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Authentic Texas-Style Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe

Smoked Texas beef rib
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You don't have to travel to Texas to have mouthwatering smoked beef ribs thanks to AmazingRibs.com's BBQ beef ribs recipe and video!

Serve with: Lone Star beer.

Main Course


About 4 pounds (1.8 kg) edible meat
Servings: 8


Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 hours
Dry Brining: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 hours 20 minutes


About the salt. Remember, kosher salt is half the concentration of table salt so if you use table salt, use half as much. Click here to read more about salt and how it works. For this recipe, you want to use 1/2 teaspoon Morton coarse kosher salt per pound (453.6 g) of meat.
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Prep. Begin by removing the fat and the very tough silverskin from the top of the meat. All of it. It will not melt and penetrate. No need to remove the membrane from the exposed side of the bones as you do with pork ribs. If you do the meat can fall off. Then cut slabs into individual bones or double bones if they did not come cut up. You can cook them in a slab, but they take a lot longer, and for Texas style, I like to expose more surface to heat to tenderize and develop brown Maillard reaction flavors. I prefer to cut them into two bone sections. Inevitably some bones in a package have little meat and lotta fat. Trim them anyhow and cook them.
  • Salt the meat in advance, up to 24 hours. This is called dry brining and it is important for water retention (juiciness) and flavor enhancement. Just before cooking, wet the surface of the meat lightly with water and flavor the meat with my Big Bad Beef Rub. Most commercial rubs are primarily salt: avoid them. While you may be tempted to use my recipe for Meathead's Memphis Dust, don't: it's perfect for pork, but too sweet for beef. Sprinkle the beef rub on the tops and sides, and coat the meat generously.
  • If you wish, you can tenderize the meat with a meat tenderizer such as Jaccard. The narrow blades sever long tough strands and do a pretty good job. I normally do not recommend this tool because, if there is contamination on the surface of the meat, the blades can drive the bugs into the center and they will not be killed at 130°F (54.4°C), medium rare. But at 165°F (73.9°C) the meat is pasteurized through and through and you will be cooking this cut to more than 200°F (93.3°C).
  • Fire up. Setup your cooker for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F (107.2°C), hot enough to kill bacteria but not too high to evaporate all the moisture.
  • Put the meat on the indirect heat side of the grill, bone side down, and add the wood. Oak is traditional in Texas and it makes sense because it is mild, but other woods work fine. I like cherry. As always, go easy on the wood. Too much smoke will ruin the meal. Add no more than 2 to 4 ounces (56.7 to 113.4 g) on a tight cooker, double that if it leaks a lot. Put the lid on. You will not need to add more wood and you will not need to turn the meat over.
  • The exact length of the cook depends on variables such as the composition of the meat (each steer is different). As an estimate, 1"- (2.5 cm-) thick meat should hit 203°F (95°C) in about 5 hours; 1.5-inch (3.8-cm) thick meat should hit 203°F (95°C) in about 7 hours; and 2-inch (5.1-cm) thick meat should hit 203°F (95°C) in about 10 hours.
  • Despite what you may read elsewhere, skip the Texas crutch. Wrapping it in foil or butcher paper can turn it to pot roast.
  • Once fully cooked, skip the BBQ sauce if you're going for authentic Texas smoked beef ribs. If you must use a sauce, try what they use in Texas, a thin beef stock based sauce, like my Texas Barbecue Mop Sauce.
  • Serve. Once the ribs have finished cooking, remove them from the smoker or grill. Many folks like to hold them for an hour or so in a beer cooler (faux cambro) thinking that this helps retain juice and tenderize, but you can serve them immediately.
    Need more assistance with your beef ribs? Check out this video from the folks at Slow N Sear making beef ribs.


Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 122mg | Sodium: 863mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 6mg