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How to Grill Beef Short Ribs on a Pellet Grill

By Pellet Grill Pros April 04, 2022 0 comments

Beef short ribs are another crowd favorite. It fits the trinity of a meat lover’s palate: sweet, salty, and meaty. However, it takes some practice and patience to tenderize the meat since you can’t use a meat hammer/tenderizer due to the bones. 

These tips and recipe from our grill experts can teach you all the steps to make perfectly grilled beef short ribs on a pellet grill with ease. 

What are Beef Short Ribs?

Beef short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the plate area of a beef cattle. If you look at a cow from its side, the short ribs are between the brisket and flank parts (also called the plate). These would also be the bottom tip of the ribs, opposite the spine..

There are two major types of cuts for the short ribs, the “flanken cut”, which resembles a piece of very thick bacon with bone, and the one we’re most familiar with, the “English cut” (also called crosscut ribs, “kosher ribs”). 

This cut, which we will discuss below, is what we know as “a plate of ribs”; it has more meat to it and thus juicer!

How Does it Differ From Beef Back Ribs? 

Beef back ribs come from the upper portion of the rib closer to the spine. They have more of a curve to them and way less meat due to the fact that ribeye steaks are also cut from the same area. What you’re left with is just the meat in between the rib bones, which is not much compared to the short ribs.

How to Grill Beef Short Ribs on a Pellet Grill: 8 Steps

Ingredients 

• 1 3-4 lbs rack of beef short ribs
• 1 cup beef broth
• 3 tbsp soy sauce

Optional ingredients for the all-purpose rub:

• 6 tbsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
• 3 tbsp onion powder
• 3 tbsp garlic powder
• 2 tbsp smoked paprika (adjust to taste)
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tbsp chili powder (adjust to taste)

Step #1: Prepare and Trim the Beef Short Ribs 

Using your boning knife, trim off the excess fat and other tough tissue on the ‘top’ part of the ribs, where the meat is. On the bottom part, where the bones are, there should be a translucent membrane covering it. Do not trim this off as this would hold the plate of ribs together when it softens up from cooking.

Step #2: Load the Pellets and Pre-Heat the Grill 

For this step, fill up your hopper with your choice of wood pellets. Next, fire up your pellet grill, and keep the temperature steady at around 240-250 °F. 

Step #3: Rub the Meat 

Shake your rub ingredients in a clear, dry jar where you can see if they mix up thoroughly. Put some of the rub mix of your taste in a shaker with medium size holes. Shake the mix onto the meat, making sure everything is covered evenly. You can skip the bottom part with the bone and membrane as they won’t be able to absorb the seasoning. 

powder spices

Step #4: Put the Beef Short Ribs on the Grill

Time to grill! If your grill comes with a wire rack and drip tray (they usually do), put your ribs on the rack and close the lid. 

Step #5: Prepare the Spritz and Use on the Meat Every Hour 

Mix the beef broth with the soy sauce in a spray bottle. Mist the ribs on the first hour of cooking, and then once every hour until the fourth hour.

Like the rub mix, feel free to adjust this spritz to your liking. You can try using some premade barbecue sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other sauces to make your own unique ‘bark’ for your ribs. 

Step #6: Wait for the Ribs to Cook

On the fourth hour of cooking, you can try to slide your remote thermometer’s probe into the thickest portion of the meat. To get the most accurate reading, stick it to the meat parts and avoid the bones.

Leave the ribs to cook some more until it reaches a little above 200 °F. This should take around 3-4 hours, depending on the size of the ribs. 

Step #7: Let it Rest

At around the seventh hour of cooking, you can check if your meat is tender enough by poking it with a barbecue fork or similar.

At this point, you can take out your ribs from the grill, then allow it to cool slowly and wrap it loosely in foil. Let it sit there for an hour to let the juices from the meat stabilize and stay in there.

Step #8: Slice and Serve

After letting your ribs rest for an hour, it’s time to slice and serve. You can serve your ribs with sauces like chimichurri, gravy, or honey barbecue sauce. 

Conclusion 

Our grilling team hopes you enjoyed this quick guide on how to grill beef short ribs on a pellet grill. Remember, safety first [1]; make sure you keep an eye on your grill and wear gloves when handling hot objects. 


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