Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Beer Cheese Grits

I love smoked beef short ribs.  They have a robust beef flavor and when slow cooked, they have a lusciousness that few other cuts of beef can match.  I did two different racks last week.  The first rack was these Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Beer Cheese Grits, which where stupendous. 

Big Green Egg beef short ribs, grill dome beef short ribs, vision grill beef short ribs, kamado joe beef short ribs

The second rack was an experiment - Jerk Beef Ribs.  Jamaican jerk seasoning is one of my favorite ways to each chicken but I've never tried it on beef.  I once saw Bobby Flay take on one of his former chefs in a throwdown for jerk ribeye so I figured that I'd give it a go with ribs. They were okay but even after an 18 hour marinade, the jerk flavor was quite mild and it really didn't add anything to the beef at all.  In fact, the jerk flavor was a little distracting from the taste and tenderness of the rib.  I wouldn't do the jerk ribs again. 

In most grocery stores, the beef short ribs in the counter have been trimmed down into smaller sections or cross cut in strips across the bones for Korean style beef ribs.  Just tell your butcher that you want a whole rack of untrimmed chuck short ribs or plate short ribs and they'll probably have some in the back.  A rack normally runs about 4.5 to 5.5 pounds.  You can count on 1 rib per person for an average serving.  

BGE short ribs, kamado short ribs, dino bones big green egg, kamado dino bones
Info gleaned from The Field Guide to Meat.  

For the beef rub, I mixed an ounce of my Shallot Steak Rub with an ounce of Meat Church Holy Cow and some dried parsley.  My regular NMT Beef Rub also works great on short ribs.  Some other good ones would be Smoking Guns Hot, Dizzy Pig Cow Lick, or just sprinkle on salt, pepper, and garlic.

The grits do need to be the coarse stone ground grits, instant or quick won't do.  We usually use Charleston Favorites that we can buy at our local grocery store.

For wood smoke for beef, I like mostly hardwoods (oak and pecan are a good mix) or a 75/25 blend of hardwoods/fruit wood (oak/cherry works for me).  I'll use hickory for beef if that's all I have, hickory is my default smoke wood.  But ultimately, it's up to you.

Finally, remove the rib membrane?  It's up to you.  I always do for pork ribs and used to for beef ribs. But for beef short ribs, the meat is pretty much all on top and I don't have a problem eating the rib with the membrane still on.  

BGE beef ribs, smoked beef rib recipe, how to smoke beef ribs, how to smoke short ribs

Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Beer Cheese Grits

Published 02/10/2016


  • 1 rack beef chuck short ribs (4 bone section)
  • 2 tablespoons beef base (like Better than Bullion)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup beef rub
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup Albukirky's Duke City Sweet BBQ sauce
  • 18" x 18" piece of foil or butcher paper
For the Beer Cheese Grits
  • 1 cup stone ground grits, rinsed according to directions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water (divided)
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 3/4 to 1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1/4 red pepper flake


  1. Prep the grill. Set up your grill for indirect heat and preheat to 275°f.  For a kamado that is mixing 4-6 chunks of hardwood (oak, hickory) with your lump coal and then putting in an indirect piece (plate setter, spider/pizza stone, etc).
  2. Prep the ribs.  Whisk together the beef base and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl to make a slather and rub it all over the ribs.  This will add a layer of flavor and bind the rub to the ribs. Sprinkle the rub all over the rack of ribs.
  3. Smoke the ribs.  Once your grill is stable at 275°f and the smoke is light white to clear, put your ribs on bone side down.  Spritz them with some of the beef stock, close the lid, and let smoke.  If the ribs start to dry on the surface in a few spots a few hours in, spritz with more beef stock.
  4. Wrap the ribs.  Once the ribs have a dark mahogany color, wrap them with foil or butcher paper and put them back on the grill to continue cooking.  This could be anywhere from 3 to 5 hours depending on your cooker.  For my offset pit, it would be closer to 3 hours and for my kamado grills, more like 5.  
  5. Make the grits.  I do this about 5 hours into the cook. Add the grits, salt, onion, garlic, pepper, 1 cup of water, beer, and broth in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the remaining cup of water and return to a simmer.  Stir in the cheeses until melted.  Stir in the red pepper flake.  Cover and keep warm until the ribs are ready.
  6. Remove the ribs.  Once the ribs reach an internal temperature of 198-205°f and are tender when you stick a temperature probe in them, remove them from the grill and allow to rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
  7. Serve the ribs.  Slice the ribs.  Place some of the beer cheese grits on a plate, top with a rib, and drizzle some of the BBQ sauce across the rib.  Feel free to sprinkle with some extra BBQ rub, red pepper flake, or minced parsley.
Yield: 4 servings

kamado indirect set up, BGE indirect,
I did the regular beef ribs on my Big Green Egg Mini-Max, my first smoke on this little kamado.  Using a platesetter and stock grate, I haven't got a small drip pan yet so I just wrapped it in foil.

kamado indirect set up,
I did the jerk beef ribs on my large Grill Dome. I used the standard Grill Dome indirect set up and a drip pan.

I put one rack in my usual jerk marinade that I LOVE on chicken.  We let it go, refrigerated of course, for 18 hours.  We flipped it every 3-4 hours.

I think that the beef base/Worcestershire sauce slather also helps develop a dark colored bark in addition to the binder/flavoring aspects.

smoked beef rib recipe, kamado beef rib,
I liked the mix of these two rubs, they blended well together.
BBQ mini-max, smoking on BGE mini-max
Despite it's small size, I knew this little kamado grill could smoke because my kick ass sister smoked a pork shoulder on hers while at the family cabin.

Craycort grates
The jerk marinated beef ribs on the Grill Dome. Those Craycort grates are now pushing 8 years old and other than needing a good cleaning, they are in perfect condition.

types of kamado grills, sizes of kamado grills
The two kamados smoking away on a cold, rainy day.  I could have cooked both racks on either, I was just wanting to use both.

beef ribs on kamado grill, smoked short ribs
The jerk style ribs were looking good at this point with noticeable drawback on the bones. These things were thicker than the usual short ribs we've gotten so they were going to take a good bit longer to cook, almost an hour longer.

beef ribs primo grill, BGE Mini-Max, smoking on Mini-Max,
The regular rack of short ribs were really showing off their bones.

Grill Dome, beef ribs, BBQ kamado grill
After they got the color I wanted, I wrapped the ribs in butcher paper and put them both back on the Grill Dome.  The coals in the Mini-Max had burned out in a pattern after about 6 hours so I just figured I would put them on the Grill Dome instead of restarting the Mini-Max.  Still getting used to the Mini-Max, it's a little different.

Beef ribs, bbq kamado ribs, mini-max bbq
You can see how drastic beef short ribs draw up on the bone, more so than any other pork or beef cut that I can think of.  When you see brisket or beef ribs this dark, it isn't burned.  Barbecuers call it "black gold". 

Beef short ribs are huge and meaty compared to beef back ribs, pork back ribs, or pork spare ribs.  One rib with sides is plenty for most people that I know.

BGE beef ribs, primo beef ribs, kamado joe beef ribs, grill dome beef ribs
Normally I don't like much sauce on BBQ beef.  But just a drizzle of Albukirky's Duke City Sweet really brings this dish together.  We loved this dish and would serve it to company.

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.