that new smoker.. Camp Chef did a good job on it and the 36 inch version is the best! I’m a little envious since I only have the 24 inch ;-)

  4. I have always heard that you should not put a BBQ sauce that contains sugar on meat until the last half hour so it won’t burn and turn bitter.

    Does that not apply if you use the sauce as a base to make the rub stick?

    1. If you are cooking hot and especially if you have some direct heat, this can be an issue but as long as you keep it less than 250°F and use indirect heating methods, you should be ok. I have used barbecue sauce as the base for the rub on many occasions and it works really well in my opinion.