Smoked Beef Cheek Barbacoa You'll Tell Your Mama About
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Beef Cheeks, Barbacoa, Tacos
Smoked Beef Cheek Barbacoa looks intimidating, but don't be fooled. It is one of the easiest cooks there is, almost as easy as not cooking at all and very forgiving. Trim? No. Season? Yes. Then cook it to bits slowly, on the smoke for a few hours then in a braise for a few hours and shred. That's it.
~7 lbs untrimmed beef cheeks
~½ cup perpetual beef or your favorite beef rub
4 cloves of garlic, peel and smashed
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
4 cups of beef stock
1 half size aluminum pan
Watch the how-to video at the bottom of this page
Set your smoker up for 250 degrees F
Trim your beef cheeks or don’t. I recommend not trimming and separating out any bits that didn’t break down with your hands once you finish cooking. If trimming, trim out the cheek from the connective tissues and remove all the silver skin and tough pieces. Then, give it an and aero-dynamic shape.
Season liberally with your beef seasoning.
Place your cheeks on the smoker. I use a wire rack so it’s easy to transport.
Smoke for 4 hours, roughly until the internal temp is 165-170 degrees F
Place the beef cheeks and trim in an aluminum pan with beef stock so that the stock covers about an 1 - 1.5 inches of the bottom of the cheeks. Add in onion and garlic and cover with tin foil.
At this point, you could put the cheeks in the oven since the foil will prevent it from taking on any more smoke flavor. Bump the heat to 275 degrees F and cook until they probe with no resistance. Should be around 210-215 degrees F internal and about 3-4 hours.
Let rest until cool enough to handle, then filter out the liquid and separate the meat from the pieces that didn’t break down with your hands. Shred the meat and bam, barbacoa.
Serve however you like, I recommend as simple tacos with nothing more than barbacoa, salsa verde, white onion, and cotija cheese. Check out my salsa verde recipe for an easy salsa verde you can make while the beef is cooking.
Eat BBQ, Live Forever