Beef Short Ribs

Discussion in 'Beef' started by californiasmoke, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    Hi Folks,

    I'm new here -- hoping you can help me with a cook time question on beef short ribs.

    I have some chuck short ribs, already cut into individual ribs (cut along the bone, not across).  They are pretty meaty and substantial looking.

    I'm going to give them a basic salt & pepper rub, and I want to smoke them at 225 start to finish in my humble Traeger.  It's one of those with only three settings, and it runs really consistently at 225 degrees when on "smoke".  I've seen some other threads on beef short ribs recommending 3-2-1 or similar strategies where the ribs essentially braise for a couple hours after a couple of hours of smoke.  I want to get as good a bark as I can, and make sure all of the fat is well rendered so the ribs are moist and tender.

    I watched Franklin's video on beef short ribs, but I don't have the temp control to use his recommendations on timing.  I'm guessing I need around 8 hours at 225 to get these done.  Anyone have any time recommendations (aside from getting a better smoker)? 
  2. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

  3. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    Thanks for the link!

    I just put the ribs on, I'm going to hope that 5 hours is enough (which puts dinner about 7pm tonight, which is typical for us).  I'm following the same procedure:

    Slather with yellow mustard (which I've never done)


    smoke for 5 hours at 225

    I may mop them at 2 or 3 hours just to see how they look, otherwise I'm going to leave them alone.

    I made a basic rub with

    3 tbls kosher salt

    3 tbls coarse ground black pepper

    2 tbls dried minced garlic

    1 tbls white sugar

    This was a nice chunky rub.  I don't want "sweet" beef ribs, but the little bit of sugar should help the outside of the ribs caramelize a little better. Time will tell, I'll let you know how they come out.  I've only tried beef ribs once before, several years ago when I first got the Traeger -- and they were terrible.  I didn't cook them long enough, they were tough as nails.

  4. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    here are the beef ribs at about 3 and a half hours.  They still have a ways to go, hopefully they will be done at around 5 hours...

  5. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I think I would have used my. Mav. , 8 he's seems too long. Jmho!
  6. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    After 5 hours at 225 they are only up to about 155 internal and not tender.  I turned the heat up to "medium" (about 300) for a bit to nudge them along, hopefully another hour will do it.
  7. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    Here is the final report.  After 5 hours at 225 (per the recipe above) they ribs were only at 155 and still tough to the probe.  They also visibly hadn't cooked back enough from the bone.  In order to get them done so we could eat dinner I increased the temp to 300 for another hour and got them to about 195 internal.  They felt more tender to the probe, but still a little tough.

    I served them.  The report from my family was "a little salty, a little tough, but good otherwise".  I was disappointed with the dryness and texture.  They were a tiny bit salty, but not objectionable.  They were pretty and had a really nice bark, just needed more moisture and maybe a little more cook time

    The long cook time doesn't surprise me.  For whatever reason 225 on my Traeger seems to take longer than 225 on other smokers.  Maybe it's the water pan in units like the WSM and the moist air steaming the meat.

    Next time I'm either going to mop or put them in a pan with some beer after a couple of hours of smoke.

  8. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Have you confirmed that the thermo you use for your smoker temp is correct?

    Adding some liquid would definitely help braise the short ribs and break down all that fat. 
  9. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    I haven't verified the temperature in a while, it's possible the analog thermometer I have is reading off a little.  I'll have to check that.
  10. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    OK, Beef short ribs take #2.

    The last time I had several issues.  The rub was too salty, I didn't really get them tender and they were a bit dry.  As my son says "FAIL".

    I'm changing my approach and flavors for this go-round.  First, I'm going to follow more of a 3-2-1 cooking schedule.  Three hours smoke at 225 on the Traeger.  I'll mop them after an hour and then maybe every 30 minutes.  Then into a foil pan with the rest of the mop, with foil over the top to seal things up.  Another two hours at 225, then I'll start checking temp and tenderness.  I'll either finish them in foil or put them back on the grate depending on how they look at that point.  I'm on the fence about putting a sauce or glaze on them, but I'm inclined not to.

    OK, flavors:

    Cherry pellets - because that's what I have on hand.


        1/2 cup yellow mustard

        2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

        1 tablespoon molasses

    Rub: Jeff's Texas Rub


        1/2 yellow onion, diced
        2 cloves of garlic, sliced
        3/4 cup cider vinegar
        12 ounces beer
        1/4 cup water
        1/4 cup vegetable oil
        1 tablespoon dry rub
        2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
        1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

        - add oil, onion, garlic, black pepper and dry rub to saucepan, heat over medium-high until onion and garlic turn translucent

        - add remainder of ingredients, lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes

    Just put them on to smoke, I'll let you know how they turn out.

  11. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    OK, post-dinner report.  The beef short ribs came out GREAT.  Very tender, very moist, plenty of flavor.  We ate them all.  Glad to have figured this one out.  No finished picture, sorry.  

    I'm putting a boston butt on later tonight for tomorrow's dinner.
  12. bryce

    bryce Smoking Fanatic

    Right on, keep the smoking going - that's what I like to see!

    Glad the ribs came out better this time around. Good job getting right back in there to work through things.

  13. californiasmoke

    californiasmoke Fire Starter

    I'm glad to have had these come out so well, I'll definitely make them again.  This way my 3rd try.  I did them once when I first got the Traeger and they were too heavily rubbed and very undercooked.  The second time was above when they came out "almost done" but still tough and dry.  The mop made a HUGE difference in the moistness, I almost think I could have finished them without "wrapping" if I kept them mopped.

    The other thing I've struggled with is BRISKET.  I think I'm ready to try a full brisket again.  Anyone have any cook time recommendations for a low-and-slow brisket (225)?  I'll inject and rub with Jeff's Texas mix.  Smoke until it's got the color and is around 150 degrees, then wrap. 

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