The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (2023)

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These perfectly flavorful Smoked Beef Back Ribs are smoked low-and-slow until they reach the best ever juicy, tender, melt in your mouth texture! Follow this easy 3 step method for effortlessly amazing smoked beef ribs!

The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (1)

Delicious smoked beef back ribs are an easy-to-make dinner with a great smoky flavor!

Smoked Beef Back Ribs Recipe

One of the best parts of summer has definitely got to be all of the grilled and smoked foods! These super easy smoked beef back ribs are such a flavorful part of a delicious dinner that the whole family will love!

When I look at smoked beef ribs, I see alot of photos of really meaty ribs that are certainly not what I can grab at most grocery stores. Those ribs would require a trip to the butcher and demand a heftier price.

That is why these beef back ribs are the type of ribs that are usually served here in my home. They're readily available and they're more economical!

What Are Beef Back Ribs

The ribs come from the same rib primal cut section on the cow as the ribeye. The butchers tend to carve closely to the rib bones not leaving a lot of meat, making this cut extremely affordable.

Since it is the ribeye that the butchers are carving from the bones, the same wonderful flavor from the marbling is found on the ribs!

Where To Get Beef Back Ribs

This type of rib is often available at any big box grocery store such as Walmart in the meat aisle. In fact, other than beef short ribs and the much more rarely seen chuck beef riblets, it is most likely the only type of ribs you have seen in the major grocery stores.

How To Smoke Beef Back Ribs


  1. Remove membrane - This is typically not already done. You will need to remove the silverskin ( thin membrane ) from the underside of the ribs by working the tip of a butter knife underneath the membrane. Use your fingers or a paper towel to get a good grip and pull the membrane off.The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (2)
  2. Rinse - (optional) Rinse the ribs with cool water and then pat the ribs dry using a few paper towels. FYI: It's not recommended by the USDA to rinse raw meats, but it is something I always do. I can't stand the little bone fragments occasionally found on ribs. However, if you choose to rinse the ribs you should be extra thorough when sanitizing your kitchen after preparing your ribs.
  3. Preheat - Preheat your smoker to 225ºF ( 110ºC ) and load your hopper or wood chip box or tray with your favorite wood.

Best Woods for Smoking Beef Back Ribs

Beef ribs can stand up to a heavy smoke taste, so the best wood chips are really going to depend on your own preferences. Here are some of my favorites for smoking beef back ribs for you to choose from!

  1. Mesquite - is an oily wood that adds a distinctive flavor to your smoked meats.
  2. Hickory - adds a strong smoked flavor to your smoked meats and is one of the most popular woods used in smoking.
  3. Apple Wood - adds a great, mild smoked flavor with a touch of sweetness.
  4. Oak - a great smoked flavor that is not overpowering. Oak chips can be used on their own for longer cook times without needing to be combined with any other wood varieties.
  5. Pecan - a wood that is wonderful when used in combination with other woods for smoking. I like to mix pecan chips with a fruitwood for the best flavor and to keep the pecan from adding a pungent flavor.
  6. Cherry - adds a mahogany-like dark coloring to your smoked beef bark. This is a great wood to use in combination with hickory, oak, or pecan.

The Dry Rub for Beef Ribs

Coat your beef back ribs with olive oil and generously apply your rib rub.The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (3)

As beef ribs are very rich the rub should be heavier on beef ribs v.s. brisket for example. I typically will use about ¼ cup of dry rub per rib rack.

For the rib rub, I use my steak seasoning which consists of salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, dried thyme, and dried rosemary. I love to add some ground sage too, especially when I am going light on barbecue sauce!

Smoking The Meat

Use the simple 3-2-1 method for a foolproof way to get meat that literally will fall off the bone.

  1. 3-hour cook, uncovered. Place the beef ribs bone-side down ( or up if your heat source is coming from the top ) in the smoker at 225ºF ( 110ºC ) and cook for three hours. You should have a nice bark established at this point.The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (4)
  2. 2-hour cook, covered in foil. Open your smoker and remove the beef back ribs. Spread enough aluminum foil to wrap completely add butter, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar over the ribs. Seal tightly in aluminum foil and return ribs to the smoker bone-side up and cook for two more hours. Wrapping the beef ribs in foil like this is termed the 'Texas Crutch' and is a popular method for speeding the cooking time and retaining moisture in low and slow smoked meats!The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (5)
  3. 1-hour cook, uncovered and sauced. Unwrap the foil from the beef back ribs, add your favorite bbq sauce, and return them to your smoker bone-side down for one more hour.The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (6)

What To Serve With Smoked Beef Ribs

  1. Baked Beans
  2. Milk Butter Corn on the Cob
  3. Twice Baked Potatoes
  4. Garlic Green Beans

Does the 3-2-1 Method Work for Beef Ribs

Yes! It's exactly the method I like to use with beef ribs. This way I can take a really affordable cut of beef ribs and make sure that they are super tender and fall-off-the-bone good!!

