Barbecue Short Ribs Recipe


I'm considering entering the barbecue competition circuit with my own team next year. I've been hard at work this summer developing my own barbecue pork recipes—you know the type that elicit a response of "I can tell you what's in it, but then I'd have to kill you" to inquiring minds.

With so much pork coming off the smoker, beef has been left to the wayside, but if I'm going to compete, I need a well rounded arsenal, so came these short ribs.

My previous attempts at short ribs have been so-so, but now with years more of smoking knowledge under my belt, this latest batch turned out fantastic.

Opting for a simple rub of mostly pepper and salt, it was the natural flavor of the beef and smoke against the tender meat that made these so irresistible.

I can honestly say that I was totally satisfied with these ribs, though I bet there will be some tweaks before I deem them competition-ready, and at that point the recipe will have to be pried from my cold, dead hands.*

*Not really, I enjoy sharing my recipes, I'm just trying some barbecue ethos on for size.

Recipe Details

Barbecue Short Ribs Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 5 hrs
Serves 6 to 8 servings


For the Rub:

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons white pepper

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 8 full short ribs, cut into individual ribs

  • 1 cup apple juice in spray bottle

  • 3-4 chunks of a medium smoking wood, such as oak or hickory


  1. In a small bowl combine black pepper, white pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic powder to make the rub. Season ribs all over liberally with the rub.

  2. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood chunks when at temperature. When the wood is ignited and producing smoke, place the ribs in the smoker or grill, meat side up, and smoke until ribs reach 180 degrees on an instant read thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat, about 4 to 5 hours. Spray ribs with apple juice about every hour during cooking.

  3. Remove ribs from smoker, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Special Equipment

Smoker or Grill

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
672 Calories
49g Fat
7g Carbs
51g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 672
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 22g 110%
Cholesterol 221mg 74%
Sodium 1659mg 72%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 51g
Vitamin C 12mg 62%
Calcium 52mg 4%
Iron 7mg 38%
Potassium 856mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)