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How to Make Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

beef dyno ribs sliced whole and into slices

If you’ve wondered how to make beef ribs, or how to make beef ribs tender, you’ve come to the right place. These beef plate ribs, sometimes called “dino ribs” for their size, have become pretty standard on any BBQ platter, and for good reason.

They not only look impressive, but they taste incredible. They take some time to prepare right, but they aren’t difficult and they’re well worth the wait. They usually come in racks of three or four, and one rib is plenty for one person.

Whole rack of smoked beef plate ribs
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Today we’re going to learn how to make beef ribs on a pellet smoker, but you can do this on any grill, it’s all about temperature management. I love making these on an offset smoker, or in my Kamado grill, they key is using indirect heat and time.

Don’t worry about the time though, your backyard is going to smell INCREDIBLE during the entire cook; so be ready for the neighbors to randomly stop by to return the tool they borrowed last summer.

sliced beef ribs on slate platter

Types of Beef Ribs

If you search the internet for “types of beef ribs” you’ll find several different names depending on how they’re cut. Today we’re talking about beef short ribs, also referred to as beef short plate ribs, plate ribs, or dino ribs. These shouldn’t be confused with the beef back rib.

They can be hard to find at most chain grocery stores, and when you do find them they are usually cut into what’s known as “flanken style”. But, if you have a local butcher, they can usually get them for you, just ask. If you don’t, there are several places online that sell them.

What’s the Difference Between Beef Short Ribs and Beef Back Ribs?

This question is asked often and it’s a simple one. Beef back ribs are cut from the upper portion of the rib near the spine. They have a slight curve to them and the meat from those ribs comes from between the bones, and it’s scarce. It’s tasty for sure, there just isn’t much of it.

This is because the ribeye steaks are cut from this area and butchers go to great lengths to yield as much meat for the steak as possible. Typically, the beef back ribs you find in the store are simply an afterthought and you’re mostly paying for bone.

From a value perspective, I’ve rarely seen beef back ribs priced at a point that make them worth it.

sliced plate ribs on platter

Beef short ribs on the other hand, are cut from the same rib, but further down on the steer. The meat on these ribs comes from the top of the bone and is usually plentiful. I’m the type of guy that can put down some food, and one rib is enough to have me tapping out.

There’s quite a bit of connective tissue that needs to be broken down on the short rib, so for this rib recipe, plan on letting them go low and slow for several hours until the meat is probe tender.

That usually means an internal temperature of about 205 °F. Generally speaking, you can count on about 8 hours of cook time to get these tender. I’ll say it again, it’s worth the wait.

rack of beef short ribs smoking on grill

How to Cook Beef Short Ribs

You’re going to be amazed at just how simple this is, especially if you’re cooking beef short ribs on a pellet grill. We’ll get into detail below but it’s really as simple as seasoning your beef ribs, putting them on your grill or smoker, wrapping in butcher paper or foil at some point, resting, and eating.

That’s it folks, this is about one of the most simple cooks in BBQ. And, unlike pork ribs, you don’t even have to go to the hassle of taking the membrane off the bone side of the ribs.

For beef short ribs, the membrane actually helps to hold them together, so leave it one. Add to that, they usually come pretty well trimmed from the butcher, so prep time is minimal.

showing the fat on top of beef short ribs

You might have to trim a bit of fat off these, but not much. Some prefer a closer trim and remove nearly all of the fat. I don’t trim them so close but that’s a personal preference. Often called “brisket on a stick” the fat on these beef short ribs is going to render during the cooking process much like it will on a brisket.

Unlike the brisket, however, these ribs aren’t usually sold with much excess fat requiring a ton of knife work to get them ready for your grill.

Ok, enough small talk, let’s get these beef short ribs prepped and on the grill.

How to Make Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 30 min | Cooking Time: 8+ hours

Ingredients
1 3-4 lbs rack of beef shortribs
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
2 tbsp soy sauce

For the Rub:
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
2 tbsp coarse black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp mustard seeds

Making Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

Step 1: Start your pellet grill and set temperature for 250 °F. I like to use oak or hickory pellets for beef short ribs but use your favorite.

