Great Beef Cuts for Smoking

August 4, 2021 7:21 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There are few things in this world that can reach the pinnacle of deliciousness that is a perfectly cooked cut of meat. That is, of course, except for a perfectly smoked cut of meat. Pork, chicken, lamb, salmon, buffalo and, of course, beef, all take on a unique flavor when cooked in a smoker. Here we’re going to focus on beef, one of the most versatile animals when it comes to meat flavor and texture. It might just be the best meat to smoke.

There are many cuts of beef that do well in a smoker. Even offal can sometimes yield delicious results when smoked. But if you had to choose just one, which cut would it be? Here are some beef cuts for the smoker that you should consider trying out on your journey to finding your personal favorite.


The beef brisket is perhaps the king of all barbecue meats. It’s an inexpensive cut that’s usually sold as large roasts, and it can taste like magic in your mouth when a skilled pit master is at the helm. In fact, there are entire cooking competitions dedicated to making the most juicy, tender and flavorful brisket on a grill. This cut will take a long time to smoke—about 10 to 14 hours, if you’re doing it right—but it’s worth it. Shoot for an internal temperature of 205 degrees and use oak, cherry, hickory or, if you can find it, pecan wood for a good smoky flavor.


Ribs are another great beef cut for the smoker. Ribs come from the cap of the rib roast, also known as prime rib. So, what you’re getting with beef ribs is basically prime rib on the bone. Whether you prefer a dry rub or you like to slather them with your favorite barbecue sauce, these big and tasty meat handles are going to be packed with flavor. Smoking them adds yet another dimension of deliciousness that might even be too much to handle for the uninitiated. For dangerously tasty results, smoke these for five to six hours over wood like oak, cherry or hickory. Aim for an internal temperature of 135 degrees.


Tri-tip is kind of like a fancy brisket. It’s a large cut and has a good amount of fat running through the grain like brisket, but lacks the fat cap on top. It’s also naturally more tender than brisket. It requires far less cooking time and is great served at a medium level of doneness. Smoke this for 90 minutes over hickory or oak wood for about 90 minutes and your taste buds will be doing backflips. Aim for an internal temperature of 135 degrees. Don’t cook this cut too long, as it is much leaner than brisket and will dry out and become tough if overcooked.

For more smoking tips, or if you’re looking for the best meat to smoke, visit Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats today to check out our selection. We’re proud to carry high-quality meats of all kinds in our butcher shop!

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