Equipment,  Proteins,  Recipes,  Stump Smoker

How to Smoke Beef Ribs in a Stump Smoker

Our pitmaster, Doug, is a huge fan of beef ribs.

Typically, he cooks the short ribs found in most supermarkets, on the Big Green Egg or the gas grill; however, since obtaining the Stump Smoker, we wanted to smoke some.

beef ribs with oakridge rubsWe considered buying some via “mail order.” However, we are really uncomfortable with buying such an expensive cut, without seeing what the product looks like, before we buy.

JoAnn discovered a local butcher shop, specializing in “custom cuts.”

Although small, Revival Butchery, provides all types of culinary proteins.

With over 20 varieties of sausage, artisan meats and custom cuts, Jeremy (owner) will find whatever you desire.

When JoAnn asks for “Fred Flintstone” size beef ribs, Jeremy did not disappoint.

What are plate ribs?

Plate ribs, aka loaded ribs, aka Fred Flintstone ribs are cut from the lower portion of the cow’s rib cage, and have a very thick layer of meat between bones.

cuts of a cow

Most supermarkets sell beef short ribs which come from under the chuck roast, from the first to the fifth rib.

These are not good for smoking, however are good for braising.

Setting Up a Stump Smoker

Of course, verify your Stump Smoker fire box is clean and old charcoal removed. 

Doug always cleans out the fire box and leftover charcoal the day after a cook.


For our beef ribs, we used Basque Hardwood Charcoal, from Canada.

We have used it in the Big Green Egg and obtained a good smoke ring.

So,  we used if for this rib cook.

Wait until you see the smoke ring on these beef ribs!

Once the smoker reaches 235º, it is ready for the ribs.

Basque Hardwood Charcoal and the Big Green Egg

Prepping the Beef Ribs

If ribs are frozen when purchased, like ours, thaw in the refrigerator for three days.

On the day of the cook, remove from the refrigerator and allowed to acclimate on the counter top for about a hour.


The 5.6 lbs of ribs were very lean and required very little trimming.

We removed the very tough silver skin from the top of the ribs and the membrane from the bone side.

We treated the ribs similar to a brisket, using the best rubs on the market, Oakridge Rubs.

beef ribs and oakridge rubs and sticker for revival butchery

We applied rub on both sides of the rack – and then again, just before placing them on the smoker.

Smoking the Ribs

Smoke the ribs near the top of the smoker, in the center of the rack.

Once the ribs were on the smoker for 4 hours, wrap in aluminum foil and placed back on the smoker.

This is the same procedure we do for our competition brisket.

Cook the ribs until they reach an internal temperature of 196º.

After removing the ribs from the smoker, allow them to sit and rest for approximately 15 minutes.

Finally, after resting, we open the foil, and hopefully, yours will be as beautiful as these.  

smoked beef ribs

Served with ranch potatoes, this is an elevated dinner and way to break in a Stump Smoker.


Ranch Potato recipe card


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