Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs

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These ribs get a ton of deep, pepper-y flavor from freshly cracked black pepper—and a fair amount of heat from ground chipotle chili.

They also get a double dose of smoke from a generous amount of ground chipotle and smoked paprika.

Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs

4 lbs. beef back ribs (about 8 ribs)
2 Tbls. freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tbls. kosher salt
1 Tbls. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground chipotle
spray canola oil

Serves 3-4 for dinner, or 6-8 for an appetizer

Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs: Prep the meat

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Line a sheet pan with foil and/or parchment paper. Grab your beef ribs and spread them out on the pan so they’re not touching.

Leave them on the counter to knock the chill off them while you mix up the spice rub.

Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs: Make the spice rub

Grind up the black pepper.

Put the black pepper, kosher salt, brown sugar, smoked paprika, and ground chipotle in a medium-sized bowl.

Mix to combine with a fork or whisk.

You want a fairly uniform mixture, like this:

Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs: Coat the ribs

Sprinkle the ribs with the spice rub.

Pick the ribs up to coat all sides. Press the spice rub down with your hands to help it stick to the meat.

Give the top of the ribs a very light spritz with spray canola oil.

Smokey Black Pepper Beef Ribs: Roast, serve & enjoy!

Pop your ribs into your preheated oven.

Roast for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees. After 15 minutes, drop the heat to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 1 hour 20 minutes. Your final roasting time will depend on the size and meatiness of your ribs.


Yank them out of the oven when they have a handsome brown crust and the meat comes away easily from the bone when pulled at with a fork.


Serve and enjoy!


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


    • Oh, totally! (Let me know?) Keep an eye on them because the timing will be different. Depending on their size, they probably won't need to cook for as long. +Jessie
  1. I had never made ribs before tonight, but I had a beautiful cut of back ribs to deal with. I was worried I would have to end up with the standard, smothered in bbq sauce ribs (not that there's another wrong with that). This recipe turned out SO well! It's a keeper.