Smoked Beef Short Ribs aka “Dinosaur Ribs”
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These smoked beef short ribs are man-sized or sized for anyone who likes beef in a BIG way. When they get done cooking in the smoker, you’ll have a nice handle to hold onto while you chow down on that big hunk of beef in the middle.
They are quite easy to prepare and smoke and of course the new “Woodwind” pellet smoker by Camp Chef I’ve been playing with for a few while now, really helps out in the “easy” department.
I used a little extra kosher salt along with my Texas style rub to dry brine them and we were off to the races.
Read on for my complete instructions on how you can smoke some of these big beef short ribs yourself and ensure that they turn out as wonderful as mine did.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Dry Brine Time: 2-4 hours
- Cook Time: 8-10 hours
- Smoker Temp: 225-240°F
- Meat Finish Temp: 180-200°F
- Recommended Wood: Pecan
- 1 to 2 racks of beef short ribs
- Kosher salt
- Jeff’s Texas style rub
- Jeff’s original rub
- Large pan
- Root beer
- Soy sauce (low sodium is best)
Use a sharp knife and spend a little time doing the best you can to remove the silver skin and most of the fat on the top side of the beef short ribs.
You don’t have to get this nit picky with them, but I think it makes a much better finished product and is well worth it in my opinion.
Here they are before I started..
As with most beef products that I smoke here lately, I think dry brining makes a big difference in terms of flavor. It’s easy enough to do and it just makes sense if you have the time.
Sprinkle coarse kosher salt on the top side of the beef ribs. You can see by the picture below that I was quite generous. I don’t measure, but just give them a good sprinkling all over.
If you do want to measure, it should be about ½ teaspoon per pound of meat.
With the ribs laying in a shallow pan, place them in the fridge for about 2-4 hours. 4 hours is best but if you’re in a hurry, 2-3 hours is better than nothing.
I do not bother covering them and do not rinse them when they are finished.
Remove them from the fridge and get ready to add some of my ultra delicious Texas style rub to compliment and help bring out that big beefy flavor. I have also had great luck with the original rub on them– equally delicious if you like a little sweet and spicy on your beef.
If you’re feeling undecided.. add a little of both rubs. I’ve tried this and it works amazingly together.
Generously sprinkle the rub all over the top and sides of the short ribs.
You might be asking, why not just use the Texas style rub for the dry brine since it has kosher salt in it. Well, great question but my Texas style rub just doesn’t have enough salt to properly dry brine the beef. For this reason, it’s best to dry brine them first then add the seasoning afterwards.
Set up your smoker for cooking at about 240°F with indirect heat using pecan wood or even hickory or cherry for smoke would not be a bad idea either.
If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
About the Smoker That I Used
I used the Camp Chef Woodwind for smoking these awesome beef short ribs and I am so impressed with the job that it did. I am a big fan of pellet smokers and, for the most part, they all work in a similar fashion but the Woodwind Camp Chef has added a few features that many of the others are missing:
- An ash cup on the bottom of the unit to catch the ashes and make cleanup a lot easier. I am pretty particular and still vacuum out the smoker but you certainly don’t have to do that often with this added feature.
- A chute opens on the bottom side of the hopper so you can dump the pellets into a container and replace them with a different flavor (nice!).
- Upper level cooking shelves comes standard. You just can’t have too much shelf space in my opinion.
- Available propane powered SearBox (grill) or SideKick (griddle) that attaches to the right side of the unit. This allows you to sear burgers, steaks, chicken, etc. once they are done cooking. You could also just use it to cook steaks or other meats at very high heat.
- This smoker also has a lever that allows you to move the heat deflector over and out of the way so the direct heat can come up through notches in the drip pan and kiss the bottom of the meat.
- 3 year warranty and free shipping ain’t a bad feature either!
In case you can’t tell, I am a huge fan of this pellet grill and if you are in the market for a smoker that is easy to use, introduces a ton of smoke flavor to your food and has the ability to cook from 160°F all the way up to about 500°F, with smoke, then this might be something you need to look at very closely.
Because I like the Camp Chef Woodwind pellet grill so much, I have worked out an affiliate deal with them. When you click on my link to go check out the Woodwind pellet grill, their system will know it came from this website. That way if you decide to purchase one today or even a week or two from now, it will give us a small monetary thank you for sending you their way.
I only recommend products that I absolutely love.. if we can get a few dollars for recommending products that we love and use.. even better!
My affiliate link is: https://www.smoking-meat.com/woodwind-wifi
Let the smoker pre-heat for best results and when it’s ready to go, get the short ribs loaded in.
Place the beef short ribs onto a large shallow pan (if they are not already). Mine is about ¾ inch deep and works perfectly for this.
Set the pan with the beef ribs onto the smoker grate and close the door/lid.
If you haven’t already done so, go make the basting sauce.
This is enough for a couple of 4-bone racks of beef short ribs.
- 2 cups root beer (cheap stuff is fine)
- 1 cup soy sauce (low sodium is best)
- 1 cup Worcestershire
Stir to combine.
Pour the basting sauce over the top of the meat and let it drain off into the shallow pan.
Let the beef ribs cook with smoke and about every 30-45 minutes, use a turkey baster or a spoon to get some of the juices up onto the meat.
Do this quickly so heat loss is minimal.
After about 5-6 hours, they’ll start getting a really nice color and you can start keeping a good eye on the temperature and checking them for tenderness.
The beef short ribs are done when they get fork tender and this can happen at different stages. Usually this is around 190-200°F for short ribs but mine were prime grade and got done at about 180°F.
