Best Beef For Smoking


Are you a Beef Lover? You should be aware of what is the Best Beef For Smoking. So, if you are a meat lover, then you have to choose most tender and juicy cuts of meat for smoking. It increases your love for cooking and healthier for your families. When it comes to beef, a great cut is the best option for smoking. The best beef for smoking is a cut that is full of marbled fat which means tender and delicious beef.

The Best Cuts of Beef to Smok

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.

Ranking 11 Cuts Of Steak To Smoke From Worst To Best
Smoking meat is a labor of love that requires time, patience, proper technique, and practice, but when done right, it can produce an unforgettable, mouth-watering experience. According to The Spruce Eats, the tradition of smoking food originated before preservatives as a means to prolong shelf life. Flash forward to the practice as we know it today, and it has evolved from a tool of necessity to culinary art.

The first key to smoking food is the proper smoker. While there are methods of smoking on a budget, the most efficient and consistent method is to use an actual gas, electric, charcoal, or wood-fired smoker. The next thing you’ll need is plenty of time to utilize this “low and slow” technique, which can take anywhere from one hour to an entire day, depending on the cut and size.

Lastly, as any pitmaster will tell you, the most important piece of the smoker puzzle is to select the right cut of meat. While you can smoke just about anything from catfish to ice cream, the best protein for beginners and pitmasters alike who wish to hone their craft is smoked beef. But not all cuts of the cow are created equal, and it’s not hard to mess up a good steak. In order to give you the best shot at smoking-hot success — and try to save your precious beef budget — we’ve wrangled up our list of steak cuts to smoke and ranked them from worst to best. 

  1. Filet mignon
    Cut from the muscular end of the tenderloin, filet mignon is a classic and elegant steak that requires a lot of effort in a short amount of time — a bit counterintuitive as far as the art of smoking goes. Regarded as one of the most popular menu items at steakhouses in terms of cuts of steak, filet mignon comes from the loin, or the area below the backbone of the cow, which yields some of the most tender and buttery cuts of steak. The most important attribute as far as smoking is concerned, however, is that the filet mignon is one of the leanest cuts of steak, making it a perfect contender for a fast, high-temperature cooking method like grilled, seared, or broiled. If overcooked, filet mignon will quickly become dry and flavorless so it’s best to save your smoker bucks on the cow’s larger, higher-fat-content cuts.
  2. Tenderloin
    Much like the aforementioned filet, lean cuts of steak like the tenderloin don’t contain as much collagen and therefore don’t make good candidates for the labor of love that is smoking meat. Although collagen can be tough and chewy when in raw form, experts at The Spruce Eats say the key to using collagen to your advantage is by cooking meats with high collagen or fat contents low and slow, giving the collagen enough time to break down into gelatin so it yields a juicy and succulent texture. Tenderloin, on the other hand, does not contain a lot of collagen or fatty connective tissue, and will quickly dry out when overcooked, which can be the most disappointing outcome of any backyard barbecue. The ideal temperature for a medium-rare finish is 135 degrees Fahrenheit, making tenderloin an all too risky choice for the smoker’s temperature range of 160 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
  3. Flat iron
    A rookie among other popular, well-known cuts of steak, the flat iron has made its mark as an innovative and flavorful cut. Carved from the chuck subprimal, or more specifically, the top muscle blade, the flat iron is a more modern cut of steak thanks to some clever butchering. In spite of an otherwise tough sinew running through the middle of the top blade, butchers found a way to slice either side of the sinew and divide the cut in half, thereby creating what we now know as a flat iron steak. 

The pros at Omaha Steaks say that every cow produces two top blade roasts so the location yields a smaller portion of steak no matter how big the cow. As a more affordable option than similar cuts like tenderloin, the flat iron is commonly ranked the second most tender steak. Most steak lovers prefer the flat iron grilled, broiled, or pan seared to pack the boldest, beefy punch of flavor possible that doesn’t come through as well with smoking.