Step 2: While the grill is preheating, trim off any excess fat on the beef short ribs. There usually isn’t much, but if there is, just clean it up with a sharp boning knife so they look like this:

raw beef plate short ribs on cutting board

Step 3: Whisk together all ingredients for the rub in a bowl. Generously coat the beef short ribs with the rub, ensuring you coat the sides. Don’t worry about getting the bone side of the ribs. You’re not eating that side where the membrane is, so seasoning it is a waste.

TIP: Unlike pork ribs where the membrane should be removed, on beef short ribs leave the membrane in place to hold them together while you’re smoking the ribs.

Step 4: Place ribs on a wire cooling rack inside of a cookie sheet. This allows for easy cleanup and prevents your grill from getting filthy with the dripping rendered fat. Place the ribs on the smoker, and close the lid.

seasoned beef plate ribs on wire rack

Step 5: Mix beef broth, hot sauce, and soy sauce and pour into a spritz bottle. After the ribs have been on the smoker for one hour, give them a light misting of the liquid. This moisture helps the ribs take on some smoke and builds an incredible bark. Repeat every hour for the first four hours.

Step 6: After the 4th spritz, insert a temperature probe for a reliable leave-in thermometer in the thickest portion of the meat, between two ribs. I wait to put the probe in till this point because it allows enough time for the meat to start to pull away from the bones so you can ensure proper probe placement. Don’t get the probe too close to a bone or it will give an inaccurate reading.

beef ribs on pellet grill with temperature probe

Step 7: Allow the ribs to cook until internal temperature reaches 203 °F and the meat is probe tender. Probe tender means you can slide a temperature probe from a quick-read thermometer into the meat with very little to no resistance. This should be around 8 hours or so depending on the size of the rack of ribs.

TIP: Some people will wrap their ribs in foil or butcher paper about halfway through the cook. I do this for the really big cuts of meat like pork shoulder or brisket, and sometimes beef ribs, depending on the size of the rack.

Step 8: Remove beef short ribs from grill, cover with aluminum foil and wrap in an old towel. Let ribs rest for at least an hour, but preferably 90 minutes, before opening up and slicing.

whole rack of smoked beef ribs, unsliced

Step 9: Serve by themselves, or with your favorite side dish like corn polenta and pickled red onions. For a change-up, add some chimichurri or my favorite avocado, cilantro & lime vinaigrette (ACL). You’ll find the freshness of the ACL balances the richness of the beef short ribs perfectly.

individual beef ribs, with chimichurri

How to Make Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

Beef ribs with Avocado Cilantro and Lime Vinaigrette ready to serve

How to Make Beef Ribs on a Pellet Grill

4.28 from 37 votes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 3-4 lbs rack of beef shortribs
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce optional
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce

For the Rub:

  • 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coarse black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

Instructions

  • Start your pellet grill and set temperature for 250 °F. I like to use oak or hickory pellets for beef short ribs but use your favorite.
  • While the grill is preheating, trim off any excess fat on the beef short ribs.
  • Whisk together all ingredients for the rub in a bowl. Generously coat the beef short ribs with the rub ensuring you coat the sides.
  • Place ribs on a wire cooling rack inside of a cookie sheet.
  • Mix beef broth, hot sauce, and soy sauce and pour into a spritz bottle. After the ribs have been on the smoker for 1 hour, give them a light misting of the liquid. Repeat every hour for the first 4 hours.
  • After the 4th spritz, insert a temperature probe for a reliable leave-in thermometer in the thickest portion of the meat, between two ribs. I wait to put the probe in till this point because it allows enough time for the meat to start to pull away from the bones so you can ensure proper probe placement. Don't get the probe too close to a bone or it will give an inaccurate reading.
  • Allow ribs to cook until internal temperature reaches 203 °F and the meat is probe tender. Probe tender means you can slide a temperature probe from a quick read thermometer into the meat with very little to no resistance. This should be around 8 hours or so depending on the size of the rack of ribs.
  • Remove beef short ribs from grill, cover with aluminum foil and wrap in an old towel. Let ribs rest for at least an hour, but preferably 90 minutes before opening up and slicing.
  • Serve just by themselves, or with your favorite side dish like corn polenta and pickled red onions. For a change-up, add some chimichurri or my favorite avocado, cilantro & lime vinaigrette. You’ll find the freshness of the ACL balances the richness of the beef short ribs perfectly.

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