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If you love a rack of tender beef ribs, this smoked beef ribs recipe is a game-changer that will have the whole neighborhood drooling over your creation.

Cutting beef ribs on cutting board with knife and black & white napkin
Smoked Beef Ribs is a Traditional BBQ Favorite

A twist on a traditional BBQ favorite, it doesn’t get much better than that. 

How to Choose the Best Ribs for Smoked Beef Ribs

If you’re looking for a recipe that’s full of flavor, smoked beef ribs are going to have your mouth watering — as long as you do it right. 

Smoked beef ribs served on cutting board with knife and black & white napkin
These smoked beef ribs are mouth watering!

The important thing for this smoked beef ribs recipe is that you get the correct cut of ribs. There are actually three main types of beef ribs people use for smoking: 

raw ribs served on cutting board and black and white striped napkin
Choosing the correct cut of ribs.
  1. Back ribs — I do not recommend these for smoking. They are cut from the curved part of the rib that comes right off of the cow’s spine. In grocery stores, most of the meat has already been cut off and you’re buying bone and muscle.
  2. Plate ribs — These are the biggest of all beef ribs. We’re talking Texas-style BBQ, but are less likely to be purchased from a butcher or grocery store.
  3. Chuck ribs — these ribs are taken from the end of the rib cage that is closer to the cow’s head. These are commonly sold in racks of four ribs. These are ideal for individual portions and perfect for your next BBQ. 

Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe

First, combine the vinegar and water in a spray bottle and set aside. 

If you’ve ever cooked ribs before, you know that there is often a layer of fat on top of the ribs, followed by a membrane on the bone of each side of the ribs.

removing the membrane off the ribs
Rib membrane removal on beef ribs

Tip: The rib membrane needs to be removed before you start smoking the ribs. You may like my post on:

You can ask your butcher to remove it for you, or you can do it yourself at home.

If you choose to do it at home, simply place a butter knife under the membrane, grip the membrane with paper towel-lined fingers and lift it off of the ribs. 

Dry the ribs with a paper towel and apply the rub.

favorite rub used for smoked beef rib recipe
Favorite rub for smoked beef rib

My favorite rub for smoked beef ribs is a mixture of: 

Rub the mixture onto the ribs until both sides are well coated. 

Seasoning / Rub used for beef ribs
Make sure to coat the beef ribs well with the rub

Add your wood chunks to the smoker. I recommend using: 

  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Cherry, or 
  • A combination of cherry and oak wood chunks

And preheat your smoker to 275°F.  

How Long to Smoke Beef Ribs

Now for my favorite part: smoking the beef ribs. It’s all about technique.

Uncooked Smoked beef ribs on Weber Smoker
The key to these perfectly smoked beef ribs is cooking it low and slow

Like most of my smoker recipes, the key to perfectly smoked beef ribs is smoking them low and slow. 

For the perfect melt-in-your-mouth inner texture, mixed with the nice crispy outer bark, you’ll need two things: 

  1. Enough time 
  2. Enough smoke 

Once your smoker has preheated, add the ribs to the smoker with the meat side facing up — this ensures that the meat doesn’t get hit with the direct heat but still gets lots of smokey flavor. 

Let the ribs smoke for two hours, untouched. After the two-hour mark, use your vinegar-water mixture to spritz the ribs to keep them moist and give them that crispy outside coating.

Smoked beef ribs on the Weber Smoker, Vinegar water spritz on ribs to keep moist
Make sure to keep your smoked ribs moist

Spritz with the mixture every 45 minutes until the thickest part of the ribs reaches 205°F.  Do not let your thermometer touch the bone of the ribs; this will give you an inaccurate temperature. 

Once they’ve reached 205°F, remove them from the smoker, wrap them in butcher’s paper and place them in a cooler to rest for an hour — keep those ribs tender and juicy

Smoked beef ribs wrapped in butcher's paper
Wrapping in butcher’s paper is key!

Best Sides To Serve With BBQ Ribs

After the ribs have rest, all that’s left to do is slice and serve. 

Smoked beef ribs sliced, served on cutting board
Delicious ribs, perfectly smoked every time.
smoked beef ribs recipe

Smoked Beef Ribs

If you love a rack of tender beef ribs, this smoked beef ribs recipe is a game-changer that will have the whole neighborhood drooling over your creation. A twist on a traditional BBQ favorite, it doesn’t get much better than that.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course, Smoked Recipes
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Smoked Beef Ribs
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 21kcal
Author: Mark Rogers


  • Beef Ribs Western Style 8 rib rack
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup vinegar

Seasoning Rub

  • 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Ground Black Pepper
  • optional
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin


  • Preheat smoker to 275 F.
  • Combine the water and vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Dry the beef ribs with paper towels, Remove membrane from the bone side, coat each side of the ribs with the season. Rub into ribs to coat well.
  • Add the ribs on the smoker, meat side up, smoke for 2 hours, after that spritz with vinegar/water mixture every 45 minutes or so.
  • Cook until the thickest part of the meat reaches 205 F with an instant-read thermometer.
  • Remove from smoker and wrap in butcher’s paper and place inside a cooler for an hour.
  • Slice ribs apart and serve.


Wood: Oak, Hickory or Cherry or a combination of Cherry and Oak


Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3494mg | Potassium: 104mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 986IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Other delicious grilled or smoked recipes:

If you’re looking for crowd-pleasing sides to pair with this smoked beef ribs recipe, try our grilled corn on the cob or easy grilled asparagus recipes.

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