I have also used this method in both an electric smoker and a Traeger. The results are effortlessly wonderful, but the Traeger wins out for smokier beef ribs!

Why Remove the Silverskin (membrane)

Removing the silverskin allows more smoke to penetrate into the meat. Setting your beef back ribs with the silverskin side down ( and in place still ) would block the smoke from really permeating the meat from the underside.

Since the smoke is normally coming from the underside before circulating in a smoker, the best chance of adding a great smoky flavor is blocked by leaving the silverskin on the ribs. Plus, it makes your perfectly smoked ribs much easier to really gnaw on and pull all of the meat off the bone!

The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (7)

Why Use Vinegar During the Cook

The purpose of the vinegar is to keep the ribs moist after the bark has been set. In addition, during the second wrapped cooking time the vinegar adds moisture and breaks down the collagen in the meat fibers.

The added moisture is wonderful for preventing dried out beef ribs, but it also makes it easier for the meat to continue soaking in the smoke while cooking. Wet surfaces make for better-smoked flavor.

Apple juice is a good alternative if you're worried about the vinegar flavor diminishing the smoked beef or rub flavor in any way. Psst! Don't worry about that, they taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

What Temperature Should Beef Back Ribs Be

You are aiming to have those awesome ribs reach an internal temperature of 205ºF ( 96ºC ). Even though the ribs are safe to eat at 145ºF ( 63ºC ), the higher temperature with the longer cooking time ensures a truly perfect cook on the rib meat.

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The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (8)

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Smoked Beef Back Ribs

These perfectly flavorful Smoked Beef Back Ribs are smoked low-and-slow until they reach the best ever juicy, tender, melt in your mouth texture! Follow this easy 3 step method for effortlessly amazing smoked beef ribs!

Author | Angela

Servings: 4 servings

Calories: 198kcal

Prep 10 minutes minutes

Cooking 6 hours hours

Total Time 6 hours hours 10 minutes minutes

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Beef Back Rib Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 1 steak seasoning ( 1 portion per rack)

Beef Back Ribs

  • 1 rack beef back ribs (silverskin removed)
  • 8 tablespoon barbecue sauce (pick your favorite)
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon dark brown sugar


  • Get your ribs ready for smoking by removing the silverskin. Use your fingers or a butter knife to work under the edges and pull the membrane off the underside of the ribs. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C) and load your wood chips or pellets.

    The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (9)

  • Apply a coating of olive oil and then coat the entire rib rack with dry rub.

    The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (10)

  • Place the ribs with the bone side facing downward (the side that you removed the silverskin from) and smoke for 3 hours.

    The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (11)

  • Remove the ribs from your smoker and set on large enough sheets of aluminum foil to wrap the ribs securely. Add the butter, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar to the ribs then wrap and seal. Return to your smoker and continue to smoke another 2 hours.

    The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (12)

  • Remove the ribs from your smoker. Unwrap the ribs and coat with your favorite barbecue sauce. Return to the smoker and place the ribs bone side down. Smoke for an additional hour, or until an internal temperature of 202-205 degrees F (94-96 degrees C) has been reached. Use a digital meat thermometer to check your meat for doneness.

    The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (13)


Calories: 198kcal (10%) | Carbohydrates: 20g (7%) | Protein: 1g (2%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) | Cholesterol: 15mg (5%) | Sodium: 363mg (16%) | Potassium: 81mg (2%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 17g (19%) | Vitamin A: 256IU (5%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 17mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

Did you try this recipe? Rate it below!I can’t wait to see your results! Mention @bake_it_with_love or tag #bake_it_with_love!

barbecue, BBQ, beef back ribs, smoked, Smoked Beef Back Ribs, smoked beef ribs

Course BBQ, Smoked Meats

Cuisine American

The Best Ever Smoked Beef Back Ribs {Easy & Tasty} @ Bake It With Love (14)

Angela @

Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!


How long do you smoke beef back ribs at 225? ›

Smoke at 225°F (107°C) for 4-5 hours or until they get as tender as you like them.

