You don’t have to put barbeque sauce on all of your camping smoker recipes! These Pellet Smoked Short Ribs are my favorite way to make easy, fall-off-the-bone tender, non-sauced BBQ beef ribs in a portable tailgate smoker.
How To Make Beef Short Ribs On A Pellet Smoker
This recipe is not for smoking an entire rack of ribs, it is for smoking English style cut beef short ribs.
Two Styles Of Beef Short Ribs
How to know what type of cut you are using:
- One bone: English-style beef short ribs are cut in 2- to 4-inch segments and contain one rib bone section. They are thicker and meatier than Flanken-style cuts.
- Multiple bones: Flanken-style beef short ribs are cut in 1.5 to 2-inch strips and contain multiple bone segments. They are thinner and less meaty than English-style cuts.
We are using English-style cut ribs for this recipe.
When you are making traditional pork ribs or beef back ribs, you normally remove the silver skin before seasoning the meat and placing it in the smoker. For this beef short rib recipe, you will NOT remove the silver skin because it is needed to hold the meat to the bone during the cooking process.
You WILL need to remove the majority of the fat cap.
If the ribs are not dry, just use a paper towel to pat them dry.
Cooking Methods & Equipment
Some of the best easy camping meals are smoked.
This recipe requires using a pellet smoker. We wanted a portable tailgate smoker for our camp trips, so, we use a small Green Mountain Grill Davy Crockett model.
Step 1. Prepare your ingredients, heat source and equipment as directed.
Step 2. Coat short ribs. Slather all sides of the ribs with mustard then follow with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Camp Cooking Tip: Combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder as a mixture, it is easier to sprinkle and evenly coat the ribs.
Let coated ribs stand at room temperature while the pellet grill is preheating.
Camp Cooking Tip: The mustard is a binder that helps dry spices and rubs adhere to meat. We like the extremely mild flavor from mustard, but, you can substitute olive oil.
Step 3. Preheat your pellet grill smoker to 225 degrees F. It will come up to temperature in about 15 minutes. Fill the hopper with your favorite pellets for smoking, we prefer oak or hickory for this recipe.
Step 4. Smoke ribs. Place ribs, meat side up, directly on the grill grate. Cook for 3 hours without opening the lid.
Step 5. Wrap the ribs. Place a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place ribs, bone side up, in the center of the foil in a single layer. Bring the edges of the foil up around the meat to form a bowl-ish shape. Carefully pour broth in the bowl with the smoked beef ribs and fold the foil packet closed to create a tightly sealed package.
Camp Cooking Tip: If you don’t have heavy duty foil, use 2 sheets of regular foil.
Camp Cooking Tip: By finishing the cooking in a liquid, you avoid the need to spritz the meat with an apple juice, vinegar and oil liquid during the cooking process to keep it moist.
Step 6. Cook 3 more hours. Place the foil packet back on grill to cook an additional 3 hours.
The ribs are done when an instant read meat thermometer probe reaches between 205-208 F degrees. The internal temp should be taken at the thickest portion of the meat and the probe should not touch the bone. The meat should be almost falling off the bone.
Step 7. Rest & serve. Take the foil packet out of the smoker and let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, without opening the package. Then, serve and enjoy.
What To Serve With This Recipe
Smoked meats are wonderful gluten free camping food options so serving steamed veggies on the side is a great choice.
This rich and creamy Dutch Oven Potatoes Au Gratin Recipe combines potatoes, bacon and two types of cheese.
I created this recipe for Smoked Green Beans to go along with these short ribs. They smoke for 3 hours at 225 degrees F so you just pop them into the smoker during the second half of cooking time on the ribs.
These Smoked Green Beans are like traditional southern green beans but the smoky depth of flavor doesn’t just come from the bacon, it also comes from cooking them in your pellet grill smoker.
This Potato Salad With Bacon And Chives is the perfect side dish for preparing a couple of days ahead of your trip and keeping in the refrigerator till you’re ready to serve.
Even broccoli-haters love this Broccoli Sunshine Salad that uses bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and a simple homemade dressing to liven-up this healthy green vegetable.
I like making this as one of my camping meals for two.
It can easily be scaled up to feed more people but you’ll need to make sure you have a large enough smoker to accommodate all of the food you’ll be cooking.
Ribs are just the beginning of enjoying flavorful camping dinner recipes in the great outdoors.
In the mood for sweet, spicy, sticky and crispy chicken? Try these delicious Smoked Honey Sriracha Chicken Drumsticks.
Want an easy and delicious way to make Smoked Chicken Legs on pellet grills? Smoke your drumsticks low and slow with our easy spicy magic dust dry rub. You’ll enjoy a fantastic smoky flavor that has a little bit of heat.
These Chuck Roast Burnt Ends (aka Poor Man’s Brisket Burnt Ends) are so delicious. Great flavor and bark are created with this quick version that is an affordable alternative to traditional brisket point burnt ends.
Combine ground beef, bacon, onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, spices and three types of beans and get a smoky flavor with your chili when you make this Smoked Ground Beef Chili in your portable tailgate smoker.
Don’t have a smoker but still want ribs at your campsite? No problem! Try these Dutch Oven Ribs instead. They are fall-off-the-bone tender after simmering in a yummy sauce in your camp Dutch oven for about 6 hours.
Print This Recipe
Pellet Smoked Short Ribs
- 2 pounds beef short ribs cut “English Style” will be about 4-5 bones
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper coarsely ground
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
- Clean and trim excess fat from the beef short ribs removing the majority of the fat cap but NOT the silver skin (the membrane holds the meat to the bone during the entire cooking process). Pat ribs dry using a paper towel, if necessary.
- Evenly coat all sides of the ribs with mustard then follow with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Leave ribs set out at room temperature while the pellet grill is preheating. Camp Cooking Tip: It is easiest to combine the salt, pepper and garlic powder as a mixture, then apply it to the ribs. Camp Cooking Tip: The mustard is a binder that helps the salt, pepper and garlic powder adhere to the meat. We like the extremely mild flavor addition from the mustard, but, if you want to substitute olive oil, that works too.
- Set the temperature of the pellet grill smoker to 225 degrees F to preheat with the lid closed, it will take about 15 minutes to come up to temperature. Use your favorite pellets for smoking, we prefer oak or hickory.
- Place ribs directly on the grill grate, during the smoke period you want meat side up, and cook for 3 hours without opening the lid.
- Lay a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a flat surface (if you don’t have heavy duty foil, use 2 sheets of regular foil). Place ribs in a single layer, bone side up, in the center of the foil and bring all sides of the foil up to form a bowl. Pour the broth into the bowl, wrap the smoked beef ribs into the packet by sealing the foil closed.
- Place foil packet back on grill and continue cooking an additional 3 hours. When an instant read meat thermometer probe is inserted (into the thickest portion of the meat, not touching the bone), the internal temperature should reach between 205-208 F degrees. There should be very little resistance when sliding the thermometer into the meat. When it is done, the tender meat should be almost falling off the bone. Camp Cooking Tip: The great thing about finishing the cooking in the liquid is that you don’t have to bother with using a spray bottle to spritz the meat to keep it moist).
- Remove the foil packet from the smoker and allow the ribs to rest inside the sealed packet for 20-30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.
More Yummy Meal Ideas
Every meal of your camping trips can be delicious and easy. Try a few new ideas soon.