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 Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 5 hrs
Serves: 6 to 8 servings

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  • For the rub
  • 3 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon 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
  • Type of fire: Indirect
  • Grill heat: Low


  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