Succulent Mesquite Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe

This recipe for mesquite smoked beef ribs is a nod to my snowbird friends in Arizona, where mesquite is a popular smoking wood. They come out of the smoker tender and juicy thanks to using the 3-2-1 rib smoking method.

Several Succulent Smoked Beef Ribs On a Small, Blue Dish, Minutes Before Being Devoured!Mesquite Smoked Beef Back Ribs

If you're not familiar with that technique, it consists of three hours of smoking uncovered, then wrapping the ribs in foil and cooking for another two hours.  Finally they're removed from the foil and cooked one more hour to build the tasty crust.

Smoking Beef Back Ribs That Are Tender and Juicy

Four Half-Slabs Of Beef Ribs, Seasoned With Dry Rub, In a Char-Broil Propane Smoker

Low and slow is the rule when smoking beef ribs. I try to maintain the smoker temperature as close to 225° Fahrenheit as possible. Cooking at a higher temperature will cause the ribs to lose moisture and become dry and chewy.

As you can see in the picture, I prefer to smoke ribs and other meats on a rack placed over a sheet-pan to help keep the smoker clean. The smaller racks are occasionally soaked in water for a while, then scrubbed clean.

The smoker I'm experimenting with these days is a Char-Broil propane smoker. It's been working well for me. I especially like the pan above the flame that holds both wood chips and water.

The water in the pan helps keep the meat moist as it smokes, and also helps in regulating an even smoker temperature.

Mesquite Smoked Beef Ribs Recipe, From Start to Finger Lickin' Good!


  • 1 large rack or 2 small racks of beef back ribs

Seasoning Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

Basting Liquid Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon water

* * * * *


  1. Trim any loose flaps from the beef rib slabs. Remove the membrane from the bone-side and with a spoon, scrape off most of the excess fat.

  2. Mix together two teaspoons each of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Brush this on all sides of the slabs. This helps to hold the dry rub when it's applied.

  3. Combine the dry rub ingredients, mixing well. Coat the ribs evenly with the rub mixture. At this point you can immediately put the ribs in the smoker. If cooking at a later time, the ribs can be wrapped in plastic wrap and held in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

  4. Begin by soaking three cups of mesquite chips in water. Place the ribs in the smoker then add one cup of the soaked wood chips. Keep the smoker temperature near 225°, within the range of 220° to 240°.

  5. Combine the baste ingredients. After one hour of smoking, add another cup of wood chips and baste the ribs. Repeat at the two hour mark.

  6. After three hours of smoking, remove the ribs and wrap tightly in two or three layers of foil. Place the wrapped ribs back in the smoker and continue cooking for two more hours. No more wood chips are necessary from this point on.

  7. Remove the ribs from the foil and place back onto the smoker racks. Continue cooking for one more hour, then remove from the smoker. Allow to rest for 20 minutes, covered with a tent of foil, before serving.

* * * * *

Platter Full Of Smoked Beef Back Ribs, Just Before The Gang Dug In!Smoked Beef Ribs In The Arizona Sun

Mesquite Smoked Beef Ribs In a Char-Broil Gas Smoker

Wind can wreak havoc with some styles of propane smokers. It was a little difficult trying to maintain an even temperature today smoking the beef ribs. I usually try to block the gusts by either parking my truck nearby or propping a sheet of plywood against a chair on the windward side.

I've read that some people lean 12" ceramic floor tiles around the base of the smoke to block wind. However, blocking the access to fresh air at the smoker base could be unsafe, possibly causing fire or explosion.

My recipe for the mesquite smoked beef ribs turned out pretty good today, but the smoker temperature ran a little hotter than I'd planned for. You can see in the picture that the meat pulled off the bones more than it should have.

But in spite of the temperature control problem, those smoked ribs sure were tender! They tasted great, too.

Juicy and Flavorful Beef Back Ribs, Smoked With Mesquite Wood For Bold Flavor

Related Topics