Smoked Roast Rib

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in


By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 1 x 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz) piece beef short rib, bone in with marbling and a good layer of fat on the outside
  • sea salt flakes, for rubbing
  • 9 kg (20 lb 4 oz) charcoal*, for smoking
  • 4 kg (9 lb) hickory woodchips*, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes, for smoking


This makes more than you need but it’s hardly worth making a small amount of something so delicious.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator and place in a warm place for 1 hour before cooking. Place half of the charcoal (depending on the size of it) in a hot smoker*, scatter over some woodchips and light. I prefer to use a blowtorch to get the fire going instead of petroleum-based firelighters as they can taint the taste of the food.

Rub plenty of salt all over the ribs and set aside.

Place a bowl of water inside the smoker to help keep things moist. Once the fire starts to settle down and the charcoal is starting to turn white, add a large handful of woodchips to the charcoal. Place the ribs, fat side up, on the smoking rack and smoke for about 8 hours.

During this time you will need to stoke up the smoker with fresh charcoal and add more woodchips to produce smoke and top up the water bowl. The whole cooking process should be very gentle and will take plenty of patience on your behalf. There’s a saying in barbecue circles that a good barbecue doesn’t do anything — it just exists.

To test if the ribs are tender, insert a fork into the thickest part and if it gives away easily, then it’s ready. Remove the ribs from the smoker, cover with foil and rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before slicing and portioning.