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Smoking Tutorial - Beef Short Ribs

We're very excited about this tutorial. Beef short ribs are one of my all time favourites so it was a pleasure cooking these The Vintage Beef Company Short Ribs kindly supplied by our great friends at Two Butchers.

As per our last tutorial, each pic below will have a summary of steps which will hopefully give you some helpful tips for when you do your next short ribs cook up.

We start of with a couple of fantastic Beef Short Ribs. Vintage Beef farmers have turned their breeding cattle out to pasture for retirement where they feed only on grass. These roamers further mature in a relaxed environment and are not processed until they are at least 60 months - more than twice the age of regular cattle. Because the cows are older, the meat has a rich, developed grass fed flavour alongside superb marbling. The result, a distinct and unique eating experience, enjoyed by Europeans for years.

Beef Short Ribs are a personal favourite of mine. The intense depth of flavour that comes from cooking on the bone is fantastic. When cooking beef short ribs you ideally want to achieve a dark bark around the outside and a middle that melts like butter in your mouth. If you can achieve this, you've nailed some awesome beef short ribs!

I like to remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This not only allows the rub to penetrate underneath but also allows the smoke flavour to penetrate on all sides of the rib. i use a small spoon to carefully lift the membrane off the bone. Then it's just a simple case of peeling it off. Using a paper towel to grip the membrane will make it easier to remove

Bottom of ribs should look like this once the membrane has been removed. This not only exposes the bone but also exposes the meat between them, allowing your rub and smoke to work its way into the meat. A layer of fat remains, this will keep your bones in tact during the cooking process.

Begin by removing as much excess fat cap as you can, using a good boning knife . We want as much meat exposed as possible since the meat will give us our bark, the fat won’t. Don’t worry though there’s enough fat inside to keep all that flavor. (these Ribs have a great marbling so should render nicely and remain tender and juicy once cooked) Once the fat cap has been removed there will be a layer of silverskin that will also need to be removed. I find sliding your knife underneath this silverskin and slicing away from you easily removes this skin. Just try and not take any meat with it!

Next is to apply a nice savoury rub. I spray the ribs a little with olive oil to enable the rub to stick better to the meat. (some people apply a layer of american mustard prior to rubbing, this is also fine) I've applied a good layer (top and bottom) of rub to both ribs. I used approx. 30 grams of Competition rub and approx. 35 grams of Beef rub on the ribs. I then wrap separately in cling wrap and place in fridge overnight.

Preheat your smoker to 225 - 250F (at grate level) and place ribs in smoker. These went on at 9:30am. My fire consisted of a Charcoal bed at start up with the gradual adding of Ironbark to form a hot bed of embers. When at temp I added one chunk of Pecan and one chunk of Olive into the firebox. Pecan has very similar properties as Hickory. Pecan will lend a rich, sweet, nutty flavor to your meat and Olive is very similar to mesquite (not as intense) and creates a distinct, earthy and unmissable smokey flavour to the ribs. I continue to add Pecan and Olive for the first 3hrs of the cook.

Two hours in. Nice colour developing. It's at this stage that I spritz the beefies with a small amount of plain water to add a little bit of humidity into the cooking chamber. I try to do this every 45mins or so.

Ribs have reached 170F internal temp so it's time to wrap! Time of wrapping was 2:30pm or 5hrs in. I use a good aluminium foil (Costco's is the best) and use a double layer to wrap my ribs. Mix up a small amount of Worcestershire sauce, Soy Sauce (equal amounts) and a teaspoon of Brown Sugar and place around the perimeter of the ribs. Wrap tight and return to smoker. Total amount of Pecan and Olive wood used totalled 1.2kg.

