How to Smoke Beef Back Ribs with Malcom Reed

Would you like to smoke tender fall-apart beef ribs that are bursting with an authentic smoked beef flavor? If so, you'll love this easy beef back ribs recipe that you can make with a few simple ingredients and a smoker.

Watch this video and review the step-by-step instructions below to see how to smoke a couple racks of beef ribs with perfect texture and flavor.

In the video above, Malcom Reed of Killer Hogs shows you his process for smoking beef rib racks that are sure to impress and keep people coming back for more. We've also provided the instructions for this recipe below.

For this recipe Malcom uses racks of beef back ribs, which come from the ribeye section. Even though there isn't much meat on these, it's the same delicious meat that you get in a bone-in ribeye steak.

The trick is to cook them low and slow with the smoker around 235-250 degrees F and take them past well-done. He takes them up to almost 200 degrees F, which breaks down the connective tissues in the meat, creating a delicious and succulent entree.

Credits: The instructions and screenshots in this post were taken from the video above. We've outlined the process in writing to help make this recipe a success on your first try.

For this cook Malcom uses a Yoder Pellet Smoker and his Killer Hogs rubs to smoke beef ribs. We have Yoder Smokers and Killer Hogs rubs available for purchase online or in our store.

Used in this recipe:


Before Cooking:

  • Olive oil (or your preferred oil for binder)
  • Killer Hogs The AP Rub
  • Killet Hogs TX Brisket Rub

Braising Liquid:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Dry parsley 
  • Granulated garlic
  • Dehydrated onion
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

Step by Step Instructions for Smoked Beef Ribs

Step 1: Set your Yoder Smoker to 235 degrees F.

Step 2: Brush on olive oil binder.

If you don't have olive oil, any cooking oil that will make your rub stick is fine. Just brush on a light layer to the top side. Get basting brush and pot

How to Smoke Beef Ribs Recipe

Step 3: Season with Killer Hogs The AP Rub.

Killer Hogs The AP Rub is a combination of salt, garlic, black pepper, and a few other ingredients.

How to Season Beef Ribs

Step 4: Add a layer of Killer Hogs TX Brisket Rub.

The main difference between this and the regular Killer Hogs BBQ Rub is that this has a lot less sugar, but it still has enough sugar to give it some balance and a nice color when it's cooked.

Seasoning Smoked Beef Ribs

"Beef ribs have a membrane on them but it's different from pork ribs and you want to leave it on." —Malcom Reed

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 on back sides of ribs.

Beef ribs have a membrane on them but it's different from pork ribs and you want to leave it on. It's just a light membrane that's holding them together. You will want to use the same oil and seasonings on the back of the ribs that you used on the front.

Step 6: Put ribs on Yoder Smoker heated to 235 degrees F.

If you don't have a Yoder Smoker, use whatever smoker you have that can hold a low steady temperature. Smoke the beef ribs for around three hours on pecan wood or pellets, then remove them to add the braising liquid.

Smoked Beef Ribs on Yoder Smoker

Step 7: Remove ribs from grill.

These beef ribs took about 2-1/2 hours to finish smoking. They've taken on all the color they need and still have a little stiffness to them. As you can see, the meat is starting to draw back from the bones a little bit.

Step 8: Wrap ribs with braising liquid.

Make a braising liquid using the ingredients in the list above. Place the ribs meat-down on a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and pour half of the liquid over each rack. This will be just enough to give the ribs some flavor since you're still going to cook out some fat from them. Fold the foil into a tight pouch around the rack of ribs.

Step 9: Put wrapped ribs back on smoker.

The smoker should still be set around 235 degrees F. The smoking is done at this point so there is no need to add smoking wood unless you need it for heat. Check the ribs in about 1 hour and 15 minutes to see if they're getting tender. Our target temperature is around 195-198 degrees F but what is most important is that they are broken down and tender.

How to Smoke Beef Ribs with Malcolm Reed

"To check for tenderness, what I normally do with pork ribs, and it works for beef ribs too, is just grab the bone and see if it will pull out." —Malcom Reed

Step 10: Check ribs and remove them when done.

In an hour and a half it's time to check the ribs and see how tender they are. In this cook, the ribs were looking great in that amount of time. To check for tenderness, Malcom recommends you grab a bone and see if it is loose enough to pull out. These ribs are barely holding onto the meat, which means they are tender.

As you can see, much of the fat and connective tissue has cooked away and what's left is like succulent burnt ends on bones. You don't need to glaze them or anything; just let them tack up a little bit uncovered.

Smoked Beef Ribs in Foil

Smoked Beef RIbs

Step 11: Slice ribs and serve.

Just like any meat, the key is to let it rest about 30 minutes before you slice. At this point the knife should cut through the meat like butter. Slice them up, serve them, and enjoy the tender, beefy ribs that will show people your skills go beyond that of any ordinary cook.

Slice Beef Ribs

Smoke Beef Ribs On a Yoder Smoker

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About the author: Henry Hertzler is a writer and social media manager at Meadow Creek Barbecue Supply.

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