Smoked beef ribs practically fall off the bone! The secret last step on the gas grill gives these smoked beef back ribs a crispy coating that is to die for!

This recipe is so good! Whether you prepare your smoked beef ribs on a Traeger, electric smoker, or a charcoal smoker, they always turn out so juicy and tender. 

close up of Smoked Beef Ribs on wooden table


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Why Beef Spare Ribs are So Amazing!

No party or picnic is complete without a great main dish protein! Smoked beef spare ribs are easy to make with the help of your pellet smoker—just set it and forget it! We love to serve them with baked beans, a side of creamy coleslaw and some honey cornbread muffins. The kids love them, especially when we end off with a perfect peach crisp! Such a perfect taste of summer!

Smoked beef ribs are tender, slightly smokey, and seriously delicious. The flavor is unexpected and we actually could not get enough. The ribs are so simple, even if you are new to smoking meats, and so flavorful, that you’ll want to make them every weekend!

Smoked Beef Ribs on table with knife

What’s the Difference Between Short Ribs and Long Ribs?

Long ribs come from the cow’s rib section and are the most common ribs for barbecuing and smoking.

Beef plate ribs are also called short ribs and they are usually meatier and require a longer cooking time.

What You Need to Make Them

Spare ribs, some basic seasonings, and a few handfuls of aromatic wood chunks or pellets are basically all you need to get started! It’s actually that easy! Favorite wood chunk or pellet “flavors” are cherry, apple, or hickory smoke. 

Use your favorite smoker. We use our charcoal smoker, a Weber bullet smoker. If you prefer a pellet smoker, Traeger has some great options to choose from.  

Using a digital BBQ thermometer helps keep the ambient cooking temperature stable. The bonus by using our favorite thermometer is that you can monitor multiple temperatures, so you can also monitor the meat temperature (which should reach 203°F).

A brisket knife is a really nice knife to have! They are super sharp and make slicing meat so easy! You definitely will not regret having this knife around for all of your meat carving! It makes cutting ribsbrisket, and prime rib a cinch!

cutting Smoked Beef Ribs

How to Smoke Beef Ribs

It’s super easy to smoke ribs, just a few simple steps, and then the smoker does all the work!  

  1. Preheat the smoker according to recipe below. (We used an even mix of alder and hickory.)
  2. Remove thin membrane by inserting a butter knife between membrane and the bones. Use a paper towel for a better grip to pull off the membrane and discard. Trim excess fat and pat the rack dry.
  3. Mix seasonings together, press the mix into the meat.
  4. Place rack bone side down and smoke for about 5½ hours.
  5. Rest for two hours.
  6. Grlll to brown, and serve!

cut up Smoked Beef Ribs

How Long to Smoke Beef Ribs

  • Smoke time can vary depending on the thickness of the ribs as well as the variety of smoker, grill, or barbecue.
  • For this recipe, aim for about 5 to 5½ hours. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temp. Bringing the meat to 203°F, well after the doneness temperature of 145°F, will make them super tender and oh so delicious!
  • Once ribs are smoked, wrap them in aluminum foil and let them rest for a good 2 hours.
  • Preheat grill to high and place smoked rack of ribs on the grill and cook about two minutes on each side to make the outside crispy.

Smoked Beef Ribs with knife

How to Store and Reheat Smoked Beef Ribs

Keep any leftovers (we never seem to have any!) in a zippered bag or covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply pop them in the microwave or oven until they are heated through again. Refresh the flavors with a few dashes of salt and pepper or any favorite sauces and serve again!

close up of Smoked Beef Ribs on wooden table
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Smoked Beef Ribs

These Smoked Beef Ribs are tender, juicy, and make the perfect entree for a backyard BBQ!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours 35 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 7 hours 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Candace



  • Preheat smoker to 225°F. Add mix of 3 large alder and hickory chunks on top of the coals.
  • Rinse the rack of ribs and remove the thin membrane from the bone-side of the rack, if necessary. Pat dry thoroughly.
  • Rub rack of ribs with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder and place rack in the center of the smoker. Smoke up to 5 ½ hours (Internal temperature should reach 203°F).
  • Remove rack of ribs from smoker and wrap them in foil and then a towel. Let ribs rest about two hours.
  • Grill on high heat to create crispy crust, about 90 seconds per side.
  • Cut ribs and serve.


Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zippered bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. 
Reheat in the microwave or oven until heated through, and refresh flavors with salt & pepper. 
5 from 10 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 529 | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 75g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 248mg | Sodium: 5524mg | Potassium: 1179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Smoked Beef Ribs cut up on a wooden board with a title
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Smoked Beef Ribs with writing
Smoked Beef Ribs on a cutting board and then cut into pieces with writing
close up of Smoked Rack of Lamb with a title and a full rack of ribs


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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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