3

In short:

Kamado at 250-275f
Short Ribs in for 4-5 hours

The ribs have a layer of meat, then a small layer of fat, and then the meat on the ribs themselves. The top layer gets reasonably soft and edible, but the main chunk of beef is much too chewy still.

I've had two goes at this, the first time the temperature was closer to 300f, and a bit shorter cooking time.
In both cases, I stuck a toothpick in both parts of meat, and it went in as if the meat was soft and tender.

Basically, what am I doing wrong? Not enough time? Not enough heat? I worried that I might overcook them and dry them out. So I might try again, but wrap them in foil halfway through...

EDIT: What I did that worked
First of all, it's a shame that I can mark both answers as answers, because they both helped.
What I did was to smoke the ribs at 270-285f for 5.5 hours, and they were bloody perfect.
I started at 270, and opened the bottom vent enough that the temperatures slowly went up to 280 over those 5.5 hours. Thanks to everyone for the help.

Edit: And thanks to the user who edited my question and made it worse. At least learn grammar first, and maybe contact the person asking what their intent is.

  • Were you baking these dry? – GdD Jul 11 at 9:35
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    Not enough time - pork ribs, which are much smaller take 5-8 h generally. – bob1 Jul 11 at 11:50
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    I do short ribs in a slow cooker. I completely submerge them in liquid and they cook all day (8 hours minimum) and when I pick them out of the pot they quite literally fall off the bone, soft, tender and tasty. Low and slow (and long) is the way to go. – Steve Chambers Jul 11 at 12:46
  • @GdD; I am not sure what you mean... I had them on a rack in my smoker/kamado. For my second attempt I had a container with liquids under it. – Lars Panzerbjrn Jul 11 at 15:16
  • @bob1; My pork ribs are usually great after about 3-4 hours, so I guess it makes sense that these just needs more time. The two "recipes" I linked to seem to indicate that 5 hours ought to be enough... @SteveChambers; thanks, I'll try to give them a bit more time next time I make them. – Lars Panzerbjrn Jul 11 at 15:18
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Your ribs didn't get hot enough to break down the connective tissue, and the connective tissue is tough. You need to cook the ribs to an internal temperature of 180°-205°F. Don't worry about rendering out the fat; the collagen from the connective tissue provides a moist texture.

I've smoked beef ribs using this recipe: https://amazingribs.com/tested-recipes/beef-and-bison-recipes/smoked-texas-style-bbq-beef-ribs-recipe I smoke them at 250°F until the internal temperature is 205°F. Cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the ribs and whether or not you wrap them. Mine usually take 8 hours without a wrap.

  • Thanks. It's a shame that I can't mark both answers as answers, because they both helped. What I did was to smoke the ribs at 270-285f for 5.5 hours, and they were bloody perfect. I started at 270, and opened the bottom vent enough that the temperatures slowly went up to 280 over those 5.5 hours. Thanks to everyone for the help. – Lars Panzerbjrn Jul 15 at 13:09
7

There is conflicting information on the Internet about BBQ short ribs, so, I can see the confusion.

Serious Eats suggests that you want to grill short ribs to an internal temperature of about 130 F (54.5C) (medium-rare). They suggest that any hotter, and the fat will start leaking out, drying the final product. Short ribs, grilled in this manner, are common in Argentinian and Korean cuisines, among others.

I see that your approach was different, going the low and slow, BBQ route. There are folks who use this method as well.

The Big Green Egg forum has several examples. Almost all of the low and slow recipes that I see employ the "Texas crutch"; that is, after a couple of hours of smoking, wrapping the short ribs in foil with some liquid, and returning to the smoker. The Texas crutch helps control moisture loss and helps with tenderization. This is probably the route you want to take.

If you have the proper equipment, a third approach I have used with great success is to first sous vide the short ribs. That way, I can cook to medium rare, for as long as 48 hours (greatly enhancing the texture), and finally tossing on the smoker or grill for a much shorter time to add the smoke flavor and develop a crust.

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