Beef is one of the most tender and tasty meats and that is why it is perfect to cook in a barbecue, grilled or smoked. But not all cuts are good for every way of cooking. In this post we show you the best cuts of beef to smoke and how to do it.
The best cuts for smoked beef are:
- Beef brisket. It is the best for smoking, but it is difficult to get it right. Beef brisket is a delicate and tough cut, so it requires more care to smoke properly. The piece should have a good marbling and it is not necessary to trim the fat because the ideal is to preserve all the juices to add even more flavor to the beef. Also, the beef brisket doesn’t need to add too much seasoning because the beef is already rich in flavor and tenderness. The smoky aroma is the icing on the cake for this way of cooking.
If you want to cook beef brisket smoked you will need 10-14 hours in 225º and 205º of internal temperature. It’s a long time but it’s worth it!
- Beef short ribs. Beef ribs are among the easiest cuts of beef to smoke and you can get away with seasoning short ribs with just salt and pepper and still get a great flavor.
If you want to cook beef short ribs smoked you will need 5-6 hours in 250º and 135º of internal temperature.
- Top Sirloin. This cut is also affordable and has a rich beef flavor. Smoking sirloin steak is great for beginners because the cut is easy to smoke and is tender if done right.
If you want to cook top sirloin smoked you will need 1 hour per lb in 225º and 145º of internal temperature.
- Flank Steak. This cut is easy and perfect if you are new in the world of smoking. Marinate the meat beforehand to tenderize it. Flank steak has a strong beef flavor so it can withstand strong seasonings including garlic, pepper, and lime juice.
If you want to cook flank steak smoked you will need 3 hours in 225º and 145º of internal temperature. It’s one of the quickest cuts for smoke.
- Chuck Roast. Chuck roast is a flavorful cut of beef that cooks quickly and is cheaper than others cuts and there are two ways you could go with your chuck roast.
The first is to cook it like a brisket. It will be tenderer than your traditional brisket while still sliceable once done. To achieve this, you should shoot for an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit at a cooking temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit. The other option is to reach an internal temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit at a cooking temperature of 240 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you want to cook chuck roast you will need 5-6 hours in 240º and 205º of internal temperature.
What Do you Need for a Perfect Smoked Beef?
The most important thing is the wood. The best woods for smoking beef are oak and hickory. Oak provides a strong smoky flavor and hickory gives a different aroma. These are versatile woods perfect for any barbecue.
You have to make sure that the wood you will use is properly dried. Freshly cut wood produces too much white smoke which in turn leaves your food with a bitter taste. Ideally, you want the wood burning cleanly with a hint of blue smoke.
In addition, it is necessary to get the cuts in room temperature before smoking it. You can marinade and rub the cuts or baste the meat if necessary. Depending on the cuts you choose it will need proper manipulation.
Garnish for Smoked Beef Recipes
There are many sauces and ingredients that go well with smoked beef, but some combinations are better than others. For the beef brisket, you can cook corn pudding or just a homemade BBQ sauce. Baked potatoes with a good seasoning of herbs and spices are perfect for beef short ribs. If you have a family lunch and you are going to cook smoked Top Sirloin, a quick salad with tomatoes, olives and cheese pairs very well with this cut.
On the other hand, if you cooked a flank steak you can add a good marinade with citrus or a sauce like chimichurri. Mashed potatoes or roasted vegetables are great for chuck roast. Any garnish is like a complement to the main dish, which are the cuts of smoked beef.