Smoked Chipotle Beef Spare Ribs

Beef ribs don’t really get a lot of press or acclaim.  They’re bulky, to get tender they need an experienced hand, and frankly, when cooked properly, they just don’t look good.  However, when done right they are among the most flavorful bites you’ll get to try. My Smoked Chipotle Beef Spare Ribs recipe is simple, but uber flavorful.  I tried a different tact with these, and brushed on a chipotle mix halfway through cooking, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result!

Beef Spare Ribs

raw beef ribs

Beef spare ribs are generally accessible in most grocery meat markets.  If not, just ask your meat manager and I’m sure he can get some in for you.  The other thing you need to be aware of is labeling. There aren’t really regulations for labeling beef or pork cuts, leading to a very confusing array of names for different cuts.  For what I’m talking about, I’m meaning a rack of beef ribs, taken from the lower section of the rib cage, without extraneous meat, or “deckle” attached.  When that happens, they are sold as “chuck short ribs,” “dinosaur bones,” etc.  Beef spare ribs have a lot of intrinsic fat, and they will shrink greatly as the fat renders while you’re cooking them.

Seasoning and Smoking Chipotle Beef Spare Ribs

seasoned beef ribs

For these ribs, I just used my Chipotle Pecan Rub for seasoning.  It gives a great base flavor with a savory taste. Season the ribs fully on both sides, then allow to sit out in a pan, lightly covered, for 30 minutes before starting.  I ran my Deep South Mailbox at 250 degrees for this cook, with plenty of pecan wood.  After smoking for two hours, I was ready to wrap them in my Pink Butcher Paper.  I brushed on my blended chipotle-beef stock mix.  It really enriched the flavor and added some moisture during the cook.

brushing ribs
Brushing the ribs after 2 hours of smoke

Using Pink Butcher Paper

wrapped ribs
It’s a flavor bomb Christmas present

Wrapping a protein while you are cooking, whether in foil or butcher paper, helps seal in some moisture and also speeds the cooking process.  To wrap an item in butcher paper, tear off a sheet about 4 times longer than the item you are cooking.  Lay the ribs on the paper, fold around the edges, then flip it over to cover with paper.  Continue to do this until the paper is fully around the item.  That’s it- it’s like a Christmas present of flavor!  Continue to cook until the ribs reach around 205 degrees, then remove and let rest for 30 minutes before serving.  I mixed the remaining chipotle mix with my Bold BBQ Sauce, and it really melded the flavors together.

As always, I hope you enjoy.  Now get out there and grill!

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smoked beef ribs

Smoked Chipotle Beef Spare Ribs


These Smoked Chipotle Beef Spare Ribs are easy to smoke and uber flavorful.  Don’t overlook beef ribs next time you’re getting ready to BBQ. These will cook in about 4 hours, so a nice afternoon cook for an amazing dinner!



2 slabs Beef Spare Ribs

2 TBS Melissa’s Chipotle Pecan Rub, or your favorite BBQ Rub plus 1 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 of 7oz can Chipotles in Adobo Sauce

1 cup beef stock

1 cup Melissa’s Bold BBQ Sauce, or your favorite BBQ Sauce

Pink Butcher Paper


Prepare smoker to run at 250 degrees with wood for smoking.  For this recipe I chose pecan wood.

Remove membranes from back of ribs and set in a pan.  Season all sides thoroughly with BBQ Rub, then cover pan lightly and allow to sit for 30 minutes before placing on smoker.

Place ribs on smoker and allow to cook for 2 hours. Puree Chipotle Peppers with beef stock to form a thin paste.

Remove ribs from smoker.  Tear two sheets of Pink Butcher Paper about 4 times the length of one rib.  Place the rib on the butcher paper, meat side up. Brush with Chipotle mixture, then wrap in paper, folding in the sides as you go.  Place back on smoker with a meat thermometer and continue to cook for approximately 2 more hours, or until you reach 205 degrees internal temperature.  Check for tenderness.  If tender, remove from smoker and rest for 30 minutes, still in the butcher paper.

Mix remaining chipotle mixture with BBQ sauce.  Unwrap ribs, coat with sauce, and enjoy!