Once the internal temp of your Beef Ribs hit 203F they are ready to rest. Ours hit 203F at 5:30pm or 8hrs in. Remove from smoker, leave in foil and wrap in a good thick towel and place into a Cambro or Esky to rest for at least 90mins. This will not only allow time for any excess juice to be reabsorbed by the meat but will extend the cooking time a little so that by the time you remove your Short Ribs from the foil they'll be sitting at around 205F. After 90mins remove from foil and slice between the bones. In this pic i have glazed (top to bottom) the 1st and 3rd rib with Sucklebusters Honey BBQ Glaze. You can see the bark that has developed on the remaining portions. I mixed 100ml of BBQ Glaze with a knob of butter and placed over heat until butter was melted. Then, with a brush, apply glaze to top of rib.

Ribs turned out juicy and delicious with a great flavour from both rubs. The smoke ring is epic and the fat has rendered down nice to create a spongy and fluffy beef rib.

Your ribs should pull off the bone easily and slice effortlessly. ___________________________________________________________


Smokey Q - Beef Rub 150g - Be the Pit Master of your neighbourhood with this Smokey Q Beef Rub ! This blend has a wide range of flavour notes ranging from the seductive heat of smoked paprika to the subtle hint of garlic and cumin which forms a lovely bark on the meat.

Sucklebusters - Competition Rub 360g - This is a traditional flavour, mild and savoury BBQ Rub used by professionals cooks and backyard BBQers. The rub gets its savoury flavours from onion, garlic, sweet peppers and ground celery seed. This BBQ Rub works well on beef brisket. Use it right out of the bottle or blend it with other spices to create a flavor that is your own. A popular customer recipe is to cut Competition BBQ Rub with additional salt and garlic powder - this makes a great all-purpose rub. Competition Teams looking for a good base rub, this is it. It works well on any meat. The great thing about this BBQ Rub is its ability to work in all situations and with some extra spices thrown in, the sky is the limit.

Sucklebusters Honey BBQ Glaze 591ml - SuckleBusters Honey BBQ Glaze and Finishing Sauce has been winning BBQ Competitions for years! Apply to any meat the last 10 minutes of cooking. The sauce forms a deep red and super-sweet layer of BBQ goodness that folks love to eat. The sauce has a liberal amount of honey and is very mild with no heat at all. The recipe is very close to our award winning honey BBQ Sauce that has been used by competition cooks for years, winning award after award. This is the first finishing sauce and glaze on the market. It is the #1 finishing sauce available.

Pecan - Pecan has a rich & subtle flavour and is ideally suited for low and slow BBQ'ing. Similar to Hickory but milder with a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. Pairs well with beef, pork, chicken, lamb, fish & cheese

Olive - Olive wood creates a light, aromatic smoke flavour punchy enough for red meats without overpowering fish and poultry.

Double Split Ironbark - By a long shot, the pick of the bunch for smoking (for both heat and flavour) is ironbark for all red meat. Also excellent with pork and chicken.Ironbark has excellent burning qualities and adds a subtle smoke flavour. It has good all-round flavour and burns hot and long. All of our Vintage Ironbark is seasoned for a minimum of 10yrs with less than 9% moisture content.Certainly a favourite here at Ironwood Smokers.

Cleanheat Charcoal 4kg - This hardwood charcoal is the same as the restaurant grade only smaller pieces better suited to smaller domestic bbqs like Weber kettles, Weber Jumbo Joe, Weber Smokey Joe, Weber Smokey Mountains, Weber Go Anywhere, ProQ verticals and Hibacci style BBQs Clean Heat Charcoal is manufactured in South Africa from Colophospermum mopane, commonly called mopane, mophane, mopani, is a tree in the family (Fabaceae), that grows in hot, dry, low-lying areas, 200 to 1,150 metres (660 to 3,770 ft) in elevation, in the far northern parts of Southern Africa. Mopani hardwood inhibits the growth of short grass which impacts heavily on the food supply for native Sth African grazing animals such as Rhino, Impala and Springbok. Above all, Mopani lump wood charcoal and briquettes are a renewable product. Not only are you offering tremendous flavour at your next barbecue but you are also choosing a positive environmental option.

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