Beef RIbs

Beef Rib recipe

Beef Ribs. The Texas BBQ that made me fall in love with BBQ after growing up on sweet, pork BBQ in the south. I also refer to this as brisket on a stick and this may just be the King of all BBQ for me.

When you are eating BBQ in Texas you are typically eating  what is known as short ribs, AKA, 123A Beef Plate or 3 bone beef ribs, trimmed from the mid-section of ribs 6 through 8. This cut can be difficult to find outside of a butcher shop. 

A good alternative are 130 beef chuck short ribs, aka 4 bone beef ribs which originate from the mid-section of ribs 2 through 5. These are easily found at grocery stores or Costco. Just ask your butcher. 

Also, 124 beef ribs, originating from the most dorsal section of ribs 6 through 12 can be found easily at many grocery stores. This is the portion of the ribs that is directly ventral to the ribeye roll. Considering the higher value of the muscles in the ribeye roll, 124 beef rib, back ribs have little to no overlying tissue on the dorsal side.*


  • Tools
    • Instant Read Thermometer (we use Thermoworks MK4)
    • Unwaxed butcher paper (sub aluminum foil)

Prepare your Smoker
Prepare your Smoker at 250 degrees. We recommend a heavy smoking wood or pellet for this cook such as oak or mesquite. Traditional Texas BBQ is smoked with post oak.
Prepare the ribs
Trim any hard fat or silver skin off the meat side of the rack of ribs.

Flip the ribs meat side down and remove the thick membrane off the back of the rack. This is easily accomplished by grabbing the membrane with a paper towel and pulling it off. Removing the membrane will allow your rub to penetrate into the meat more effectively.
Apply a heavy coat of our Holy Cow seasoning on the bone side. Allow the rub to adhere for 15 minutes. Flip over the rack of ribs and repeat the process thoroughly covering the meat with seasoning. Allow the meat side seasoning to adhere for at least 30 minutes.

Smoke the Ribs
Place the ribs meat side up in the smoker. You can spritz the ribs every hour or so with a liquid such as beef broth or even water. The cook on 3 bone, beef short ribs will take near 8 hours total. 

I don't always wrap my beef ribs (like a brisket), because I'm trying to get "maximum bark." However, you can wrap them tightly in unwaxed butcher paper (or foil) at the 6 hour mark and this is what they will look like.....

Beef ribs

Continue smoking the ribs until the meat between the bones is probe tender. I use my instant read thermometer to feel the meat without looking at the temp. We are feeling for tenderness. Then I look at the temp. 

Beef ribs
(I chose not to wrap on this cook pictured.)

The tenderness I'm looking for often occurs near 210 degrees internal temperature. Higher internal temp than we target for a brisket cook. The meat will feel jiggly.

beef ribs

Remove the ribs from the smoker and allow to rest and cool while lightly tented in aluminum foil for 15 – 20 minutes.

Beef Ribs

You can eat these a number of ways. You can either make two long cuts to serve the ribs whole.


Alternatively you can slice the meat off the bone and cube it up for more folks to enjoy.

 Meat Church Beef RIbs

I love serving them with our cheddar cheese grits!

Beef ribs

*Beef rib cut info courtesy of the Texas A&M Meat Science Section, Department of Animal Science

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