Smoked Beef Ribs with Texas BBQ Sauce

If you love beef BBQ, you've come to the right place. In the latest episode of BBQ&A with Southern Living Test Kitchen Professional Robby Melvin, we're talking smoked beef ribs. "Well, the good thing about a bad football season is we still have BBQ," says Chef David Bancroft from Acre and Bow & Arrow in Auburn, Alabama. David believes that great beef back ribs start with quality cuts of meat. For both his restaurants in the college town, he works with Auburn University's Lambert-Powell Meat Laboratory, a part of the school's Department of Animal Sciences. Thanks to top-notch sourcing, David's beef ribs recipe starts with a simple, no-frills rub. He uses just four ingredients: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and thyme. "The beef back ribs don't require crazy over-handling," David says. "Just let the smoke and fire do its thing." A tomato-based condiment made primarily from pantry staples is the perfect finishing sauce for well-cooked ribs.

4 to 6 servings


  • 1 slab beef back ribs


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme


  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup

  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup hot sauce

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 1 1/4 tablespoons cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 3/4 tablespoon salt

  • 2 tablespoons pepper


  1. Heat smoker to 250˚. Clean back of ribs by removing membrane. Loosen membrane with knife and peel back using a towel to add grip. Season both sides of ribs generously with dry rub. Smoke for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat reaches about 205˚ in the center. Remove from smoker and allow the ribs to rest for about 15 minutes. Add Texas Red sauce before serving.

    Beef Back Ribs
    Southern Living
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