How Long To Cook Beef Ribs On Pellet Grill

How Long To Cook Beef Ribs On Pellet Grill? Creative Methods

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Cooking beef ribs on a pellet grill may seem intimidating, but it’s not as hard as you may think. With the right technique and some patience, you can enjoy delicious tender ribs with incredible flavor. In this post, we’re going to break down all the steps for how long to cook beef ribs on pellet grill – from prepping your ingredients and marinades, to tips and tricks for getting that melt-in-your-mouth texture. So pull up a chair around your pellet grill and get comfortable – cooking these delicious morsels of meat is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


Beef Ribs

Beef short ribs are an absolute delight when prepared properly. With their rich, beefy flavor and succulent, fork-tender meat, they are the perfect cut of beef for firing up the pellet grill. While other beef ribs like back or chuck ribs can also be delicious, short ribs strike a balance between ease of prep, cook time, and rich, satisfying flavor that’s tough to beat. In this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know to make mouthwatering beef short ribs right in your own backyard.

What You’ll Need


  • Rack of beef short ribs (3-5 lbs) – Shoot for ribs that are around 1.5 inches thick for the best results. Thinner ribs may dry out while thicker slabs take longer to cook through.
  • Rub – A classic beef rub with spices like kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika packs a flavor punch.
  • Spritzing liquid (optional) – An apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire or soy sauce based spritz adds moisture and flavor.


  • Pellet grill/smoker
  • Wire cooling rack
  • Rimmed baking sheet or aluminum pan – This will catch the drippings.
  • Instant read thermometer
  • Butcher paper or foil (optional) – Useful for wrapping ribs if needed.
  • Spritzer bottle (optional) – For applying spritz over ribs.

Cooking Instructions

Prep the Ribs

Trim off any loose, excess fat between the bones or on the underside of the rack. Leave about 1/4 inch of fat attached for moisture. Apply a generous coating of your favorite beef rib rub on all sides, making sure to really work it into every nook and cranny while avoiding the underside of the bones.

Preheat the Pellet Grill

With your preferred flavor smoking pellets (hickory and oak are classic choices), preheat your pellet grill or smoker to 250°F. This low and slow temperature is key for breaking down the collagen in the ribs for tender, fall-off-the-bone meat.

Smoke Those Ribs

Place your seasoned ribs meat-side up on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet or aluminum pan to catch the drippings. Put the pan directly on the grill grates and close the lid. The rack allows airflow around the ribs for even cooking. Cook for 2 hours, then lightly spritz both sides with your choice of spritzing liquid. Mist again hourly, rotating the ribs each time to ensure even coverage. Spritzing adds flavor and moisture.

Monitor Temperature

After 4 hours, start checking temperature by inserting an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the ribs, avoiding bone. You’re looking for an internal temp between 200-205°F when they’re perfectly cooked through. How long this takes depends on rack size – plan on around 1.5-2 hours per pound of ribs. When the thermometer slides in and out with little resistance, they’re ready.

Wrap ‘Em Up (Optional)

For larger racks that may need a longer cook time, wrap them tightly in butcher paper or foil once they hit an internal temperature around 165°F. Known as the “Texas Crutch”, this steam method powers through any stalls in cooking progress. Return the wrapped ribs to the grill for the last 1-2 hours until 205°F.

Rest and Serve

Carefully remove ribs from grill once fully cooked and lightly tent with foil. Let rest for at least 30 minutes up to 1 hour before cutting to allow juices to redistribute. Slice each rib between the bones. Serve sauced or not along with your favorite sides like coleslaw, beans, cornbread or potato salad. A tangy sauce, herb chimichurri or creamy avocado vinaigrette pairs nicely with the smoky meat.

Pellet Grill Beef Rib Tips and Tricks

  • If ribs start cooking unevenly or have hot spots, rotate meat-side down during the cook or move their placement on the grates.
  • Look for ribs that bend with a little resistance when lifting them with tongs. This is a good visual cue of doneness in addition to temperature.
  • Try different wood smoking pellets like apple, cherry or maple for milder flavor, or mesquite and pecan if you like a stronger smoke profile.
  • Watch for stalls during cooking where temperature plateaus. Be patient and push through by spritzing and wrapping if needed. More time = more tender ribs.
  • Apply rubs with some heat like chili powder, cayenne and cracked black pepper to complement the unctuous meat. Sweet and spicy is a winning combo.
  • Let ribs sit at room temp for 30 minutes prior to smoking so they cook more evenly. Pat dry with paper towels for maximum rub adhesion.
  • When spritzing, aim to lightly mist both sides every 45 minutes to an hour. About 5-10 pumps of a spray bottle per rack should do the trick.
  • Always use food safe handling practices when dealing with raw meat. Wash hands, equipment and prep surfaces thoroughly before and after use.
  • Follow all pellet grill/smoker safety guidelines. Place on a level non-combustible surface away from buildings and overhangs. Monitor temperatures closely.

Enjoy Some Amazing Beef Ribs

Enjoy Some Amazing Beef Ribs

Juicy, smoky, fall-apart beef short ribs may seem intimidating, but are actually quite simple to nail on your pellet grill or smoker. With the right prep, temperature control and smoke technique, you’ll be serving up belt-busting plates of barbecue beef bliss in no time. Just follow these tips for melt-in-your-mouth ribs every experienced pitmaster will drool over. Fire up that pellet grill and enjoy.

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