BBQ Beef Short Ribs

8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

BBQ Beef Short Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender cooked in a tomato, beef broth, brown sugar, and vinegar sauce with stovetop and slow cooker options.

This Beef Rib recipe is amazing comfort food that’s sure to be a hit with the whole family. For more amazing Beef Recipes, be sure to try Oven BBQ Beef Brisket and Cube Steak with Gravy next. 

BBQ Beef Short Ribs on a plate

This Beef Rib recipe is the perfect way to enjoy tender ribs and tangy barbecue sauce any time you’re craving them. There’s no need for an outdoor hot grill, or going to a barbecue restaurant. You can make this favorite recipe just as good by slow cooking, or cooking on the stovetop. 

The key to making this all-around delicious Beef Short Rib recipe is cooking the ribs low and slow in the cooking liquid. While the Barbecue Beef Ribs cook, they absorb the flavors and liquid around them. The vinegar and salt help break down the connective tissue so that the finished dish is unbelievably juicy, and easily falls off the bone. The other ingredients like brown sugar, tomato sauce, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce give the ribs the sweet and tangy flavor of your favorite barbecue sauce. 

Once the ribs are done cooking, they’re perfect to serve with your favorite comforting and filling side dishes. Cook egg noodles, grits, or Creamy Mashed Potatoes to serve along with them, and top it all off with any additional barbecue sauce. 

Beef Recipes 

Frequently Asked Questions About BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Why do Short Ribs need to be cooked for so long?

Short Ribs contain a lot of connective tissue that takes time to break down while you cook it. You need to cook it for hours to get it nice and tender for serving.

Why do the Short Ribs need to be coated in flour before cooking?

Searing the short ribs with flour on them helps to give them a nice brown coating and some texture. The flour will also help thicken the sauce as you start adding those ingredients.

How do I know when Short Ribs are done cooking

The connective tissue will have broken down and you will see the meat start to pull apart when it is done cooking. Take a fork to the meat and if it shreds easily, it is finished.

How to Make BBQ Beef Short Ribs

  • Prep Time: To get the ribs ready for the recipe, season the raw beef with salt and pepper. Then add flour to a shallow bowl, and roll each rib in the flour. Tap any excess flour off on the side of the bowl. 
  • Sear: Add oil to the base of a dutch oven or another large pot that you have a lid for. Turn the stovetop to medium-high heat. Sear the short ribs for 4-5 minutes on each side. Then remove the beef, and set them on a plate to the side. 
  • Cooking Liquid: Add the onions to the dutch oven and cook for 5-6 minutes until translucent and caramelized. Stir in the garlic and cook until translucent, about 30 seconds. Then add in the tomatoes, beef stock, tomato paste, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and yellow mustard. Stir until the mixture is well combined. 
  • Stovetop Cooking: Add the ribs back into the pot. Cover and cook at medium-low temperature for 3 hours. 
  • Serve: Transfer the ribs to a serving plate and enjoy with mashed potatoes, grits, or egg noodles on the side and tangy barbecue sauce on top. 
BBQ Beef Short Ribs Collage

Slow Cooker Method for BBQ Beef Short Ribs 

If you’re using a slow cooker, begin by preparing the recipe as directed. However, instead of adding the ribs back into the dutch oven, you will add the cooking liquid and the ribs to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. For either cooking method make sure the ribs have reached 195-203 degrees F and are fork-tender before serving. 

Variations on BBQ Beef Short Ribs 

  • Smoky Flavor: Just because you don’t cook the meat on a grill, doesn’t mean you can’t make BBQ Ribs with an authentic smoke flavor. Simply whisk a little liquid smoke into the cooking liquid to give the meal that classic smoky flavor. 
  • Seasonings: You can add some different spices to the beef rub along with the salt and pepper. Try using a teaspoon garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, or cumin. 
  • Spicy Sauce: There are plenty of other sauces you can add to the tangy barbecue sauce cooking liquid. Add a little adobo sauce or Frank’s hot sauce to give the ribs a little bit of spice. 
  • Apple Juice Ribs: For a rich, Fall flavor in the rib recipe, you can whisk 2 cups of apple juice or apple cider with the cooking liquid. The sweet flavor will soak in with the tangy barbecue sauce for amazing, deeply flavored ribs. 
BBQ Beef Short Ribs on a plate

Serving Ideas

This Short Rib recipe is great served with something that will soak up the barbecue sauce. A few great options are buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes, white rice, riced or mashed cauliflower. Have you ever tried barbecue served with traditional dressing, like the kind you’d serve at Thanksgiving? Give it a try! This recipe would taste great with this Cornbread Dressing recipe, or you can use the boxed stuff if you’re tight on time. You could also use any other bread side to sop up the sauce, like Buttermilk BiscuitsTexas Roadhouse Rolls, or Ultimate Cornbread

Side Dishes to Serve with BBQ Beef Short Ribs 

How to Store BBQ Beef Short Ribs 

  • Serve: Don’t leave this BBQ Beef Ribs recipe at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: You can wrap them in aluminum foil or seal them in an airtight container to store the ribs in the fridge for 3-4 days. 
  • Freeze: To freeze the recipe, separate the ribs with layers of freezer paper so that they don’t stick together. Then seal them in a freezer-safe plastic container. They’ll stay good frozen for up to 6 months. 
BBQ Beef Short Ribs on a plate

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BBQ Beef Short Ribs

BBQ Beef Short Ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender, cooked in a tomato, beef broth, brown sugar, and vinegar sauce with stovetop and slow cooker options.
Yield 8 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 15 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons ground mustard


  • Season the beef ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Roll in flour, tap off excess.
  • Add oil to a large pot on medium-high heat.
  • Sear all the sides of the short ribs, about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove the beef and add in the onions, cooking for 5-6 minutes or until translucent and just beginning to caramelize.
  • Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and ground mustard until well combined.
  • Put the beef back into the pot, cover, and cook for 3 hours or until fork-tender.
  • If using a slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, grits, or egg noodles.


Calories: 438kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 1210mg | Potassium: 1083mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 444IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg
BBQ Beef Short Ribs collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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  1. You bring up a good point with dressing and bbq. One time my grandma made Pork Dressing and it knocked my socks off! After then it was the traditional chicken or turkey, but I will never forget the pork.