Beef Short Ribs on the Big Green Egg: A Smoky, Spicy Flavor-Punch

by Jim Casey
Photo by Jim Casey

Beef short ribs may pack a bigger flavor-punch than just about any cut of cow. And that’s why they’ve always been a favorite of beefed-up purists.

Beef short ribs can be braised in the oven, cooked in a crock pot, and have even found favor among the Instant Pot crowd. However, if you want beef shorties that transcend taste, cook ’em low and slow on the smoker (of course, if cut Flanken/Korean Style, the short ribs can be grilled quickly at high heat, but we’re working with thick-cut short ribs today).

So let’s get smoking. On today’s menu: Spicy Beef Short Ribs on the Big Green Egg. If you don’t have an Egg, a barrel smoker or offset smoker will work just fine. Of course, if you’re looking for more Big Green Egg recipes from Outsider, check out our Best Damn Brisket or Spicy Spatchcock Chicken.

Beef Short Ribs Ingredients

  • 8 lbs. Beef Short Ribs (Prime or Choice)
  • 4 oz. yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp. coarse non-iodized salt
  • 3 tbsp. coarse black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
5 simple ingredients: thick-cut beef short ribs, yellow mustard, black pepper, red pepper, and salt.

First, buy 8-10 pounds of thick-cut beef short ribs, preferably Prime or Choice. Trim the fat caps off of the top (it doesn’t have to be perfect) and trim any loose pieces of fat. Remove the membrane from the bottom (bone-side).

Coat each rib with mustard (acts as a binder). Then, coat the ribs in a 1:1:1 ratio of salt, black pepper, and red pepper. I used 3 tablespoons of each for 8 pounds of short ribs.

From left: trim the fat from the top and remove the membrane from the bottom; coat in mustard; coat in salt, black pepper, and red pepper.

Big Green Egg Setup

  • Lump charcoal
  • Oak chips
  • Fireproof gloves
  • 2 foil pans
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 beer
  • Non-waxed butcher paper
  • 1 stick butter

Fill up your Egg with lump charcoal and ignite. Wait for the Egg to get up to 500-600 degrees (usually takes about 20 minutes). Place a metal/foil pan directly on the charcoal (you’ll need fireproof gloves for this), filled with two cups of water and a couple handfuls of wood chips (I love oak for beef ribs). Add a couple more handfuls of wood chips directly on the charcoal. Now you’re smoking!

Place the convEGGtor (indirect convection shield) on the Egg. Fill the second foil pan with 12 oz. of beer and place on convEGGtor. Add the grate. Place the short ribs on the grate (bone-side down). Close the lid. Set temperature to 240 degrees. Of course, a fluctuation between 230-250 degrees is normal.

Beef ribs after 3 hours on the Egg.

Cook the ribs for about 2.5 to 3 hours, until the internal temperature reaches 160-165 degrees and a mahogany-colored crust forms.

Remove the ribs, and individually wrap in non-waxed butcher paper with one pat of butter atop each rib. Return the wrapped meat to the Egg.

Add a pat of butter to the top of each rib (left) and individually wrap in non-waxed butcher paper (right).

Continue smoking until ribs reach an internal temperature of 200-203 degrees (about 2.5 to 3 more hours for these really thick-cut ribs). Remove the wrapped ribs from the grill, wrap in an old towel, and place in a cooler for at least one hour to let the juices settle.

When you are ready to serve, unwrap the meat, and slice parallel to the bone. Finally, serve as is, or pull the meat from the bone for sandwiches/tacos.

These thick-cut short ribs took about 5.5 hours on the Egg, with a one-hour resting period in the cooler.

8-Step Beef Short Ribs

  1. Buy 8-10 pounds thick-cut beef short ribs (preferably Prime).
  2. Trim the fat from the top and remove the membrane from the bottom.
  3. Coat in mustard, and a 1:1:1 ratio of salt, black pepper, and red pepper.
  4. Smoke in the Big Green Egg at 240 degrees (about 2.5 to 3 hours) until internal temperature of each rib reaches 160 degrees.
  5. Individually wrap each rib in butcher paper with a pat of butter.
  6. Smoke until each rib reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees.
  7. Remove ribs from grill, wrap in a towel, and place in a cooler for 1 hour.
  8. Slice meat parallel to the bone and serve, or pull for sandwiches.
Enjoy your Beef Short Ribs masterpiece.