Traeger Beef Short Ribs – Recipe and Cooking Guide

Hey Smokers and welcome to my post where we will run through my Traeger Beef Short Ribs recipe and cooking guide. As you may or may not know, this site is all about cooking on my Traeger Pro 22 Pellet Smoker and seeing where we can take things. And today, that is into the land of the beef short rib!

Traeger Beef Short Ribs - Header

Now, most of my experience here comes from the normal beef back ribs which as a little leaner. However as my butcher didn’t have any, short ribs it is. So let’s get into it all below:

Traeger Beef Short Ribs: What You’ll Need

Ok, so below is what I used to cook me some beef short ribs on the smoker:


  • 2 racks of beef ribs (about 4-5 pounds each)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for binding the rub to the ribs)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ rub (a mix of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a touch of paprika works well – I used a pre-made beef rub and some smoked paprika myself)
  • Your choice of BBQ sauce for serving (optional)
  • Beef Broth or Apple Cider Vinegar if you choose to spritz (I didn’t)


  • Pellet smoker
  • Aluminum foil or butcher paper
  • Meat thermometer (Only if you are working by temperature rather than feel)
  • Basting brush (if applying BBQ sauce)
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (which you will need if the membrane is particularly stubborn)

The Cooking Process

This is what I did and when:

1. Preheat Your Pellet Grill

Start by preheating your pellet grill to a medium-high heat, around 225°F (107°C). This temperature is ideal for cooking beef ribs if you are looking for a low and slow as well as a nice bark at the end.

Use pellets good for beef such as Mesquite (my choice here), oak or hickory.

2. Prepare the Ribs

As the smoker is pre-heating, prepare the ribs as follows:

  1. Remove the Membrane: As with pork ribs, you will need to remove the membrane from the back to allow for the smoke and seasoning to penetrate the meat. The easiest way to do this is to slide a knife under the membrane at one end of the ribs, lift, and pull it away.
  2. Apply Olive Oil and Rub: Lightly coat the ribs with olive oil on all sides to help the rub stick to the meat then generously apply your BBQ rub, ensuring an even coat on all sides.

Note: you can use Worcestershire sauce or even a mild mustard instead of olive oil if you prefer.

3. Smoke the Ribs

Place the ribs in the smoker, bone side down. Smoke for about 3 to 4 hours, or until the ribs develop a deep, rich color and the meat starts to pull back from the bones.

If you wish to spritz for moisture, do so during this part of the cook. But keep it to a minimum so as to not disturb the temperature too much.

My cook took almost exactly 3 hours at 107°C to reach this point – I chose not to spritz.

Traeger Beef Short Ribs - Ribs on smoker

4. Wrap the Ribs

Once you are happy with the ribs to this point, remove them from the smoker and wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or butcher paper. Before sealing, you can optionally add a splash of apple cider vinegar or beef broth inside the wrap for added moisture.

Return the wrapped ribs to the smoker and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat:

  1. Is tender enough to probe without resistance (such as with a brisket), or
  2. Reaches an internal temperature of around 200°F to 205°F (93°C to 96°C).

My cook: Due to time constraints (the second part of the cook took a lot longer than I was anticipating @ over 3.5hrs), I had to remove the ribs at around 91°C. And whilst they fell off the bone quite well and were nice and moist, If I really wanted to the meat to fall apart then they probably could have done with getting them up to the temperatures listed above – even after a 30 minute rest.

5. Rest and Serve

As with most BBQ cooks, once the ribs are done, they need to rest so here carefully unwrap them and let them rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Optional: If you like your ribs saucy, lightly brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce and return them to the smoker for an additional 10-15 minutes to set the sauce.

Beef ribs are rich and flavorful on their own, but feel free to serve them with extra BBQ sauce on the side. I like mine with a good baked potato and grills greens – but that’s just me haha.

Traeger Beef Short Ribs - finished ribs

Tips for Perfect Pellet Smoked Beef Short Ribs

In my experience, the following tips are crucial in the effort for some perfect beef short ribs:

  • Temperature Monitoring: Again, as with all BBQ cooks, keep a close eye on the smoker’s temperature throughout the cooking process to ensure it remains steady.
  • Don’t Overdo the Spritz: While it’s tempting to keep spritzing for moisture, beef is a product that really responds well to constant and stable temperatures. If you do spritz, keep it short so as not to release too much heat.
  • Resting Time: Don’t skip the resting step; it’s crucial for ensuring your ribs are juicy and tender.

At the end of the day, enjoy the process and the delicious results! Afterall, smoking beef ribs on a pellet smoker is meant to be a fun experience! And as always, I cooked my ribs on the Traeger Grills Pro 22 Electric Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker.

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07/22/2024 11:35 pm GMT


Can I Use Any Type of Pellets for Smoking Beef Short Ribs?

Yes, you can use various types of wood pellets for cooking beef ribs on a smoker, but the choice of pellets can significantly influence the flavor profile of the finished dish. Different woods impart different flavors, so it’s worth experimenting to find your preference. Hickory, Mesquite and Oak pellets are popular for their strong, smoky flavor that pairs well with Beef. Apple and cherry wood pellets offer a sweeter, more subtle smoke that complements the natural flavors of the meat without overpowering it. Ultimately, the best type of pellets for cooking beef ribs depends on your personal taste preferences.


So there you have it, my recipe and cooking guide for some Traeger Beef Short Rib action. I hope it has been of assistance but as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out by commenting below. I would also love to hear of your own experiences, preferences or suggestions here as well.

Are there any other products you have been looking at but want to know more about? If so, please comment below and I will do my best to get some details for you.

Until next time

Have fun and get smoking!


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