Using a Combi Oven as a Smoker

In this video, Aussiebeef.com.au Executive Chef Daniel Johnston demonstrates how to use a commercial “Combi Oven” (combination oven) as a smoker.

To demonstrate this, we show you how to create delicious, “fall off the bone” Tender Valley Black Angus smoked beef ribs.


Preparing the oven

Starting by preheating the oven to 110°C (230°F). To prepare the ribs for smoking, remove any excess fat from the top – this allows the smoke to really penetrate the ribs and really take on a delicious smoky flavour.

Preparing the beef ribs

Next we are going to portion the ribs into single bones.

Toss them in olive oil.

And give them a thorough rub with our sumac and coffee spice mix.

Prepare the wood chips and charcoal

Next we are going to prepare the smoke source for the combi oven. We will be using hickory wood chips and heat beads. Use a charcoal chimney starter to ignite the heat beads – you can pick one of these up from Bunnings Warehouse or your local hardware or barbecue store for about $20.

We are going to add about a dozen heat beads to the chimney starter, then place the chimney starter over the flame on your stovetop until the heat beads are red hot.

Very carefully transfer the heat beads evenly into a foil-lined tray. Completely cover the heat beads with wood chips. Place the tray in the bottom of your oven.


At this point it is very important to reduce the fan speed on your combi oven to about 20%, so we don’t end up with sparks and embers flying around the inside of the oven.

Cooking the beef

Now that we have our wood chips smoking away in the oven, we can add the beef. Place your ribs in the oven on their racks – this allows the smoke to get in and around the ribs.

We’re going to cook these low and slow at 110°C (230°F) to allow the smoke to really penetrate the meat.

You’ll need to check the smoke source time to time, ensuring it is still producing enough smoke. You may need to add more wood chips or heat beads as necessary.

It will take around two and a half to three hours to achieve the desired smokey crust on the ribs.

Finish the ribs

Once this is achieved, it’s time to wrap them up and let them finish cooking. Take out the ribs, remove the rack and wrap them tightly in aluminium foil.

Now place them back in the oven – so at this point we pierce one of the ribs with the digital thermometer (that’s attached to the oven) and we are going to set the probe to 92°C (198°F).

Once the ribs have reached an internal temperature of 92°C, remove them from the oven and allow them to rest in the foil for at least one hour, but two is probably better.