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Traeger Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs on the Traeger Grill are the beefy version of your favorite OWYD rib recipe. Tender, full of flavor, and a legit competitor for my favorite rib.

Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

When most people think of ribs they think of baby back ribs, but if you have never ventured into the beef rib territory you are missing out. Beef ribs are good for more than just stock and gravy. My Smoked Beef Ribs take a little time, but the end result is one of the best bites of barbecue you can have.

Barbecue ribs set the bar in the grilling world. Making great ribs cooked low and slow requires an investment, not only in time but in cost as well.

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How to make Smoked Beef Ribs

This is just the overview so you can see what you’re actually getting into here. When you are cooking, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

1

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Preheat and season

Preheat your pellet grill to 180-200 degrees. Start by seasoning your ribs liberally with your favorite barbecue rub. I really like our homemade bbq rub, or our OWYD Everything Rub.

2

Smoke ’em

For 2 hours. Right on the grates.

3

Turn it up

Turn the heat up to 275° and cook for another ~2 hours. Make sure they aren’t over any hot spots and keep an eye on the level of tenderness. When the ribs reach about 205° internal, they should be at or approaching the fork-tender phase.

4

Turn it up more and baste

Turn the heat up again to 325° this time, and pain on your favorite barbecue sauce. I like thinner vinegar-based sauces for this best. Baste with the sauce every 10-15 minutes for the last hour.

5

Ribs are done when they are tender!

Keep an eye during the process. Depending on the size and composition of your ribs, they might be ready sooner or later than the times called for here. Pay attention to the meat, and pull once it is fork-tender. When it is getting close, baste with sauce for the last hour.

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Bone up or bone down when cooking?

It isn’t a rib without a bone right? The bone in the rib helps impart flavors as well. Park the ribs next to each other with the bone on the bottom. Not only does it help the rib from falling on its side while cooking, but it also breathes flavor into the meat as it cooks on top.

More great BEEF recipes here!

What’s the best way to baste beef ribs?

Lightly! Don’t worry about adding a bunch of sauce at once. This first slathering is to allow the sauce to melt into the meat. Most of your saucing will go on during the final 30-60 minutes as you paint on additional layers onto the meat.

We use a vinegar-based barbecue sauce for this, and if I’m feeling adventurous I put on a thicker tomato-based sauce on during the end. Either works well here, however, so choose your own adventure!

Get all my recipes for RIBS here!

OWYD Everything Rub – available now!

Add some Or Whatever You Do Everything Rub to this dish for extra flavor!

Try our Smoked Dino Ribs Recipe too!

Just keep basting…

For the last part of the cooking, the temp runs much higher at 325°. The ribs will cook an additional 1-2 hours at this temp depending on the size. Add some separation to the ribs on the grill so that you have plenty of room to baste them and slather on more sauce to glaze on the meat. You might need longer than 2 hours even. It really depends on the piece of meat. It is done when it is fork-tender.

Keep basting the ribs with more barbecue sauce every 10-15 minutes for another few hours until the meat is super tender. 

How can you tell when Beef Ribs are done?

Stick a fork in them periodically to check for tenderness. Ideally, spend the last 30 minutes of cooking time brushing on the remaining sauce. Again, you want a good glaze on the meat, not a burned sauce on a perfectly cooked rib.

Let them sit briefly, covered, once they are removed from the grill. About ten to fifteen minutes is usually fine. This lets the meat redistribute the juices evenly.

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What can you serve with beef ribs?

There are a lot of good options for side dishes with these hearty beef ribs. Some of my favorites are:

“Yummy! You need these in your life!”

Lynn from Pinterest

Yield: 6 servings

Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

My hearty smoked beef ribs are cooked low-and-slow before cranking up the heat a bit and cooking for several more hours until they are super tender.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef ribs
  • 3 tablespoons beef rub
  • 3 cups barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Coat the beef ribs with the rub, and preheat your grill to 180° (or the smoke setting) according to factory directions.
  2. Place on the grill and smoke for 2 hours.
  3. Turn the heat up to 275°, and cook for another 2 hours.
  4. Turn the heat up to 325°, baste with barbecue sauce every 10 - 15 minutes for the last hour, or until the ribs are fork tender. The time can vary here depending on your meat.
  5. Remove, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 954Total Fat: 65gSaturated Fat: 26gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 30gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 1018mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 28gProtein: 53g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

Robert

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

The worst I've had. Don't do this to your ribs! Dried completely out.

Sam

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

@Robert, I'm hoping you read the temperature settings in Fahrenheit and not Celsius!

Nicole Johnson

Wednesday 1st of September 2021

That would be really really strange if you followed the instructions here. You would've had to go way way past fork-tender stage to get to drying things out. I hope that you were not cooking to time, strictly. The post states really explicitly that you should baste, check, and listen to the meat. I'm sorry your ribs didn't turn out, but the recipe is good and has been made and reviewed over 50 times without issue. This is likely to be an issue with the meat or with how your cook went down.

Thomas Blakeley

Friday 6th of August 2021

Looking forward to cooking this recipe tomorrow! I bought a full rack of beef ribs, should I cut them into sets of 2/3 for the cook or leave the rack whole?

Thomas Blakeley

Saturday 7th of August 2021

@Nicole Johnson, thank you for your input!

Nicole Johnson

Friday 6th of August 2021

Either option should be fine. A whole big rack would certainly make for an impressive presentation though! I don't think it should really impact the cook time all that much. The key, really, is to just cook them until they are tender.

Glenn Reid

Sunday 4th of July 2021

July 4, 2021 used your recipe to the letter. My wife isn't keen on beef products but loved your rib taste and tenderness. I look forward to future recipes thank you for sharing

Nicole Johnson

Monday 5th of July 2021

Awesome! Thanks, Glenn. Make sure to check out my whole collection of pellet grill recipes! There are hundreds on the site. <3

Nev Chiplin

Saturday 12th of December 2020

I don't understand your directions. I wanted to smoke them, but you say grill them. Is it a misunderstanding between U.S.A & Australia ? Grill here means over a grill on a barbecue. If I did that, they would be charcoal in about 30 minutes.

Nicole Johnson

Saturday 12th of December 2020

You can smoke on a grill and grill on a smoker, depending on the type you have. This particular recipe is done using a pellet grill, so when I say to "preheat your grill", that's what I'm talking about. Basically, just follow the directions for temps with whatever type of smoker you have. If you don't have a smoker, I'd suggest using a smoke tube during the initial low-temp cook time. Hope that clears it up!

George

Sunday 24th of May 2020

This recipe sounds great. Just reading it has me drooling like the dog. Thank you too for giving suggestions for side dishes. Very helpful! I'll be trying this recipe as soon as the cows come home ... or as soon as the new side of beef gets here.?

Nicole Johnson

Sunday 24th of May 2020

Mooooove over cause I'll have a plate of that too! Happy grilling, and thanks for the kind words!

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