How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs on a Weber Kettle

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs on a Weber Kettle

There are several different types of beef ribs but one of my favorites is short ribs. Beef short ribs can come from either Plate or Chuck and are always extremely meaty.

Here is how I smoke beef short ribs on a Weber kettle.

Beef Short Ribs

Beef Short Ribs

Prepare the Ribs

Getting these ribs ready for the smoker is pretty easy.  Short ribs are fatty enough that you do not need to inject or brine, just coat in a flavorful dry rub.

There is a membrane on the back of beef short ribs that I always remove.  I do this out of habit because it is essential when smoking beef back ribs and pork ribs.  There really isn’t a need to do remove the membrane on short ribs but I just do it out of habit.

Membrane on the back of short ribs

You can absolutely stick with salt and pepper on these meaty morsels but I went with something a little more entertaining.

Dry Rub for Beef Short Ribs

  • 2 Tbls cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbls kosher salt
  • 1 Tbls granulated onion
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp chile powder (Mexene)

Beef Short Ribs with Dry Rub

Season the ribs liberally and let them sit for at least an hour to let the rub work into the meat.

Prepare Your Grill

You are going to need to set up your kettle for low, indirect heat.

If you are using a charcoal basket then fill it with about 30 Kingsford briquettes and light it with a paraffin cube in one corner.  Set the bottom air vent to 20% open and keep the top air vent 100% open.

Kingsford in charcoal basket

After the charcoal has lit, place 2-3 chunks of hickory on top of the briquettes.

This configuration will keep your kettle in a nice low temperature zone for about two hours.  After every two hours you will need to add fresh charcoal to the basket.  This is the same method I use for smoking baby back ribs with the 2-2-1 method.

If you don’t want to deal with refilling the charcoal basket every two hours then you can invest in the Slow N Sear accessory that will give you about 10 hours on a single load of charcoal.

I used a charcoal basket for this cook.

Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the grill at the grate level.  You want the cool side of the grate, where the shoulder is going to be, to be running at around 250F.

Do not pay any attention to the built in thermometer in the lid of the grill. The lid thermometer is going to read at least 50-75 degrees hotter than the grate temperature.

Smoke the Short Ribs

Place the short ribs on the cooler, indirect side of the cooking grate away from the charcoal.  Close the lid while making sure the top air vent is completely open and over the meat.

After two hours open the lid, add more unlit Kingsford to the charcoal basket and spritz the ribs with apple juice.  After another two hours repeat the process.

Smoking Beef Short Ribs

After the short ribs have smoked for four hours replenish the charcoal and baste the ribs in barbecue sauce.

I used Sweet Baby Ray’s for this cook but beef really does better with a spicier sauce like Head Country Hot.

Let the ribs cook for another two hours until they were fork tender.  If you are measuring internal temperatures then you are shooting for about 200F.

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

If you want more beef rib recipes then here you go!

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Short ribs are seasoned with a dry rub and then smoked in hickory at 250F. After four hours the ribs are basted in sauce and cooked another two hours until fork tender.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Calories 400 kcal


  • For the Dry Rub
  • 2 tbsp black pepper For the Dry Rub
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt For the Dry Rub
  • 1 tbsp granulated onion For the Dry Rub
  • 1 tsp celery salt For the Dry Rub
  • 1 tsp Mexene Chili Powder For the Dry Rub
  • 2 lbs Beef Short Ribs
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce Head Country Hot works great.


  • Combine the dry rub ingredients and season the ribs
  • Smoke the beef ribs at 250F. Spritz with apple juice every two hours.
  • After four hours baste the beef ribs in barbecue sauce.
  • Cook another two hours or until the ribs are fork tender.
Keyword Smoked Beef Short Ribs

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