Bourbon and Coke Braised and Smoked Short Ribs on the Pit Barrel Cooker


beef short ribs pit barrel cooker No offense to pork ribs, but when you are really hungry, a beef short rib, fully of mouthfuls of meaty goodness on the bone, is really what you want. These short ribs are braised in one of my favorite cocktails, bourbon and coke, so you can pour yourself a drink, and then also pour one into the foil pan that you will braise these babies in to get extra tender. The process is easy: smoke, braise, and then baste with a bbq sauce glaze and smoke again for beef tenderloin perfection. This recipe was developed for the Pit Barrel Cooker, one of my favorite grills to use because it is fast and easy, but the methodology and internal temps are the same benchmarks to use for any grill, with an emphasis on cooking the ribs on the indirect side which may take longer on other grills than on the Pit Barrel Cooker.


  • 1-6 Individual Beef Short Ribs. You can find some of the best quality meats at Snake River Farms.
  • PBC Beef & Game Pit Rub
  • ½ TBSP Mustard (for rub Binder)
  • 2 cups of Coca Cola
  • 1/8 cup of Bourbon
  • wood chunks of your choice for smoke


  • 2 Cups of KC Masterpiece Classic BBQ Sauce (or BBQ sauce of your choice)
  • 1 Cup of Honey
  • 2 TBSP Beef and Game Pit Rub


Remove short ribs from the package, peel off the thick membrane (or “silver”as it’s sometime called) that covers the back side of each rib. Trim off any silver skin or excess fat. Rinse gently with cold water and pat dry with paper towel.

Season the ribs with a moderate dusting of the beef and game pit rub to all sides of the beef short ribs, then add ½ TBSP of mustard to each rib and massage into the meat.

Light your Pit Barrel Cooker (PBC) according to the instructions. Add your wood chips for smoke (I used cherry wood).

short ribs on the pit barrel coooker

Mustard helps the Pit Barrel Rub adhere to the meat.

Oil the grill grate so the meat will not stick. Place the beef short ribs on the grate bone side down. Cook until you reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees using an internal read instant (I recommend using the Thermapen). Approximately 1 ½ hours depending on the weather conditions.

beef short ribs on the pit barrel cooker

The beef short ribs in the bourbon and coke braise.

Remove the ribs from the grate and put in an aluminum pan that fits your grate. Pour 2 cups of Coca Cola and 1/8 cup of bourbon into the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, return to the PBC, and cook two more hours. Remove the ribs from the pan. Glaze the ribs with the sweet BBQ glaze. (See recipe below) Don’t overdo the sauce – use just enough to coat the ribs. Put the ribs back on the PBC and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Just enough to set the glaze.

Remove the ribs from the PBC and let the ribs sit. Loosely covered with aluminum foil for 10 to 15 minutes. Then chow down.

Note: This is a recipe written in partnership with PitBarrel Cooker. I only work with brands I use and personally recommend. 

**Affiliate links have been used in this post, which means I could make a small commission if any products are purchased. I only recommend products that I personally use and endorse.


My focus is on healthy, simple and creative recipes on the grill. I encourage women to learn to grill as it is a great way to create healthy, flavorful dishes without all the fuss and clean up in the kitchen.

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