Mastering the Art: How to Grill Beef Short Ribs on Charcoal Grill

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Christian Kimmons

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Welcome, grill lovers! Today, we will unlock the secrets of “how to grill beef short ribs on charcoal grill.” From selecting the best cuts to achieving that perfect sear, this guide will transform your barbeque sessions into a delightfully flavorful experience.

Understanding Beef Short Ribs

Beef short ribs are fantastic cube-like chunks of meat connected to a bone, laced with striations of fat. Many people get confused between short ribs and plate ribs. Here’s your clarity – short ribs are smaller in size and come from the lower part of the rib cage. This placement makes them a perfect choice for grilling.

There are two popular cuts of beef short ribs – English style and Flanken style. The English style cut results in long, thick pieces perfect for slow cooking, while the Flanken style gives thin strips ideal for quick grilling. If you’re looking for a faster grilling option, you might want to consider grilling at a higher temperature, like 400 degrees.

Choosing the Right Beef Short Ribs

Picking the right beef short ribs for grilling can seem daunting, but keep an eye out for marbling. Beef laced with thin veins of fat ensures a tender, melt-in-the-mouth outcome. Remember, a rib well-marbled is a rib well-tasted.

How to Grill Beef Short Ribs on Charcoal Grill

how to grill beef short ribs on charcoal grill

Preparation Before Grilling

Preparing the beef short ribs is a critical step in our “how to grill beef short ribs on a charcoal grill” journey. One technique to consider is boiling the ribs before grilling. This can help tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor, as explained in this guide.

Cooking Equipment:

  • Charcoal grill or Charcoal smoker grill combo
  • Charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal
  • Hardwood smoking chunks or chips (hickory or mesquite for a robust smoky flavor)
  • Grill tongs and a spatula


  1. 4 lbs of beef short ribs, English style
  2. ¼ cup of olive oil
  3. ¼ cup of your favorite BBQ rub
  4. ¼ cup of Andria’s steak sauce (or your favorite steak sauce)
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. Charcoal briquettes

Serving Size: 4 people

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 3-4 hours

Total Time: Approximately 4 hours 15 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 510
  • Protein: 60g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fat: 28g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 185mg
  • Sodium: 210mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 2g


  1. Preparation: Start by rinsing the beef short ribs under cold water and patting them dry with a paper towel. Trim any excess fat and remove the membrane on the back of the ribs.
  2. Seasoning: Next, apply olive oil over the ribs. This acts as a binder for the dry rub. Sprinkle your chosen BBQ rub, salt, and pepper liberally on both sides. Let the ribs rest, allowing them to reach room temperature.
  3. Setting Up the Grill: While the ribs are resting, prepare your charcoal grill. Aim for a medium heat, indirect grilling environment, maintaining a grill temperature of around 225°F.
  4. Grilling: Once the grill is ready, place the ribs bone-side down, away from the direct heat. Close the lid and let the magic happen. Remember, low and slow is the key to mouth-watering ribs.
  5. Monitoring: After about 2 hours, check the ribs. If they appear dry, lightly baste them with Andria’s steak sauce. Monitor the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer. The ribs are ready when they reach 195-203°F internally, usually after 3-4 hours.
  6. Resting and Serving: Once done, remove the ribs from the grill. Allow them to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. This helps the juices to redistribute within the meat, leading to tender, succulent bites.
  7. Enjoy: Serve with your favorite sides like coleslaw, corn on the cob, or a hearty potato salad. Enjoy the fruit of your labor – perfectly grilled beef short ribs on a charcoal grill!

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Grilled Beef Short Ribs

  1. Be patient: Low and slow is the way to go.
  2. Keep the lid closed: This helps maintain a consistent temperature.
  3. Don’t sauce too early: Adding BBQ sauce too early can cause it to burn.
  4. Monitor the temperature: An instant-read thermometer is your best friend.

Avoid common mistakes like rushing the cook or not letting the ribs rest for long enough.


And there you have it, folks! A comprehensive guide on how to grill beef short ribs on a charcoal grill. With these tips, you’re on your way to becoming the neighborhood grill master.


Can I cook beef short ribs on any grill?

While you can cook beef short ribs on any grill, a charcoal grill offers a unique smoky flavor that’s hard to achieve with a gas grill.

How long does it take to grill beef short ribs on a charcoal grill?

Depending on the size and thickness, beef short ribs can take anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to grill on a charcoal grill.

What temperature should I aim for when grilling beef short ribs?

For tender, fall-off-the-bone short ribs, aim for an internal temperature of 200°F.

Can I use a marinade instead of a dry rub for my beef short ribs?

Absolutely! Marinades can infuse the meat with flavors. However, remember to pat dry the ribs before grilling to achieve a good sear.

Do I need to remove the membrane from beef short ribs before grilling?

Removing the membrane allows for better seasoning penetration and less chewy ribs. However, it’s a personal preference and not mandatory.

What are some side dishes that pair well with grilled beef short ribs?

Classic BBQ sides like coleslaw, cornbread, baked beans, or a refreshing salad pair perfectly with grilled beef short ribs.

Can you cook short ribs on a charcoal grill?

Absolutely! Cooking short ribs on a charcoal grill imparts a unique, smoky flavor that elevates their taste. Following our guide on how to grill beef short ribs on charcoal grill will give you fantastic results.

Do you flip short ribs on the grill?

Yes, you should flip the short ribs on the grill. Flipping ensures that they cook evenly on both sides and don’t burn. The key is to turn them gently and infrequently to retain juices and flavor.

How long does it take to smoke beef ribs on a charcoal grill?

The exact time varies based on the size and thickness of the ribs. Generally, smoking beef ribs on a charcoal grill at a low and slow temperature of around 225°F can take between 3 to 6 hours.

How long does it take ribs to get tender on the grill?

Achieving tender ribs on the grill requires slow, indirect cooking. It typically takes about 3 to 5 hours for ribs to become tender when grilled at a temperature around 225°F. Patience is key for succulent, fall-off-the-bone ribs.

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