Smoked Beef Short Rib Traeger Pellet Grill Recipe

beef short ribs on platter with lemon
To make short ribs on a Traeger, preheat your pellet grill to 225°F and add your favorite wood pellets. Smoke the seasoned short ribs for 8-10 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 190-205°F. You can baste your ribs every 30 minutes with a mopping liquid to enhance the moisture and flavor.

How to Make Beef Short Ribs on a Traeger Pellet Grill

Tools Needed to Make Short Ribs on a Traeger

  • Aluminum foil or butcher paper
  • Meat thermometer (instant-read or probe)
  • Traeger pellet grill/Pellet smoker

How to Prepare Short Ribs for Smoking

  1. Trim excess fat from your short ribs. Remove any membrane from the ribs.
  2. Brine your ribs by mixing salt, sugar, and water, and soak the ribs in the brine for several hours or overnight. Once they are done brining, pat them dry with paper towels.
  3. Marinate your ribs for 30 minutes before smoking to flavor them. To marinate the ribs, create a flavorful marinade made of ingredients like apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and your choice of spices, and soak the ribs in the marinade for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Apply a dry rub to the short ribs if you want to after they come out of the marinade. A dry rub can be made of salt, sugar, and your choice of spices and can help add flavor and create a crust on the ribs as they smoke.
  5. Bring the short ribs to room temperature before smoking, which will help them cook more evenly.

Prepare the Pellet Grill

Preheat the Traeger pellet grill to 225°F. If using wood chips for added smoke flavor, pick ones that go well with ribs. Options include hickory, mesquite, applewood, and cherry.

Smoke the Short Ribs

Place the short ribs on the grill grate and smoke for 8-10 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 190-205°F. Baste the ribs with a mop sauce every 30 minutes of smoking to help create a caramelized crust.

You can wrap them in aluminum foil when they reach the minimum internal temperature or right at the end (when they rest) to help retain moisture. Smother them in BBQ sauce after unwrapping the ribs – either during smoking or at the end.

How Long to Rest Smoked Short Ribs

Allow the short ribs to rest for 30-45 minutes after smoking, covered or wrapped in foil to retain heat. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, which will help keep the ribs tender and moist.

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dino ribs

“Dino Ribs” Smoked Beef Short Rib Traeger Recipe

  • Author: Alexandra
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes


This Dino rib recipe is a surefire way to get your hands on some of the most tender, juicy short ribs you’ve ever had. The rib rub contains a delicious blend of flavors that will make your mouth water!


Units Scale
  • 1 rack of beef plate ribs (about 4 to 5 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

Rib spritz

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup brandy


  1. Start by preheating the Traeger grill to 250°F.
  2. Pick your desired wood pellets – for this recipe, hickory works well.
  3. Trim your ribs by cutting the membrane on the back of the ribs with a knife. Hold them with a paper towel when removing the membrane.
  4. Cover your ribs with dry rub on both sides and let them sit for about 10 to 20 minutes.
  5. Mix the apple juice with your brandy and place it in a spray bottle.
  6. Place the ribs in the smoker (bone side down) and let them smoke for 8 to 10 hours. Halfway through the cooking process, spritz the ribs with the liquid mixture every 30 minutes.
  7. Cook them this way until they reach an internal temperature of 203°F to 205°F – or until you can pierce them with a toothpick or fork. Be sure to check by using a meat thermometer.
  8. Once they reach this temperature range, get the ribs out of the smoker and wrap them up like brisket. You can use aluminum foil or butcher paper to wrap them.
  9. Let them rest between 30 and 45 minutes.
  10. Cut the rack into individual ribs and enjoy them with your favorite sides!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours


  • Calories: 208kcal
  • Sugar: 15g
  • Sodium: 1615mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 19g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 28mg

Target Internal Temperature for Short Ribs

The target internal temperature for short ribs is between 190-205°F. At this temperature, the ribs will be tender and fully cooked, and the fat and connective tissue will have rendered, creating a tender, juicy, and flavorful rib.

To check the internal temperature of the ribs, you can use a meat thermometer and insert it in the thickest part of the ribs to ensure an accurate reading.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Short Ribs at 225?

The time it takes to smoke short ribs at 225°F will depend on the size and thickness of the ribs and the specific type of smoker being used. It can generally take 6-8 hours to smoke short ribs at 225°F for a typical rib rack of about 3 to 4 pounds.

How Long Does it Take to Smoke Short Ribs at 275?

Smoking short ribs at a higher temperature of 275°F will generally take less time but dry them out more quickly. It’s essential to monitor the ribs closely and be sure to wrap them in foil or baste them with a liquid if they start to dry out.

Generally, it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours to smoke 3-4 pounds of short ribs at 275°F.

What is the Best Temperature for Smoking Short Ribs?

The best temperature for smoking short ribs is between 225°F and 250°F. This temperature range allows the ribs to cook slowly and gently, which helps to ensure that they are tender and moist.

Top Tips for Smoking Short Ribs

To make ribs flavorful, moist, and caramelized:

  1. Use a good quality, flavorful rub on the ribs before smoking. A rub made of salt, sugar, and your choice of spices will help create a tasty crust on the ribs as they smoke.
  2. Soak the ribs in a marinade before smoking. A marinade made of apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and your choice of spices will help add moisture and flavor to the ribs as they smoke.
  3. Smoke the ribs at a low temperature (225-250°F) to help ensure they are tender and moist. This will also allow the smoke to penetrate the ribs and add flavor.
  4. Use a water pan in your smoker to help keep the ribs moist. The water pan will also help regulate the smoker’s temperature and prevent the ribs from drying out.
  5. Baste the ribs with a mixture of apple juice, honey, and your choice of BBQ sauce and beef broth as they smoke to help add moisture and flavor.
  6. Allow the ribs to rest after smoking to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. This will help keep the ribs tender and moist.
  7. To achieve a caramelized crust on the ribs, brush them with your favorite BBQ sauce during the last 20-30 minutes of smoking. This will help create a sticky, sweet crust on the ribs.

Best Sides for Short Ribs

Short ribs are one of the most popular meat cuts for smoking and grilling, so you want to make sure your side dishes measure up!

Sweet Glazed Carrots

The sweet and tangy glaze on these carrots makes them an excellent complement to the rich flavor of short ribs.

Tater Tots with Bacon

Tater tots are great just by themselves, but when you add bacon to the mix, they become even better!

Sugar Grilled Asparagus

You can never go wrong with asparagus. The sugar caramelizes into a delicious crust for each spear, giving each bite a satisfying crunch.

Broccoli Rabe with Lemon and Parmesan

If you’ve never tried broccoli rabe before, you’re missing out on one of the best things about springtime! This vegetable has a slightly bitter flavor and a spinach-like texture and pairs perfectly with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.


Alexandra is a passionate writer who loves everything related to food: from buying local produce and sourcing the best ingredients to finding the perfect spice mix and sauce to complement each dish. She loves getting together with friends near a campfire and grilling up some barbecue goodness while having quality conversations - no screens allowed.

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