I can usually only get short ribs or flanken cut ribs.
I don't know the difference between side or back ribs, but if I had to guess that would be like back and spare ribs in pork. I cook beef ribs like I cook brisket, low and slow and trim them pretty aggressively, getting rid of all the hard fat that will never render. Don't forget to remove the membrane on the back of the ribs - not tasty at all...
As far as wood - we like cherry with beef.
Don't shy away form pork ribs, toss some on the cooker over the beef ribs and let that porky goodness ooze on the beef...
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