How do you keep beef ribs moist when smoking? ›

Adding Moisture while Smoking Ribs

A simple rib spritz is equal parts apple cider vinegar and apple juice or water. So for one cup of apple juice you add one cup of apple cider vinegar. The added moisture to the cooking chamber really helps with color on the smoked ribs and keeping the texture moist.

What is the secret to smoking ribs? ›

One advocates smoking ribs using the 3 2 1 method. This low-and-slow ribs method requires a smoking temperature of 225° F. The ribs are smoked at this temperature for three hours, tenderized in a wrap for two hours, and then finished, unwrapped, for one hour. Voila!

Should I smoke beef ribs at 225 or 250? ›

The 3-2-1 method of smoking not only works on pork ribs or baby back ribs, but it's also a great way to smoke beef ribs. All you have to do is smoke the beef ribs directly on the grill at 225° F for 3 hours, then wrap the ribs in either foil or pink butcher paper with some liquid and smoke for 2 more hours.

How long to smoke ribs at 225 without wrapping? ›

Preheat your smoker to 225°F. Place the ribs bone-side down directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches approximately 200°F, approximately 4 ½ hours. Meanwhile, add the apple juice to a spray bottle and spritz the ribs after the 1st hour and every 45 minutes thereafter.

What liquid to use when smoking ribs? ›

Apple juice or cider, butter, Dr. Pepper, apple cider vinegar, beer… there are plenty of options. These ribs will give you a nice bite, but won't fall off the bone.

Should I use a water pan when smoking beef ribs? ›

The ideal time to use a water pan in your smoker is anytime you are going to be cooking at a constant, lower temperature for a long period. It doesn't matter what type of meat you plan on cooking, whether it is brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, prime rib, etc.

What does apple juice do for ribs? ›

Apple juice adds to the apple flavor of the rib sauce. It also creates steam inside the foil pack so the ribs don't dry out. If you don't have apple juice you can use orange or pineapple juice, stock/broth or just plain old water.

Should I flip ribs while smoking? ›

Whether or not you flip ribs when smoking them depends on if you're using a rib rack. When using a rib rack, you don't need to worry about flipping your ribs during the cooking process. But if you're not using a rib rack, you should flip ribs every 30 minutes or so after they've cooked for the first hour initially.

How do you get more flavor in smoked ribs? ›

Use a dry rub

The rub can be as simple as salt and pepper and a little cayenne pepper, or a more complex rub with paprika, cumin, onion, brown sugar and whatever else you want to throw in there, but be heavy on the pepper! Be generous with your rub, and thoroughly coat both sides of the ribs.

Is it better to smoke ribs in foil or not? ›

Wrapping the meat in foil will limit the amount of smoke on the surface of the meat thus yielding a better color and flavor on the final product. It also adds moisture and speeds up cooking time. Wrapping should be done about half way through the cooking process or when internal meat temp is 150-160 degrees.

How do you tenderize beef ribs before smoking? ›

Once they've been cooking about 2-3 hours, wrap them in foil and let them cook that way for a couple of hours to tenderize them. Then remove them and place them back in the smoker as before to help firm up the crust on the outside. Should I use sauce on these beef ribs?

Do you smoke beef ribs meat side up or down? ›

Place the ribs bone side down on the smoker grates, close the lid, and smoke for about 3 hours. At this point, the exterior of the ribs should have darkened significantly. If you take a read of the temperature with an internal thermometer, it should be near 165 degrees F. Wrap the ribs.

How long do you smoke ribs at 225 for 8 hours? ›

Smoke the ribs at 225℉ (107℃) for 6 to 8 hours. The lower and slower you go, the better the ribs will be. The ribs are done when the meat starts to easily pull away from the bone.

How long to smoke 4 lb beef ribs? ›

Spritz the beef ribs and continue smoking.

After the initial 3 hour smoke, begin spritzing your ribs every 45 minutes to an hour. Continue smoking until the ribs have reached an internal temperature of 203 degrees F. This process typically takes between 8-10 hours, but every rack is a little different.

Does the 3 2 1 method work for beef ribs? ›

The 3 2 1 method if you don't know is a rib smoking technique where you smoke the ribs for 3 hours, then wrap and smoke for another 2 hours, and finally smoke for an additional 1 hour with sauce on the ribs. This method will work for any kind of ribs including beef.

Is it better to smoke ribs at 225 or 275? ›

Most pitmasters agree that 250°F is the ideal smoking temperature for ribs. Lower temperatures take longer to cook and can result in tough, chewy meat. At the same time, too high a temperature can cause your ribs to dry out quickly. A good range to aim for is between 225°F and 275°F, with 250°F as the sweet spot.

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