Beef Short Ribs

When it comes to low and slow barbecue it's hard to top beef shorties. Taste wise they're probably just shaded by brisket but there's other factors in the whole preparation and cooking process that make shorties just as appealing. They're simple to prep, straightforward to cook and the result is tender, rich, full flavoured meat on a stick.

Aside from less preparation and no need for wrapping, the other advantage beef ribs have over brisket is the window between under cooking and overcooking the meat is a little wider. You can actually cook beef ribs further than the usually recommended 203f/95c internal temperature of slow cooked beef to the point where you can pull the meat apart with your hands... great for tacos or even a sneaky burger topper!


  • 1 Rack of beef short ribs
  • Lane's BBQ Brisket Rub or Brisket + Ancho COMBO
  • Mustard or Mayonnaise


  1. Remove the fat cap from the top of the ribs. A sharp knife helps. There is a thin silvery membrane between the fat cap and the meat which will not breakdown when cooking so it's important to take it off. Unlike pork ribs it's not necessary to remove the membrane on the underside of the ribs.
  2. Lightly brush the ribs with a thin layer of mustard or mayo and apply the Brisket/BRANCHt Rub. Time permitting, do this 24 hours in advance so the salt in the rub has time to penetrate the meat. This will loosen up the muscles, help them to retain moisture and therefore result in a juicier cut. This process is called dry brining.
  3. Fire up your cooker for indirect cooking and aim for an ambient temperature of 275f/135c. The beauty of beef ribs is that you can smoke them as low as 225f/107c or cook them hot and fast at 325f/163c. They're a very forgiving cut.
  4. Check the ribs after 4 hours, in particular the bark. If it is well formed with a dark mahogany colour then give the ribs a spritz with a 50-50 mix of water and either apple cider vinegar, apple juice, stock, anything you like really. If the bark looks as though it's still forming and there is a lot of moisture on the surface then leave them for another hour or so then spritz. Spritz every 45 minutes thereafter.
  5. A rough guide for when short ribs are cooked is for the internal temperature of the meat to be 203f/95c. For me this usually takes somewhere around the 7 hour mark.*

*The beauty of shorties is that you can take them a little further than 203f without fear of drying them out. In fact you will find some shorties actually need a little longer. The bottom line is that using your trusty meat thermometer the ribs should probe with little resistance.

Photos and recipe by Messy Benches. Visit www.messybenches.com