  1. Top sirloin
    Top sirloin isn’t really a star steak by any means, but it’s also not a complete dud either as it’s recommended for just about any cooking method, including smoking. This cut comes from the top portion of the sirloin butt, and tends to be on the leaner side, but that doesn’t mean you can’t smoke it to juicy perfection. 

As one of the most versatile cuts on the market, top sirloin is also one of the most affordable, which is why Gourmet Sleuth recommends it as a great option for beginners. Since trial and error are part of learning how to smoke meat like a pro, top sirloin is a great way to learn from your mistakes without breaking the bank. Look for a higher-quality cut that hasn’t been trimmed of all its fat, and also has a nice marbling throughout to give it a smoky and succulent finish. Best of all, if you overcook the sirloin and risk drying it out, you can always chop it up and salvage it in a recipe like beef stroganoff.

  1. Top round
    Top round — or any round cut for that matter — comes from the rear leg and rump of the cow, and is typically far too tough a meat for most cooking methods, with the exception of the low and slow technique, which makes it a great option for the smoker. Another bonus to the top round is that it’s an inexpensive cut that makes for an affordable option for feeding large groups or family barbecues without breaking the bank. 

Preparation is key when cooking a top round, and anything but the perfect method will lead to what The Splendid Table would consider inedible. The trick is to braise the round before letting it slow cook in the smoker. Lastly, you’ll want to slice it thinly and against the grain before serving so that it’s less chewy. When prepared, cooked, and served properly, the top round can be a flavorful yet inexpensive option for the smoker.

  1. Ribeye or prime rib
    A crowd-pleaser by nature, there’s really no wrong way to cook a ribeye, making it a low-risk and high-reward option that aims to please. It’s also a great cut for beginners who can’t afford to learn the art of smoking the hard way. The ribeye comes from the beef rib primal or upper rib section of the cow, meaning it’s a lightly worked muscle with just the right amount of fat marbling and can be bone-in (produces more flavor) or boneless (harder to cook evenly as the meat closest to the bone cooks more slowly). 

Although ribeye lovers tend to prefer a fast sear and pink center, the uncanny flavor of the ribeye holds up well in a low and slow smoker. That said, if ribeye fans can’t sacrifice the grill for this cut, then give the prime rib a try in the smoker. Cut from the same cloth so to speak, the prime rib is larger and is typically butchered bone-in, producing a tender, juicy, and rich cut of beef.

This Is The Best Cut Of Beef For Smoking
Beautifully fragrant and tender smoked meat is a mouthwatering delight. Barbecue pitmasters make it look easy, but if you are going to attempt to smoke meat at home, you need to proceed carefully, as there are many different smoking methods and materials to get lost in. You can smoke almost anything, but when comparing different cuts of meat — beef in particular — there are certain attributes that separate the good from the great.

Grasping the process of smoking is incredibly important to understanding which cuts will fare better than others. At its most basic, smoking involves slow cooking meat in an appliance that traps smoke, typically created by a smoldering wood fire (via MasterClass). The smoking process does double duty, imparting smoky flavors and cooking meat very slowly. The low-and-slow process means that your meat needs to be a bit tougher to be able to maintain its form during the long smoking hours without falling apart. You’ll also want to choose a cut that has a high enough fat content to moisten the meat and keep it from becoming jerky-like (via Food & Wine). 

So, what is the best cut of beef for smoking?

And the winner is …
Brisket! Beef brisket meets all the criteria for a successful smoke and then some. Due to the high level of connective tissue found in the cut, brisket, which comes from the lower chest of the cow, is just tough enough to be able to take the long, low, slow heat of the smoker, according to the Los Angeles Times. During the smoking process, the brisket’s tough tissue will be slowly broken down into an incredibly tender but still shapely prize.

As Char-Broil notes, you should look for a cut of brisket with plenty of marbling, as the fat will help to keep the meat juicy and tender. As the fat slowly renders, the meat will be able to stay relatively moist without too much attention, though you will also need to manually moisten the brisket as the smoking progresses.

Successfully smoking anything to perfection is not easy and takes quite a bit of experience and no small amount of patience. But brisket is the ideal beef cut to get you started.

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