First try at beef short ribs

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

frag monger

Original poster
May 21, 2006
Seattle, WA
I'm going to be smoking two racks of beef short ribs tomorrow in my new GOSM (the smaller model), and I just have a few quick questions. I know the prep (removing the membrane...and I'm going to use a dry rub.)

I've seen one poster on here talk about wrapping the rib racks in foil(?) What's that about? I haven't heard about this before. Wouldn't that prevent the smoke from permeating the meat of the ribs?

My thinking is that I'll just want to place the rib racks on the smoker shelf w/o any foil. Do I want to lay the rib racks down or is it better to try and stand them up a bit (by, for example, leaning them against the sides of the smoker while on the shelf/rack.

Thanks everyone! I'm just a 'virgin' smoker tryin' to get things rolling here. :)
Frag, Some folks use a version of the 3-2-1 method on beef short ribs like they do for spare ribs.
3 hours in the smoke.
2 hours wrapped in foil with 1/2 cup of fruit juice added before closing the foil (this will braise the meat and help make it tender)
1 hour unwrapped to help firm up the meat-apply glaze or Q sauce after 30 minutes.

Keep in mind that the times in the 3-2-1 Method are "suggested" times. If you're famillier with the 3-2-1 Method, you will know when to wrap them in foil and when to open the foil.

For Beef short ribs some use the 2-2-1 method since the short rib doesn't have the fat that pork does and can dry out easily.

Good luck and I hope you have a great smoke!!
I just did my second try at them today and I did a 3-3 on them and the came out great. They were very tender and just pulled right off the bone. I have to say I was kind of shocked because I have had pork ribs more though. I put the ribs in foil right about when the meet at shrunk about 1/16 on the bone. Then I had them in foil till they went down to about 1/4 back off the bone. I did the Mempis rub and when I did the foil I did apple juice and a bit of brown suger and it gave a nice sweet taste to the meat.

From my first try I am very happy with the results.
Hmmm, OK. That method sounds interesting. I'll have to try it next time.

I just laid the ribs on the rack this time (meat side down, of course) and they came out pretty good. :)
Veener & Frag, It sounds like you both had a successful day at the smoker-Way to go!!
Dutch, where do you find the short ribs without all the fat on them, or do you trim the fat off? Every batch I've ever done has been very fatty with little meat. Am I just buying the wrong ones?
Lady J, get to know your butcher. If they know what your preference is, they'll try to give you what you want.

Larry-The short ones
I get mine at meijers and they are very meaty and have very little fat. That is why I had to do the 3-3. The first time I did a 3-2-1 but they dried out a lot. So I did the 3-3 and that fixed the problem. When I pulled them out of the foil there was almost no fat in the foil just the apple juice.

They are almost to lean for a dry rub with out any sause on the side.
Larry-Each market does things their own way, some sell them with the rib bone remove others with it intact. If you're doing boneless keep in mind that you don't need to cook them as long since you don't have that bone mass that has to heat up too. In most cases, cooking times are less with the boneless meats vs. bone in (15-30 minutes difference). In smoking boneless I begin checking my meats for doneness earlier than I would with bone-in (as much as an hour earlier). is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Hot Threads