Slow Smoked Beef Ribs
Why is it that just thinking about smoking ribs makes your mouth water. Smoke is flavor, it's why we love barbecued ribs, grilled salmon, and steaks cooked over
an open flame. Smoke is what gives bacon its depth of flavor. It's the
reason smoked ham hocks are so good with slow simmered beans. When you
smoke jalapeno peppers you transform them into chipotle peppers. Smoke imparts a depth of flavor that you just can't get any other way.
Center cut smoked beef ribs with blanched red cabbage slaw.
Smoking can be hot or cold. During hot smoking the food is cooked while
it is smoked, as is the case with smoked beef ribs and pork ribs. During
cold smoking the food remains uncooked while it is smoked, as is the
case with smoked salmon or smoked cheese. Smoking below 100° F / 37° C
is cold smoking, smoking between 150° F to 225° F / 65° C to 107° C is
hot smoking. At temperatures over 250° F / 121° C is grilling, though
even at theses temperatures a considerable amount of smoke flavor can be
imparted into the food, if desired.
While it is unusual to brine beef there is no good reason for not brining it, especially when they are going to spend seven hours in a smoker.
Beef ribs after brining, rinsing, and air drying, ready to smoke.
Allow the ribs to smoke for 3 hours at no greater than 225° F. After 3 hours remove the smoked beef ribs.
Lay the ribs out on a foil lined work table, or counter top and divide the wine mixture
evenly over the ribs. Seal the ribs in in foil, loosely, so as not to tear the foil. Then wrap a second time in foil, a bit tighter.
Place back in the smoker and allow to braise at 250 to 275° F for two hours. Remove the ribs from the smoker and take the foil off, reserving the liquid.
If you want to sauce your ribs, this is the time to do it. Personally I don't, I just prefer smoked beef ribs without sauce.
Smoked beef ribs after smoking for 3-hours, braising in smoke for 2-hours, and 30 more minutes of smoking after braising.
Center cut smoked beef ribs with blanched red cabbage slaw. To make blanched cabbage slaw follow my coleslaw recipe and simply blanch the cabbage for 2 to 3-minutes in rapidly boiling salted water and cooling in an ice bath before making the slaw.
Center Cut Smoked Beef Ribs
- Yield: 2 servings
- Prep Time: 34 hours
- Engaged Time: 8 hours
- Cook Time: 7 hours
For The Brine
- 20 cups / 4.5 liters water, divided
- 8 ounces / 227 grams / 1-1/4 cups Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup / 3.1 ounces / 90 grams brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp /.25 ounces / 7 grams whole black peppercorns
- 15 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 to 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1 lemon, washed and sliced in half
- 5 to 6 pounds / 2.2 to 2.7 kilogram center cut beef ribs
For The Ribs
- 8 ounces / 235 milliliters red wine
- 2 teaspoons / 10 milliliters soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon / 15 milliliters Worcestershire sauce
- Hickory wood or other hard smoking wood
- Arrange the ribs in a 3-inch deep roasting pan. Pour the brine over the ribs and brine the ribs for 24 hours.
- Remove the ribs and rinse under running water. Arrange on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack. Let rest in the refrigerator until ready to use.
To Smoke the Ribs
- Build a small fire in the fire-box of your smoker. When the temperature reaches 200° F in the smoke-box Place the ribs on the grill of the smoke-box and close the lid. To maintain the fire Add hickory chunks periodically. To control the temperature open and close the air intake and chimney covers.
- After two and a half hours Combine the wine, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a full boil. Cover and set aside.
- Allow the ribs to smoke for 3 hours at no greater than 225° F. After 3 hours remove the smoked beef ribs.
- Lay the ribs out on a foil lined work table, or counter top. Fold up the 4 sides of the foil around the ribs and divide the wine mixture evenly over the ribs.
- Seal the foil packet loosely, so as not to tear the foil, and wrap a second time in foil. This time wrap the ribs a bit tighter.
- Place back in the smoker and allow to braise at 250 to 275° F for two hours.
- Remove the ribs from the smoker and take the foil off, reserving the liquid.
- If you want to sauce your ribs this is the time to do it. Combine the reserved liquid from the ribs with your barbecues sauce and heat the sauce in a small saucepan. Cover and set aside.
- The ribs should be done. You will notice quite a bit of shrinkage, this is normal. Put the ribs back in the smoker, brush both sides liberally with barbecue sauce, and smoke at 200° F for 30 minutes, just to dry them. Remove and serve.
- Hard woods like oak, hickory, and mesquite impart a strong
smoke flavor while fruit and nut woods tend to be a bit sweeter and
milder in flavor. The smoke flavor from applewood pairs so well with
bacon that applewood smoked bacon is almost a cliche. Avoid using soft
woods, like pine or woods that produce a lot of sap, green wood, and
obviously avoid treated wood. These types of wood can end up producing a
harmful resin and they coat the food with an unpleasant bitter flavor.
smoking equipment can run into the thousands of dollars, while
professional cold smokers, that incorporate refrigeration into the unit,
will run into the tens of thousands of dollars. However, you can hot
smoke on a grill by maintaining a low coal base set off to one side and
adding wood chips to the coals while keeping the food off to the other
side. Smoking this way will limit how long you can leave the food on the
- Low temperature smoking is going to require an offset
smoker. These units have a smoke chamber that is separated from the
fire-box allowing for more control of the temperature inside the smoke
- You can also do your initial smoking on a grill to
impart flavor and then finish your food in a low oven. While this may
not be the ideal method of smoking it will still produce a very tasty