4 Easy Steps How To Grill Beef Short Ribs On Charcoal Grill

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As you know by now, I’m that girl who is not ashamed to stand behind a grill or dirty on charcoal dust. I do it from my love for sweet dishes, plus trying new recipes. And just recently, a vlogger introduced me to how to grill beef short ribs on charcoal grill, which I’ll be sharing with you today.

Of course, it’s not my first time eating beef short ribs. I’ve cooked the boneless kind for my family more than I can count. The only new thing to me has been having it as a BBQ.

But even when new at this, my short ribs on a charcoal grill still came out amazingly sweet, with that smoky flavor you miss when fried. It’s something I now look forward to making- at least once a month will do.

What are beef short ribs good for?

Beef short ribs are a cut of beef taken from the lower portion of the cow’s rib cage. They are typically a flavorful and tender cut of meat that is rich in marbling, which gives them a lot of flavor and makes them well-suited for slow cooking methods like braising or smoking. Short ribs can be grilled, broiled, or pan-seared as well, but they are best cooked low and slow to break down the collagen in the meat, resulting in a tender and juicy finished product.

They are typically served with a variety of different side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or rice.

The Gas is Quick… But Charcoal Tastes the Best!

A dedicated smoker like Masterbuilt 800 or 1050 is usually the best for low-and-slow cooking, plus building a rich smoky flavor in your recipes. However, either gasor charcoal grill still excels in this type of cooking. It’s even very possible to enjoy those crispy and beefy short ribs on the go with one of those compact portable grills.

Short ribs are one of those parts of a stock with a tough and chewy structure. You’ll want to do a low-and-slow cooking to get those tender and juicy meats that melt in your mouth.

So, when working on a gas grill, first do a quick “charring” over direct heat (for about 5-8 minutes per side). Then transfer over the indirect heat for 30 minutes to slow cook and also add a smoky touch.

How To Grill Beef Short Ribs On Charcoal Grill

If working on a charcoal grill, the second part of the grilling is not a must. The grill is already cooking on charcoal, which means your beef short ribs will get that smoky flavor from the start through the end.

However, you can still do it if you want to choke your meat on an aromatic smoky flavor- say from precious wood like cherrywood, hickory, mesquite, et cetera.

And once done with that, you can now set the meat on the final slow-cooking stage to get that tenderer and juicier beef.

Steps on How to Grill Beef Short Ribs on Charcoal Grill

Whether new or you’ve done it before, short ribs are pretty easy to grill. You just need to prepare your equipment and gather everything you need.

What You’ll Need to Have:

  • Your favorite beef rub (or a custom-made one)
  • “English Cut” or “Flanken Style” beef short ribs
  • A working charcoal grill

What You’ll Need to Do:

In about any BBQ, you’ll enjoy the best meal if you take some time to prepare your produce well. Take our beef short ribs, for example, I’d recommend you check to make sure there are no any dangling pieces of meat or excess fat.

Of course, we still need that small fat cap covering the top of your short ribs to self-baste and keep the meat moist. The fat you’ll want to remove/ trim is the excess, such as from the areas it appears super uneven.

It will also be a good idea to remove the tough, whitish membrane over the underside of your short ribs. You just need to slide your kitchen butter under it (the thick membrane), then grip the end with a paper towel and peel.

Just like excess fat, the thick membrane can end up ruining what should be a delicious meal. But if lucky to find one of those pre-prepped BBQ beef short ribs or you’re using the boneless kind, jump to seasoning.

Coat the Beef Short Ribs on Your Favorite Rub

If your beef short ribs are clean (no excess fat or tough membrane), the next step will now be to season/ marinate them. Grab the can of that flavorful BBQ rub you (or your family and guests) love and apply it on all sides of the meat.

If you’re one of the few new to grilling and still don’t have those dedicated BBQ marinades, the regular condiments will work. For example, you can mix salt, ground ginger, garlic powder, black pepper, and paprika in a bowl to make a simple seasoning.

Next, apply a light coating of soy sauce, mustard, hot sauce, or anything similar on your beef short ribs. Then sprinkle your seasoning/ rub on all sides, including the ones with bones.

The sauce applied earlier does help the seasonings stick to the meat and soak up all that sweetness you desire. But I’d still recommend you pat it (seasoning applied on meat) down a bit to be sure it doesn’t come off when grilling.

Fire up Your Grill

Our second step on how to grill beef short ribs on a charcoal grill will be to get your equipment from the storage and fire it up. Do remember the idea is to cook low-and-slow if you want to pull out that extra tenderness. Thus, arrange the charcoal lumps (or briquettes) on only one side and leave the other for indirect heating.

 If you have something like Primo or Kamado Joe with a lid-mounted thermometer, watch out for temp of about 275°F. This will be about the same temp on the side without coals and what we’ll use for low-and-slow cooking.

Now Grill your Ribs until tender

After your grill has heated up enough, you can now grab your seasoned beef short ribs and place them on the grill.

But before we do the low-and-slow cooking, start by grilling your short ribs over the hot coals to give them a nice char. Five minutes will be enough to caramelize each side.

Once done there, move your ribs to the side without coals and finish off grilling with indirect heat. Leave them to cook there for an extra 30 minutes (with the lid closed) while still bare.

After thirty minutes, wrap your short ribs tights in aluminum foil and continue grilling them over indirect heat for another two hours. The idea here is to help break down the collagen in meat and achieve that tender, juicy texture that melts in the mouth.

So, you can also confirm the doneness by jabbing the thermometer into the meat and checking for an internal temp of 200°F to 205°F.

Unwrap & Enjoy!

After the last 2 hours of low-and-slow cooking or the internal temp of your meat is 200°F-205°F, remove your beef short ribs from the grill. Then unwrap the foil, where you should still have some natural juices. Pick up your ribs carefully so you can use this broth later when serving.


How long does it take for short ribs to be tender?

The time it takes for short ribs to become tender depends on the cooking method used. Generally, slow cooking methods like braising or smoking will take the longest, as the low heat and long cooking time is needed to break down the collagen in the meat.
If you are braising short ribs, it usually takes about 3-4 hours in the oven at 350°F (175°C) or 6-8 hours in a slow cooker on low. If you are smoking short ribs, it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours, depending on the temperature of the smoker and the desired level of doneness.

Masterchef beef short ribs recipe?

Here is a recipe for beef short ribs that you can try at home:
4-6 beef short ribs
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 bay leaf

Why are my beef short ribs so tough?

There are several reasons why your beef short ribs might be tough:
1. Overcooking
1. High heat
3. Cut of meat
4. Not letting it rest
5. Not cooking with enough liquid

Final Thoughts:

Well, this is everything you need to know on how to grill beef short ribs on charcoal grill. It’s pretty easy even as a newbie, as you just need to bathe in the marinade, then place it on the hot grates.

The key point I should emphasize is that you should work at a low-and-slow temp to get your meat tender and juicy. It will take a total time of almost three hours, which is worth it.

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