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Smoked Pork Short Ribs

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You did not mis-read that.. these are smoked pork short ribs and if you haven’t heard of them, you’re not alone. This is not something you’ll find at the grocery store or even at your local restaurant but you can get these at specialty meat shops such as Porter Road, where I got these.

Picture the rib cage of a pig.. starting at the top of the spine you have the baby back ribs, then the spare ribs wrap around  the sides, then much lower down the short ribs run into the belly.

Because of their proximity to the belly (where bacon comes from), they are more fatty and therefore, WAYYYYY more flavorful.

Cook them until tender and they will reward you with mind blowing flavor!

Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6-7 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 200°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan

What You’ll Need

Step 1: Remove Membrane

Place the rib section bone side up and pry up the membrane with your fingers or a sharp implement such as a butter knife.

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Grab ahold of it with a paper towel for better grip and pull firmly to remove it completely.

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Step 2:  Seasoning

For these I wanted to apply the Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) first then apply the original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) over the top of that. Layering on flavors is a great way to season meat and when you have two amazing rubs that compliment the meat, it works like a charm.

First place the ribs bone side up and apply the Texas style rub all over and don’t forget the sides.

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Next apply a coat of the original rub in the same way.

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Now flip them over and repeat the Texas style rub and the original rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub) on the meaty side.

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If you are doing this in advance (highly recommended) you can now place them in the fridge and they will be good to go in as little as 4 hours although 8-10 hours is even better.

This allows the salt in the rubs to bring some of that juice to the surface where it melts the salt, mixes with the ingredients in the rubs and then reabsorbs into the meat. It is a dry brining of sorts and anyone who’s tried this will know that it works quite well and ramps up the flavor.

Step 3: Smoke Time

Pellet smokers: 

I recommend you cook them for 1 hour at the lowest setting or the specialized smoke setting. I use the Camp Chef Woodwind and I used “lo smoke”.

Once the smoker is ready place the ribs on the grate or you can use a pan and rack like I did to keep the smoker clean and eliminate some of the cleanup.

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After the initial 1 hour, turn them up to 225°F. (On the Woodwind, I turned them up to Hi Smoke which maintains an average of 220°F)

Maintain the 220-225°F temperature in your smoker for 6.5 to 7 hours or until the ribs are tender. You can also check them with a temperature probe if you prefer– they are done when they reach about 200°F in the meat between the bones. Make sure the probe does not touch the bone.

Tip: Mist the ribs with apple juice every 30 minutes or as often as possible while they are cooking using a food grade plastic spray bottle.

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All other smokers:

Preheat your smoker to 225 using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

Once the smoker is ready place the ribs on the grate or you can use a pan and rack like I did to keep the smoker clean and eliminate some of the cleanup.

Maintain 225 to 240°F temperature in your smoker for 6 to 7 hours or until the ribs are tender. You can also check them with a temperature probe if you prefer– they are done when they reach about 200°F in the meat between the bones. Make sure the probe does not touch the bone.

Tip: Mist the ribs with apple juice every 30 minutes or as often as possible while they are cooking using a food grade plastic spray bottle.

Step 4: Rest, Slice and Serve

When the ribs are finished cooking, let them rest for about 10 minutes under tented foil then slice them between the bones and serve.

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Notes and Comments

These look an awful lot like spare ribs but there is a buttery smooth tenderness to these that just made them taste amazing and they were so meaty! The intramuscular fat made them super juicy and if you ask me, they are well worth the time and the price to order these in special.

Q: Are these better than spare ribs?

A: Yes, in my opinion they are the best pork ribs I have ever had and the other tasters agreed. One of the tasters commented that the ribs just “melt in your mouth”.

Q: Why is the meat not shrunk back from the bone like it usually does?

A: I don’t have an answer for that.. I full expected it but it just never happened. I did raise the lid every 20-30 minutes to mist the ribs with apple juice so maybe that had something to do with it. Didn’t change the great taste at the end so your guess is as good as mine.


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Smoked Pork Short Ribs

Pork short ribs are not well known but if you can find them, they might just be the best pork ribs you'll ever eat!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Category: Entree, Main
  • Cuisine: Barbecue

Ingredients

Instructions

Step 1: Remove Membrane

  1. Place the rib section bone side up and pry up the membrane with your fingers or a sharp implement such as a butter knife.
  2. Grab ahold of it with a paper towel for better grip and pull firmly to remove it completely.

Step 2: Seasoning

  1. Apply the Texas style rub first then apply the original rub over the top of that.
  2. First place the ribs bone side up and apply the Texas style rub all over and don’t forget the sides.
  3. Next apply a coat of the original rub in the same way.
  4. Now flip them over and repeat the Texas style rub and the original rub on the meaty side.
  5. If you are doing this in advance (highly recommended) you can now place them in the fridge to dry brine and they will be good to go in as little as 4 hours although 8-10 hours is even better.

Step 3: Smoke Time for Pellet Smoker

  1. I recommend you cook them for 1 hour at the lowest setting or the specialized smoke setting. I use the Camp Chef Woodwind and I used “lo smoke”.
  2. Once the smoker is ready place the ribs on the grate or you can use a pan and rack like I did to keep the smoker clean and eliminate some of the cleanup.
  3. After the initial 1 hour, turn them up to 225°F. (On the Woodwind, I turned them up to Hi Smoke which maintains an average of 220°F)
  4. Maintain the 220-225°F temperature in your smoker for 6.5 to 7 hours or until the ribs are tender. You can also check them with a temperature probe if you prefer– they are done when they reach about 200°F in the meat between the bones. Make sure the probe does not touch the bone.
  5. Tip: Mist the ribs with apple juice every 30 minutes or as often as possible while they are cooking using a food grade plastic spray bottle.

Step 3: Smoke Time for All Other Smokers

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.
  2. Once the smoker is ready place the ribs on the grate or you can use a pan and rack like I did to keep the smoker clean and eliminate some of the cleanup.
  3. Maintain 225 to 240°F temperature in your smoker for 6 to 7 hours or until the ribs are tender. You can also check them with a temperature probe if you prefer– they are done when they reach about 200°F in the meat between the bones. Make sure the probe does not touch the bone.
  4. Tip: Mist the ribs with apple juice every 30 minutes or as often as possible while they are cooking using a food grade plastic spray bottle.

Step 4: Rest, Slice and Serve

  1. When the ribs are finished cooking, let them rest for about 10 minutes under tented foil then slice them between the bones and serve.

Notes

These look an awful lot like spare ribs but there is a buttery smooth tenderness to these that just made them taste amazing and they were so meaty! The intramuscular fat made them super juicy and if you ask me, they are well worth the time and the price to order these in special.

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2 Comments

  1. Where can you buy the pork short ribs. I’ve asked a few butchers and got some strange looks.

    Thanks

    Mark
    Hollywood, Florida