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Beef short rib, just fell short


Joined Oct 4, 2018
hiii peeps,

First attempt at beef short rib, picked up some meaty ones with about 2 inch of meat over the top of the bones.
Smoked at 260f for just over 8 hours with a few chunks of oak. Spritz every 45mins after 4 hours.

Overall close but no cigar . Bark, smoke ring and appearance looked really good.
But where the chunky meat was on the rib was semi dry to my disappointment. Where the fat was next to the bottom of meat and in the crooks and crannys was amazing moist and tender.
I was probe tendering for the last 1hr of the cook, took them to 200f. (At no point was it ever soft like butter)

Not sure if i overcooked them or did not cook them enough? Can anyone advise.

Few lessons I’ve learnt for next time is to either use my waterpan or wrap them in foil during latter stages of the cook.


Still a cracking meal so not too down heartened



Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Sep 15, 2012
Looks good from the pictures. How did they taste despite the texture issues?

When I do beef ribs I like to foil them in a disposable pan when they reach about 165*. I'll put a small rack in the pan along with some beef broth and maybe some cut carrots and onions. The rack will keep the ribs out of the liquid while still allowing for the meat to braise.

Point for sure


Joined Oct 4, 2018
Thanks, Thinking of going down that route on the next cook.
They tasted incredible where the high fat content was, but a little dry and chewy everywhere else.
Few more experimental cooks with this cut and im sure I’ll find a winner.
Joined Jun 9, 2016
Not sure if you will read this message now but I too have had issues with UK beef short ribs. The problem, I think, is that our cattle is grass fed and the short ribs we get simply don't have enough fat and marbling to keep the meat moist.

A few years ago I got some USDA ribs from Tom Hixson and they were the most marbled, best prepared ribs I have ever seen. They cooked phenomenally well and didn't need wrapping, and the stall didn't last very long either. I wanted shredded beef so when they were done I took them off the smoker, rested for an hour or so wrapped and they pulled apart with two forks. No one at the party had ever seen or tasted beef like it.

For last years summer BBQ I did beef short ribs again - British grass fed - and they came out just like yours. Worse, actually. None of the meat was really edible because it was so tough and dry. Same butcher (Tom Hixson) just a different type of beef short rib.

I've sworn only ever to go with USDA in future UNLESS a good butcher who caters to smokers can convince me theirs come out just as good. We'll see.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Just a heads up. That fat does not look rendered enough. "Dry and chewy" is underdone. If they were overcooked, they would have fallen apart. The bark may be crunchy, but the meat underneath would be crumbly if overcooked.

Short ribs have lots of collagen that has to melt. Melted collagen is the juice in short ribs. 200F can work, but I've seen short ribs get up to 210F before they were butter tender.

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