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Texas Style Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked beef ribs go by many names, but our favorites are “dino ribs” and “brisket on a stick.” They’re big, thick, and meaty, and they’re a mainstay in Texas BBQ. BBQ World Champion Doug Scheiding of Rogue Cookers shows step by step how to smoke beef ribs, with tips on selection and pre-smoke prep.

BBQ Basics


1 package of uncut beef plate short ribs (not chuck ribs), about 4-6 pounds per rack of 3 bones
Head Country All-Purpose Marinade
Head Country Championship Seasoning, Original
Head Country Championship Seasoning, High Plains Heat
Black pepper
8 oz. apple juice, for spritzing
Beef broth or brisket au jus

Cooking Instructions

Remove ribs from the package. Trim as much fat and silverskin off the top (meat-side) as possible with a very sharp filet knife. This exposes the meat for seasoning. Do not remove the membrane from the bottom side of beef ribs. Keep it in place to help hold the ribs together during cooking.

Preheat your smoker or grill. Go with 250 degrees F for racks closer to the 4-pound mark, and with 275 degrees F for racks closer to the 6-pound mark. You can use a higher cooking temperature if you have less time for the ribs to cook, up to 325 degrees F.

Starting with the bottom (bone-side), coat all sides of the ribs with Head Country Marinade. Add a medium-thick dusting of Head Country Championship Seasoning, High Plains Heat. Add a coat of Head Country Championship Seasoning, Original, followed by a sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper. Flip the ribs and repeat on the top (meat-side).

Spritz lightly with apple juice. This increases the absorption of the seasoning into the meat.

Place ribs on the grill or in the smoker, meat-side up. Smoke the ribs for 4-5 hours (shorter for lower-weight racks, longer for higher-weight racks), or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches around 170 degrees F. Spritz lightly with apple juice every 30 minutes to keep the ribs slightly moist.

Adjust the temperature of your grill or smoker to 275 degrees F. Wrap the ribs in aluminum foil. Before you close the foil, add some beef broth, apple juice, or brisket au jus to the packet. Want to harden the bark? Remove the foil when the internal temperature reaches 198 degrees F and allow the ribs to continue cooking until they reach an internal temperature of 203 degrees F.

Remove the ribs from the grill or smoker when the internal temperature reaches 203 degrees F. Slice between the bones. Serve immediately—that is, after you snap a few photos.