How to Smoke Short Ribs in an Offset Smoker


Good short ribs are tricky to cook, and then hard to stay away from once enjoyed!

Short ribs are a popular cut of beef despite not being good enough to be used as steak.

This is because experts have perfected the way to smoke short ribs in a way that makes them just as special as any piece of beef steak.

Smoked Short Ribs in an Offset Smoker

In fact, this cut of beef has gained so much popularity over the past few years that it’s rather expensive now. Previously, it was much cheaper.

Different people will give you different ways to cook your short ribs, some even leave them overnight before cooking them.

We’re here to tell you our favorite way to smoke short ribs in an offset smoker which would most definitely give you the tender and juicy ribs you desire!

Quick Answer

The best way to smoke short ribs in an offset smoker is by letting them cook low and slow. 

A safe temperature range is between 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can smoke your ribs using any wood that you prefer, as long as you get the right flavor out of it. 

Normally, the preferred way would be to preheat the smoker initially before adding the ribs to it.

In any case, short ribs take about 5 to 6 hours to be fully cooked.

When your short ribs are fully prepared and are ready to be served, the internal temperature of the ribs while they are on the grate should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1:

Prepare your offset smoker by lighting up its firebox to preheat it to 225 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add some wood to the firebox as well to compliment the flavor of your short ribs at the end.

Remember that some woods need to be added less than others. It all depends on the intensity of their smoke and flavor. You don’t want it to completely cover your short ribs natural flavor!

Step 2:

While your offset smoker preheats, marinate your beef ribs in whatever manner you prefer.

Take your marinated short ribs and place them onto the grates of the preheated offset smoker.

Don’t forget to close the damper, or the door to the firebox, before you can begin to smoke your ribs.

Step 3:

Allow the beef ribs to sit in the closed offset smoker for about 3 hours before opening it and taking a look at your ribs.

You should avoid looking in before the 3 hours mark, or generally over and over again in order to avoid disrupting the smoking process.

Your ribs should be ready to go out if they are mahogany and have a nice crust on top.

Step 4:

Take these partially smoked short ribs and place them on the center of a foil.

Add a little beef broth to the foil in order to add some moisture to the ribs.

Step 5:

Wrap the foil tightly around the ribs and place it back into the offset smoker.

Step 6:

Smoke these wrapped beef ribs for another 3 hours.

Step 7:

Check for an internal temperature of about 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. 

As soon as this temperature is reached, your ribs are ready.

Step 8:

Let the ribs rest for a while before slicing through them and serving them!

Why are My Smoked Short Ribs Tough?

Short ribs are naturally a rather tough cut of beef. 

Therefore, if they are even slightly undercooked, they will appear tough, dry, and chewy. So, you should keep smoking them for longer to see if that fixes it.

However, this might not always be the case. Overcooking the short ribs, or simply exposing them to very high heat can also toughen them up.

This means that you should monitor the ribs very closely when the smoking time is almost done, in case you don’t smoke them for too long.

It’s also necessary that you don’t smoke short ribs at a high temperature, as such exposure can cause them to become dry and tough.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Short Ribs at 225 Degrees Fahrenheit?

At 225 degrees Fahrenheit, your short ribs should be smoked in almost 6 hours.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Short Ribs at 275 Degrees Fahrenheit? 

Short ribs will take between 3 to 4 hours to be completely smoked at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. 

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Beef Ribs at 250 Degrees Fahrenheit?

Smoking beef ribs at 250 degrees Fahrenheit takes about 5 hours.

Wrapping it Up

Smoking short ribs on the perfect heat to the perfect temperature can be a bit of a hassle.

However, for tender and juicy beef ribs, this effort is completely worth your time.

Happy smoking!

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Tyler Lachance is a cookout professional. His expertise on cooking grilled food, creating marinades, formulating sauces and matching his food with the perfect drink is unrivaled.

Born and raised in a family that has a long history of cookout, he has treated this activity as a part of his culture and who he is.