- Set up the kettle using the snake method with Heat Beads briquettes and wood chunks. Set up the briquettes on the charcoal grate running around the outside of the kettle, placing two briquettes side by side, slightly overlapping and leaning on top of each other. Replicate this on top of the first layer so you have two double briquette rows. Place wood chunks roughly every 100mm on top.
Light up 10 briquettes and place at one side of the snake with the top vent fully open and the bottom vent a third closed. Give it ten minutes and adjust the bottom vent to regulate the heat up or down. You are aiming for around 135ºC (275ºF).
- Place a Tinfoil tray with hot water next to the lit briquettes.
- Trim short ribs. Trim all the fat off the top of the short ribs and remove any silver skin. Flip the ribs over and trim the hard skin in between the bones. Cut each side of the bones and run a sharp knife under the skin to take this off. This will allow the flavour of the rub and smoke to penetrate the meat.
- Cover the meat (front and back) with a light coating of mustard. This helps the rub stick and will also help to form a bark as the sugar in the mustard will start to caramelise. Cover generously with your rub.
- Once the kettle is a stable 135ºC (275ºF), put the ribs in the smoker, put the lid on and let it cook for at least an hour before lifting the lid. Just keep an eye on the temp and adjust the bottom vent only if needed. Keep the vent above the meat so the smoke goes across the meat before escaping.
- Once the rub has set on the meat and you can rub your finger across the meat without the rub coming off, you can start spritzing with water if needed. Only spritz when needed and if the meat is already wet let it do its thing but, if it starts to dry out, then you can start spritzing.
- Depending on the size of the rack it should take around 8 hours to cook the short ribs. They are very forgiving and hard to overcook. As the snake burns, move the meat so it on the opposite side to the heat source. Keep cooking till you can probe the ribs and it feels like probing through warm butter. Once you get this, go a little further and keep cooking for another 20 minutes.
- Wrap in foil and cover with some tea towels. If you have a chilly bin, preheat this with a jug of close to boiling water, leave for 10, tip out the water and use to rest the meat, wrapped in foil and a towel. Rest a minimum of 30 minutes. Preferably one hour before cutting.
Recipe courtesy of Black Dog BBQ