"Secret Ingredient" Beef Short Ribs

"Secret Ingredient" Beef Short Ribs


  • 1 bottle Traeger Chili Barbecue Sauce, or your favorite chili sauce
  • 1 cup good-quality root beer soda, such as Dr. Brown’s or Hane’s, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 3 to 4 pounds bone-in short ribs, or 2-1/2 pounds of boneless short ribs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • You’ll also need: A 9- by 13-inch aluminum foil disposable baking pan or other baking pan; aluminum foil


In a medium bowl, combine the Chili Barbecue Sauce, the root beer, and the thyme leaves.

Arrange the onions evenly in the bottom of the pan. Season the short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on top of the onions. Pour the chili-root beer sauce evenly over the ribs. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 300 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Put the pan of ribs on the grill grate and cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until the ribs are tender but not falling off the bone. Add a bit more root beer to the pan if the dish doesn’t seem saucy enough. Serve immediately with polenta or mashed potatoes. Short ribs render a fair amount of fat, so if it concerns you, refrigerate the ribs in the sauce overnight. The fat will have solidified on top, and can be removed and discarded before reheating the ribs.