Sunday, March 24, 2013


From the day I set foot in the new US Foods Chef Store in Oklahoma City and spotted the beef short ribs in their meat cooler. I couldn't wait until I had enough free time to smoke some.
Prior to Chef Store opening all I had been able to find were beef back ribs. Back ribs are good in a pinch but short ribs, also known as plate ribs, are where it's at.

Beef back rib bones are kind of similar to a pork baby back rib bone as they have a groove along the side of the bone. The meat is found more along the sides of the bone, between the ribs, with very little on top of the bone.

Beef short ribs have the meat on top of the bone and there is lots of it. as you can see in that pictures above and below.
Beef ribs are a naturally tasty cut of meat. So I keep the seasoning simple like the pitmasters in Texas. Kosher salt and pepper mixed in a 2:1 ratio by weight. That means that when I mix up my salt and pepper rub I would mix 2 oz of salt with 1 oz of black pepper.

A lot of people also say you should remove the membrane on the back side of the ribs. I skip this step because I like to peel the crispy membrane off the ribs and eat it. I do score it with a sharp knife at 45 degree angles to make it easier to peel and eat. If you don't like the membrane feel free to go through the trouble of peeling it off before smoking.

For smoking wood I went with cherry and pecan because that was what I had on hand. I feel like beef ribs can stand up to even the harshest smoke woods like mesquite. So it just comes down to what kind of wood you want to use.

I had never smoked beef short ribs before so I decided to go with a technique a lot of people use for smoking pork spareribs called the 3-2-1 method.

With the 3-2-1 method you smoke the meat for 3 hours at 225 degrees then you wrap it in foil, add a braising liquid to help tenderize the meat, and then put it back on the smoker for two hours. This is followed by an additional hour on the smoker unwrapped. I brought the smoker temp up to 240 degrees for the last hour.

I decided to use Shiner Bock for my braising liquid. For pork I usually use a sweet liquid, like apple juice, but I don't like sweet beef so I went with a savory liquid and it turned out pretty good.
This is how the ribs looked after two hours of braising in the foil with Shiner Bock. Notice how well the meat is starting to pull up on the bones. It does this on both sides which gives you a handy handle to hold the ribs while you are eating them. It's kind of like eating corn on the cob only it's tasty beef on the bone.

At this point in the smoke I lightly glazed the ribs with some Spicy Salt Lick BBQ sauce and put them back on the smoker for one last hour. I like to use Salt Lick because smoked beef is king in Texas and this Texas based sauce complements the meat well.

I also reserved the braising liquid to use to make chili for a chili luncheon my office is having later in the week. I haven't made the chili as of writing this but I can't think of anything that would go better in a big ol batch of Texas Red Chili than some beef infused Texas beer.
For my first time smoking beef short ribs the finished product turned out really good. I'm not going to declare them to be perfect but they were good enough that you needed to count your fingers to make sure you hadn't accidentally bitten one off while devouring the rib.
Another cool aspect of eating beef short ribs is that if you are the first to finish your rib. You are left with a nice weapon to fight off any other carnivores at the table. This comes in very handy if you like beef ribs as much as I like beef ribs.


  1. OK...OK. You've convinced me. I'll have to try this, as soon as the snow melts off my cookery up here in Pawnee County.

    1. LOL.... Yeah, I'm glad I cooked yesterday and not today. No snow here but I'm going to be happy to stay inside on the couch watching basketball today.


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