Luyanda mafanya's smoked cola short ribs

Luyanda mafanya's smoked cola short ribs

Total Time: 8.5 hours

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Servings: 2-4 people

Suitable For: Long, lazy Sunday braais

In honour of Heritage Day, we invited South African foodies to put their own braai spin on a favourite Mzansi dish. Private chef and food blogger Luyanda Mafanya created this sweet and smoky rib dish.


3 large beef short ribs

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Cherry wood chips

For barbecue sauce:

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons crushed garlic

½ cup cola

½ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato paste

¼ cup tomato sauce

3 tablespoons honey


  1. Soak a handful of cherry wood chips in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your Megamaster Coalsmith Series Alpha Grill & Smoker to 110. Add wood chips once coals are hot.
  3. Coat short ribs in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place bone side down on preheated smoker. Smoke for 6-8 hours, basting with barbecue sauce every hour. 
  5. Wrap ribs in aluminium foil and rest for 30 minutes.

Barbecue sauce:

  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and thickened (about 30-40 minutes).


Tip 01 Tip 01

After the first 2 hours of braaing, to prevent the meat from drying out, spritz with a mix of 1 cup water and 1 cup apple cider vinegar every 30 minutes.

Tip 02 Tip 02

You can dry brine the short rib for at least 2 hours or longer in just salt. This enhances the flavour and tenderises.

Tip 03 Tip 03

You can also add oak wood chips for a great smoking flavour on the meat.