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Beef short ribs, when cooked properly, can rival any expensive steak in terms of succulent flavor. Short ribs are great when braised in liquid, but now my favorite way to prepare them is on the barbecue.
If you’ve never prepared beef short ribs low and slow style on the barbecue you are in for a treat. They give the best-smoked brisket a run for its money. Some of the finest barbecue joints in Texas such as Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland, right outside of Houston, serve up delicious beef ribs.
I was a devout brisket fanatic until I tried the beef ribs at Killen’s. While I had some of the best brisket I’ve ever eaten there, it was their beef ribs that changed my life. I am not kidding.
Beef ribs are my favorite thing to barbecue now.
Great pitmasters can tell when a piece of meat is done just by eyeballing or touching it, but for the rest of us, we will need to rely on temperature. That’s why you should always have a dependable meat thermometer whenever you are cooking meat. This ensures you aren’t over or under-cooking food you are serving to people.
So, at what temperature are smoked beef short ribs done exactly? Read on to find out.
What Temperature To Cook Beef Short Ribs?
The general consensus on the best temperature to cook beef short ribs on the barbecue comes from experienced pitmasters such as Malcom Reed and Aaron Franklin and seems to be in the 275 to 285 degrees Fahrenheit range.
I’m a non-conformist so I started my cook at around 225 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours, then stubbornly raised it to the 275-degree range. I’m not going to say my ribs turned out better for it, I just like to test different temperatures rather than blindly follow the dominant thinking on a subject.
How long will you need to cook the ribs and at what temperature are they done? Well, here we go.
The Internal Temperature For Smoked Beef Short Ribs
Beef short ribs are done when they reach 203 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason for the high temperature is to transform the tough collagen and connective tissue in the beef ribs into silky, mouth-watering gelatin. When the ribs reach this temperature they will have a rich buttery taste.
How long the cook will take depends on the size of your ribs. The thicker the meat of the ribs the longer it will take. The beef short ribs that I cooked were about an inch and three quarters and they took a little over 7 hours.
A few helpful tips as you bbq the ribs low and slow.
- There are a few different stall points in the cook. This means your meat temperature will not rise for what seems like an eternity. Don’t fret. This is normal and part of the process of turning the tough tissue in the ribs into something amazing.
- It’s helpful to have a good remote wireless meat thermometer that has a low-temperature alarm to let you know to add more wood or charcoal to the fire.
- You might want to spritz your meat with some apple cider or broth starting about halfway through the cook to ensure the ends don’t burn.
- You will think that the ribs are cooking too fast as they will get up to the 150 degrees Fahrenheit range relatively fast, however, they will hit the wall soon and each degree higher will take longer.
- Be prepared for a long stall towards the end of the cook from 190 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit, it can last between 1 to 2 hrs.
Time to Eat!
Smoked Beef Short Ribs are pretty impressive when they come off the grill. If you ever wanted to impress someone that you invited over to your house, this would be the meal to serve them.
Although the cooking time for the ribs can be upwards of 7 to 8 hours, the results are well worth it and you will give your friends and loved ones a memorable meal. Just like the one I had at Killen’s Barbecue. Thanks for reading. You’ll find more helpful tips and information on the proper cooking and serving temperatures for food here.