Smoking Short Ribs On A Pellet Grill: The Ultimate Guide

How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs on a Yoder Pellet Smoker 5 Easy Steps
How to Smoke Beef Short Ribs on a Yoder Pellet Smoker 5 Easy Steps from


Smoking short ribs on a pellet grill can be a game-changer for any BBQ enthusiast. The slow and low cooking method infuses the meat with a smoky flavor and results in tender, juicy ribs that are sure to impress your friends and family. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of smoking short ribs on a pellet grill, from selecting the right cut of meat to achieving the perfect smoke ring.

Choosing the Right Ribs

When it comes to smoking short ribs, you have two options: beef short ribs and pork short ribs. Beef short ribs are larger and meatier, while pork short ribs are smaller and more tender. Both options are delicious, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Make sure to choose ribs with a good amount of marbling, as this will add flavor and prevent them from drying out during the smoking process.

Preparing the Ribs

Before you start smoking, it’s important to prepare the ribs properly. Begin by removing the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. This will help the smoke penetrate the meat and ensure a tender result. Next, trim any excess fat from the ribs, leaving about a quarter-inch layer for flavor and moisture. Finally, season the ribs generously with your favorite dry rub, making sure to cover all sides.

Setting up the Pellet Grill

Now it’s time to set up your pellet grill for smoking. Start by filling the hopper with your choice of wood pellets. For short ribs, hardwood pellets like hickory, mesquite, or oak work best, as they impart a rich and smoky flavor. Preheat the grill to a temperature of 225°F (107°C) and allow it to stabilize for about 15 minutes. Place a water pan underneath the grill grates to help maintain moisture throughout the smoking process.

Smoking the Ribs

Once the pellet grill is preheated and ready, it’s time to smoke the ribs. Place the seasoned ribs directly on the grill grates, bone side down. Close the lid and let the magic happen. The low and slow cooking process will take several hours, so be patient. Maintain a consistent temperature of 225°F (107°C) throughout the smoking process and resist the temptation to open the lid too often, as this will cause temperature fluctuations.

The Texas Crutch

If you prefer fall-off-the-bone tender ribs, you can use a technique called the Texas Crutch. This involves wrapping the ribs in aluminum foil after a few hours of smoking. The foil helps to retain moisture and speeds up the cooking process. Simply place the ribs on a sheet of foil, wrap tightly, and return them to the grill. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches around 203°F (95°C).

Resting and Serving

Once the ribs are cooked to perfection, it’s important to let them rest before serving. Remove the ribs from the grill and wrap them loosely in foil. Let them rest for at least 15 minutes, allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This will result in even more flavorful and tender ribs. After resting, carefully unwrap the foil and slice the ribs between the bones. Serve them with your favorite BBQ sauce and enjoy!

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter any issues during the smoking process, here are a few troubleshooting tips:

Temperature Fluctuations:

If the temperature of your grill fluctuates, check the pellets to ensure they are feeding properly. Clean out any ash buildup in the firepot and make sure the grill is properly sealed.

Dry Ribs:

If your ribs turn out dry, they may have cooked for too long. Adjust the cooking time or use the Texas Crutch method to retain moisture.

Tough Ribs:

If your ribs are tough, they may not have cooked long enough. Extend the cooking time or wrap them in foil to speed up the process.


Smoking short ribs on a pellet grill is a delicious and rewarding experience. With the right cut of meat, proper preparation, and a little patience, you can achieve mouthwatering ribs that will impress even the most discerning BBQ enthusiasts. Follow this guide, experiment with different flavors, and enjoy the smoky goodness that comes with mastering the art of smoking short ribs on a pellet grill.