Smoked beef ribs

Main Dish
8 servings
45 min
35 min
Very Easy




  • Using a large saucepan, melt one stick of butter over low heat.
  • Add 1 chopped onion, and saute in butter until soft. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and worcestershire. Let it simmer on low as long as your ribs are cooking.
  • This is the preferred method, but it takes more work. It takes lots of practice to master the pit, but if you know what you are doing, this is not too difficult.
  • If you don't have a good heavy barbecue pit with a fire box, thermometer, and good quality oak lump charcoal, you might as well use the oven method, described below.
  • Start with cool beef ribs. Turn the ribs upside down, remove the membrane to the best of your ability. Trim any excess fat from the ribs. Pat the ribs down with a handful of paper towels so that they are moist, but not wet. Generously coat all sides of the ribs with course salt and pepper. Let the ribs sit on a cookie sheet until they get to about room temperature. While the ribs are resting, you can begin to work on your fire.
  • Soak about 10 - 15 lumps of charcoal with lighter fluid, and let them sit for a few minutes. Stack them in a pyramid in your fire box, then light them. The flame will get high as the fluid burns off, but will quickly subside leaving your charcoal burning at the edges. Open the air vent to allow plenty of air into the fire chamber.
  • Let the lumps get completely hot - they may flame up again, which is ok. Let the second flame subside, then push the hot coals to the front of the fire box (the side of the fire box closest to the cooking chamber). Now fill the rest of the fire box with lump charcoal, and close your vent and smoke stack by 1/2. Shut the lid on the fire box and on the cooking chamber to let it heat up.
  • What we are trying to produce here is a low and slow burn. The fire should stay at the front of the box. You push the unburned coals into the fire as necessary to keep the fire going and the temperature constant.
  • You want the heat in the cooking chamber to reach 250 degrees, and stabilize. This gets easier the longer the fire is going, because the iron in the pit heats up which helps regulate the temperature. You want to adjust your vent and smoke stack so that a good deal of smoke stays in the pit, but you are letting enough air flow through the pit to keep the fire going.
  • Once the heat has stabilized in the pit, place the ribs into the cooking chamber right side up, then close the lid. Don't leave the lid open for too long or you will lose your heat.
  • Now start making your basting sauce. You don't need to baste the ribs for about 45 minutes, so you have plenty of time. Keep sauce warm by leaving it on the warming tray above my fire box.
  • After about 45 minutes, open the lid. Using a sauce mop, baste both sides of the ribs make being careful not to wash away the salt and pepper. Turn the ribs over, and close the lid. We will let this go for another 45 minutes before basting and turning again. Cook this way for about 4 1/2 hours. Finally, remove the ribs from the heat and let them rest on a clean cookie sheet covered loosely in foil for about 30 minutes.

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