By Mister Ling BBQ @misterlingbbq

When it comes to the ultimate barbecue show stopper, it’s hard to beat a beautiful rack of beef ribs. With long bones, meat 2 inches high and intense marbling, short ribs are just flavour on a stick.

As a simple guy who thinks in facts, all good barbecue can be summarised as the following:
Good BBQ = Meat + rub + smoke + time + REST

The cooking flowchart is as follows:

  1. PREP: Trim + season
  2. SMOKE: 2-4 hrs (to colour)
  3. TENDERIZE: 1.5-3 hrs to ~ 93°C
  4. REST: 1 hr + Let steam off

Lets rock and roll.


Good Meat

  • Good ingredients are essential
  • Source short/plate ribs (NOT BACK RIBS) from a premium butcher (like Peter Augustus) that supplies top quality beef
  • A well shaped 2-3 bone plate is perfect
  • Trim the thick layer of fat and silver skin from the top
    • See how thick the fat is – this will not break down and will stop your rub and smoke getting penetrating into the rib and forming that bark we are looking for
Beef Short Ribs

BBQ Insider


  • Intense, tasty shell formed through low and slow cooking
  • It is complex chemical reaction formed through the smoking process
  • But essentially:
    • Good bark = Meat + rub + moisture + smoke
Beef Short Ribs

The Rub

  • Use a high grade commercial rub designed for beef- more savoury, herbaceous
  • I like Kosmo Q, Oakridge BBQ or Slap yo daddy bbq (all competition teams)
  • Avoid sweet rubs for pork/ribs
  • Use a Shaker
  • Use a thin binder – I like oil or Worcestershire sauce
  • Apply the rub liberally and from a height to ensure even coverage


  • DON’T rub the rub
  • PAT the seasoning in (rubbing spreads seasoning unevenly)
Beef Short Ribs

The smoke/temp

  • 128-135°C (250-275°F)
  • Smoke to colour
  • Note the colour transition in photos
  • Smoke for 3-4 hrs (mahogany-dark)
  • For beef – I like oak, cherry or hickory
Beef short ribs


  • You’ll hit the stall (a plateau in temp) at around 70°C
  • Double wrap in foil or butcher paper and put approx. 50-100ml beef broth
  • I like foil because you can neatly keep in juices
  • Smoke until probe temp ~92-96°C between bones (temp probe should slide in and out easily)
Beef Short Ribs


  • The hardest part of the cook
  • Open the foil pack, let steam and dry out for 10 minutes
  • Throw loosely tented rib into cooler with a gap in the seal
  • Rest at least 1 hour
  • Cut between bones and devour
Beef Short Ribs
Beef Short Ribs