How Long to Grill Beef Short Ribs for Perfectly Tender, Juicy Results

Beef short ribs offer incredible rich, beefy flavor. But proper cooking time is key to delivering ribs that are fall-off-the-bone tender yet still juicy. Undercook them and they’ll be tough and chewy. Cook them too long and you’ll end up with dry, stringy ribs. So how long should short ribs cook to achieve barbecue perfection? Follow this guide to learn techniques, tips and timing for grilling beef short ribs just right every time.

What are Beef Short Ribs?

Before diving into cook times, let’s start with what exactly beef short ribs are. Short ribs come from the rib section of the cow, just above the brisket. They consist of sections of ribs with hearty portions of meat attached. The “short” refers to the fact that they have had the longer plate ribs removed.

Short ribs contain a good amount of intramuscular fat and connective tissue. This requires low and slow cooking to properly break down and tenderize. When cooked correctly, the fat keeps them moist while the collagen melts into succulent, finger-licking goodness.

Why Proper Cooking Time Matters

Taking beef short ribs to the right internal temperature is key for ideal doneness. If you pull them off the grill too soon, they will be tough, chewy and dry – not a tasty combo. You want the intramuscular fat to render and the collagen to transform into luscious gelatin.

On the flip side, going past that ideal window leads to dried out, stringy ribs. Once the connective tissues break down, moisture can escape quickly. You want tender and juicy ribs, not desiccated ones.

That’s why paying attention to temperature and following recipe guidelines is so important when cooking beef short ribs. It takes some time for the magic to happen, but the results are well worth the wait.

How Long to Grill Beef Short Ribs – Step by Step

To end up with Fork-tender beef short ribs with kiss-off-the-bone meat, follow these steps:

1. Prepare the Ribs

  • Trim off excess fat or silver skin
  • Apply a dry rub for flavor
  • Let sit for 30 minutes up to overnight

2. Get the Grill Ready

  • Heat your grill to 275°F / 135°C indirect heat
  • Use charcoal or wood chunks for smoky flavor
  • Oil the grill grates well

3. Sear the Ribs

  • Place ribs meaty-side down on hot side of grill
  • Sear 2-3 minutes per side to caramelize exterior

**4. Cook Indirectly **

  • Move ribs to indirect, cooler side of grill
  • Cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until 160°F internal temp

5. Wrap in Foil

  • Remove ribs and wrap tightly in foil
  • Add some liquid like beef stock
  • Return foil packet to grill

6. Finish Cooking

  • Continue cooking wrapped ribs for 1 more hour
  • Cook until 205°F internal temperature

7. Rest and Serve

  • Carefully open foil and transfer ribs to platter
  • Let rest 10 minutes before cutting and serving

So allow 2.5 to 3 hours total cooking time for juicy, tender grilled short ribs, plus resting time. The key takeaway is – don’t rely on time alone. Use an instant read thermometer to check for proper doneness.

Tips for Grilling Short Ribs Perfectly

Here are some handy tips and tricks for flawlessly cooked short ribs:

  • Trim excess fat – Too much fat can cause flare ups. Leave at least 1/4 inch.

  • Season generously – A flavorful dry rub adds lots of taste.

  • Sear thoroughly – Caramelizing the exterior adds texture and flavor.

  • Use indirect heat – The cooler side of the grill cooks low and slow.

  • Wrap in foil – This steams and tenderizes the meat.

  • Check temperature – Use a thermometer to test for 205°F doneness.

  • Let ribs rest – Allowing time to relax fibers prevents dryness.

Common Grilling Questions

What if I don’t want to wrap the ribs?

Skip the foil packet and continue cooking indirect, monitoring temperature. Add 30-60 minutes to total time.

Can I speed up the cooking process?

Partially boiling ribs first helps reduce grill time. But for best flavor, low and slow cooking is ideal.

Should I cook extra ribs to allow for leftovers?

Yes, short ribs make amazing leftovers! Store 3-4 days refrigerated or 2-3 months frozen.

What sides go well with grilled short ribs?

Baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, mac and cheese, roasted veggies and fruit pies.

Can I use a smoker, pellet grill or oven instead?

Absolutely! Maintain 225-250°F indirect heat and follow the same steps/temps.


Perfectly cooked beef short ribs require some time and tenderness. By maintaining low, indirect heat and cooking to 205°F internal temperature, you’ll achieve ultimate tender and juicy results. While a little patience is required, the incredibly rich, savory payoff is well worth the wait. So fire up your grill and enjoy finger-lickin’ good barbecue beef short ribs!

Grilled Beef Short Ribs & The “ORIGINAL” BBQ Season All


How long to grill short ribs on propane grill?

Sear ribs over high heat for 5 minutes on each side. Move ribs to indirect heat, grill 1-1/2 hours or until an internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove ribs from grill, wrap in aluminum foil. Return to indirect heat, grill 45 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 205 degrees.

Do you flip short ribs on the grill?

Arrange your seasoned short ribs on the oiled grates, cover the grill, and cook, flipping the ribs every two minutes and then closing the grill again, until they’re golden brown on the outside and beautifully medium rare within.

How long does it take for short ribs to get done?

Cook on the LOW setting for 8 hours. Stovetop instructions: Instead of transferring the pan to the oven, you can also cook the short ribs on the stovetop. Keep the pan covered and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 hours, checking liquid levels intermittently and making sure the bottom isn’t scorching.

Can you grill short ribs like a steak?

Moderating the heat of the grill allows the short ribs to brown without getting sooty from excess flare-ups. Grilling to a final internal temperature of 130°F (54°C) ensures that the short rib’s intramuscular fat has softened but not yet rendered out, resulting in an unctuous and juicy steak.

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