–This is why I say to keep an eye on the tenderness as well as the temperature.
As you can see, it’s important to monitor the temperature but ultimately they are done when they get tender.
For monitoring the temperature, I use the “Smoke” by Thermoworks which is a rugged, easy to use, dual-probe, wireless meat/pit thermometer. Like all of the other Thermoworks heat monitoring products, the “Smoke” is something that you need to add to your arsenal of smoking equipment.
Or if you prefer, you can just use an instant read handheld thermometer like a Thermapen and when the probe feels like it’s going into hot butter, you can call ’em done!
When the ribs are tender as you like them, remove them from the smoker, tent some foil over them and let them rest for about 10 minutes.
Slice right between the bones and serve!
Check Out These Enormous Beef Short Ribs
These smoked beef short ribs are man-sized or sized for anyone who likes beef in a BIG way. These can take a while to smoke but they are well worth the wait.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 hours
- Total Time: 10 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 -8 1x
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Hot Smoking
- 1 to 2 racks of beef short ribs
- Kosher salt
- Jeff's Texas style rub
- Large pan
- Root beer
- Soy sauce (low sodium is best)
- Trim fat and silver skin from the top of the beef short ribs.
- Sprinkle about 1 to 1.5 tsp of coarse kosher salt onto the top of the beef ribs to and place them in the fridge for 4 hours. When 4 hours is up, there is no need to rinse.
- Generously sprinkle my Texas style rub onto the top and sides of the ribs and let them sit while you go get the smoker ready.
- Fire up the smoker and let it preheat to 240°F using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
- Place the seasoned beef short ribs into the smoker on a shallow pan.
- Make the basting sauce using 2 cups of root beer, 1 cup of low sodium soy sauce and 1 cup of Worcestershire.
- Pour the basting sauce over the meat and let it run down into the pan.
- Continue basting the meat with the sauce from the pan using a turkey baster every 30-45 minutes while it cooks in the smoker.
- When the beef short ribs are fork tender they are finished cooking. This is usually at 190-195°F but can be lower or higher than that.
- Let the meat rest under foil for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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I bought a package of beef ribs from my local butcher, when I opened the package the ribs are all individual. What will this do to my smoking time?
Bob, should be about the same. I have cooked them individual like that and it took mine the same amount of time.
just wondering if at any point do you wrap the ribs like a brisket and continue to smoke till the proper temp is reached?? Thank you for sharing your awesome recipes and techniques ..
Stella, I don’t typically wrap these but you certainly good to get some braising in and it would not hurt a thing.
what would you recommend instead of root beer ? i am glad to see you are using and like the camp chef pellet smoker . i am using a 4 yr old model that is identical without the shiny , but it is well painted and i have zero rust anywhere so far and love it . i usually run 2- 4 hours longer on your recipes when i have it on hi smoke , but with a digital , wireless thermometer that is an easy and expected adjustment . 1 ; have you noticed a longer cook time with the pellet smoker ? ,
2 ; i am not a root beer fan , would a wine or cream soda work ? or beer ?
3 ; your recipes are great , i have my little brother hooked , and a registered pit master thanks to you giving him a start .
Every smoker moves air/heat a little different and I have found that times have to be adjusted accordingly as you learn the smoker. I have not noticed that pellet smokers in general take more time to cook.
The root beer in this recipe is more about the liquid than the flavor although the flavor does play a part. You can definitely use wine/beer or cream soda.. Dr Pepper would probably be nice. Heck, I haven’t tried it but I would put up money that some good strong coffee would also pair well with this beef.
Tell your brother, “Great job!” from me!
These sound so good. I don’t see beef ribs like this at my local grocery stores. Most of what I see is little beef ribs with not much meat. Recommendations to find this cut? Would it work on other kinds of beef ribs?
I find these at Costco but any butcher should be able to get these for you. These are huge so while the basic method will work on any rib, smaller ribs will get done faster and may have a different finish temperature.
Where do you find whole racks of short ribs
Jeff, I am having trouble finding ribs like the ones pictured. The ones I find don’t have anywhere this much meat. I live in the Tulsa area also, and would like to know where you find these. Thanks
Ron, Costco at 103rd and Memorial has these most of the time. You do have to have a membership to shop here but the prices are well worth the cost of the membership. I like it MUCH better than Sam’s Club.
I never see these kind of ribs at the store. Guessing one needs to find a local butcher and possibly special order?
Hi Jeff, I have a question about dry brining. Is it possible to over-brine them? I plan on putting them on early in the morning and it will have a negative effect if they brine for 8+ hours. Any info is appreciated!
overnight is not a problem but I wouldn’t go more than about 12 hours. Salt is a tenderizer and at some point it will start changing the texture of the meat in my experience.
Hi Jeff. Have you ever considered using the same resting technique on short ribs that you use on brisket? I wondered if it would add tenderness. Thanks.
Jeff I purchased the rub and bbq cause recipe a few years ago, how can I get the Texas rub recipe.
Tom, I just re-sent the download email from our new system. All of the recipes that you purchased, including the Texas style rub, will be available for you to download using a special unique link. Let me know if you don’t get the email or if you need further help with this.
I don’t have a dedicated smoker to spend the amount of time necessary to try this recipe. Can I make a smoker pouch and do them in the oven? What changes or recommendations would you make for doing these ribs in the oven?
Kirk, I would follow the exact same instructions with sitting them in a pan and basting them with the juices, etc.
I would also maintain the same low heat if possible until they reach about 190 – 200°F or fork tender.
Even without smoke, these are super flavorful and will be delicious.
Thank you, I will give that a shot and let you know how they turn out!